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Warriors of the Web

Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

When Hasbro started up their second round of Marvel Legends, they came up with the idea of giving us extra characters through the use of "swap figures" - two characters, released under one "name" in the series, shipping in different waves to encourage stores to reorder. It didn't work at all, and was soon dropped. Eventually Hasbro got their act together, and now swap figures are a reliable part of each new ML series.

But why?

These heroines trap evil-doers with web-slinging super powers!

Yes, that's very nice. This release is technically "Warriors of the Web," and covers both Spider-Girl and Ultimate Spider-Woman (Spider-Girl in this case being May "Mayday" Parker, the daughter of Peter and Mary Jane from the future/alternate reality MC2 universe - you know, the daughter they would have had if Joe Quesada hadn't forced J. Michael Straczynski to give them a devil-abortion). [never forget --ed.] Picking up where the 616 stories left off - baby May having been kidnapped by a con artist under Norman Osborn's instruction - Peter got May back, but chose to retire from superheroing to be a full-time dad, and hoped that she'd turn out normal. But when May was 15 she started displaying spider-powers and started fighting crime (because it was a great way to piss off daddy).

Spider-Girl is a teenager, so she uses the Jubilee body - and really, how awesome is it that Hasbro has a body specifically to make teenage girl heroes? And also, that Marvel has enough teen girls kicking ass to make such a thing a worthwhile investment? By comparison, remember that when tasked with the same mission, Mattel just repainted an adult and hoped no one would notice.

May wears a version of her uncle Ben's Scarlet Spider costume, just with a (much) darker shade of blue and, you know, better breast support. Her hands are new, because they're molded in the traditional web-shooting pose, and she's wearing silver webshooters.

One drawback of this reused body is that the web lines on the costume are just painted, not sculpted in. Even on the head, which is a new mold with sculpted eyes, the lines are just painted. The apps are mostly good, though the lines do tend to break once you move the joints - she was painted in one specific pose, and looks best that way.

But hey, put her in a wild enough pose, and you'll never even notice. She moves at the ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, torso, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and head. The elbow hinges and the ankle swivels both feel very stuck, on my figure: I can get them moving, but it's tough to do, and I'm worried they might shear off. It may be time for me to boil some water and pop the joints apart, just to make sure there's no excess plastic in there.

All the previous swap figures came with the same BAF part (or at least the same equivalent parts, in the case of The Allfather[s]), but the Warriors of the Web do not. Spider-Girl comes with Hobgoblin's head and wings; Ultimate Spider-Woman comes with something else.

So the original idea of the swap figures was that they'd ship in different waves, but would otherwise be (in the loosest terms) the "same" figure: the same base mold, the same BAF piece, etc.; now they're shipping at the same time, have different BAF parts, and often have different bodies; at that point, why even bother with the "swap figure" pretense? Why not just admit that Spider-Girl and Ultimate Spider-Woman are two different figures and let them be identified as such on the packaging?

-- 04/06/15

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