Well it’s Friday night and I’m anxious to get into the booze but I feel I should try to get something posted first. Every time I plan to write a figure review after I’ve been drinking it never seems to pan out. Now you might be wondering why its so urgent that I get anything posted at all, and it isn’t really. I’m assuming you all have better things to do with your Friday night than sit around reading my blog. However I made a facebook plea yesterday, asking people to check out the site. My desperate cries for attention panned out as I got nearly a dozen new friends to “like” the mikes’s collection facebook page and I saw a nice spike in my views yesterday and today. And so I would feel like a bit of a wanker if I told my new readers to check out my “updated daily” blog only to diss everybody on day one by not adding any new content. So I shall attempt to throw up a quick review now and who knows, maybe I’ll be back for a drunken review later.
So today I’ve opted for the Chameleon, Spider-Man’s oldest villain. Not oldest in age but rather Spider-Man’s FIRST villain. Spider-Man first encountered the Chameleon is Amazing Spider-Man issue 1 published way back in 1963. Spidey first appeared in the comic series Amazing Fantasy before graduating to his own book but he only tussled with street-level thugs in Fantasy, like that burglar who shot his Uncle Ben. Chameleon was the first in a long line of masked villains created to exchange blows with Spidey. Although Chameleon didn’t actually have any super powers like other early villains such as Electro and Sandman. All Chameleon could do was dress-up good; he was a master of disguise. However Chameleon has continued to torment Spider-Man for the past 50 years and somewhere along the way he developed some powers of his own. Some creative teams portray him as a guy wearing rubber masks while others have given him the ability to morph into anybody he wants to with but a thought. Either way its not the most useful of abilities. Especially because Spider-Man has his danger detecting spider sense so he can usually detect a fraud in his midst. I suppose that’s why Chameleon has spent time paling around with more powerful villains in recent years as a member of the Sinister Six. He took the place of his dead half-brother Kraven the Hunter.
I like Chameleon but not because he’s super cool or anything, its more of a nostalgia thing. He just reeks of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko 60s goodness. Very rarely does he do anything significant in the books. His biggest scheme was tricking Peter Parker into believing that his parents had been resurrected. When it was revealed that they were actually just part of a ruse perpetrated by the Chameleon Peter nearly had a breakdown. Losing his parents for a second time took a serious toll on him. This small victory was a nice notch in the belt of a B-list villain like the Chameleon but it was later revealed that he was just a pawn in a larger plot being played out by the Green Goblin.
This particular figure is based on how the Chameleon appeared in the 90s Spider-Man cartoon. I can’t say that I’m in love with the purple jumpsuit but I suppose he had to wear something. Chameleon has never had a costume to speak of. He’s often shown wearing suits or robes. The only distinguishing feature he has is that weird white face of his. The face used to be drawn as if it were a blank white mask but it evolved over the years to appear as though the white face is his actual head. To this day I’m actually not sure what it is; I seem to recall seeing his “real” face before, maybe during one of his stints in a mental institution but I couldn’t say with certainty.
This figure came with 3 alternate heads which allowed Chameleon to impersonate Spider-Man, Venom or J. Jonah Jameson. It’s a nice attempt to replicate his master of disguise abilities but at the same time are we really supposed to believe that anyone would fall for any of those disguises? “Hi, I’m Spider-Man, in my new purple jump suit.” I don’t think so. This figure actually belonged to my lil brother Brian when we were younger but I snagged it from him when he grew up and got too “cool” for it. As far a s I know this is the only Chameleon figure ever released to date so that makes it pretty damn cool in my book. Your loss Bri. 6 out of 10.