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by yo go re

Usually, when Art Asylum designs a box set of figures, they also come up with a complementary two-pack. For instance, the Secret Wars quartet and Molecule Man/Spider-Woman. Unexpectedly, they've just released a second two-pack to add to the Secret Wars collection.

Dispersed across the universe by Dazzler, the sonic-based Klaw was reassembled by Dr. Doom during the Secret Wars. Though driven insane in the process, Klaw's powerful sonic converter remained as powerful as ever.

As you can probably tell by his god-awful costume design, Klaw is a Jack Kirby creation. A red bodysuit with purple trunks and a hot pink face? It's like the goal was to make something that was hard to look at. Maybe Jack thought if the costume was ugly enough, you'd actually be able to hear the drawings when you looked at them. There's a selling point for you: "buy Marvel comics, develop synesthesia." Too bad they didn't know about that back in the '60s.

For once, the fact that Minimates have smooth heads works in the character's favor: Klaw doesn't have a nose in the comics, like Voldemort. That black stripe on his face? That's all it is: a stripe. It doesn't cover his nose, just the place his nose would be if he had one. The only anatomical details on the figure are on his chest, and though the jagged purple edge of his trunks wraps all the way around the torso, it's only got a black outline on the front.

Klaw's weapon of choice is his sonic cannon, and the figure comes with it - as usual, it's mounted on his wrist, so if you were planning on getting this set as the base for an all-red custom, you'll be short one hand. Whenever Klaw is defeated, the blaster is all that's left, so this will work as a standalone accessory, too.

Despite the presence of Cyclops and Professor X, the powerful weather-witch Storm retains leadershp of the X-Men during the Beyonder's Secret Wars and leads the X-Men against Earth's most powerful villains!

What do they mean "despite?" Secret Wars happened before Storm beat Cyclops for leadership of the team, but she'd been leading the X-Men as early as Uncanny X-Men #139 - a good 40 issues before the Beyonder whisked everyone away. It was in issue 173, though, October 1983, that she changed from her Dave Cockrum-designed costume to what was known as her "punk" look.

Storm is wearing tall boots, leather pants, a tanktop and leather vest, and they're all just painted elements. You may have expected the vest to be a separate piece, but that would bulk the figure up and make her look less feminine. She has separate cuffs around her waist to create the illusion of short gloves, and since the character design included a choker, she gets the small "collar" piece that was first seen on Jigsaw.

When Chris Claremont and Paul Smith decided to redesign Storm's look, they knew they were going to catch flak for it no matter what, so they went all out. Smith knew that a haircut was part of the plan, so as a joke, he put a mohawk on one of the submitted designs - never expecting that was the one that would be picked. It was a shocking move at the time, but now it's looked back upon as a classic (despite the fact that she only wore it for about four years). It also gives AA the chance to reuse the mohawk piece they made for Daken.

Considering that Klaw's only deviation from the standard body is his gun/hand, and that none of the pieces included on Storm are new, it would have been nice if we got some energy effects for either of them. You know, lightning bolts, a zap that fits on the cannon, whatever. Still, you can always borrow those things from other Minimates, and their absense doesn't mean this set is disappointing.

-- 04/04/10

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