I’ve decided to continue along with another Avengers figure review in celebration of the release of The Avengers movie this past Friday. I saw the midnight show on Thursday night and went again yesterday afternoon with my dad and nephew Carter. Yesterday was also free comic book day. For those of you not aware, on the first Saturday in May every year comic publishers release a wide array of free comics and comic shops host events to give out these free comics and to attract customers to the stores. The free comics offered do little for me as they’re more meant to entice new and casual fans as opposed to please already loyal comic book readers. It’s the kind of thing that I thought my nephews might enjoy. I have 6 nephews but 2 live a province away from me and 2 more are just babies. Of the 2 that are “of age” for this sort of thing only Carter was available. It would’ve been nice if I was able to swing by my sister’s place, grab Carter, take him to the local comic shops for free swag, go to the movie and then take him home. Unfortunately that’s tough to do on foot and I do not have a driver’s license. So I recruited my dad as a wheelman. Having my dad along is pretty cool anyway as he and I used to do this type of thing when I was Carter’s age and we don’t get to just hang out together for an afternoon nearly as often as I’d like. So the three of us hit up 3 local shops, Strange Adventures, Monster’s Comic Lounge and Quantum Frontier. Each offered something unique but Carter’s biggest haul came from Strange Adventures. He ended up with about 50 comics for the day, a balloon Spider-Man and balloon sword plus some photos with costumed characters. His picture with Dr. Doom was especially amusing as he insisted on shoving his very phallic orange sword into the Dr’s face.
The movie was still amazing the second time around but it didn’t feel like as much of an event as the packed midnight show had. The theater was still relatively full but the crowd didn’t laugh, clap and cheer nearly as much. Normally that would be a good thing as I loathe noisy theater patrons but for some reason it added to the experience on Thursday night. My dad thought the movie was only okay but it’s hardly a movie he’d been waiting his whole life to see. Carter told me afterwards that he thought it was awesome but I wouldn’t have guessed it by his restlessness the whole way through. He was kicking the chair in front of him, banging his empty water bottle around and asking me “is he a bad guy?” every time a character walked on screen. He actually got some laughs during the Black Widow’s subtitled Russian interrogation scene when he turned and asked me loudly “why is everybody speaking spanish?”
Now I assume everybody has seen the movie by now but I won’t discuss any spoilers, but if you have seen it you may be wondering who the hell is this Wonder Man guy? Well no you didn’t miss anything, Wonder man does not appear anywhere in the movie but that does not make him any less an Avenger. The movie featured some of the better known Avengers but hundreds of characters have been Avengers at one point or another. I bet 90% of the Marvel super heroes have joined the roster for at least an issue or two. Some come and go and you forget they even were Avengers. Some perennial members like Iron Man or Captain America are associated with the team but operate just fine on their own, selling plenty of copies of their solo books. And then there are characters like Wonder Man. To me Wonder Man feels like an Avenger. He was on the team when I started reading comics and he rejoins the team every few years or so. Personally I find Wonder Man pretty boring. He’s Hollywood actor/Ionic powered super hero who has never done anything very interesting. He’s just kind of there. Like Vision, Scarlet Witch and even Hawk-Eye (who was in the movie) Wonder man is one of those guys that needs to be on the team otherwise he’ll have nothing to do because nobody wants to read a solo book about them. He had his own series in the 90s which lasted 29 issues and it was all pretty forgettable. His look sucks and there’s nothing iconic about him other than maybe his cheesy red sunglasses which even Cyclops of the X-Men did first. Almost every time he reappears after being gone for a while he’s given a new look in hopes of finding something that works. It never does. This figure features a variation of what I consider his best look, black shirt with a red “W” and sunglasses. It’s not great but it’ll do. This figure was released by Toy Biz in the 90s and is based on an Avengers animated series that was out at the time. He’s about 6″tall as were all the Marvel figures back then. I actually think this is a pretty great Wonder Man toy, as far as Wonder Man toys go. He’s nicely sculpted with some exaggerated cartoon proportions which work here. His face has a nice square Hollywood jaw fitting of the pretty boy super hero. And he’s got a light up feature when you press his belt buckle, his glasses and fists light up red like they’re bursting with ionic energy. It makes for a cool effect that doesn’t hurt the playability of the toy. A good effort on a lame character. 6 out of 10.