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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

You kinda feel like the world could use someone who could put out some fires right now, huh?

A veteran of countless missions as one of the X-Men, this weather-wielding warrior now bears responsibility for a new generation of mutants as headmistress of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.

In the wake of Avengers vs. X-Men, Storm's life was thrown into turmoil. Her husband annulled their marriage, and she was kicked out of the country she'd called home. So naturally, she returned to Westchester and the X-Men, and was soon involved in several of the X-Men's subteams.

During AvX, Storm was still wearing the Alan Davis costume that she'd had since ~2004 (he originally designed it when he was on Uncanny X-Men in 1999, it was changed after he left, and when he came back a few years later, he put her back in it). This costume was designed by Kris Anka and debuted in Uncanny X-Force #1. It's mostly black, with a big white X on the torso and a gold outline above that. The skin on her upper chest is exposed, but it's in a womanly, mature way, not prurient. She has white gloves and white patterns on her shins that stand in for boots (although they should be longer and her heels should also be white). The white above the chest joint is a slightly different color than the white below it, and there's a bit of paint slop on the side of her left breast, but Storm's a bit shortpacked, so one can't really afford to be picky - the odds of any collector finding more than one Storm are very slim.

Part of the redesign is the return of Storm's mohawk, which is a bit disappointing. Not that there's anything inherently bad about the mohawk: it's just that the first time she got it, it was a massive change, something wild and out-of-character, and that was the entire point of it; going back to it now is less of a statement and more of a "greatest hits" performance. It's bigger and wilder, and the toy's sculpt is excellent, but it's not the shock it was before.

Storm is one of those heroes who really needs a cape on their costume. It's like in a movie, when a fan or air conditioner has streamers attached to it, so you know it's on even though you can't feel it; by giving her a cape, it allows us to "see" the air moving around her. Unfortunately, capes on action figures rarely work. If they're cloth, they don't hang right, and if they're sculpted, they look completely stupid if the toy isn't in the right pose. The last Storm toy tried its best, with a comparatively thin rubber cape, but it still wasn't an ideal solution.

This new Storm avoids the problem by having a softgoods cape, but rather than being made of cloth, it's some sort of... I don't know. Vinyl? Polyester? Whatever, it's not even as thick as a sheet of paper. It's attached to rings that fit over her wrists (over her biceps in the package, but you can slide them down into the proper place if you're careful), and so it moves around as you move her arms. Since this costume design treats the cape as something akin to the train on a dress or the tails on a coat, it's held in place by the toy's torso joint instead of the neck. This is really the best cape a Storm toy has ever had.

The toy's body is a new sculpt, not as curvy as the Thunderbolts women, but not as slender as the SHIELD women. Because Hasbro isn't Mattel, she has all the articulation needed: a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows, and wrists, a torso with the range of a balljoint, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles that act like rocker joints. And since the cape is that super thin material, it doesn't impede her movement at all. Really, the only thing missing is some kind of stand to keep her flying - or at least a Doop hole, so you could take care of it yourself. They already got the paint wrong (the toy's back is solid black, lacking the exposed skin seen on the actual design), so what would drilling a hole have hurt?

This series of Marvel Legends has a Build-A-Figure, and no, it's not some shrimpy cop-out like Hit-Monkey or Puck: it's Jubilee, and Storm has the upper torso. And the lower torso. And the legs. And the trenchcoat. Seriously? One figure alone has, like, 85% of the finished BAF? Have they forgotten what "build" means? Remember once upon a time when we had a BAF who was so split up that one figure only came with his cape?

Storm was one of the characters included in that 2007 ToyFare poll, but that was in her original Dave Cockrum costume, and this is a much better toy than that one would have been. It's really well made figure, with a snappy design and an interesting attempt at creating her cape, but is going to be hard to find.

-- 08/18/14

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