Updated: Mar 7, 2021
One thing we notice quite a lot online, is that not all collectors of Hasbro's Marvel Legends line are fully versed in the characters that feature in the latest wave of action figures, and that's ok, because we're here to help!
In part 2 of this series, we're going to look at the first "bring on the bad guys" wave of the Hasbro era: the Xemnu Build-A-Figure wave. The last time we had an all bad guys wave was back when Toy Biz had the license and did the Onslaught Build-A-Figure wave, which included Green Goblin, Pyro, Blackheart, Loki, Abomination and as with the new version: Lady Deathstrike (What a heavy hitter wave that was!) This time, Hasbro have delivered a generation spanning selection of heavy hitters and interesting C listers instead!
First, we'll look at the Red Skull.
This look is based on his appearance around 1969's Captain America #115.
"With the Cosmic Cube back in his grasp, the Red Skull plans to take over the world. But will Captain America fight? Or will he leave the fate of the world in the hands of the next generation of super heroes?".
Many characters around this time wore bold simple colours, partially due to printing limitations of the time, and also to psychologically lead us to establish who was good and who was bad: primary colours such as blue, red and yellow gave us an idea who was good, secondary colours such as green, purple and orange suggested who was bad!
This is a classic and much desired look for the Red Skull, and we're happy to see it. His inclusion of a gun, multiple hand combinations and 2 heads is great, and adds much depth and gives fantastic display options to the figure.
Next up is Arcade!
Arcade is a character who would almost seem more at home in the DC Universe: an evil genius with a large wallet and access to fantastic technology who is eager to trick his victims into death traps (named Murderworld) and watch them attempt to escape. Luckily, he normally leaves one way to get out, therefore is rarely successful in murder.
His action figure appearance is based on his classic appearance, which sees very little change over the years (maybe a few stripes on his green shirt, or a cravat instead of a bow tie, but largely the same) so this figure is a timeless and comprehensive version of the character, who includes his very theatrical cane.
He first appeared in Marvel Team-Up, making an attempt on the lives of Spider-Man and Captain Britain, but he is most known for his attempts to murder the X-Men.
In 2013's Avengers Arena, he took Murderworld to a whole new level and trapped 16 young, powerful superheroes on an island version of Murderworld and made them fight to the death in what was tagged as Marvel's Battle Royale. He succeeded in killing (by proxy, mostly) a fair amount of these promising new heroes! The action figure includes a long haired alternate head for Arcade, which is based on his time as the antagonist in this series.
The Scientist Supreme Andrew Forson is another of Jonathan Hickman's creations seeing action figure form! He first appeared in FF #1, and later ascended to Scientist Supreme and leader of AIM during Hickman's run on Avengers. He was responsible for the team who rescued the Hyperion of a dead world and brought him into the 616 universe. Hyperion then played a big part in the war against the cosmic beings known as the Builders, but Forson himself was a corrupt person, manipulating global events and making it look like the US was responsible. Eventually Sunspot bought out AIM and forcibly removed Forson from his beloved position.
The action figure looks exactly like his appearances as Scientist Supreme and includes some kind of science doohicky which is clearly very important.
As you can see, he looks amazing leading a platoon of "bee keepers", so now we're going to need more AIM soldiers for our armies... *opens wallet.*
The daughter of the man who invented the Adamantium bonding process that saw Wolverine's skeleton get a shiny new coat, Lady Deathstrike was cybernetically enhanced and infused with an adamantium skeleton of her own by X-Men villain Spiral. She feels a need to prove her worth by killing Wolverine.
Deathstrike soon joined up with Donald Pierce's team of cybernetically enhanced
Reavers and has been synonymous with that group since. She has swapped and updated many parts of her cyborg body since joining with the Reavers.
She has more recently worked on and off with the X-Men for a variety of reasons. It is also worth noting that Deathstrike's consciousness has lived in 2 other host bodies since her original body was destroyed. First she moved into Ana Cortes's body, who wore day of the dead style design, before the host body committed suicide. Deathstrike now resides within her friend Reiko's body.
The action figure is based on her post-Spiral enhancements and will look great with the Reaver: Skullbuster figure that has already been released.
One of the most anticipated figures of the last 15 years, previously teased at the height of his comic book fame, but not scheduled for release until now: The Hood!
He includes his trademark cloak and pistols, which include magical bullet effects. The figure's colour scheme might be a tad garish, but at least we finally got the Hood, right...?
For those that don't know, Parker Robbins AKA the Hood was made famous during Brian M. Bendis's New Avengers run, but was debuted in 2002 in Brian K. Vaughn's Hood miniseries. The Hood managed to consolidate New York's super criminals and became the new Kingpin of crime while the superheroes were fighting amongst themselves in the first Civil War.
It was later revealed that the source of the Hood's powers was Dormammu, until he had them exorcised by then Sorcerer Supreme: Brother Voodoo. Loki gave the Hood some Norn stones, which allowed him to emulate the power Dormammu gave him. The stones were taken back from the Hood and redistributed to the Avengers to stop the Sentry during the blockbuster Siege event... leaving one power hungry Parker Robbins to hunt for the infinity gems. He then loses these... you can see a pattern emerging here!
Doctor Strange's most terrible foe, the Dread Dormammu gets another figure in the Marvel Legends line!
Dormammu is the ruler of the Dark Dimension, but was not originally from that realm. Dormammu is known as the most powerful and malevolent of higher-dimensional mystical energy beings known as the Faltine. He and his brother Umar were exiled from their original realm for slaying their forefather and for Umar's obsession with physical matter. They journeyed to the Dark Dimension, where the Dread Dormammu merged with the Flames of Regency to enhance his power. After enslaving the Mindless Ones, and then the realm, Dormammu went on to absorb other mystical realms into his own, exponentially growing his power. Mad.
The action figure is based on Dormammu's look in 1993's Guardians of the Galaxy. This book featured the future (and original Guardians 3000) version of that team and took place in the year 3000, where Dormammu merged with the Dormammu of that time, squaring up his power because there's nothing he loves more. He even managed to kill future Doctor Strange, which is good for him. Other than dosing the Hood with his powers, Dormammu hasn't made many significant moves in years. A shame, really.
During Jonathan Hickman's run on Avengers, we saw one of the most amazing deconstructions of the entire Marvel Multiverse, eventually resulting in Doctor Doom grabbing reality by it's horns and remaking it in his image, becoming god.
God Emperor Doom became ruler of all of reality, now known as Battleworld, and this is the plot of 2015's Secret Wars.
Doom is untouchable during this time, and only an elaborate and fantastic story, intended as the Fantastic Four's swan song for a while (due to the Fox rights business) would become his undoing.
How untouchable is Doom? Remember Thanos, one of the biggest threats to the Marvel Universe? Well, the pack in skull and spine are his. And that's not even half of it, but we would just recommend reading this amazing title to see how amazing God Emperor Doom is.
The recently announced Maestro figure also fits well with this Doom, as he wore that costume in his own Secret Wars miniseries!
Before announcing this wave, they said we would never guess the Build-A-Figure for this wave, and they were right! But are we happy that Xemnu was chosen? Readers of the astonishingly good Immortal Hulk would say YES!
Originally an inmate on an exile world, Xemnu managed to sneak past guards and escape on a supply ship, until he crash landed on Earth and became inoperable. Discovered by electrician Joe Harper, his cybernetic parts were tinkered with, reviving the hypnotic alien who took control of Joe, and later humanity to help him create a spacecraft to take him home. Unfortunately for Earth, the power required would destroy our own planet. Luckily Joe sabotaged the craft, leading Xemnu's ship to orbit the sun, keeping Earth free of his control.
Xemnu later discovered his species had been wiped out by disease, so again set his sights on Earth, wanting to transform the children into more of his kind.
His most recent appearance in Immortal Hulk tells the tale of an incredibly creepy, horror villain. Hired by Dario Agger of Roxxon to destroy the public image of the Hulk, Xemnu managed to save the public from giant monsters that the Hulk could not, and hypnotised the public to see Xemnu as their hero. This one has to be read so we will say no more, but trust when we say, it's incredible!
So, what do you think of this wave? How many books have you read with these bad guys in?
Thanks for reading!