These Marvel Legends Figures Are A-Force To Be Reckoned With [Review]
For a team that came together due to a special event, A-Force made more of an impact than the short life of their solo series would have you believe. The all-woman team of Marvel heroes got their shot during Secret Wars, and then spun off into their own series the Marvel U proper following the end of that event. Though A-Force may not be on Marvel's publishing schedule anymore, Hasbro saw the promise in a team comprised entirely of women and delivered one of the year's most excellent box sets in the Marvel Legends collection.
As one of Hasbro's San Diego Comic-Con retailer exclusives, the A-Force box set was one of the easier special items to obtain. In fact, unlike most of the toys you had to go to San Diego to purchase, you can still order this Marvel Legends set now. That's good news for a number of reasons, but the most important one is that this is a fantastic collection of characters. And that's not even considering more than a few of these figures would likely never see a solo retail release outside of this small collection.
As one of the leaders of A-Force, and arguably the face of the team, She-Hulk was a no-brainer inclusion for this set. Captured here in all her purple-suited glory, the gamma-powered hero gets a solid, if unspectacular, figure. She-Hulk has gotten a number of figures over the years, including an earlier iteration in Hasbro's Marvel Legends. This new one is based on the Red She-Hulk, though this update comes with two fists instead of one open hand.
The paint app is strong, and the shimmer applied for the purple suit gives it a sheen I never thought existed. I always pegged She-Hulk's costume for a more matte look, but the glossier look does well to highlight her musculature. Her hips are a little loose, but she fortunately gets flat shoes to help even out any balance issues. It's a good She-Hulk especially if you don't have one already, but she's not quite the best of this bunch.
Loki has taken many forms in the Marvel Universe, but the female version always had a bit more style than the typically male one that frequents most stories. Loki wasn't a member of A-Force, but was one of the villains the team faced during Secret Wars. Her inclusion here is welcome, not just because we can always use more Asgardians in our collections, but because the movie version of Thor's brother always seems to be the figural frontrunner.
The head sculpt is an outstanding piece of work, with the horned crown giving some drama to the figure's silhouette. The small gold medallions in her hair give Loki some additional personality over similar figures like Enchantress too. Like She-Hulk, Loki's got a shimmering paint app that makes the figure pop on a shelf under just about any lighting condition. The only drawback to this figure is the cape, which merely hooks under Loki's hair and hangs on her shoulders. There's no peg holding it in place, making it a bit awkward. It also throws the balance of the thinner body buck off.
Singularity is a great character that debuted in A-Force, but unfortunately hasn't been seen since the regular series ended at the conclusion of Civil War II. Hasbro's experimented with completely translucent figures in the past, but Singularity is probably the first time such a figure has actually come out ahead. The mix of opacity throughout provides some fabulous contrast, and you really do get the feeling this character is the living embodiment of a pocket dimension.
I really love the way the glitter in the mold gives the presence of stars inside her universe, and Hasbro did a fine job not going overboard on the darker purple elements. When you can get Singularity lit right, the character comes alive, and her strong articulation gives you plenty of ways to pose her to take advantage of the translucent plastic. Plus, that sculpted hair is just fantastic and gives her silhouette personality to stand out from other small female figures.
Curiously, Lady Sif was not a part of any incarnation of A-Force but found her way into this box set. Not that I'm complaining. Asgardian characters not named Thor and Loki have generally received the short shrift in the action figure world, and any time we can get more of those characters it's a good day. Lady Sif in particular is one we've been coveting for years, and that she finally gets her due in this lovely box set makes all that waiting worth it.
Sif retools a bit of the Angela body from this year's Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 series, but it works for her just as well. The costume may not be 100% comic accurate, but Hasbro does a solid job reworking it to get something close enough that most fans won't be bothered by the lack of on-page accuracy. The armor looks great, the bold red and white colorway give Sif some vibrancy, and that gladiator skirt just works. Like Loki, Sif's cape just hangs on the shoulders, but Sif is tall enough that the balance issues aren't quite as severe.
Monica Rambeau was only on the team during Secret Wars (she was busy joining The Ultimates in All-New Marvel), but the fact that we're getting a Monica Rambeau figure is reason enough to celebrate. Despite being one of Marvel's most prominent female African-American Avengers, the character has not gotten enough love beyond the page. This is a wonderful representation of the character in her most current costume, and it helps balance out this set's diversity.
The stark black and white of Rambeau's costume works well in figure form, even if you think the black trench coat look is a bit dated by this point. There's a crispness to the design that translates well to the toy, and even though the clothing are a bit monochromatic, there's still plenty of detail to soak up. Where the former Captain Marvel gets good is in that portrait. It's just perfect. I often complain about faces that are too stoic, but it works for Monica, and stays true to who she is as a character.
Elsa Bloodstone rules. That's really all you need to know. As a character, she was always sort of an also-ran until Warren Ellis got a hold of her for Nextwave. From there, she got the character and personality we know her to have today, and she's much better for it. Though technically not a true member of A-Force, she did team up with the group at the tail end of the ongoing comic series. She's captured here in all her monster-hunting glory, with two shotguns and a pistol to ensure no creepies make it through the night.
Like Monica, Elsa's major appeal comes from the head sculpt, which has a fantastically long pony tail. That face exudes attitude, and you feel like Elsa is really staring daggers into whomever she's looking towards. The articulation is strong, and Elsa is incredibly poseable despite being cloaked in that overcoat. We'll probably never get a Boom-Boom or The Captain figure, but we're that much closer to a full Nextwave team now, so we can always keep our fingers crossed.
A-Force may not have gotten the recognition or respect they deserved in the comics, but at least with this Marvel Legends set they'll forever live on with some great action figures. This set is not only filled with some of the best female figures Hasbro's made, it also shows the company is willing to listen to fans and ensure fair play when it comes to the Marvel Legends line. Plus, the box has some excellent art from A-Force artist Ben Caldwell, so you really can't go wrong with this collection.
The Marvel Legends A-Force set is available exclusively at Toys 'R Us for $120. These figures were purchased for review.