Art Asylum's great Marvel Minimates are divided into three loose "families" - Spider-Man, the X-Men and Marvel Universe. While the first three series hewed tightly to these themes, recent offerings have begun to change things up a little; Series 4 had one MU set and two Spider-Men, while Series 5 drops an X-Men in with two MU.
Unlike the Cyclops and Jean Grey set, this pair of mutants gives us one hero and one villain, a pocketful of conflict in one box. The baddie is the reason I got this set, the unstoppable force known as the Juggernaut.
Stepbrother to Charles Xavier, Cain Marko gained incredible powers when he touched the mystic gem of Cyttorak. Buried in a cave-in, he found that the tons of stone rubble did not harm him, and that he no longer needed food or air to survive. Digging himself out, he sought out his hated brother to destroy him once and for all. Though impervious to physical harm, the Juggernaut can be defeated by mental attacks.
The team at AA did a wonderful job of re-creating Juggernaut's distinctive armor in block-figure form. Though mostly painted on, a few parts of the costume are sculpted elements - the crimson bands on the back of his fists, for instance, and his distinctive helmet. So that your Minimate heroes at least have a chance of surviving a run-in with this beast, his helmet can be removed. AA included a really rather ugly hair piece that can replace the helmet.
While it's nice that Art Asylum at least tried
to give the figure an extra like this, it just doesn't work - the goofy hair style doesn't look like anything Cain's ever been shown to have in the comics and the color, the same red as his costume, is all wrong. Yeah, he's a red-head, but it's more orange-brown. Juggernaut has often worn a special skullcap to help fend off psionic attacks even if the outer helmet was lost or removed - rather than include the weird hair, AA could have painted this on Juggernaut and just tucked it under the helmet for fans to find.
Since Juggernaut's main foil, Professor X, has already been released with Magneto, Juggernaut had to find a new enemy. Though they're not as shallow and repetitive as a company like Mattel, Art Asylum still recognizes the unfortunate fact that they have to have at least one incarnation of the "popular" character in each series, so Juggernaut comes packaged with Wolverine.
Well, actually, it's "Logan," since the angry Canadian mutant isn't wearing his work clothes - Logan's got a wife-beater and gray pants/shoes. Still, a Wolverine's a Wolverine, and this is the fourth Wolvie Minimate already in this young line, not counting the version announced for Series 6.
Civilian Logan looks plenty angry, which is just how we like him. The claws on both hands are popped, though if you, too, think that's starting to get old, the plastic is soft enough that you could cut them off easily yourself. Logan's hair is bigger and wilder than any of his previous versions, and he's got his dog tags painted on his chest. Since he's a rather hirsute guy, his chest and arms have been detailed with hair.
Sold in character-related multipacks, the Marvel Minimates all share the same body with different paint decos, and they all move at the same 14 points: neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. While the first 'mates were an inch taller, those just look worse and worse as the ranks of the 2" Marvel charcters continue to swell. Art Asylum really put some thought into this line, and even though it's a departure from what has gone before, it's still very good.
First Bullseye, now Cain's hair; what painter's asleep at the wheel over there? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.