Monday, May 31, 2021

Marvel Legends - BLACK QUEEN(S)!

Marvel Legends Hellfire Club Box Set - Jean Grey & Selene - Hasbro 2021

I won't lie and say that I completely understand the Jean Grey storyline in the early 80s. From my understanding, after Jean became Phoenix, Mastermind began manipulating her.. wanting revenge on Jean and the X-Men for a previous altercation. Under his influence, she became the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. But eventually she recovers her memories and snaps, becoming Dark Phoenix. And within a few months we meet Madelyne Pryor and things get infinitely more complex. The Hellfire Club is a wealthy secret society with wicked intentions to manipulate world events for their benefit. The men dress in 18th century formalwear, and the women dress like dominatrixes. All the members of the inner circle have chess-themed titles and the roster involved is dizzying. The wikipedia page seriously gave me a headache. I miss when it was just Emma Frost, Magneto, Sebastian Shaw, and Tessa, plus the occasional Bishop like Donald Pierce. But Jean's recruitment was welcome and iconic development.

These Pulse Exclusive boxsets have pretty intense packaging. The outer decor of the box is black with a glossy wrought iron fence design. There is a large cardboard loop circling the bottom of the box that keeps the gatefold closed.

Inside the gatefold is a portrait gallery of the Hellfire Club members. 
The frames are all slightly embossed giving a great three-dimensional effect.

The main 4-person portrait is removable and is essentially just covering the action figure display beneath. But on the reverse side of the portrait is a detailed behind-the-painting graphic (staples, hanging wire, chipped paint, etc) with a real envelope secretly "taped" there. The envelope contains an invitation to join the Hellfire Club.

Inside the box is a fantastic diorama of the Hellfire Club Inner Circle chambers.

The painted details on the back of the diorama have a fantastic trompe l'oeil effect. I had to keep phyically touching the background details to prove they weren't 3-D. This shot below with the Eiffel Tower and clock on the mantle shows the illusion nicely. I'm very impressed.

This figure is practically perfect. The only change I would make is that the lining of her cape is traditionally red. But I realize it would look weird with Selene's head, and the black lining is acceptable for Jean.

This box set comes with a lot of accessories. The ones that can be utilized by the female figures are: a whip (originally used with the 2014 Black Cat), an alternate Selene head, 4 alternate black-gloved hands (note: the whip can only be held with the black hands), 2 alternate white-gloved hands, a book accessory, a Magneto helmet, and a Wolverine mask.

The alternate Selene head is great. she has a mischievous smirk that matches her comic book persona.

Selene was heavily intertwined in the origins of Magma and appeared a handful of times in my favorite childhood title, the New Mutants. This makes me really want a Magma figure in the Marvel Legends line.

In the head-swapping process, I somehow forgot to replace Jean's spiked choker. It doesn't belong with the Selene head (nor does it even fit with her hair), so I removed it and promptly forgot about it until I was preparing this post.

Here are the two men from the Hellfire set, Sebastian Shaw and Donald Pierce.

Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!

Here is Jean with her 2007 Marvel Legends figure and her 2010 Minimate.

Here is Selene and Jean with Emma Frost.


1 comment:

  1. Amazed they came out with this figure set. Outstanding.