Marvel Legends Monster Venom BAF: Cletus Kassady/Carnage
Updated: May 5, 2019
Maximum Carnage! We have been needing an updated Carnage Marvel Legends. The one we got back then was okay to say the least but was really lacking. How that is will be answered in this review of Cletus Kassady's new action figure. Let's jump right in.
Carnage was the beginning of the Symbiote family spawns and he certainly was not the last (still not the last). Though there have been many like him, there is only one Carnage. Having been created to be the darker version of Venom, Carnage has the bloody aesthetics, the weapons that Venom couldn't make, and the mindset that pales in comparison to some of Spider-Man's greatest foes. Cletus Kassady is a serial killer.... so that on its own should say it all. He gave Venom and Spider-Man a run for their money during the Maximum Carnage story arc. Even Captain America, Iron Fist, Starfire, and a whole lot of other super heroes were not able to take down Carnage and his crew in one shot. This was back in the day when major cross over events didn't happen every six months! So to have a major event like Maximum Carnage that pulled a LOT of (at the time) Marvel's Superheroes in one fight was a BIG deal. Suffice to say, Carnage was a high level threat--or at least, at that time, he was.
Now that is a pretty good looking promotional picture. It's very Carnage like and it also shows off his variant head that is so perfect for Cletus.
Now the thing about this Carnage action figure is that he really doesn't come with a LOT of accessories. Two pair of hands, two alternate heads, and the tendrils (and of course the #BAF piece). Honestly, I'm pretty happy with this. It's not about HOW much it's about what he comes with--if it's done right. But the main thing is that he comes with accessories.
Once again, this is a reused Carnage from the past with some alternate hands and a head. I'll be going through the regular look of the figure while wearing his new accessories just to show off the new additions. I have to say that Carnage's main appeal for me is that he isn't going to be your layered villain. He's just mentally unstable, he wants to kill for fun, and he is given a symbiote that is far more dangerous and capable than the original. HIs one-layer depth may not be the best in terms of a long lasting villain, but once in a while we need an antagonist that is just black and white. Or for Carnage's sake, black and red. He throws infants off buildings, he kills without any sort of mercy, and he enjoys the making of bloodshed. Again, Cletus was once a serial killer so giving a mentally unstable psychopath the supernatural means to do things will result to nothing but mass murder and... well, carnage.
This Carnage the first round was alright. It was mediocre back the and the Carnage I had from the Toybiz days was doing the trick for a while. The consensus among reviewers and collectors about Hasbro's previous release was pretty simple: he desperately needed more Carnage accessories. Hasbro delivered this time around and it definitely gave us more to geek over. Just two alternate hands made this mold to be an almost perfect Carnage action figure. It's the Bucky Cap mold, so yes, it's a pretty familiar action figure. Add in some good sculpted parts/accessories though and it's almost like a brand new toy.
I always thought that the paint work for Carnage was a bit too clean. The Toybiz versions had sculpted work instead of black lines painted and it made him look really messy--like Carnage. Hasbro didn't fix it the coloring in my opinion. They made him shinier I think but I'm not going to complain. It's good enough for Carnage.
The "masked" face isn't as clean in terms of coloring. It has white splotches and just like the first time around, I feel it's missing the pink mouth. But it looks like Carnage so that's something to appreciate.
Now this is just a magnificent head piece. He looks absolutely creepy with that grin of his! I've always pictured Cletus to be just like Joker and this head sculpt lends that idea even more. Great job on Hasbro's part for this.
Now as for his other accessories, he retained the tendrils from back then, and of course, a new clawed hand and the axe/scythe hand. I thought they were going to go for the typical way I have seen Carnage's weapon hands: the hand disappearing altogether and replaced by a weapon. Hasbro did something different by keeping Cletus' fist intact and showing tendrils spawning out of it to create the weapon. I dig it! Definitely one of the best alternate hands we have gotten from Hasbro in my opinion.
Let me just state this now since I know we will keep seeing this body mold: The Bucky Cap mold is not perfect but it gives us enough to work with. For what it is, it does a lot of what I would want with my action figures even if said mold does have a hard time with the agile/Spider-y like characters. For Carnage he goes through that same problem since he is nimble and able to do whatever Spider-Man and Venom can. But I was able to pose him with some pretty dynamic shots despite that. He looks menacing and ready to cause mayhem and the added accessories just does the trick. And I know I mentioned it before that he looks a little too 'clean' for a Carnage action figure, but having posed him a round with those new accessories, I realized just how much the attachable tendrils and the ones sculpted all over his limbs really make him look messy. I absolutely had a blast posing him around!
And here is the new Carnage with the head and hands swap out next to his older counterpart. Again, not much has changed and the paint isn't even that different from each other. I ended up posing both of them on my shelf so that I can have a Carnage with both his mask and his beautiful Cletus face showing.
If it wasn't obvious I enjoyed this action figure. Once again a reused Marvel Legend given some new and very good accessories can do wonders. I can go on the other side and say that Hasbro should have provided us these upgrades the first time around but maybe 2018 was the right time with Hasbro getting better at their craft. Whatever the case, I don't feel encumbered by buying him for a second time. In fact, I almost feel that it's a new action figure. If Hasbro only goes this route with new and re-released figures, I think they'll win more points. Other than that, that's pretty much it! The Monster Venom will be up next for review!
Until Next Time!