Tuesday, December 7, 2010

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Captain Marvel

Born light years away in the Kree Empire, Mar-Vell rose to great renown as a soldier of the Kree.  Sent to infiltrate and observe Earth, he fell in love with the chaotic young world and its people.  He was eventually befriended by Earth's heroes, and eventually became renowned as one of Earth's greatest champions, despite his alien origins.

So how is the first figure of the new Series from Marvel Universe?

Read on and find out!


Captain Marvel is Number 001 of the new wave, described as ''Series 3'' on the pack.  It's also interesting to note that the words ''Mutant Detected'' appear above his designation.  The only other figure I've seen from this new wave (Doc Samson) doesn't include this text.  Interesting...

It's also worth noting that the image on the rear of Norman Osborne has been replaced with Steve Rogers, the newly appointed head of the reformed SHIELD agency.  Interestingly, there's no longer any mention of SHIELD or HAMMER files (the figures no longer include them.)

The packaging is the standard Marvel Universe blister-pack, with artwork by Olivier Coipel.  And I have to be honest here: I'm not a fan of his work.  The faces of each character simply look too young, as if they're pre-teens.  It's not just limited to Captain Marvel - all examples I've seen of his work depict the characters as being very, very young.  I don't like his style one bit.

I've also mentioned this before in my Iron Man 2 reviews, but the packaging blurb seems clunkier or dumbed-down.  The intro to the review is taken from the packaging - note the repeated use of the same words and incorrect punctuation.  I hate to sound like a Word Nazi, but please Hasbro, hire somebody who can actually write.

Captain Marvel
Thankfully things get a little better once you rip-open the pack.

The figure is nicely cast, with good, clean joints that hold a pose well without being stiff and the figure - although it is, I'm sure recycled from other releases - has a nice look about it. 

However, all is not perfect with this figure.  Upon closer inspection you'll find a few mold lines, especially on his shoulders and torso - but overall it's nothing that will spoil your enjoyment too much.  There is one major problem though: his torso articulation.  The image upon the packaging shows him with a two-piece torso and individual groin.  My figure however has only one torso piece (upper chest) and his stomach/core and groin are cast as one. 

What's especially odd though is his butt.  I don't know why Hasbro's designers have so many problems with the rears of their figures, but following on from the lardy man-back of Mystique, Captain Marvel has a shelf-arse.  Look at it.  You could balance a drink on it.  

Without the extra torso part, he becomes very difficult to pose naturally and it makes any form of dynamic positioning difficult.  He simply looks awkward.

There's also something not right about his right hand, specifically his wrist.  He's making a fist but his wrist is drooping/tilted forward.  It makes him look limp-wristed or - if rotated - as if he's throwing a very bad punch.

Paint-wise the figure is pretty good.  The lines are nice and clean and given most costume pieces are simply painted on (rather than cast) they're tightly finished and sharp.  I have one minor quibble about the star on his chest, as it doesn't appear to tally with the images from the comic that are online - the points don't line-up with the black shoulder cowling in the same way they do on paper.  A minor point but I'm sure fans will spot this.  Also, I expected a brighter shade of red.  This is - to me - closer to a burgundy than the London Bus Red I'd expect to see.  But again, that's a minor point.  Overall though, the paint-work is well executed.

Captain Marvel comes with a personalised figure stand (a fact emblazoned across the front of the packaging).  Sadly, the SHIELD/HAMMER files have been dropped in the new Series.

Final Thoughts
Captain Marvel is a fairly obscure character, clearly designed for the more mature collector than the younger Marvel fan.  As such, he's a very neat piece of plastic.  He looks great (from the front only though) and the paint-job is eye-catching with its strong mix of red and black with gold details.

However, like Mystique before him, he's let-down by his back details - in this case, his massive arse.  I don't know if Hasbro's designers think people will only display figures face-on, but whatever it is, it needs to stop.  The last two Marvel Universe figures I've reviewed now have been relegated to just being ''good'' from ''outstanding'' due to poorly-designed rears.  I know it sounds like I have some kind of backside fetish, but I personally like to pose my figures in dynamic scenes and having such flawed backs limits my display options.

If you can handle his weird shelf-arse and lack of stomach articulation, then there's a lot of good in the Captain Marvel figure.  I'm certainly glad to be adding him to my collection and I'm sure many fans of the Silver Age will feel the same way.

Production QualityB+
Final ScoreB+

Image Gallery


  1. Wow Captain Marvel(The Marvel Comics Version)nice to see him in toy form.Is this the first time he has been made into a action figure?

  2. There was a Marvel Legends version, but this is the first one at this scale, I believe. Odd given that Ms. Marvel was one of the earliest MU figures released.

  3. Yeah i would figure the Captain would of came before the Ms. but hey the figure is finally here. Did you manage to find any other figures from this line you were looking for?

  4. I snagged a Doc Samson (review coming soon) but passed on the Iron Man 2020, as it was a pretty blatant re-use of the previous figures and didn't catch my eye.

  5. Sounds to me like they used the Secret Wars Cyclops torso but I don't have him in front of me to compare. Actually I'm surprised they released Captain Marvel. He hasn't been relevant in the comics as of late, unlike Ms. Marvel who is a current Avenger.

    Yeah IM 2020 is a blatant re-use but he has a new head and he doesn't look that bad with the extra parts on him. I'll do a review so you can check it out.

  6. Can't wait to see your review on Doc Samson.

  7. I believe Captain Marvel recently resurfaced, which would explain the timing of this release. And you're absolutely right - I've compared the two side-by-side and it IS a re-use of the Cyclops torso, which is odd given with Cyclops the lack of articulation doesn't seem noticeable - perhaps his head cast is more mobile or his hip joints are wider. Either way, he doesn't have the same weird positioning issues Captain Marvel does.

    As for Iron Man 2020, I may well pick him up at a later date (famous last words...) but for now he's on my 'also ran' list.

    Jboy - I'll see if I get time to do the review today.

  8. I do agree with you about Copiel's work, I don't like it. But hey, even Liefeld has fans.

  9. I dislike the way his characters all look to be about 12-years old. And he needs some anatomy lessons, too...

  10. I may be wrong here,but isnt he dead?my comments have nothing to do with the figure,I bought him 3 months ago and still havnt opened him,but the marvel universe line keeps coming out with outdated,or "first appearance" or dead characters when there so many current characters that could be made..the doc sampsons outdated,the ironman 2020 looked pretty fresh,but there regular hulk is lame,but the world war hulk is incredible,but alas outdated as well...if only they would make an emma frost or rogue

  11. It is odd how many characters there are that they haven't touched, ''classic'' and current. As you say, Rogue is a prime example. I think a lot of it is more to do with which parts Hasbro has at hand and what they can produce for the lowest outlay.

    Personally I like a lot of the 70s characters, as they're the ones I grew-up reading but it does seem odd that they feature so many of them at the expense of others.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...