Marvel Wave 31’s actual variant figure is the Silver Age version of Angel. The variant that shouldn’t have been, as he’s considered by most to be essential if you want to build a team of first appearance X-Men Minimates. It seemed a bit daft to then short-pack the fifth member of the team. Clearly this wasn’t supposed to happen, given that the normal Angel in this wave actually has the Variant legend on the box, but sadly the case ratios say different, and Silver Age Angel is available in far fewer numbers. This review will concentrate on just the variant figure, as the army-builder Multiple Man has already been reviewed earlier in the wave.
Usual Marvel carton featuring artwork on the front and viewing windows. The regular group shot appears on the back of the carton as well as character biographies. Interesting to note that the mask Angel wears on the side flap photo doesn’t have the blue highlight that the production figure has. Also interesting to note the lack of a ‘Variant’ banner.
Silver Age Angel
Making a pleasant change from recent figures, the mask on this ‘mate fits very well. The bottom of the mask lines up nicely with the base of the head and the eyeholes are positioned correctly. I can’t believe I’m having to make note of this though. Some recent attempts at these half face masks have been appalling. I like that the mask has that blue circular area around the front of the mask. Not so much a feature of the mask as an indication of light refraction and an attempt at making the figure look just likes its inky four-colour counterpart from the pages of 60’s X-Men comics. Remove the mask and there’s a fairly simple, innocuous looking face beneath. It’s Warren Worthington III from a much happier time in his life. He had money, girls, wings… What more could a teenager want in 60’s USA? There’s a blonde hairpiece included which is styled in a manner that suits its timeframe. Facially this is a great looking figure as it really does capture the character of the Angel from this era.
Silver-Age Angel’s costume is a very basic affair as the 60’s X-Men all wore the same uniform. Indeed this ‘mate shares exactly the same body as Cyclops from the Original X-Men Boxset. The detailing to the chest is minimal but again reflects the art from the era the character is lifted. Huge muscular chests just wouldn’t reproduce well using the paper and printing processes available to the comic companies of the day. So hints of definition were in order. Therefore there’re just a few creases to break up that big yellow panel on the chest and another couple of hints of blue to the black areas. This is not a bad thing.
The obvious difference between the Angel and Cyclops figures is the inclusion of Angels wings. This has been carried off using the same method as seen on Archangel and Death Archangel and I think it’s a superb piece of engineering. The back piece that the wings connect to is held in place by a loop that goes over the neck post and between the T-piece and chest block. The beauty of this arrangement is that it doesn’t bulk the figure out a’ la the DC Direct Hawkgirl. Angel gains maybe a couple of millimetres in height on his teammates but that’s barely noticeable.
Then there are the wings themselves. They clip on to the back piece via a simple ball and socket arrangement. This allows for a reasonable amount of movement though a stand is required for most poses as the wings do overbalance the figure. This overbalancing is caused by the addition of a belt with the Xavier Institute ‘X’ logo on – it adds just enough extra height to lift the wing tips away from ‘ground’ level. It’s a shame but posing the figure with a wide legged stance can help with stability. Ideally steal a flight stand from another Minimate so that Angel can be posed in his element. Come to think of it, the lack of a flight stand is a glaring omission. Another niggle is that the left knee on this ‘mate is alarmingly loose and probably wouldn’t stand up to heavy handling. Oh, and the damn gloves keep falling off! Minor stuff really.
Silver-Age Angel has no accessories.
In conclusion: Not at all bad, but DST’s halo slips due to the ridiculous problem with the variant status.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10