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by yo go re

In a strange case of synchronicity, Art Asylum has released two different two-packs of Minimates at the same time featuring the pairing of Wolverine and Deadpool. One set is based on the movie, the other is based on the comics.

James Howlett's healing factor, retractable claws and enhanced senses made him te perfect candidate for the Weapon Plus program but Wolverine's decision to join the X-Men is what made him a hero.

Ah, yes, Grant Morrison and his crap-sack ideas. Can we just hurry up and wipe that idiotic "Weapon Plus" retcon out of existence already? "Oh, the X is a Roman numeral, there were nine tries before!" This is what happens when you don't let your editors say no to bad ideas just because the writer is famous. For other examples of this type of free-reign suckitude, see X-Treme X-Men. At least everyone is already pretending that one never happened.

This is the 25th Wolverine Minimate, and it doesn't have much new to offer. Tiger stripe uniform? Seen it. Painted hair on the arms? Seen it. Shoulder pads, boot-fronts, claws with sculpted ports? Seen it, seen it, seen it. Seen it all. We always mention when AA gives us something new, it's only fair we mention when they give us something old.

Not that this is a straight re-release, by any means. He's got a lot more detail than any of the previous yellow-suited versions, and a strange giant belt that doesn't really add anything to the figure. His mask is removable, but the hair included to replace it is weird - it seems to have been molded on an angle, with one sideburn significantly higher than the other. It's not like this is new hair [seen it! --ed.], but the previous uses didn't have the same problem.

So Wolverine isn't so great; that's okay, no one is buying this set for Wolverine.

Known as the "Merc with a Mouth," Wade Wilson was transformed into the antihero Deadpool after the Weapon X program treated his terminal cancer with DNA extracted from Wolverine. He now enjoys cracking jokes, getting paid and Bea Arthur.

Deadpool is a fan favorite, and we've been waiting for him to get a Minimate for years now. Thus, there was a lot of built-up anticipation, and a lot of room for disappointment. Fortunately, everything seems to have been done right. He's molded in red, with all the details of his costume painted in black - and yes, we mean all the details. The black areas on his torso and shoulders, the stripes on his legs, the bands around his ankles, the patches on the backs of his hands and on top of his toes... lots of details, all captured perfectly. There's even a line on the back of his mask to suggest the little flap of cloth some artists draw back there.

Wade's mask is removable, revealing the scarred face beneath. It's perhaps a bit less Freddy Kruegerish than it should be, but they tried. There are black lines suggesting the lumps and wrinkles, and dark spots for the deep sores. Because the character's bald, he doesn't have a peghole on top of his head. As a bonus surprise when you open the package, DP's got a second mask, with a more modern look - ie, different-sized eyes. Technically this mask should be the one with the flap on the back while the other is smooth, but that's splitting hairs.

Remember how we loved Assault Armor Punisher so much because of all the swanky gear he came with? 11 pieces, right? Deadpool tops that with 17. See, while Rob Liefeld's Deadpool was pretty much Spider-Man with a utility belt, current art styles have Wade wearing a lot more tactical gear over his usual costume. From the ground up? Let's break it on down!

There's a revolver on his right hip and a sai on his left. His belt (which has the appropriate Deadpool face logo buckle - awesome little bit of detail, by the way) holds another pistol at the small of his back - put the grip on the left if you don't want it to fall out. He's wearing a brown harness that holds two swords and two MP5 submachine guns. All loaded up with gear, the figure looks great, but you can strip it off, even the pouches and holsters, if you want him to be more streamlined. The swords get a bit bent by the way they press up against his head, but it's not a huge issue.

Honestly, this is a set that we didn't need to review. If you're into Minimates at all, you probably gave a gleeful little squee when you heard they'd finally be doing a Deadpool, and you probably bought him the day he came out. If, for some reason, "there's a Minimate Deadpool" wasn't enough to make you get him, then don't worry, the toy is good. And there's nothing substantially bad about the Wolverine he comes with.

-- 10/12/09

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