Marvel Universe Digital Comics Subscription X-Force ARCHANGEL
Fan favorite mutant takes a dark turn...
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Archangel is popular; there, I said it. Marvel and Hasbro seem a little confused on this topic, despite some pretty obvious facts. First, the character was a winner in Hasbro’s Marvel Universe poll. They followed through and made the figure, but then released it in short supply driving secondary market costs through the roof. Then, a repaint of the same figure overwhelmingly won another poll to choose the second Marvel Comics Digital Subscription free figure. My good friend Jorge reviewed the standard Archangel back in June (read it HERE), and after several weeks of checking the mailbox each day my X-Force version has finally arrived!
Despite what the movies tell you, Angel was one of the very first X-Men way back in 1963. Warren Worthington III grew up with every luxury, but no amount of money could prevent his mutation – a set of fully functional feathered wings. He flew alongside his fellow X-Men as Angel for years until a ruthless attack orchestrated by Apocalypse led to their amputation. The evil mastermind then implanted celestial technology into Warren, providing him with powerful metal wings and transforming him into the blue-skinned Horseman Death. Overcoming Apocalypse’s compulsions Warren rejoined his friends as Archangel and years later even re-grew his natural wings. In 2008’s X-Force title Angel’s wings were destroyed, bringing on an unexpected reversion to Archangel. He has since discovered the ability to shift between the two freely, with his vicious Archangel side a perfect fit for X-Force, and currently Uncanny X-Force!
When Archangel shows up in the mail you know exactly what you’ve got thanks to a unique outer box decorated with an image of the character. Inside, you’ll find the figure on an updated version of the standard Marvel Universe blister card. It has special new artwork of the character in a similar flying pose with the dog ear tagline “Marvel Digital Comics” and its own collector number. The packaging also has the “old” H.A.M.M.E.R. theme, now replaced by Steve Rogers and S.H.I.E.L.D. Notably, the packaging refers to the character as “Marvel’s X-Force Archangel,” implying some interesting copyright background.
The back of the card is also based on the original one with some differences. Below the photo of the new figure at the top is an empty space where the short bio normally appears and next to the lineup of other available figures Osborn says “Collect them all!” instead of inviting you to join H.A.M.M.E.R.
Like the package, the X-Force Archangel figure is a straight repaint of the original. That means he’s got the same slim Marvel Universe male body we’ve seen a bunch of times before. It has good musculature details, but otherwise there’s not a whole lot going on with the sculpt... at least on the body. Archangel, of course, has phenomenal wings that are nicely sculpted with vertical lines and pointy edges. The figure has a great head sculpt as well, and one that works even better in this version than the original as the angry scowl is perfectly appropriate for lethal X-Force missions.
We’re all in this for repaint, so how did they do? Frankly, Archangel looks great! His costume mostly follows the same pattern as the original, replacing the dark blue with black and the pink with silver. What results is a really striking color scheme that looks great. There are some small differences in the costume like the hands being the secondary color and a different shape on the feet. Hasbro even went a bit further with a darker blue for the face with red eyes (accurate for X-Force) to make him more distinctive.
Archangel’s wings are the same light gray color. Now, while the paint job looks great some collectors are going to have a problem with it. Depending on the specific art, X-Force uniforms can be considered black and silver or black and gray. Likewise, Hasbro’s figure treatment of the team has varied in its colors with a gray Wolverine and silver Warpath. The problem is compounded with the upcoming gray-hued X-Force three pack. To put it simply, Archangel won’t seamlessly match his teammates’ uniforms, but he looks great nonetheless.
Articulation is the same as the original figure, with joints a ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, abs, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed knees, and ball-jointed ankles. Despite the excellent array of joints, I’ve always had trouble posing my Marvel Universe figures and getting them to balance; it’s a combination of thin limbs and possibly too much articulation on such small figures.
Anyway, Archangel is great for displaying, and you can certainly pose him to a good degree. His wings are phenomenal with several points of articulation themselves; they can be spread open, folded back, or even wrapped around the figure. For added fun there’s even an unobtrusive built-in wing flapping feature.
Most Marvel Universe figures have the same set of “accessories” including a display base and Top Secret packet containing an online promo code, bio card, and Secret File document. X-Force Archangel has only a display base. Chances are if you’re springing for him you’ve already got the regular or Death version and so you have the extras.
So there you have it. Getting Archangel isn’t hard, but it also isn’t cheap. Just purchase a brand new one year Digital Subscription on Marvel’s site for the full $59.88 price (if you use a coupon/discount you can’t get the figure), and yours will arrive in your mailbox in just a few weeks. Plus, you get a year of unlimited Digital Comics reading, which is pretty cool too. Theoretically this will be the only way to get an X-Force Archangel, and thus the only way to complete your X-Force or Uncanny X-Force teams. If that’s important to you, then sign up quick! On his own, Archangel is a pretty cool figure with a stunning look. Then again, I’m biased as a huge fan of the character and the source material, so weigh the options before tossing $60 at a 3 ¾ inch figure!
Check out our photo gallery below for even more images of the new X-Force Archangel!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin