In 1976 the world of comic books was introduced to the Phoenix, an all powerful force that joined with X-man (or would that
be X-woman) Jean Grey. A few years later, the Phoenix would fall under the control of the chess themed Hellfire Club to
become their Black Queen. While the role did not last long, it did introduce the taint of evil to the Phoenix which later
lead to one of the most important story lines in X-men history, the Dark Phoenix Saga. And now thanks to Hasbro and
Toys R Us, the Black Queen has joined the ranks of the Marvel Legends action figures and is ready to show all of your hero
figures just how good it can feel to be evil.
Packaging - 8/10The Black Queen comes in the same style packaging as the rest of Hasbro's Marvel Legends figures. The card is more narrow than those of the first two series which helps to eliminate the wasted space for smaller figures such as this. Graphically, the packaging is quite nice, showing off a variety of images of the Black Queen from the actual comics. (Although two of them seem to be in a much more modern style and I'm not sure if they are supposed to be of Jean Grey or some other Black Queen.) It is also worth pointing out that the heavy stock used by Hasbro for the cards means that these stand up to shelf wear quite well without too much risk of damage. The biggest problem there is with the packaging for the Black Queen is that they kept the design for the back of the card as well. And without a build a figure and a whole series of figures to display, they didn't really have enough to fill all of the space. They tried to do so by adding a longer than usual history for the character. But a wall of text really isn't that exciting.
Sculpting - 3/10Black Queen recycles almost all of the White Queen sculpt from Hasbro's first series of Marvel Legends figures, but with a new head sculpt. While I didn't dislike that figure as much as some fans, and the worst of its problems were with the head sculpt which wasn't reused, its use here is completely wrong. As the Black Queen, Jean Grey costume consisted of a corset, briefs, long gloves, boots, a choker and a cape. The figure gets at least half of it wrong. And it is the more obvious parts of the costume, the corset, briefs and boots that are wrong. While I know this is an exclusive figure and it being a repaint shouldn't be that surprising, had they just made a new lower torso they could have corrected both the corset (still using the existing sculpting for the upper torso) and briefs. Correcting the boots could have been done with paint. They weren't completely lazy. They added the rose to the clasp of the cape and gave us a new head sculpt. The new head is a vast improvement over that of the White Queen. So I suppose you could always pretend the figure is just an alternate costume for the character.
Paint - 5/10The paint work on the Black Queen is fairly simple like most of the Hasbro Marvel Legend figures. But it looks pretty good. The paint gets a bit thick on the cape's rose, but there aren't any noticeable stray marks or sloppiness. The flesh tones also seem a little better on this figure than they have been on some of the others. The studs on her collar aren't very even. I would like to have seen them paint the thighs and knees flesh toned to closer resemble the original costume. Of course, that would have left the seam running down the front of her legs, so this might have been a better choice.
Articulation - 6/10the Black Queen figure has twenty five points of articulation:
Accessories - 8/10the figure comes with two accessories. The first is the removable cape that they recycled from the White Queen figure. Fortunately it matches how the figure is suppose to look fairly well. Her other accessory is a whip. It is sculpted coiled up for the figure to carry but not use. Of course, since the Black Queen never used it in the comics any way, that isn't much of a drawback.
Value - 5/10The cost of Marvel Legends figures has gone up this year to $10. And as an exclusive, the Black Queen is even more expensive at $11. At that price, the figure is only a mediocre value. But the fact that it is a character or at least a version of a character that we are not likely to see in figure form again anytime soon helps the score.
Happy Hunting:In case I haven't mentioned it enough yet and the sticker on the packaging in the photo haven't tipped you off yet, Black Queen is a Toys R Us exclusive. It is just starting to show up in stores. This week was the first time I have seen them at the Madison, WI store. But if you don't have a Toys R Us store nearby and haven't already moved because of that fact, you can also order the figure online at Toys R Us' web site.