By Chris Troy
One of my problems with the Thor toy line is that it strictly focuses on the Movie-verse stuff, at least for the time being. Hasbro spoiled me by giving Wolverine and Iron Man lines that focused on the comic-stuff as well, so it sucked to see that the mighty Thor not receive such treatment. Lucky for me and my nerd needs though, Hasbro’s gone all out on their Captain America: The First Avengers line, basically treating the property like G.I. Joe: The Marvel Universe edition. This makes a ton of sense, given Cap’s ties to the US Military and Government. The line launched with a wide variety of Captain America based figured, both movie and comic-based, plus a plethora of role-playing stuff for the kiddies. But until they make an affordable Chris-sized Cap shield, we’ll be focusing on the comic-line figures. But before we do so, let me just say that FPNYC has a GREAT selection of Captain America trades, hardcovers, and back issues, so if you want to get caught up on my favorite member of the Avengers trinity before the movie drops next month, you can with ease. Just start with the Ed Brubaker stuff, it’s pretty amazing.
With 7 different figures in the comics wave currently on shelves, it’s best to start with the main man himself, Lob-er, Steve Rogers (the original Captain America for those of you who did not minor in comics in college)!! There’s 3 distinct versions of the O.G. Cap, based on 2 distinct universes, the main 616 universe, and the Ultimate universe. Based on Ultimate’s 1 & 2 artist Bryan Hitch art, we got a World War 2 era Captain America in military gear, classic non-circle shield, and a gun, as well as the modern version of the Ultimate Cap, with a more tradition round shield. There’s also a basic 616 Steve Rodgers Captain America, which is basically a repaint of the Ultimates Cap, only with cuffed boots and wings on the side of his head. I’m fairly certain both of these round-shielded Caps are just repaints of the Ultimate/616 Caps from the Marvel Universe line, but hey, if you missed them the 1st time around, here’s your chance to pick ‘em up!!
See these 2 figures on the left? This is the problem with DC Comics. This is like the 5th or 6th version of Bucky/Winter Soldier/Bucky-Cap we’ve seen since his re-introduction to the 616 Marvel Universe, and we’ve yet to receive a Dick Grayson-Batman. Nerd rage aside, I’m fairly certain the Winter Soldier is a re-tooled version of the MU figure, but the Heroic Age era Bucky-Cap is mostly brand new, and a lot easier from the Walmart 2-pack exclusive. I really dig the later, as the black-heavy armored costume is a favorite of mine. I can’t recommend it enough, especially if you’re like me, and trying to build a modern-day era of Avengers with their Marvel Universe collection.
Rounding our the line are two more obscure fan-favorite characters, U.S.Agent & the villainous Crossbones. The former figure, aka John Walker, is based on his classic costume, with a rocking shield I’m not sure if he actually ever used in the comics. I say classic, because the character is currently missing a leg and a hand thanks to the events in Siege. Now serving as the Warden on the super-villain prison know as the Raft, he shares a title (Jeff Parker and Kev Walker’s excellent Thunderbolts) with Crossbones, who’s famous for “killing” Cap a few years back post-Civil War. ‘Bones is based on his more recent comic appearances, heavily armed with military equipment and making an awesome figure overall. Crossbones, the only villain in the line, is shortpacked, so if you want him and see him on shelves, pick him up immediately.
Despite being a heavily recycled/repainted line, I’m really pleased with the first wave of Cap figures, and curious as to what else Hasbro has ensured. Cap has a 70+ year legacy, so there’s ton of characters the company can work with. And of course, Forbidden Planet New York will be sure to have them in stock!