Venom is the best DC villain in the Marvel Universe. While numerous DC heroes regularly battle evil mirror images of themselves, Spider-Man’s sinister reflection is so good Marvel didn’t feel the need to milk the color swapped gimmick with other heroes.
On the lengthy list of Marvel Legends figures that would benefit from a 2015-2016 era Hasbro update, Venom wasn’t in the top percentile thanks to a very strong version that still holds up today from the Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six boxset. While few were clamoring for it, there’s no denying Venom isn’t popular enough to warrant cutting the line. Now let’s see if it’s worth drooling over.
Packaging: Nothing exciting to see here. As part of the ongoing Spider-Man, the accent color are red. That stands out much sharper than the blue used in the Captain America wave. Everything else from the side portrait to the too minimal to matter bio and tiny Absorbing Man Build-A-Figure parts breakdown are the same.
Hasbro does a great job making all the various accessories and Build-A-Figure parts crucial. As a store in my area is frequented by a parts swapper, it’s nice to see Hasbro giving the customer visible access to the extra selling points.
Likeness: I love the head sculpt. It makes Venom look creepy, dangerous and psychotic all at once. The sculpted eyes further help sell the look and that deranged Joker smile makes Venom look ready to do some horribly terrible things to anyone who crosses him. The gripping hands are perfect for palming Spider-Man’s head.
Scale: I’m not the best gauge of the various bodies Hasbro uses for the respective figures, but I’m pretty sure Venom uses the same body we’ve previously seen on Grim Reaper and Tiger Shark. This body is more befitting the beefed up Eddie Brock as he was original portrayed in the comics not the hulking mass Venom became later under various artists. That means while Venom still towers over Spider-Man, he won’t be eye to eye with Hulk or The Thing.
Paint: There’s a slight smudge/scrape along the forehead as if the figure got fiddled with at some part during the construction/paint process. Black and white is always a tricky combination due to the difficulties in applying the white thick enough that the black doesn’t bleed through.
Although it isn’t completely free of the fade-through, I was impressed with how sharp the white applications were on the figure. Compared to the SS version, Venom’s logo is a stark white as opposed to the white with blue airbrushing.
Articulation: Venom’s body has a good amount of heft to it without ever being restrictive. This is another fluid base body from Hasbro, which specializes in making fun, sensibly articulated figures with this brand.
- ball jointed shoulders
- elbows (hinge and swivel)
- wrist (hinge and swivel)
- knees (double-jointed)
The articulation is so smooth with Venom that he quickly became one of those figures I couldn’t stop fiddling with and seeing what poses I couldn’t achieve with him. I couldn’t find a viable Venom pose where the articulation failed so that’s a big win in my book.
Accessories: Venom is stocked with a great array of useful accessories. Hasbro is getting a lot better about including alternate heads with the figures. In addition to the McFarlane-esque head sculpt, Venom gets a variant Erik Larsen style head with slimy, extended tongue and a set of fists.
The alternate head definitely didn’t get second tier status as the teeth are sculpted and Venom’s brow is furrowed to really give that trademark intense Venom visual. The paint around the mouth is missing some black, but of all the colors that need a touch up black is the easiest to handle even for non-customizers like myself.
The fists exchange easily enough, which I appreciate as nothing would be more annoying than getting a peg stuck or having it snap off while still attached to the figure. It’s bad enough Venom is popular enough on his own, but he also comes with the two heads for the Absorbing Man. Those are two critical pieces for anyone looking to build Absorbing Man. The problem of course is that Venom is one of the few characters that less dedicated collectors are familiar with and may grab with no intention of getting the entire wave to build Absorbing Man.
Rating: 10 out of 10
The minor paint issues were hardly enough to warrant dinging Venom down a few points. This is an exceptionally fun figure. He’s going to be a pain to hunt down, but he’s worth it.
Or you can get the entire wave at once Order Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel Legends Figures Wave 5 from Entertainment Earth!