Sunday, February 20, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Ms Marvel (Dark Avengers Variant Costume)

Ms Marvel [Dark Avengers Variant Costume]
Produced by Hasbro | Released January 2011

Her human DNA fused with that of the mighty Kree warrior, Mar-Vell, Carol Danvers became the superhuman powerhouse known as MS MARVEL. Currently she adventures as a member of the AVENGERS, as well as serving as the commander of the special S.H.I.E.L.D. strike team known as Operation: Lightning Storm.

But wait! This isn't Carol Danvers at all! It's super-criminal Karla Sofen masquerading as her in the Dark Avengers!

Confused? Then read on!

Ms Marvel - A History and Her Costume Variants
Ms Marvel first appeared in her non-superhero form - Carol Danvers - in 1968. Nine years later the former USAF member was transformed into Ms Marvel. Adopting a name and costume inspired by Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel's costume was predominantly red, black and gold. In her earlier guise, Ms Marvel also sported a bobbed/shorter hairstyle. In 1978, her costume was redesigned to the now-familiar modern black costume. Her hairstyle was also changed, with a longer, more grown-out style.

During the recent Dark Avengers arc, Dr Karla Sofen - AKA the super-villain Moonstone - masqueraded as Ms Marvel, using the original costume worn by Danvers. This is clearly the character this figure is intended to be, despite what the packaging may claim. Although the figure is wearing the old-style costume, the head is a new sculpt with both the hairstyle and mask that are identical to those of the fake Ms Marvel. And given Hasbro has already released the ''classic'' Ms Marvel (with short hair and larger mask), then it's clear that this toy is in fact a meta-figure, where even the people producing the packaging have been duped by the fake Ms Marvel...

The pack uses the standard Marvel Universe blister-pack. There's little to say on the matter: it's functional enough, the artwork is nice and you can see the figure just fine. The only downside is it must be ripped to open, which is something I'm not a fan of in my toy packaging.

Note though that Hasbro has retained the modern costume Ms Marvel packaging, the only difference being that the figure's number (on the bottom right of the box) varies from the modern variant.

Ms Marvel
Ms Marvel uses the Standard Marvel Universe Female Form (or SMUFF), dressed-up with a new head sculpt and scarf accessory. There's nothing particularly wrong with this body design but I was glad to see Hasbro's upcoming X23 figure using a new body. Hopefully we'll see this introduced in other female characters, as the SMUFF is starting to show its age somewhat and getting Ms Marvel to match some of her more-modern male counterparts' poses is quite difficult.

Joint-wise the figure is acceptable and includes the waist articulation many of the newer figures have lacked, so that's a definite plus. One minor problem though is that my Ms Marvel suffers from a slightly slack waist joint, but this could be limited to my figure. There are no other problems with the joints, which seem nice and tight.

The paint-work is also acceptable on the whole. The slightly redder hair colour is nice and sets-off the skin-tone better than the paler blonde of the ''real'' Ms Marvel. Lipstick detail and her mask are crisply applied, with no splodges or mis-applied paint. Her butt, however, is painted too thinly, with the red paint used to represent her costume's chevron fading-out and not having the sharp, crisp finish it should have. 

There's really little else to say about the figure. If you've seen one SMUFF-based figure, you've pretty much seen them all...

Ms Marvel includes two slip-on hand blasts, which fit snuggly over her hands. There's also a Fury Files report and Fury Files serial code. It's too bad the Fury Files website wasn't kept up by Hasbro. Oh and if you're wondering, the Fury File is written on Carol Danvers yet - amusingly - is written by Dr. Karla Sofen...

Being a re-issue of a Series One release, Ms Marvel does not include a stand (hers was kindly donated by Captain Marvel for these photographs.)

Final Thoughts
It's interesting to see Hasbro release this Ms Marvel variant but I do applaud the move, because as well as Ms Marvel there's also a new variant of Warpath and Bullseye, both of which are notoriously difficult figures to find. What's nice about this variant mini-wave is that it allows those who were unable to catch those rarer figures an opportunity to own them but at the same time doesn't devalue the originals (not that they're worth the prices people will try to tell you they are, but you know what I mean.) 

That, I like.

Ms Marvel on the other hand, is somewhat uninspiring, really. The finish - aside from the poorly applied butt-paint- is fine and the toy is to the usual Hasbro standard. She's a SMUFF-based production, so again you know what to expect there in terms of mold and articulation. And... that's pretty much it. There's nothing majorly wrong with this Ms Marvel figure but there's not really much to get excited about, unless you're a fan of the Dark Avengers run and looking to complete the team or you missed-out on the earlier release and want a classic-costume Ms Marvel in your collection (even if it's not really her.)

In all, a nice edition but nothing to get too excited over.

Production QualityB-
Final ScoreC+

Image Gallery


  1. This is my favorite costume of Ms.Marvel's over her current one. Nice figure and would look great with a Captain Marvel standing next to her.

  2. Yeah, the black costume is kind of generic - I like this one, although it's a shame they didn't do the bared midriff version, though, as that could have been a nice-looking figure.

  3. The Midriff would of been nice. : )

  4. I always liked how contradictory that costume was, given she had long-sleeves and a scarf with it, presumably to keep her warm...!

  5. --Noting an oversight--

    Hasbro replaced the legs that the Ms Marvel variant had. The legs on the original are bow like see link:

    Dark Ms Marvel's are not (compare to 1st pic).

  6. Thanks DST - I wasn't fortunate enough to catch the original costume variant figure and only had the black costume figure to compare it to, so thanks for the extra info!


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