The variant for wave 22 is General “Thunderbolt” Ross, switching places with his daughter to become the variant. There haven’t been many variants in the Marvel line who have been completely different characters – Spider-Woman I & II, Gwen Stacy & Mary Jane in the Spidey 3 wave – and sometimes people get annoyed when a unique figure is shortpacked. This is a review of the variant only, it won’t cover Battle Damaged Hulk as he has already been reviewed.
Standard Marvel Minimate packaging comprising of the familiar carton with J-hook. The hook section of the pack carries the usual logos. The sloped section has the Hulk logo, and the front of the carton features waist up photographs of the Minimates themselves. The side flaps also feature photographs of the ‘mates, one to each side. Interestingly, the usual “variant enclosed!” text is missing.
The back of the pack features the ubiquitous group shot of the entire wave. Like the Iron Man movie packaging, the biography boxes are missing from this wave. Must be a movie thing.
General Ross (The Incredible Hulk)
General “Thunderbolt” Ross is amongst the most well-known of the Incredible Hulk’s rogue’s gallery. The father of Bruce Banner’s main squeeze Betty Ross, Thunderbolt seems obsessed with capturing or killing the Hulk, and was really the main antagonist in both Hulk films.
To begin, this figure is supposed to represent the great actor William Hurt, but he has been Minimatized to the point that he is really more cartoon or comic character than movie incarnation. The cartoony details and huge mustache keep this figure from bearing any real resemblance to Hurt. Hurt has eyes that slope downward away from the bridge of his nose, but we don’t even get this concession with the Minimate. Instead, he looks pretty generic. The small mouth is somewhat accurate, and if you removed the mustache, there should be a fair amount of distance between the eyes and mouth as we see here, as he has a somewhat ‘long’ face. But on the whole, the likeness just isn’t there. Despite this, however, he looks great! Similar to movie Jigsaw, the cartoony look to Ross can allow you to treat him as either his movie or comic book counterpart. Ross’s hairpiece has his dark green/gray general’s hat with gold trim and a gold eagle on the front, and has grayish-white hair coming out from behind, accurately reflecting his hair in both the film and comic.
Ross’s military dress is appropriately formal, reflecting his role as an army general. Art Asylum decided to use a powerhouse chest piece for the torso, which bulks him up a bit. I generally don’t care for the use of powerhouse pieces unless we are looking at a bigger character like Hulk himself, but I think it also works for characters wearing jackets in instances like this. Certainly, Ross might look less imposing if we just got a painted chest block, and that would not suit his personality. The jacket, arms, legs, crotch piece, and chest block are all the same extremely dark green/gray color as Ross’s hat. This green color appears a bit darker than that in the movie. His chest piece also contains gold medals and buttons, which is a nice little touch. Ross’s shoes appear to have a shiny black paint application, reflecting the ‘spit polished’ look that one might expect from a military officer.
In Conclusion: This is a very nice Minimate. Ignoring the likeness issue, he has a cool design, a great face, and could work as either Ross, or as the generic commander of a Minimate army of some kind. Ross might be my favorite figure in this wave. Certainly, he is one of the more worthy variants out there as he isn’t really a variant at all, but an entirely new character, and an essential Hulk enemy to boot.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10