BLACK QUEEN JEAN GREY
MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
I’ve spend the last week and a half hunting for the latest X-Men-themed series of Marvel Legends, which means I’m really in the mood to review some X-Men Legends. Unfortunately, I haven’t exactly had much luck with finding those particular figures, so I’ll have to dig into my back catalogue to make up for it. So, today I’ll be looking at one of Hasbro’s earlier X-Men figures, Black Queen Jean Grey!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Black Queen Jean Grey was released as a Toys R Us exclusive, in between the 2nd and 3rd series of Hasbro’s first run with Marvel Legends. She was one of three such figures that year, and also one of the two of those three to be built on this particular body. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. This version of Jean was mostly created to get an extra use out of the Series 1 Emma Frost mold. Without getting into it too much, the Emma Frost figure isn’t exactly popular with fans. Were it not for the Legendary Riders Scarlet Witch, she’d easily be the most hideous Marvel Legends figure ever produced. The body is oddly lanky in all the wrong places, has incredibly obvious joints and large hands, and just generally looks pretty fragile, not befitting the usual depictions of Emma in the comics. So, the fact that this figure was built on that body was not particularly a point in its favor. Also, it’s worth noting that, while Emma’s and Jean’s designs were originally pretty close, the Emma figure from Marvel Legends was based on her Astonishing X-Men design, which was a fair bit different from the design Jean was sporting as Black Queen. The corset’s too short (and not actually a corset if you look closely), and she’s wearing pants, rather than the tights she had in the comics. With that said, there are some new pieces that sort of help bridge the gap between designs. The figure gets a new head sculpt, as well as a slightly tweaked clasp on the cape, to remove the original figure’s X-logo (of course, the one on the waist still remains, but whatever). The head does a lot, and I mean A LOT, to carry this figure, despite the flaws of the body. It’s definitely some top notch work, and easily the best work Hasbro put out in their first few years with the license. It manages to capture the character of the Black Queen incarnation of Jean pretty much spot on, with that incredibly devious look she was sporting for most of her time in the identity. It’s really good work. The paint also does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of saving the figure from the body sculpt. The over abundance of black helps to hide a number of the inaccurate details, as well as masking the joints and making the whole body flow just a bit better. The paintwork is generally pretty cleanly handled, without too much bleed over or noticeable slop. He palette is still flat, like a lot of the early Hasbro stuff, but it’s actually okay on this figure. Jean was packed with a whip accessory, which I misplaced at some point over the years.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I found this figure when it was brand new, at a Toys R Us that no longer exists. I can’t even say why I was there, truth be told, since TRU was going through a particularly depressing period where they stocked absolutely nothing anyone was interested in. At the time, all of my Legends figures were coming from Cosmic Comix, KB Toys, or Walmart. But, I was in a TRU, and they had this figure, so I got her. After the Emma Frost and X3 Jean Grey figures, this was the first figure to make it clear that not *every* female figure from Hasbro was going to totally suck. Despite her questionable origins, this figure is actually pretty great, and shows how much of a difference a simple palette swap can make.