REVIEW: IRON MAN MARVEL LEGENDS IRON PATRIOT
What do you get when you mix Iron Man with Captain America's color scheme? You likely get something that looks a whole lot like IRON PATRIOT, one of the figures in the recent IRON MAN MARVEL LEGENDS line.
Technically, this line isn't specifically dedicated to the Iron Man 3 movie -- it's just taking advantage of it. Several of the figures in the line will be specifically representative of the movie. One of these will be a different Iron Patriot figure than the one I am reviewing here. Others are based more on the comic incarnations of Iron Man and some of his allies and enemies, and these would include two different versions of Iron Man, this particular version of the Iron Patriot, the robotic super-villain Ultron, and a "Build-A-Figure" of Iron Monger.
Now, maybe I've gotten spoiled by Mattel's DC Universe action figures, and I certainly have nothing against Hasbro's 4" scale Marvel Universe line, or the 4" scale in general, as would be evidenced by a vast collection of G.I. Joe and a considerable supply of Star Wars figures here, but somehow, I just tend to prefer my super-heroes a little bigger than that. So when I spotted this Iron Man Marvel Legends line, I decided to bring in the Iron Patriot.
This is hardly the first time there's been 6" scale Iron Man figures. Both previous movies produced a generous supply of them, and while my "Hall of Armor" may not be on a par with Tony Stark's, I do have quite the display of these larger armored figures in my collection, while certainly not neglecting their little brothers. And I was impressed enough with the look of the Iron Patriot figure to bring him into the collection, even if his comics history is less than positive.
Here's my one gripe about the Iron Patriot, from a comics standpoint, which is what this particular figure represents. He wasn't Tony Stark, or even anyone else under the Stark corporate umbrella. The Iron Patriot was a rather notorious individual by the name of -- Norman Osborn.
In the comics, Norman Osborn was best known as one of Spider-Man's earliest adversaries, the Green Goblin. Victim of a split personality, Osborn was barely aware that he even was the Goblin, and didn't tend to remember the Goblin's actions when he recovered his real identity.
Osborn was apparently killed, stabbed by his own Goblin-glider, in a final confrontation with Spider-Man, after killing Spidey's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. It was one of the truly dramatic and memorable moments of the Marvel Universe at the time.
However, the Green Goblin formula that Osborn used to heighten his abilities, also endowed Osborn with a healing factor that allowed him to circumvent his otherwise certain death. Osborn, no longer suffering from bouts of amnesia between his identities, escapes from a morgue and goes to Europe, where he can move freely and unnoticed.
Later, the returned Osborn regains control of his business. He uses a Goblin stand-in so as not to be suspected of being the Green Goblin. He also crosses paths with Roderick Kingsley, the original Hobgoblin, and initiates a hostile takeover of the latter's corporate empire in retaliation for raiding the Goblin arsenal and identity.
Osborn's identity as the Green Goblin is revealed to the public through an investigation by the Daily Bugle after Osborn murders one of its reporters. After a battle with Spider-Man and Luke Cage, Osborn is arrested and sent to prison. Regardless, Osborn escapes prison and flees to Paris but is apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
Osborn attempts to distance himself from his Green Goblin persona after being prescribed medication. During the "Civil War" over the Superhuman Registration Act, Osborn is appointed director of the superhero team the Thunderbolts, now tasked to apprehend anyone who resists registering. During the "Secret Invasion" by the shape-shifting alien race the Skrulls, Osborn kills the Skrull queen Veranke, leader of the invasion, by shooting her. He leverages this widely publicized success in defeating the Skrulls to replace Tony Stark as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., which he in turn replaces with H.A.M.M.E.R., a paramilitary force he uses to advance his agenda
His attempts to exert his authority were increasingly jeopardized by various superheroes. This includes Tony Stark tricking Osborn into attacking him while Stark was suffering from brain damage in his original suit of armor, thus showing Osborn brutally assaulting a man physically and mentally incapable of even attempting to strike back, and the New Avengers using a tracking device Osborn had planted in Luke Cage to trick Osborn into blowing up his own house.
Osborn then creates a rationale to invade Asgard, claiming it poses a national security threat. During a pitched battle with several superheroes, Stark removes the Iron Patriot's armor remotely, revealing a maddened Osborn wearing green facepaint with yellow paint to create a goblin-like look. Osborn knocks out Captain America and tries to escape, but is captured by Volstagg, and is incarcerated in The Raft penitentiary, where he blames his Green Goblin alter-ego for ruining his chance to protect the world.
Later, Norman Osborn reveals he has the Super-Adaptoid's powers and declares himself the head of world security and orders the Avengers arrested for war crimes, but the Avengers attack him at once, overloading his body due to the conflicting superpowers he absorbs in the attack. A.I.M. and HYDRA pick up his leftover resources and H.A.M.M.E.R. is disbanded.
All of this is why I've never been that fond of the Iron Patriot character, and why I didn't pick up the 4" scale Marvel Universe version of him. Apart from having a problem with anyone who acts like this calling themselves a "Patriot" and wearing Captain America's colors, Osborn's activities were heavily interwoven with the seemingly unceasing storyline that commenced with Civil War, wove its way through the Initiative, Secret Invasion, Siege, Dark Reign, etc, etc., and I not only found the whole business rather distasteful from a number of standpoints that I won't get into here, but just plain too hard to keep up with. It was about that time I abandoned reading Marvel comics. I certainly respect the characters, and have enjoyed their recent movies, but this was just a bit much in the comics.
However, with the revelation that the Iron Patriot character in the Iron Man 3 movies is actually Jim Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine, since the Iron Man movies can't use Norman Osborn, who is technically designated a Spider-Man character and as such -- thanks to various legalities -- under cinematic license to Sony, I figure the Iron Patriot character stands a good chance of redeeming himself on the silver screen. As such, even though this is the comics version of the Iron Patriot armor, and not the movie version (which will be out later in the year), I decided to bring him in. Regardless of his comics history, it's not a bad design at all.
As to the capabilities of the Iron Patriot armor, the armor featured superhuman strength, enhanced durability, flight, magnetic impact blasts, heat seeking missiles, miniaturized lasers, flamethrowers, and a communications system housed in his helmet which allowed him to interface with any U.S.-controlled satellite or computer network. While the original Iron Man armor utilized repulsor technology, Osborn's design does not; Tony Stark destroyed all but one repulsor, and stated that "Oz is too stupid" to make his own repulsor-based weapons system. The star shaped Uni Beam projector on his chest, because of its shape, also has a less powerful output than that of the original Iron Man model.
So, how's the figure? Really very nice, and an excellent addition to the Marvel Legends 6" scale collection of Iron Man figures.
Technically, the figure is a substantial recoloration and minimal remolding of a previous Marvel Legends Iron Man figure, which was available in both traditional colors and a stealth-like blue color. But you'd scarcely know it except by putting the two figures side by side and really studying the sculpted details and how they've been repainted.
Iron Patriot's armor is, predictably, metallic shades of red, white, and blue. The helmet is red with a silver-white faceplate, orange eyeslits, and a black outline around the mouth. The chest and shoulders are also red, with a raised white emblem/uni-beam in the center of the chest. The abdominal region is mostly metallic blue, with horizontal red and white stripes running across it. The upper arms and upper legs are blue, with white stripes, while the lower arms and lower legs, inclusive of the gloves and boots, of course, are metallic red.
This is a substantial variance from either of the color schemes of the previous release of this figure, as a Marvel Legends Iron Man figure, in which one was the usual colors of metallic red and yellow-gold, and the other was metallic light and dark blue. Iron Patriot's armor is also more ornate than either of these versions.
The one major difference in the sculpt is, of course, the center emblem. Since this is sculpted, not just painted, it had to be remade to remove the triangular centerpiece of the original, and replace it with the star-shaped one of the Iron Patriot armor. The upper torso is otherwise identical.
The other difference that I noticed is the hands. Now, I only own the blue-tinged version of Iron Man, so I can't speak for the red-and-yellow version, but the blue version has a right hand that's clenched in a fist, and the left hand is open. Iron Patriot's hands are the reverse of this, with a left hand clenched in a fist, and an open right hand. Now, I suppose that the red-and-yellow version might have these hands, or they might be entirely new. I really don't know.
What's interesting is that the hands definitely show repulsors, which Iron Patriot didn't have, and which makes me think that these hands were probably from the version of Iron Man that I didn't purchase. On Iron Patriot, they're painted yellow.
Of particular note is the fact that the sculpted lines across the abdomen of this figure, even though not originally designed as an Iron Patriot figure, made for excellent guidelines for the red-and-white striping. If I hadn't made the comparison with the earlier Iron Man figure, I never would've thought that this figure hadn't been specifically designed as Iron Patriot in the first place, especially since the copyright date on the back of one leg has been updated to read 2012, rather than 2011.
Even those stripes -- the white on the upper arms and upper legs -- that does not have specific sculpted guidelines to follow, is nevertheless very neatly and evenly painted. Really, the overall paintwork on this figure is outstanding.
Of course, the Iron Patriot figure is superbly articulated. He is poseable at the head, arms, upper arm swivels, elbows, wrists, mid-torso, legs, upper leg swivel (nicely camouflaged by the armor design), knees, and ankles. The shoulder epaulets also move, allowing for a greater range of arm motion.
Iron Patriot doesn't come with any accessories to speak of. The only additional piece in the box is the massive Iron Monger torso, for the Build-A-Figure. There is a set of assembly instructions, which includes a little bit of background on the character, but not a lot else.
I don't really object to the lack of any accessories, since I've always through that including separate spring-loaded launchers or whatever with these Iron Man figures -- given the sorts of weaponry that Stark has been known to cram into these armors -- to be just a little silly. And, it's one less thing for me to potentially lose track of, since I'm not in the habit of displaying my figures with their accessories anyway.
Any complaints? None, although it was a near thing. There's the tiniest little mold crease between the eyes, but it's small enough to ignore. This is a problem that any number of toy companies seriously need to deal with, because there's really no excuse for it. And a character like Iron Man, with his smooth faceplate -- well, when it happens to an Iron Man figure's head, it tends to be really glaring. And there was a little paint glitch on the star emblem on the chest. Not really sure what it was, but it wasn't anything a bit of gloss white on my own couldn't remedy, and the rest of the paint job was so neat, I really have no reason to gripe.
So, what's my final word? Okay, in the comics, Iron Patriot was Norman Osborn, a power-hungry nutjob who did a lot of damage to a lot of people. If I want that sort of thing from people calling themselves "patriots", I'll watch the news. But the Iron Patriot armor might get a break in the Iron Man 3 movie, and I'll likely pick up that Marvel Legends figure when it comes out, and review it at that time. In the meantime, regardless of its original occupant, the Iron Patriot armor as shown on this version is still a very cool and impressive figure, and will made a fine addition to anyone's "Hall of Armor".
The IRON MAN MARVEL LEGENDS figure of IRON PATRIOT definitely has my highest recommendation!