Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For Comparison Purposes: this one's for the ladies...

...and fans of ritual scarification and/or vinyl clothing. Here's the 1997 version of Iron Fist.

The date stamped on Fist's foot is 1996, but that may have been for the mold.
Woof, Danny hasn't just been hitting the gym, he's been demolishing it.

If you've been reading Toyfare magazine since about the beginning, you may remember ads for Marvel Gold figures. Now, at the time, Toy Biz was making a goodly number of X-Men and Spider-Man toys, and would often work in other heroes as they could, such as the Wasp figure we saw last week. But there are tons of characters in the Marvel Universe that may not have been popular enough at the time for a mass-market release, but the fans still wanted. The Marvel Gold figures were mostly made from existing molds, with maybe a little new sculpting or an accessory here or there.

We might take a look at the Black Widow figure another time: it was a direct repaint of a Jean Gray figure, with an Avengers leather jacket and widow's sting bracelets; not too bad for its day. I know there was a Tigra figure that was a repainted Black Cat with a tail stuck to it...now, I couldn't say for sure what this Iron Fist originally was, since my first instinct would be to say he's a repainted Spider-Man, but that chest does seem a little too buff for that.

A lot of collectors don't care for cloth accessories on figures in this scale, and this may be an example as to why: it's an interesting idea, and possibly a cost-saving measure compared to sculpting a new torso with Iron Fist's trademark huge collar. You can see, just a little, where the black paint around his eyes comes through the yellow, and he doesn't have the mask-tie, but E for effort. Fist also came with a couple "fist of iron" translucent plastic mittens, that I think came with a Ryu figure in Marvel vs. Capcom. Maybe.

To give his legs a little attention, Iron Fist has a really strong paint wash, which may not have been very common at the time. It's especially noticeable in the um, assocological region. There's also visible and unpainted metal pins in the knees.

Although I'm not a huge fan, I did get Iron Fist's Marvel Legends figure from 2006; and he's popular enough now that he's going to be one of the first in the 3 3/4'' scale toys coming soon. (With his more recent costume, also ditching the collar, and you can argue whether that's cost-cutting or a concession to fashion.)

Another year, another Take Your Absurdly Muscular Child to Work Day.

Iron Fist was supposedly killed in Power Man and Iron Fist #125 in 1986. Although it may not have been planned, he would be left dead until 1992's Namor the Sub-Mariner #22. It would be a confusing return involving a fakeout with the Super-Skrull (in previous issues), plantman duplicates, and cancer. There would be three more tries at his own limited or ongoing series, a limited with Wolverine, and a stint with Heroes for Hire, until Fist finally struck gold with 2007's Immortal Iron Fist. Now he's had a stint disguised as Daredevil and with the New Avengers, so perseverance seems to have worked out.


SallyP said...

I've always thought that vinyl for a superhero is a poor choice. It just doesn't BREATHE, man! You need something that is going to wick away your perspiration and keep you both cool and warm when necessary.

The second figure is a vast improvement. Although I don't quite understand how he manages to see around that collar.

Sea_of_Green said...

The figures aside, with that ginormous collar and the down-to-the-navel cleavage, Iron Fist is/was definitely a potential victim of costume physics -- there's no way his costume would have stayed on him, let alone allow him to perform kung fu without inadvertently tying up his arms.

Gee, why do I suddenly feel like I'm describing a WOMAN's superhero costume ...?

SallyP said...