SPEED DEMON – SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN
MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES
Though they’re kind of arch-rivals now, the offices of DC and Marvel were once actually quite friendly. Friendly enough that in 1969, the writers of The Avengers and Justice League of America were able to get away with an unofficial cross-over of sorts. While the Avengers knock-off faced by the JLA were ultimately forgettable, the Avengers themselves faced off against the Squadron Sinister, who proved quite popular and even got a more heroically-themed spin-off, the Squadron Supreme, later down the line. In the original story, the Squadron Sinister were created by the Grandmaster specifically to do battle with the Avengers. After the story, they hung around the Marvel universe, and were repurposed into various different roles. Flash knock-off “the Wizzer” traded in his somewhat amusing name for the more imposing “Speed Demon” and became a rather forgettable Spider-Man foe. However, he’s gotten a few focus stories over the years, and was most recently one of the stars of Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s The Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Now he’s gotten his very first action figure ever! Lucky him!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Speed Demon is seventh figure in the latest series of the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Series (this is numerically the fourth series of Spider-Man-related figures that Hasbro has done in this packaging style). Calling back to his most recent appearances, Speed Demon’s official title in this series is “Superior Foes of Spider-Man,” a title he shares with his co-star from the book of the same title, Beetle. Speed Demon’s more or less had the same design since giving up the “Wizzer” identity. This figure is clearly based on the most recent tweaking of that design, which admittedly plays up some of the Flash similarities a bit more. The figure is a little over 6 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. He’s based on the Pizza Spidey body, which may actually have been a little bit of a misstep. Presumably, they were trying to give him a svelte, runner’s physique, but Speed Demon’s generally been depicted a little on the bulky side, and in The Superior Foes of Spider-Man series, he was depicted as being about the the same build as Boomerang, who’s figure used the Bucky Cap body. Speed Demon got a new head sculpt, which is a pretty nice piece, which definitely takes influence from Lieber’s art. It looks just slightly large on this body, making me wonder if Hasbro changed their mind on what body was being used. The figure also has two sets of hands, flat and in fists, which were originally used on last year’s Iron Fist figure. They’re a bit smaller than the Pizza Spidey hands, which at least makes them feel a bit better scaled on Speed Demon. In an odd turn for a Hasbro figure, Speed Demon’s paint is perhaps his strongest feature. Everything is nice and sharp, and the gold detailing in particular really stands out, and adds some “pop.” There’s no slop or bleed over, and virtually no fuzzy lines, which is really nice to see. In addition to the previously mentioned extra hands, Speed Demon includes the head of Silvermane…on an RC car. This weird little piece is a specific reference to Superior Foes, and is a fantastically outside the box inclusion that’s a whole ton of fun. The actual head is on a fairly standard ball-joint, and the silver matches up pretty closely to the most recent Ultron, allowing fans who want a proper Silvermane a fairly close approximation (plus the Ultron head fits on the car, which is a pretty goofy sight). The car is a totally static piece, but it’s a decent sculpt. The little flag pole can be removed, should you feel so inclined. Speed Demon also includes the torso of the series’ Build-A-Figure, Absorbing Man.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like Spider-Ben, Speed Demon was purchased for me by my parents, who are just way too supportive. I really loved Superior Foes, so I was definitely looking forward to this guy. The body choice hurts the figure a little, but overall, he’s a pretty decent figure, and he’s got hands down the best accessory for a Marvel Legend since Silver Surfer was packed with Howard the Duck.