MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES
They say a hero’s greatest foe is in some way a dark reflection of themselves. Generally, this is meant to be more of a metaphorical sort of reflection, but sometimes, it’s taken a bit more literally, resulting in a pretty straight evil counterpart of the main hero. This is the case with the original Venom; his powers were all variations of Spider-Man’s, and Eddie Brock, host of the Venom symbiote, was even a freelance photographer like Peter Parker. However, where Peter gave up the symbiote when it started to lead him down a darker path, Eddie embraced the darkness (at least initially). Venom’s gone on to become one of Spidey’s most popular foes, with all the toys that such a role entails, and amusingly enough has gotten a few “dark reflections” of his own.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Venom is the third figure in the fourth series of Spider-Man Marvel Legends. After three series of sort of teasing at this guy, Hasbro’s finally gotten around to giving us a proper Eddie Brock Venom. The figure stands about 7 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. Like Toxin and Anti-Venom before him, Venom is based on the Hyperion body. It’s not a bad base, though it still has a few minor issues (the neck being so far set back is the most major of them). The body’s pretty well-sized for Venom, and that’s really the important thing here. Venom gets not one, but two new head sculpts for this body: with and without the tongue. This way, you can choose between early (no tongue) and late (tongue) appearance Venom. He comes packaged wearing the tongue-less head sculpt, which is a pretty spot-on recreation of his early McFarlane-drawn appearances. It’s a lot smoother and geometric. It sits a bit high on the neck, but in the right pose, that negligible. The second head isn’t just the first one with an added tongue, it’s actually a totally different sculpt. It’s based on Venom’s mid-90s appearances, after his appearance started to get a bit exaggerated, but before it went too off the rails. This head is much more organic in design, and has a lot more fine detail work. It also sits a bit lower on the neck, and just feels like the stronger of the two sculpts. As far as paint goes, the vast majority of Venom is just molded in black. However, there’s more than a little white detailing. The application’s okay, but not super great. The chest logo in particular has really rough edges. The two heads are both very nicely done, though, to the point of almost seeming like they belong to another figure. In addition to the extra head, Venom is also packed with two sets of hands: fists and clawed. The claws are far more subdued than those of Anti-Venom and Toxin, which suits this figure very well. Venom also includes two different heads for the Build-A-Figure Absorbing Man. There are a lot of heads in the box.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Man, if you’d told me I would be anxiously awaiting an Eddie Brock Venom, I wouldn’t have believed you. But, after getting all the Venom spin-offs over the last year, this guy was a key missing player. In a series of more modern characters and short-lived variants, Venom kinda feels like the natural star of this set, and is a clear, definitive take in the character. His figure isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn good, and certainly a long time coming.