OAFE: your #1 source for toy reviews
B u y   t h e   t o y s ,   n o t   t h e   h y p e .

what's new?
message board
Twitter Facebook RSS      

Uncanny X-Men

by yo go re

Marvel Minimates Series 34 was (almost) all about the Jim Lee X-Men, still the most popular incarnation the team's ever had. There were a few notable characters missing, though, which is why Art Asylum offered the exclusive Uncanny X-Men set at SDCC - aka, the '90s Box Set.

Born the second son of wealthy landowners John and Elizabeth Howlett in Alberta, Canada during the late 19th Century, James Howlett was a frail boy of poor health, when his mutation first manifested. After many adventures Wolverine was asked by Charles Xavier to aid in the rescue of his students. Logan decided to remain with the X-Men for quite some time, at one time being their field commander.

Hey look: it's #32. This is already a limited exclusive - could we for once not go with the giant mass-market character? How about some others we've never had before, like Banshee or Forge? How about a villain, like Trevor Fitzroy or Fabian Cortez? Something.

This is "Battle-Ravaged Wolverine," distinguished from the various "Battle Damaged" Wolverines we've had over the years by virtue of having a different adjective. What's the difference between battle damage and battle ravage? Nothing. Wolverine is shirtless, but he's wearing his brown and orange costume, which suggests this is either from the end of the X-Men's Outback period, or from when he was fighting in Genosha during the X-Tinction Agenda. His pants are ripped, but notably, he has no wounds beneath - healing factor, remember? The "ravaging" seems limited to a few scrapes on his arms and torso.

For extra pieces, Wolverine has the feet with the flared bootfronts, a red X-logo belt and the clawed hands with the ports on the back - a mistake, since the "claw ports" were part of his gloves, not his anatomy. The hair is the same piece Series 28 Wolverine had. His eyes are blank white, for some inexplicable reason, and he's got a lop-sided smirk, plus stubble behind the sideburns.

Max Eisenhardt first consciously used his mutant powers when his family was trapped in a burning house. Unable to rescue his daughter from the blaze due to his inexperience coupled with interference from a hostile mob, he angrily unleashed hs powers. Later calling himself Magento, Max banded together a group he dubbed the Brotherhood of Mutants and hs spent most of his time trying to defeat the X-Men and the entire homo-sapien race.

Wolverine only wore his brown costume for about half a minute in the '90s, which already calls into question the idea that this is a '90s-themed set. Now we get this "Asteroid M" Magneto, who's wearing the purple suit with the big white M dominating the front, which completely blows the '90s idea out of the sky: this is what he wore (briefly) when he attempted to reform - a story from the '80s. In fact, he was back to his traditional costume by 1988, and hasn't worn this one since.

Magneto's face is the calmest any has had yet. The original had a sinister, boastful appearance, and the others have had some variation on "furious," but this one is merely stern - a look that makes perfect sense, since this is the costume he wore when he took over mentorship of the New Mutants (Professor X having gone off to space to bang his half-bird girlfriend). He's a headmaster, and he projects authority.

He also projects magnetic waves, and to represent that, the figure includes two translucent pink energy blobs that fit over his fists. Pink is usually the color of telekinetic/telepathic energy in Marvel comics (cf. Jean Grey, Psylocke), and Magnus' energy is mostly shown as blue, but since it's also been purple at times, so consider this a shade of that.

Lucas Bishop was born in the 21st Century A.D. of an alternate future timeline in which the mutant-hunting Sentinels had taken control of North America. While pursuing criminals, Bishop when through a portal to the X-Men's own time, even though he was aware he would have no means to return to his own time. Bishop was honored when Professor X invited him to join the team whose members he had idolized since childhood.

Ah, now we're into the '90s! It's not surprising that we get Bishop in this set, just that it's taken this long to get his most familiar look. He's had one Minimate before, but it was wearing... well, really, a costume that doesn't seem to come from the comics at all. Hard to believe it's taken another five years to get his proper look.

Bishop gets many nifty add-ons to recreate his costume: a belt, cuffs for his gloves, different cuffs for his sleeves, and Iron Man shoulder rings. Sadly, his big red scarf is just painted on his chest, like the stripes and muscles. But hey, even the belt gets fancy technological apps. Bishop has the mutant-branding "M" on his face, and the "Lord Bowler" haircut comes from Series 19's variant Archangel.

Being a '90s time-traveling mutant, Bishop was best known for arming himself with big guns. "Black Cable," they called him! Okay, no they didn't. But they may as well have. He's got a shotgun and whatever laser rifle gun it is that the black Battle Beasts gator came with. His mutant power is to absorb energy and redirect it, so he also comes with a pink energy blast for his hand.

Born the daughter of prosperous Chinese immigrants, young Jubilation was sent to an exclusive Beverly Hills school, where her talent for gymnastics was discovered and her mutant powers manifested. After running into trouble with the law Jubilation followed the X-Men back to their base in Australia. After helping rescue several of the X-Men she joined a reformed X-Men.

It's been said that Jubilee was created as a take on the Carrie Kelly version of Robin from The Dark Knight Returns, but I don't know if that's true - looking at her, you can really see the connection: she's got the hair, the glasses, the colors... sometimes. Yeah, this figure is in pink and blue, but the comics often made her shirt red and her shorts, boots and gloves green. Add the yellow trenchcoat as a stand-in for the cape, and there you go!

Jubilee gets CEO Tony Stark's hairpiece to show her slightly spiky 'do, though it is missing her trademark earrings - no way to add those on. Most of the detailing on her chest gets hidden by the coat, and you can't really remove it unless you have some extra bare arms around. One thing in her favor, though, is that she's got a reversible head: one side shows her metallic pink glasses, while the other reveals her Asian eyes - remember, she's still Chinese, even if artists forget half the time.

Sadly, Jubilee doesn't come with her rollerblades aggressive inline skates. Instead, she has her "pafs" - the little fireworks that were her mutant power. They're the same molds used for Magneto and Bishop's energies, but hers are definitely more colorful: there's one orange, and one blue. Fun! To accommodate the energy effects, she has extra, ungloved hands done in blue.

To call this set "90s X-Men" is entirely wrong - half the set is clearly based on the '80s! Okay, so this Wolverine isn't much to brag about, but the rest of the set is cool. They're all versions of characters we've never had before, and they're done well. And hey, if you're a fan of translucent globs of energy, this is your dream come true!

-- 08/30/10

back what's new? reviews

Report an Error 

Discuss this (and everything else) on our message board, the Loafing Lounge!

Entertainment Earth

that exchange rate's a bitch

© 2001 - present, OAFE. All rights reserved.
Need help? Mail Us!