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Invisible Woman & Human Torch

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

The first series of Hasbro's Marvel Legends two-packs included a set pairing Mr. Fantastic and the too-small Thing. Finally, in Series 3, the team gets completed.

Two siblings have never been so different. Susan Storm has always been a model of patience and humility, supported by a strength of will that has seen her through a lifetime of trials. By contrast, Johnny is rash, often foolish, and even a little bit arrogant. Still, they are bonded close together by their family ties, and have worked hand in hand ever since exposure to cosmic rays granted them both incredible power. Together with Ben Grimm and Reed Richards, they change the Fantastic Four from a simple team into a family.

Considering her prominent role in the Marvel Universe, it's no surprise that Sue is the female we've gotten the most ML-style figures of: four. There's the version from the box set, the one from FF Classics Series 2 that nobody ever saw, the slightly trampy Sue from the FF-themed ML series, and now this one. There's been one Wasp, two Elektras, three Jean Greys (four if you count the movie version)... but four Invisible Women. There are more of her than there are of Thor, so no point in claiming she's under-represented.

The figure's body is reused from the previous ML version, so obviously they found a way to deal with a figure where the only sculpted costume detail is a ring around the collar. Her gloves, her belt, her boots, the 4 circled on her chest... all of them are merely painted on. Her collar, though, gets a raised edge. Honestly, we'd love to know the thought process behind it; why that particular element and nothing else?

Sue's whole head is new. She's got a rather serious look on her face, and her hair spills down over her shoulders. It's hard to say whether the hairstyle comes from the comics or not: the FF wore the same basic costumes for the first 255 issues of their comic, and this is it; the light blue body with darker extremities remained fundamentally unchanged until they switched to dark blue with white. However, the larger collar does seem to come from John Byrne's era.

Invisible Woman stands 5¾" tall, and moves at the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, torso, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. Her hair impedes her neck a bit, but you can get it moving if you really try. The placement of her wrist joints makes the hands stick out a bit too far, and they're already a smidge oversized to begin with, so she ends up with some truly ape-like mitts. The painted black details are all crisp, and there are highlights painted on the blue areas. Her hair is a dark yellow, which isn't quite natural, but looks better than a real blonde would.

Sue's little brother Johhny has no shortage of figures himself, but his last few have all been disappointing in one way or another. The one in the ML FF Series was human, but had that stupid Super Saiyan hair; meanwhile, the one in the second Wal*Mart series came in two flavors of "flame on," but finally had the human head. Well, like they say, third time's the charm.

Below the neck, this figure is the same mold as Hasbro's two prior Human Torches, which isn't at all a bad thing: it's a good sculpt and has the best articulation of any toy currently on the shelves; re-using this isn't a bad decision, particularly since every time it's been used, it's been used as Johnny. However, since the body hasn't changed, we're not going to bother duplicating the details of the review - you can read them all right here.

Like that original figure, this figure shows Johnny mostly in his FF uniform, with just a few flames stating to creep across his forearms, shins and all around his chest and shoulders. The flames are translucent plastic, molded clear and painted with yellow and orange. Like Sue (and the Series 1 Mr. Fantastic/Thing two-pack), Johnny's wearing the light blue uniform with dark trim. In fact, this is the first time Johnny's worn this uniform! Both the box set and MLFF versions wore dark blue with white.

To further set this figure apart from the other "flame on" Human Torch, he gets a new head. Well, an old head. The last version had the big plume of flame-hair, while this version has the shorter hair seen on the 12" Icons figure and the two Wal*Mart-exclusives. Yes, it's just like we said we wanted, so big plus! The hair is a little longer than you might expect, but it's meant to suggest the beginnings of fire. He does look rather serious, though - Johnny's a joker, and this face doesn't reflect that.

So far Hasbro's released a "costumed" Human Torch with giant hair, a "flaming" Human Torch with short hair, and a "costumed" Human Torch with short hair - that leaves them with a giant-haired "flaming" Torch still in reserve, if they need to crank out a fourth version. Sue's hands may be the same size as her brother's, but she's still a good new offering. And if you don't like Hasbro's two-pack of Reed and Ben, don't worry: the ML5 Mr. Fantastic and the ML2 Thing are wearing matching costumes, so with this two-pack, we finally complete a team that started in 2002! Eight years is a long time to wait, but the payoff was worth it!

-- 04/18/10

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