With Marvel wave 24, DST went back to the cash-cow that is Spider-Man, giving us more Spidey plus some more villains.
Wave 24 packaging remains the same as wave 23, and continues as a style for the latest releases in 2009. The decision to package the figures without the masks on really hits this wave, putting the emphasis more on the control art as it is more familiar.
The back of the box has the whole wave pictured, and the bio boxes are kept, which is nice to see. The bio for Back In Black Spider-Man talks about the first appearance of the alien suit rather than mentioning the actual “Back In Black” storyline, which is slightly confusing.
Back in Black Spider-Man
The first figure in this set is Back In Black Spider-Man, who is a slightly controversial addition to the ranks of Marvel Minimates. It’s been mentioned on this site before, but the decision at the time (2003) to make Symbiote Spidey the harder to acquire variant/chase figure in wave 2 was always a strange one, especially as DST have said that they will never directly reissue any figure that was a specialty store chase figure, which means they have to get a bit more creative when putting the black suit back in the lineup. The Classic Spider-Man boxset had a battle-damaged black suit Spidey, and this one gets something different too – a full face mask, similar to the Iron Spider-Man figure in the Civil War boxset.
Fans are generally opposed to the full masks, reasoning that they make the head look too big, which is certainly a criticism that can also be leveled here. The mask does make Spidey’s head look larger, but the simple design – just incorporating the two large white eyes – mitigates this somewhat. As the mask is made of strong plastic, it comes off quite easily, which is not always the case with these slip-on masks. Underneath the mask is a very nice representation of Peter, especially when the included hairpiece is used. He looks strong and confident here, a far cry from some of the goofy expressions he’s been saddled with in the past.
The chest block features the large, white Spider-symbol. The lines do go round the sides but sadly are absent on the back – a cost-cutting measure or just a missed application? It’s not good when the older figure this one is an update of is actually a better version in terms of crucial detailing! The older figure never had the blue muscle detailing lines, though. These are apparent on the torso and the legs.
Later edit: Thanks to everyone who pointed out that it was actually an issue with my particular Minimate, not a cost-cutting measure. As you can see from my pics, my Spidey has no back detailing but that’s a one-off incident. If you want to see pictures of the back, they can be seen on the Mimimate Database here. As for this figure, I’m consoling myself with the idea that it’s a super-rare variant!
Back In Black Spider-Man has no accessories.
In conclusion: This figure is definitely a more than acceptable alternative to shelling out for the wave 2 version. The size of the full mask is an aesthetic issue that will bother some people more than others.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Kraven the Hunter successfully bested Spidey in “Kraven’s Last Hunt” and takes his rightful place in the massed ranks of Spidey’s rogues gallery.
Kraven’s face is detailed with larger black lines than most Minimates, giving him a very harsh and gritty expression. The guy looks downright mean. The hairpiece is slicked back, with a cowlick at the front. I think it’s a unique piece but I have been wrong before!
The level of detail on this figure is amazing. Kraven has an insanely well detailed “powerhouse” chest piece, featuring a lion’s head on the front and a lion’s mane on the back, with the top of the chest piece also included. This can be removed, and the chest block underneath also has oodles of detailing, showing off a muscular chest and a scarred back. Combine this with some garish orange trousers and black and white striped belt (detailed on all 4 sides) and wristbands, and this is a Minimate with a very complicated paint job that has no mistakes on whatsoever. Superb work.
Kraven comes with his trusty machete and a rifle. He can’t hold the rifle in any meaningful way but the machete works just fine.
In conclusion: A fantastic representation of Kraven. The attention to detail is top notch and makes for a must-have Minimate.
MMC Score – 9 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills