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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Now this is a Marvel Legend no one ever thought we'd get. It wasn't that long ago ToyBiz and DST offered their exclusive Marvel Select She-Hulk at the summer cons and that figure, like several others in the Marvel Select line, was good enough to blend in with your Legends nicely. Thus, when it was announced Shulkie would be in the second series of Hasbro Legends, a lot of people were incredulous. Why waste a spot on a character we already had? Well, maybe because they were planning to do her well.

Jennifer Walters graduated from UCLA school of law, summa cum laude. During a visit with her cousin Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk, she was shot by criminals. She needed an emergency blood transfusion and her cousin Bruce had no choice but to donate his blood in order to save her life. His radioactive blood mutated Jennifer into the green-skinned She-Hulk. Unlike her cousin, she has been able to control her powers, and is able to change from Jennifer to She-Hulk at will. Whether fighting for justice by using her superhuman strength or by using her sharp intellect as a high-powered lawyer, the She-Hulk is a force to be reckoned with.

Of course, given the... "less than stellar" track record Hasbro had with female figures, people were understandably apprehensive. I mean, look at their indisputably horrendous Emma Frost figure. One of the most attractive women in the Marvel Universe, and they delivered that-- that-- that abomination!? For longtime toy fans such as ourselves, it brought to mind 1995's infamous "Monkey Leia" from the inaugural Power of the Force 2 line. Rarely has a facial sculpt missed the mark as badly as that one did. The new Jean Grey wasn't much to look at, either, so there was no guarantee of how She-Hulk would turn out.

The figure is about 7¼" tall, though she looks much bigger when you don't have her next to a ruler - in fact, that makes her nearly the same size as the Marvel Select version. She's articulated at the ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, torso and neck. The head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and ankles are all balljoints, and the knees are double-hinged. It's a shame she doesn't have a waist - could they really not come up with something that would maintain the lines of her costume?

Jen's sculpt is wonderful. She's showing a lot of skin, obviously, and it's looking good. Her muscles are big without being bulging, and defined without being cut. Considering how big she is, it's no surprise her costume looks tight, but it also looks thick enough to give her some support. A lot of superheroines' costumes look like the girl'd get a black eye if she had to run after a villain, you know? And completely eschewing the maladies of the X-Ladies, the figure's face looks really good - in fact, this is one of the best-looking Marvel Legends women yet. Check out that smile! They even sculpted the underside of her hair, where it falls against her shoulders. Impressive!

The paint is pretty good - what there is of it. She's molded in green plastic, with the costume details painted on. While this is mostly a good choice, it does leave some small green gaps on her sides - pink or white would have been better. Her boots are white, her gloves are grey, and her costume is white and a metallic pink. She's even wearing silver nail polish. If you go by the comics, her greens aren't quite right - her skin should be more yellowy, and her hair should be darker. She's not quite this... vibrant, is what we're saying. Still, it's hard to mistake "giant green girl" for anyone else.

She-Hulk's only accessory is her HL2-mandated piece of the series' Build-A-Figure, Blob. She comes with his shoulders and upper torso - basically, his big droopy manboobs. Talk about a character needing support from their costume! The suit is dark blue with yellow on the shoulders, and a bit of pink skin showing at the neck. There's no articulation in this piece, but you can tell there will be once other bits attach.

Like her famous cousin, She-Hulk is invulnerable, but her clothes are not. Of course, you have to suspend a bit more disbelief to buy that her clothes still cover everything from hips to chest when she shreds them than you do to buy that Hulk's pants still cover his groin - especially when the simple fabric is expected to stand up to bullets. In 1985's Sensational She-Hulk graphic novel, John Byrne showed everyone what happens when cloth meets hot lead - or more accurately, inker Kim DeMulder did. Making an escape from a SHIELD lab, She-Hulk has to pull on a lab coat so she's not running around naked. When an agent fires on her, the coat doesn't fare so well, and an official Marvel comic suddenly featured She-Hulk's (semi-)exposed nipples. When the original pages got lost in the mail, DeMulder was asked to re-ink photocopies of the original art. Since the deadline was nigh, he was able to sneak in a few "extra" details without being caught.

It's no surprise that people assumed Byrne was involved, especially since in Byrne's later She-Hulk run, he made a good joke out of similar teases, such as the issue where seven pages were spent on nude jumprope. Followed by a shower scene. It's all in harmless fun anyway, and really, that's what the character is all about: She-Hulk is much better as a light-hearted romp than as a dour tome, and the Marvel Legends figure definitely reflects that.

-- 09/17/07

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