Mail Call: Spider-Doppelganger, Storm & Thunderbird

These guys actually showed up during Optimus Prime Repaint Week, but, well, I was distracted by Optimus Prime repaints. And then kinda forgot to post about them.

First up is the Doppelgänger Spider-Man. In the Infinity War comics crossover (not to be confused with the Infinity Gauntlet comics crossover that the Avengers: Infinity War film is based upon), the evil Magus brings over twisted, evil versions of all our favorite Marvel Super Heroes. This is Spider-Man’s Doppelgänger, certainly the most notorious of all the Infinity War Doppelgängers. Although, if you play Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems on Super Nintendo, you get to see a handful of the other doppelgängers.

Doppy uses the torso, legs, and arms of the Six-Armed Spider-Man figure that came out the previous year, and is cast in darker shades of blue and red. His hands, feet, and gruesome head are all new pieces. But that’s appropriate — This is another universe’s twisted version of Peter Parker, so he really SHOULD be made of leftover Spidey parts, right?

If I have any complaints, it’s that I always interpreted his compound eyes as more silver or chrome-like than white, and I would’ve liked a black wash to bring out the sculpted web designs on the costume. But those are both things I could take care of myself, if they REALLY bothered me. Otherwise, this guy fits right into my early-mid 1990s Marvel Legends collection kinda perfectly.

On the other hand…

I’ve been reading through some 1970s issues of Uncanny X-Men, and I kinda fell in love with John Byrne’s interpretation of Storm. It’s weird, because I already got the early 1990s-style Storm Marvel Legends figure over the summer, so I certainly didn’t need a second one. But after looking up some reviews online, I kinda decided that I really wanted this one, which was only available in this two-pack with Thunderbird. I found the box for a REALLY reasonable price on eBay, and pulled the trigger.

Thunderbird’s head and wrist bands are the wrong color in this image, not the toy.

When the X-Men were rebooted in 1975, the entire team was made up of much more unique, diverse, International heroes. The feral Wolverine from Canada. The demonic Nightcrawler from Germany. The metallic Colossus from Russia. The screaming Banshee from Ireland. The proud Sunfire from Japan. The Goddess Storm from Africa. And the Native American warrior, Thunderbird. A far cry from the five white American teenagers that debuted in X-Men #1 in 1963!

The Thunderbird figure is fine. He’s on one of the larger Marvel Legends figures, with added gold wrist bands that I’m pretty sure have been used for other figures, a new belt, shoulder and boot tassels, and a unique head. Ol’ John Proudstar here doesn’t come with any accessories. He’s fine, but pretty generic…sort of like in the comics.

The thing about Thunderbird is that he debuts along with the rest of the All-New, All-Different X-Men in Giant-Size X-Men #1, and then appeared in the new team’s continuing adventures in X-Men #94… and then DIES in issue #95! Apparently the creative team decided that having both Thunderbird AND Wolverine be short-tempered bastards with enhanced senses was a bit redundant. And while Thunderbird had enhanced strength, he wasn’t as strong as Colossus. And a team of 13 X-Men was too unwieldy. Sunfire quit the team, Beast joined the Avengers, Iceman and Angel joined the Defenders, Havok and Polaris went to the Muir Island research facility, and Thunderbird was… killed in action.

So the team was cut down to Cyclops, Phoenix, Wolverine, Colossus, Banshee, Nightcrawler, and…

In contrast to Thunderbird being almost entirely recycled from other Marvel Legends parts, Storm’s has a lot of new pieces. Her entire torso is brand new. Her two heads are brand new. The forearms have the gauntlets sculpted in, and I’m pretty sure those are brand new. The lower half of the thighs with the boot tops? Brand new. Hasbro is in the habit of recycling parts as much as they can to keep the cost per figure down, which I totally understand and respect. But every so often, you get a figure like this that’s made up of so many new pieces, that it really makes the toy stand out.

As you can see in the in-package photo, Storm comes with two heads, THREE sets of hands, and two capes. She’s got pretty standard ML splayed and fisted hands. But it’s the set of hands with the lighting emitting from the fingertips that stand out. They’re cast in translucent blue plastic, with the actual hands painted over in her flesh tone. This gives the lightning a pretty excellent effect, and it really pops if she’s back-lit.

These were all some pretty solid pick-ups. I’m not mad at any of them, but this new Storm makes me feel like I need to buy Dazzler and Colossus so I can complete the team of X-Men Arcade heroes, and they can GO AND SAVE THE CITY!

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