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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. Kind of funny that the two of them were previously paired in a similar way in Marvel Minimates Series 30. Ultimate Spider-Woman is a clone of Peter Parker, given the false identity of "Jessica Drew." She also has Peter's memories, which, depending on how you want to decipher that, may make her a transgender character - male brain in a female body, after all. But who says memory and gender are intertwined? We'd have to ask whether she thinks of herself as a "she" or not. And if she's not transgender, then we at least know she's gay, because she's attracted to girls.

Ultimate Spider-Woman 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.

Jessica is wearing a dark red costume - almost... scarlet, one might say? It has a large, stylized white spider wrapped around the torso (like Venom [or 616 Spider-Woman]), and white fingertips - she has the ability to shoot organic webbing, but out of her fingers instead of her wrists. So instead of "web-shooting" hands, she has the same ones as Jubilee: one fist, one gesturing.

Taking a cue from her "real" counterpart(s), USW's costume allows her hair to stick out the top of the mask. She's got quite the large mane of it, too: if it weren't blowing in an imaginary wind, it would reach past her waist. For a while the costume had a triangle of skin visible on her forehead, but thankfully this toy skips that.

She moves at the ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, torso, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and head. The elbow hinges and the right ankle swivel 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. Her head is balljointed, but there are still a few directions she can't really look because of all that hair. Nothing you'll miss, though.

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. Ultimate Spider-Woman comes with Hobgoblin's torso; Spider-Girl 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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