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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

This is a figure we've been waiting 14 years to get.

He is a man determined to escape his shadows: Havok the shadow of his past and the shadow of his brother, Scott Summers, aka Cyclops. Working with the X-Men, Havok learned to keep his powers in check, allowing him to gain mastery over them and to release them only when necessary. But Havok, consumed by comparisons to his revered brother, longed to get out from under Scott's shadow. He left the X-Men and had many adventures. Havok is resourceful and fiercely committed to the cause of mutant equality and there is no doubt he will once again take his place among the X-Men - not only to help prevent the coming genetic war, but also to find a way to step out of the shadows and allow his true talents to shine.

ToyBiz was supposed to make a figure of Havok in the second series of X-Men figures - the one released in 1992. Instead, they began a trend that would plague them to this day: too damn many Wolverines. In an 11-figure series (to this day, the largest ever released by ToyBiz) they put out three Wolverines, and dropped Havok before he even made it to prototype phase.

Not that that's an unheard of state of affairs: figures get dropped from potential assortments all the time. But the difference was that this time, the fans knew about it. Whoever was doing the graphic design for the figures' cards forgot to take Havok's picture off the front, so fans went nuts trying to find a figure that didn't exist. Remember, this is before the internet, and before any sort of fan press, so nobody knew that the figure had been axed. Fortunately, it was also before eBay, or else someone would have claimed to have the figure in order to scam people.

Havok did eventually get a few figures in newer costumes, and ToyFare offered an exclusive in his original suit, but it was just a repaint of the body they used for everything back then. So it took a decade and a half, but we've finally got the baby Summers brother. Of course, he's still a repaint.

Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh. He's a retool, not a repaint. The majority of the body is the same as Bullseye, with all the extra, glued-on pieces removed. This gives Havok a nice, smooth body, just as he should have - no extraneous costume details. His hands and feet are new pieces, since Bullseye's gloves and boots were fairly detailed. He moves at the toes, ankles, shins, knees, hips, waist, torso, fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck. Using the Bullseye body make Alex fairly skinny, just like his brother, so it's perfect.

Though the shape of their masks is similar, Havok doesn't have the same face as Bullseye. Sculpted by Sam Greenwell, Havok's head is all-new, all-different. He's got his teeth gritted firmly, showing the strain of using his powers, and you can tell by his light eyebrows that he's got blonde hair under that black mask. The silly headgear his original costume had is here, of course, and it pushes him nearly to the 6½" mark. Poor Havok. Such a stupid design. There were plans to make a variant in his current costume, but that's probably more remolding than this particular series could handle.

The white symbol on Havok's chest is painted on. Originally unable to fully control his powers, Havok's suit was designed to help him get things in hand. In fact, it was designed by Larry Trask, son of the guy who invented Sentinels. A villain designed it? Explains why it looks that way, then. The concentric circles on his chest weren't actually a static part of the suit, but a gauge of how much cosmic energy Alex had absorbed. There's a band of silver around the figure's neck, to help break up the monotony of an all-black suit, and the jewel on his forehead is a nice metallic red.

Part of the Giant-Man series, Havok comes with the big guy's left leg. There's really not much to say about these pieces by themselves - they exist only to be part of something larger. We can see that GM will have a thigh joint, a double-knee and a boot joint, but that's it. The leg is huge, but since it's separate from the boot, not as impressive as the other Build-A-Figures were.

Havok comes with a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #97, though it has the (much more impressive) cover from #58 around the outside. The story involves Alex and his grilfriend Polaris bumming around the desert until they get attacked and brainwashed into fighting the other X-Men. The issue is also part of the long build-up to the reveal of the Shi'ar aliens, and has the first twinges of the story that will eventually become the Phoenix Saga. Not a bad collection of stories, right there.

Cyclops was always the plain, boring guy on the X-Men team, so the fact that his brother is even less exciting than him is quite the accomplishment. The fact remains, however, that Havok is a character that's long overdue, and we finally have a good version of him.

-- 06/26/06

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