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Deadpool Corps

Marvel Universe
by yo go re

So, how far does a joke have to go before we can all agree it's been carried way too far?

When Deadpool needs to round up a team to defend the universe from an alien force that's chowing down on minds, he turns to the finest warrior he can think of: himself! The Merc with a Mouth goes dimension hopping and rounds up alternate-reality versions of himself to battle the mind-eating menace. The only team that can save all existence is... the Deadpool Corps!

The Marvel Universe Deadpool Corps set has the most famous packaging at this year's SDCC: the box looks like a taco truck, and all the figures inside are packaged in cards that also look like tacos. The only way they could have gone even more overboard on this would be to make everybody go outside to buy the toys from an actual taco truck parked on the sidewalk. Yes, we get it: Deadpool likes Mexican food. Cue laugh track.

The truck (purportedly El Guero Taqueria - "The Whitey Taco Shop") is fully detailed on all sides, though at 14" long, 9" high and 4⅜" thick it's sized more for Marvel Legends than Marvel Universe. Deadpool himself is cooking, while the rest of the Corps chills outside, either eating or waiting to be served (Dogpool is driving). The "menu" lists all the figures included, and the back of the truck has graphitti reading "Bob was here!!" A tray slides out, revealing five wide tacos: the cardboard wraps around the plastic blister like a book, and is printed with a photograph of meat, tomato, lettuce, onion and cheese. It's nice, but if you're going to make cool packaging, FOR GOD'S SAKE MAKE IT RESEALABLE! Consider that perhaps fans will not want to immediately throw your hard work in the garbage.

Anyway, although he's tucked in the middle of the tray, we'll start by looking at Deadpool. He's the star of the set, after all! The figure is mostly the same mold as X-Men Origins: Wolverine Deadpool, which was one of that line's standout releases: not only is he not missing any key articulation (like many of the movie figures were), but most of his costume details are actually sculpted on, not just painted. And we're not just talking about obvious things, like belts or buckles - the actual edges between the red and black sections of his costume have raised piping, which effectively renders this mold useless for anyone who's not Deadpool. Because he's just that special.

You have your choice of heads with this Deadpool. If you don't like the one that came with the Wolverine figure (even though it's sculpted with the same impressive raised edges and all), you have the option of swapping it for a head that has the mask pulled up to reveal his smile. You know, probably so he can eat tacos.

The inclusion of this head does raise an important point about this set: it does not include Headpool (the severed head of Marvel Zombies Deadpool). Considering that Headpool is most easily distinguishable from Deadpool by the fact that his mask is pulled up or torn to reveal his mouth, what do you think the odds are that this "second" head was originally in the works as Headpool until something changed? Yes, Headpool is often drawn looking very skeletal, with at least one visible zombie eye, but he's also often drawn looking rather normal. This could be Headpool, if you want it to be, but he'd still be better with a torn mask and a propeller beanie.

In addition to the extra head/character, Deadpool gets a large pistol, a ridiculously large and fakely technological blaster rifle, a knife, and two swords. He has a holster on his right leg, but no pistol to put in it. His belt/harness combo is the same the original use of this mold wore, so the swords fit in the sheaths on his back. He's also wearing two removable yellow floaties. Why? Because reasons. Hey, if Phonics-Killer Deadpool doesn't have to make any sense, why does this?

Next we have Lady Deadpool, aka Wanda Wilson from Earth-3010. She came from a world where America was in the midst of a new Civil War, where she joined the side of the rebels only out of a desire for a sense of belonging and to feel she was wanted. She became bodyguard to the face of the resistance, and began fighting against General America and his loyalist forces.

The figure uses the new generic Marvel Universe female body, previously seen on characters like Scarlet Witch and Medusa. It's a really good choice for Lady Deadpool, because it matches the art so well: it's all long and leggy, with proportions that fit the exaggerated superheroic ideal. She definitely looks the way Rob Liefeld drew her (minus all the excessive and pointless crosshatching and the boobs that were literally larger than her head. Her costume details aren't sculpted in, but they have mostly been painted well - the only exception being smears of black that run up her forearms from her wristbands.

Lady Deadpool's head is a new sculpt, naturally. The black circles on her mask are etched into the surface of the mask. She's got tiny white eyes, but no distinct sculpt for the nose or mouth. Her hair is blonde, suggesting that's what color Wade's would be if he weren't bald and all scarred-up; it's pulled into a ponytail that falls onto her shoulder.

The figure has a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists, swivel/hinge torso, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles that allow her to tilt her feet in wide poses. She's got a free-floating belt and a harness around her shoulders that has a small loop that allows her to stash her sword back there. The extra space in her taco is filled with [No, we're not letting you say that. Re-write it. --ed.] Also held in the blister of the taco-shaped packaging are a large bazooka, and an oversized ray gun.

The Wade Wilson of Earth-10330 was a resident at The Xavier Orphanage for Troubled Boys, but didn't fit in with all the other children because of his delinquent tendencies. Kidpool is an unarticulated PVC figure, basically a glorified accessory, put in his own taco shell because of the space needed to house his lightsabers. He's sculpted in a very dynamic pose, and his clothes are done well, but it's still annoying that he can't move at all. Even if it was just some swivel joints in the upper body, it would be better than nothing.

Earth-103173's Deadpool was a dog named Wilson, who was subjected to the cruel and mysterious "Mascara X" project (designed to create makeup that would regenerate itself). The scientists behind the project thought Wilson was dead, so they dumped him in the garbage. He soon arose as Deadpool, the Merc with a Bark. Like Kidpool, Dogpool is just a PVC piece, but that's long been SOP for Hasbro-created animals: just ask any GI Joe who had a pet.

Squirrelpool started as an April Fools' joke: when you put the Konami Code in on Marvel's website, a drawing of a squirrel in a Deadpool mask popped up. That's it. That's all that's known about him. Maybe he's from Spider-Ham's world. [Earth-8311 --ed.] He was turned into an SDCC exclusive bust in 2011, and now he's an action figure. Well, sort of. Again: PVC, no articulation, blah blah blah blah blah. He's cute! He's got swords on his back! Hide your nuts!

The Dogpool/Squirrelpool taco also includes another accessory for Deadpool: a duck-headed inner tube to go around his waist! How delightfully irreverent! And also, how annoying for the people who bought this exclusive to part it out: in order to sell a complete Deadpool, you have to open Squirrelpool and Dogpool. They're gonna love that!

Our final figure is Championpool - better known as The Champion of the Universe. He was born Tryco Slatterus shortly after the Big Bang and is functionally immportal. He loves nothing more than honorable one-on-one combat: in other words, punching. He loves punching. All he wants is to live up to (and retain) his title of Champion.

The figure uses the same body as Hercules, and it's just as awesome here as it was there. He's huge and muscular and totally looks like someone who'd be able to trade punches with the strongest beings Earth has to offer. There are new forearms (because they need to be bare instead of having bracers), new shins and new feet (because he's wearing Deadpool-style boots instead of sandals). His belt is a separate piece around the waist, and it's painted with a silver buckle. In fact, all of the Deadpool Corps have silver buckles. It must be their "thing."

Champion normally has a head of hair that would make 1980s-era Whitesnake jealous, but this isn't Champion: this is Championpool, and so he's pulled his mighty mane into a ponytail and put one of Deadpool's masks on his face. The black eyespots on the mask are sculpted. While he comes with a sword and knife, his hands are a little too large to hold them securely.

It seems the Deadpool Corps is fated to be forever incomplete when released in toy form. The Minimates were missing Dogpool, and now the MU version of the group is lacking Headpool. And while it's incredibly poor planning that the tacos aren't resealable (come on guys: taco shell, clam shell; it's right there for the taking), there's no denying that the whole taco truck idea is goofball fun. Not bad, overall.

-- 08/26/13

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