This is another action figure from the #BAF wave that I wasn't exactly sure how to take. I never had any plans getting the Marvel Legends Gladiator on its first release (albeit it probably would have been harder since he was a #SDCC exclusive with other action figures from Hasbro) but since he is part of the Apocalypse wave, I unintentionally had to get me one. So let's get on with the review!
Another X-Men related character who was introduced to me through the X-Men animated series run. This guy is another attempt by Marvel to create a "Superman-like" character. They have a few as it is (Hyperion and Sentry to name two others) and Gladiator is as strong as his Kryptonian inspiration. He obviously has super strength, flight, speed, durability (he was able to stand there and literally take a punch from Juggernaut without budging), eye beams, freeze breath, and that cool hairstyle that looks fantastic while posing Superman-like. But as far as where his allegiance is, wherever the Shi'ar Empire goes, the Gladiator and his Imperial guards goes as well... then the War of the Kings happened and everything went to hell. But beyond that, I think this character hasn't really had as much spotlight save for the events in the War of Kings. I am not exactly a fan of him but Marvel can always make use of their Supermen characters in battles that could give beings like Thor and Thanos a challenge.
Strong man pose. Not exactly the best promo pic.
Yes. Another figure that suffers the lack of accessories syndrome. Moving on.
Hasbro really needs a new body mold for "strong characters". Now to Gladiator's defense, he is an older figure so back then the Hyperion body mold wasn't as overused but truly, it's time for an upgraded body. But good thing for the (formerly) leader of the Imperial Guard, Kallark's (his real name is an amalgamation of Kal-El and Clark Kent) poor body mold is hidden well enough with that giant cape, that awesome color scheme, and that freaking hair style! Truthfully, I didn't see the problem with this body aesthetically because of those things. I'm not sure if it's just the colors, the cape, or because I have no real strong tie to the character, but I feel like this body works well enough. Muscular, brute like, and it helps that the character doesn't need enough agile-like movement to make it work. Of course, this figure doesn't have anything new to offer. Even the new body parts like the head and the cape is, of course, renewed since this action figure is a minor repaint of a previously released action figure from a few years back.
His color scheme is not the greatest but I actually do like it enough. In action figure form, Kallark/Gladiator looks pretty cool. I don't have his SDCC version to compare just how different this repaint is, but all in all, I think both are accurate to his comic book/animated version look. There are some issues with the cleanliness of the paint like on his left arm, but for the most part it's executed well enough.
Gladiator flies, punches enemies out of existence, hovers with a superman-like pose, and shoots beams out of his eyes... He doesn't do a lot of acrobatic things so the choice for the body mold and all its range of movements does the character some justice. However without accessories, making this the funnest figure to pose around is leagues away (catch the pun). Again, some accessories, especially since this is a re-release could have done a lot. I always put accessories with articulation, well to me, the two go hand in hand. Articulation/range of movement is key to making a believable picture; key to making a plastic action figure look dynamic. Well accessories (alternate hands, faces, and special effects) does a lot for a figure in terms of depth. Truly, this figure could have really used some of that love. Nice job, Hasbro, for dropping the ball on a couple of the figures in this wave; just saying.
Above mediocre paint and color execution with minor quality control issues. Not the best body mold. Lack of accessories. A character that I wasn't that excited for, nor is a character I doubt I will ever feel can get out of the shadow of the astronomically popular character he was cloned from (whether it be Superboy or Superman, it's either or), this Marvel Legend kind of falls a little too short. Luckily, I found this wave quite fun and the BAF (next to review) is something I was looking forward to. Also, a nostalgic story arc called the Phoenix Saga was a part of my childhood so, yes, Kallark gets a spot on my shelf.
Until Next Time!