Welcome, to the first official review of the 2011 Wave 4 (15 overall) Marvel Universe action figure line.

Included in Wave 15:

Commander Steve Rogers

X-23

Darkhawk (Modern Version)

Sub-Mariner (Namor, Imperius Rex)

Ultron

The wave packaging has the same look and feel as previous 2011 waves, that being of the Steve Rogers led S.H.I.E.L.D design “COLLECT THEM ALL! (Each sold separately). Each figure has a blurb about them on the back, a feature image, and an ad for 3 of the other figures in the wave. Series 3 (for the 3rd year running) and the figure number in the series in the top left corner.

For anyone that just wants pictures…scroll down to the gallery, it’s chock-full of photographic goodness. The rest, please, read on.

Ultron

This guy is a hands down, no holds barred, 100% replica of the Secret Wars Ultron figure, with the exception, all of his detail work is in a neon green, that I must say, makes the figure look and feel quite a bit more bada$$. The previous Ultron had red head detailing, and dark blue body detailing. The single color adds a nice flow and feel. As far as articulation, it’s identical to the previous, limited head movement, ankles spin, knees bend, ball and socket hips, upper torso movement, elbow and shoulder bendy goodness.

This new Ultron takes the place of my old in my display case, the old Ultron moves to storage.

Sub-Mariner (Namor) (Imperius Rex)

Namor number 3 (Invaders exclusive Namor, and the in-line Namor before this), comes to us far more detailed, buffed up, and more articulated than any previous. I think I got one with a little muck up on the paint by the widows peak. Looks like a shadow…no biggie. This figure is fantastic. Finally a Namor that I feel lives up to how larger than life he comes off in the comics. The paint detail, shadowing, are excellent and he looks kinda like he’s just out of a scene from the 300. The previous Namor sculpts made him seem frail, this does him justice. He’s the King of Atlantis for cryin’ out loud! The articulation here is dramatically different from his previous counter-parts. Good head movement, shoulders, elbows, wrists all move, he swivels at the chest and spins at the waist. He has the new figure style swivel hips, double jointed knees, spin at the calf, and the all ways ankles. The staff accessory mirrors the previous Namor staff, no change there. Something to note…the figure stand clearly says “IMPERIUS REX”. Will we see a Namor labeled stand variant?

As with Ultron, Namor will replace my previous versions on display, and the old ones go to storage. (2 for 2!)

Darkhawk

Of this wave, one of the figures I was more excited about was Darkhawk. Now that i have him… The paint is outstanding. A really nice sparkly to him all around. I love the right hand claws, and if you pose him right you can make it look like the wings are attached to his back the way I feel like they should be. I haven’t read Darkhawk in a little while, so my impression may or may not be accurate. The gem on the chest looks good, all the add on pieces look good. The body though, frail at best. Darkhawk would have been a good candidate to take advantage of the Cyclops body type, especially in his modern form where he is portrayed as a more sizable character. The legs on this figure may as well have come off Firestar from the Toys R Us exclusive pack, and they hold on not for the better. I’d like, if anyone has Darkhawk yet to chime in here. Taking him out of the package, the right leg popped right off. Never had that happen with a figure before. I guess maybe that soured my tone on him in the first place. The look here is right, just not the feel or scale.

Being that there is only one Darkhawk, he will stay on display. I know the variant won’t have a different body type, but I prefer classic Darkhawk and he will look better with this body type, so he will likely take the place of this one.

X-23

X-23 hasn’t ever been one of my favorite characters, but, she’s in X-Force, so that makes her about 10x more awesome. Hasbro really, fantastically nailed this figure. The scale is perfect, the paint is perfect, the hair is great, the headsculpt outstanding. Every single female henceforth in this line should be this awesome without excuse. X-23 comes with all the articulation featured in the newer figure models and molds. The claws come out just right, the added buckles and bracelets look great. Even the shoulder coverings came out great.

This situation is interesting. I had a custom X-23 that I thought the maker did a hell of a job on. That however, will be replaced, and this X-23, which is definitely more to scale will be displayed. Anyone interested in collecting customs, my previous custom X-23 will be up for giveaway in a few months here at MUReview!

Commander Steve Rogers

I am guilty of a cliche’. I have absolutely saved the best for last. This action figure so thoroughly captures the essence of his comic-book counter part, that telling the two apart in some lights would be incredibly difficult. The body size / scale is spot on, height, build, perfect. The head sculpt is highly detailed and picture accurate (looks more like the comic than the box art does!). Articulation is top notch with all the bells and whistles of the latest molds and sculpts from Hasbro, twisty hips and waist, you even get the unexpected full motion ankle range underneath his spats / shin protectors. All of the molded pieces fit perfectly and look great. If I have any complaints, no holster for his hand gun, and no representation of the energy shield he uses. Otherwise, this is the closest to perfection I have yet to see Hasbro make in this line. Admittedly, I’m biased. Commander Steve is one of my all time favorite characters in one of my all time favorite iterations. As an aside, when Nova comes out in 2012, I will be purchasing an extra of Nova and Steve Rogers, and plopping Nova’s head on Steve’s body to recreate the outstanding cover for Secret Avengers number 4.

That said, being the only Steve Rogers, he gets the spot, and I can’t imagine any that would take it. He will be on display for as long as I have a shelf to display. He does depose a custom I had created for me. That custom will also be given away to a lucky MUReview.net reader down the road.

Summary

Wave 4 2011 is a must buy for any serious MU collector. Hasbro has a win with every figure in the series, if not for huge reasons, for small reasons. You have 3 completely new characters, and “definitive” versions of two others. Go out and get em…or stay in and pick them up by way of pre-order at Big Bad Toy Store or Past Generation Toys.

5 new figures, 5 new figures to display for me…that’s a perfect score!

 

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