So, I know that WalMart has an exclusive 6″ Avengers line – but they have yet to show up on the East Coast… if any of my Gamma Bros that visit this site have found an extra and want to help me out I would be truly grateful! Anyone?!?!?
Well, in the meantime – check out the art I did on a blank Defenders #1 cover. Let me know what you think! As you can see – it’s featuring the original Defenders only! 😉 Actually, there is another side to this cover – if you’d like to see the other side just click on the image (Trust me – it’s so worth seeing!)
I know I will start to hear the debates on here – I can already hear some of you chiming in – but the REAL Defenders set can now be displayed thanks to the MU addition of Dr. Strange being released.
Namor - "Panties" Version
To me, it’s Namor, Hulk and Strange – and you can throw Surfer in there too if that’s your thing – I can take or leave the Surfer as a team member – but I also wouldn’t toss him out if someone added him in there. Now, I know they released a “fully clothed” Namor – but the better version just came out a bit ago.
So yeah, like I said, get these – add them into your collection and display them proudly as a CLASSIC Defenders lover.
P.S. – I know they released a translucent variant for Strange – and no – I didn’t get it. I just wanted these guys for a Defenders display – not a completest of Non-Hulk figures. I mean, sometimes I will pick up a variant, sure – but in this case… oh lord, I am already bored of my blathering…
Last year I picked up one of Bowen’s best busts – admittedly it is not the Hulk so I have yet to show it – but Dormammu is one of Dr. Strange’s (and the Defenders) best villains. His look, though, is one that some thought to be pretty impossible to capture in 3 dimensions. But Bowen was up to the challenge – and he delivered a likeness so amazing – the only thing that could top it would be sitting this amazing bust on a phenomenal base. Bowen, once again, delivered!
The head is the hardest part to capture - and Lloyd did it with flying colors!
Whenever a sculpture is trying to display fire it is a bit tricky – the only way to do it right is to make it look as real as possible. You can’t just, for example, sculpt some fire and paint it orange! This was the challenge that BD and Jeremy Lloyd, the sculptor, was facing and they solved the problem by having a translucent plastic surrounding the head.
This Ditko based sculpt is one of my favorite I own – the base, like I mentioned before, has a heavy Asian feel to it which is perfect for the character with the magical energies that encompass him. One of the better Defenders stories is the mini-series called Indefensible and if you have not read it, you should. It really captures everything that makes the Defenders so great! And of course D-Man here is a HUGE part of it!
From top to bottom!
The Defenders #1
Let’s break it down, shall we? I liked how I broke the last review up, so let’s get started.
Story: I was already on the defensive with this comic – expecting to hate it because they have replaced the Hulk with none other than… Red She Hulk. Right there is a reason to hate this comic! Except, it’s not. Not only does Fraction explain the absense of Hulk from this adventure (one that HE is the reason for – but I will get into that later) but it’s the Hulk who actually offers his ex-wife as a suitable replacement. I also enjoyed how Fraction “got the gang back together”. When did Strange become such a poon hound, by the way? As for the ultimate evil – why the Defenders are together – well, let’s say we’re off to a great start – we’ve all known that Hulk has had a dark side for a LONG time now – and it’s become a physical force. I don’t think much more needs to be said to pique your interest! The Defenders against an evil, black Hulk!
Of course, there is also some negatives. For example, what the hell happened to Surfer? Why is he a Zen master able to recreate himself from thin air? He’s everywhere? He’s the falling snow? What?!?!? That’s not so much a negative as it is more a “I am sort of lost in what’s happened in the MU” but if they are keeping with continuity with the Surfer – why is the Hulk not being paid the same respect? The Hulk is dealing with some real issues over in his book – ones that aren’t even addressed here. Let’s move on…
Art: Terry Dodson does an exceptional job here – Strange and Co. have never looked better! Of course, I am not the biggest fan of his Hulk – but then again, like I told you, the Hulk is not really a big part of the first issue. I am waiting to see more of the Black Hulk. Here’s to hoping they defeat him and he just fades away though – instead of becoming a new member… shudder at the thought!
Variants: I didn’t bother picking up the 1:50 Strange variant – it seemed cool enough but I am getting really picky with which variants I decide to pick up now. Seeing as this isn’t an actual Hulk book I was not too worried about picking up every variant. The 1:25 Neal Adams variant has a large image of the Hulk front and center though – so I was all over that!
Overall: This is a classic Defenders story through and through – pick this up and feel like you’re reading some classic Marvel. Grade: A
Adams Variant - Love this one!
ML Hulk and Valkyrie 2-Pack
Back of Package
THE POSITIVE: With the MU figures dominating the shelves nowadays it’s nice to see that Marvel hasn’t totally given up on their original ML line. Nothing has beat the Legend figures – in terms of awesomeness! The MU is on the way to surpassing the vastness of character selection – but the ML line is still the tops. For these recent (I say recent – but it wasn’t that recent – these came out late last year) figures Marvel held an online vote where fans could pick which figures they would like to see released. I can’t remember exactly – but I think the Red King was one of the figures up for the vote – which I would have loved! Amazingly, Aquon was shafted once again… anyways, Valkyrie was the poll and I know quite a few collectors who were ecstatic that they could finally finish their Defenders displays.
Hulk Free at Last!
The head sculpt for the Hulk is brand new and pretty great, seems very inspired by McGuiness, which works well with the re-used body. It works well with the Red Hulk figure if your posing them together (for the record – I think the Red Hulk should have had black pants). This Hulk towers over the other ML Hulks and most of the other ML figures which is perfect since the Hulk is suppossed to be large and in charge.
New Head Sculpt Really Works!
The original price point worked well for these figures – and by original I mean the $24.99 – not the $29.99 and then $34.99 that it was when it hit the shelves. Thankfully to the readers of this blog I was able to snag one of these figures off the TRU site for $24.99. Thank you to the readers!
THE NEGATIVE: Yes, this is the same body used for the BAF Red Hulk. The body itself is fine – although it has two fists and I prefer one – only because it makes posing figures easier. The paint application is a bit off… mostly because of the shading. I liked the clean look of the Red Hulk figure – but with the Green Hulk figure here they felt the need to spray black into the folds between his muscles, on his fingers and hands, on his neck and the top of his feet. I am really unsure why they – as it doesn’t look that good.
Red vs Hulk
Now, even though I love the size, as far as scale goes – and as far as I recall – since I don’t have the Saquatch figure I can’t compare – but Sasquatch is taller than the Hulk – and this figure is just as big – so the scale isn’t perfect – but what toy line is? I don’t think we an hold that against them since we do have quite a few Hulk figures to choose from when displaying with other figures.
The Stare Down!
Conclusion: The 2-pack is a winner – absolutely! It’s a must pick up! Of course, looking on ebay, it seems that these 2-packs are selling for double the retail. Makes me wish I still held on to my double. And by double I mean double still in package – since I have one still in the package and then I have a loose pair. Anyways, I hope you picked it up – how many of you out there were able to order it off of TRU before the price increase? Grade: A
I was psyched to pick up the first MM Defenders – and in the previews for the summer months it states a new volume is coming out in May – click on the image to find out more!
MTE #16: The Defenders!
The Defenders are, IMO, one of the best and most entertaining Marvel groups. I wonder if they could ever create a movie out of this super team? The amazing thing about the Defenders is that they actually kept the Hulk in the group – and not always voluntarily. This MTE covers some of the more important issues – it reprints the first appearance of the Defenders – Marvel Feature Presents #1 – but also The Defenders #4 (Valkyrie joins the Defenders) and Defenders #13 & 14. You have to love the shot of the Defenders on the back cover – particularly the Surfer posing like he’s in a JC Penny catalog.