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Venom Legends
by yo go re

So this is technically another "Gamerverse" figure?

As you know, Deadpool first encountered the 616 Venom symbiote during the original Secret Wars crossover in 2015. No, that's not a typo. That, however, was not the first time Wade Wilson and symbiotes had had business together. That distinction belongs to the 2010 What If...? series, which had a backup story running through all the issues: "What if Venom Possessed Deadpool?" There was also a Venompool in the "Evil Deadpool Corps" in 2013, and in 2017's "Venomverse" event. But none of those are this one, because this one is based on the Venompool from the Marvel's Contest of Champions mobile game. Very specifically. Because none of the others looked like this.

Venompool is the Build-A-Figure for Series 2 of the Venom Marvel Legends - yes, even in a Venom series, Hasbro finds a way to give us a Deadpool. Buy five of the six figures (you don't need movie Venom) and you can assemble the pieces to form the big guy. Hey, it's a much cheaper option than buying the 12" Hot Toys figure or the Sideshow ⅓-scale statue (and more fun than the POP!). You know, that's a lot of merchandising for such an obscure character; is Marvel pushing this, or are companies genuinely just naturally gravitating toward it because it's an easily recognizable mashup of two such popular Hot Topic T-shirt stars?

Fully assembled, Venompool stands about 8" tall and has a unique sense of proportion, with a large upper body and fairly small legs. The game's models are slightly cartoony, but it's not Clash of Clans or that He-Man mobile game or anything. Applying this shape to characters as unhinged as Deadpool and Venom makes more sense than if they'd tried it for, say, Captain Marvel or something; it works for a silly character in a way it wouldn't work for a serious one.

The only thing about the design that really says "Venom" is the head. It's quite convenient for this design's purposes that Venom and Deadpool have both always had eyes on their masks that copy Spider-Man's, because now they fit together seamlessly. As far as Venoms go, Venompool looks most like the Mac Gargan version, with small eyes set into the dark eye-patches rather than just leaving the patches to stand alone. Rather than a mouthless mask, his mask is split by a mouth, one with long fangs and a wagging purple tongue. You look at that head, and you immediately know what it's supposed to represent: Deadpool and Venom, together at last.

But if you look at the rest of the body, there's nothing "Venom" about it. It is, at most, "large Deadpool." Show this BAF to someone before you've put the head on and tell them it's going to be Hulkpool, and they'd absolutely believe you. Well, maybe the claws on the fingers would give them pause, but it's not like he has tendrils whipping off his body or even a Venom-y spider symbol. The black areas of the costume are smooth, like Venom (sometimes) would be, but the red sections have a fully sculpted cloth texture, which is really impressive on a 6"-scale figure. Big silver staples hold the red and black sections together, Frankensteain style. Are we meant to believe he's just sutured his costume on over the symbiote? Actually, that does sound like something Deadpool would do.

Hinting at a bit of untold backstory, Venompool is wearing shackles on his ankles and wrists. Who had him chained up? And where? And how did he break free? The world may never know. Those are separate pieces, as are the tactical pouch on his right thigh and his utility belt. In a true rarity for Build-A-Figures, Venompool gets accessories: his swords, plus crossed sheaths to hold them. Those are packaged separately from the rest of the body, so they'll need to be attached. Or left off, if you don't want him using them. Even rarer than the weapons are the alternate hands he has to hold them. The swords are so big, there was even room to sculpt a dinged texture on them, suggesting a lot of use.

Venompool has 28 points of articulation: ankles, neck, thighs, hips, waist, chest, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. He's a big, heavy toy, so the joints need to be sturdy in order to keep him standing upright.

Apparently some collectors weren't thrilled about getting Venompool as a Build-A-Figure, and it's just like... why? Look at him! He's a mashup of Venom and Deadpool, two characters people enjoy. He's got a cool design, and an amazing sculpt, and he's not a character that's ever been made before. I mean, think back to Series 1, with its Monster Venom BAF - at least Venompool doesn't look almost identical to another figure released in the same series.

Morbius | Carnage | Phage | Miles Morales | Ghost-Spider

-- 11/19/20

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