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Spider-Man vs. the Sinister 6
by yo go re

With Electro due to be the big villain in this summer's Amazing Spider-Man 2, it seems like a great time to finally backtrack and cover this guy.

The Sinister Six was an alliance of villains sharing Electro one common goal: revenge on Spider-Man. Initially led by Doctor Octopus, the group's lineup consisted of Venom, Kraven the Hunter, Black Cat, Green Goblin and Electro - who had all been soundly defeated by Spider-Man. Doctor Octopus assured his comrades that by working together, they could finally destroy the web-slinger for their mutual benefit.

The reason that text is more group-focused than usual is that this Electro is one-seventh of the Marvel Legends "Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6" box set, one of the rarest ML giftsets ever released. Unlike most fans, I was lucky enough to actually see one in stores; not realizing how under-ordered it was, I decided to wait for one that had better paint, and then it was gone forever. So for years, I had to settle for the Spider-Man Series 19 Electro, and it was a hunk of ass. That's why, when I found this figure at a local "collectibles" shop at the mall, I snapped it up right away. Would have gotten Black Cat too, if they'd had her.

The majority of this figure is the same as Marvel Legends Series 5 Mr. Fantastic (and thus also Spider-Man Series 6 Parachute Spider-Man). It's a skinny body, which suits the wiry Max Dillion very well. His forearms are new, because they'd have to be: there is no other way to accommodate the silly lightning bolts on his gloves. The rest of the costume details are just painted on, which means a lot of sloppy edges. That was one area where the later Electro release had the advantage: lots more sculpted elements.

But where it can't compete is the articulation. Remember how that Electro had nearly immobile arms? Yeah, not an issue here. Electro moves at the toes, ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, waist, fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows, torso, biceps, shoulders, neck and head. Ah, memories! Remember when this sort of movement was standard? Nothing stuck, nothing broken... just joints as far as the eye can see! Not really sure what they thought they were doing with that left hand, though. It looks weird in any position.

Also weird in any position? His stupid lightning bolt mask. But that's not the fault of the toy, it's the fault of Steve Ditko - this is exactly how he looks in the comics, and has since he first appeared in 1964. He wears a black cowl, and over that a broad, flat, five-pointed mask. We know it's a physical object in the comic, not just an attempt to suggest sparks flying off his head, because it's not rendered like the actual electricity. He got super powers, and then decided to wear this thing. Because he's an idiot, I guess?

Electro doesn't have any accessories, but because he was part of a box set, he does have a circular display base. This isn't just a generic disc with a sticker on it, like the Fearsome Foes got, this is a unique, fully sculpted 3D representation of Electro's face, surrounded by thin blue arcs of electricity. It's more than expected, but some bolts of electricity would not have been unwelcome. Maybe we can convince Supervolt to share.

ToyBiz's other Electro figure was a huge disappointment, but it had the advantage of being available. And this one, while in many ways superior, does have some shortcomings that the other didn't. So really, like Carnage, the ideal figure would be a mix of the two: this Electro's arms on the other Electro's body (and whichever head you personally perfer - the smirk or the frown). But until Hasbro decides to make a 6" Electro, this one is the best available.

-- 02/24/14

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