In one issue of the “What If…” publication, the Venom symbiote, that
black gooey, space alien that gives Eddie Brock the same powers as
Spider-Man, bonds with Frank Castle, The Punisher. Thus, Frank Castle,
not Eddie Brock, is endowed with all of the powers of Spider-Man, in a
nice, neat, black and white package. The classic Punisher insignia
sprouts spider-like legs, reminiscent of those on Spider-Man during the
“Secret Wars” saga of the 1980’s.
So, knowing as much about comics as I do, and being as blatantly nerdy
as I am, it was with a certain amount of joy that I received Medicom
Toy’s latest Marvel-based Real Action Hero, “What If… Venom had
Possessed The Punisher?”
As with virtually every Medicom figure, this figure’s box is incredibly
collector-friendly. The front is a nice image of the Punisher Venom
from the comics, guns ablaze, with a style similar to the Marvel comic
book covers of the 80’s and 90’s. Once you pull the Velcro tab apart,
the inside cover of the box is a series of comic panels from the issue
of the “What If…” comic depicting the Punisher gaining control over the
alien after a chaotic fight with Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Moon
Knight. On the back, is a nice graphic of Frank Castle, face exposed,
leaping out of a comic panel. The inside packaging is sturdy, easy to
pop apart, and clearly displays the figure and all of its accessories.
Typically, Medicom figure packaging can have a somewhat boring
exterior, which leads to lower scores in this section. Yet, the
dedication to the source material and the use of Marvel graphics that
clearly depict exactly who the character is pushed the score to
The figure itself is quite nice. The head sculpt is very nice, with no
details spared. Each element of the figure’s face is raised from the
main sculpt of the head, right down to the symbiotic head. Punisher
Venom has a sickly grin, showing his pleasure in mowing down the ‘bad
guys’ he’s taken aim for. His brow is sculpted as well, adding to the
definition of the eyes.
As for the torso, the muscles on this figure are massive. Venom is
huge, to say it simply. He’s far bulkier than Spider-Man, and makes
Jack Sparrow look positively girly. The shoulder muscle sculpts extend
from the chest and actually reach the middle of the neck. Punisher
Venom’s biceps are large, but in proportion with the rest of the
figure. His musculature definition continues right dow to the figure’s
legs, where his thighs are quite bulky.
The standard hand sculpts are open palms, with slightly bent fingers,
giving the figure an “I’m going to get you” appearance. This can lead
to some cool poses and interaction with other figures, especially
considering the accessories that come with this fig.
The combat boots on his feet are comic-accurate, as there aren’t any laces or any real areas that need sculpting.
He stands at about 12" tall, which lets him fit in nicely with the other Spider-Man and Marvel themed figures.
There's not too much paintwork here, but Medicom did a good job where
necessary. The eyes are precisely painted, with no running or issues to
speak of. The hands are molded in black with the classic, white patches
painted on. The patches are uniform, square, and virtually perfect. The
only real gripe I have with the figure is in its mouth. Throughout his
stint in Marvel Comics, Venom has really only had a few qualities that
are unique to him. The first is his chest insignia, the second is his
hatred of Spider-Man, and the third is how in one panel, there can be
darkness, and in the next, a pair of looming white eyes, and a
bright-white set of teeth appear. This doesn’t translate into this
figure, as it appears that Medicom gave the teeth a red wash, hoping to
give the figure a more sinister or lethal appearance. Granted, it looks
fantastic, from an aesthetic standpoint, I have no complaints. The nerd
in me, though, isn’t a huge fan of the red wash, hence the bump down in
Articulation - ****
always does well with their articulation. The figure sports the same
basic figure as his mainstream Marvel counterpart. Each time I thought
of a pose, I had no trouble getting the figure there. Top-notch
The only thing I’m wary of when I have any
Medicom figure, be it Jack Sparrow, Venom, or Batman, is to be careful
with the joints and accessories. These aren’t toys, so when you want to
put a figure into a specific pose and it doesn’t feel like it’s going
to go, the wrong thing to do is to try and force it. Instead, you
should look for an alternative method of getting the pose you want.
With articulation like this, that shouldn’t be a problem.
This is really where
this figure shines. First, you have two sets of Medicom’s extra hands.
The first pair is a pretty basic set of fisted hands, ready to knock
Spider-Man or Daredevil once in the jaw. The second set is fantastic.
These are a pair of slightly fisted hands that fit perfectly with the
guns the figure has. They wrap easily around the handles of the
firearms, either handguns or a huge shotgun. The guns themselves are
also sculpted and painted very well.
The handguns are painted perfectly, with a pair of nice, brown patches
on the handles, and silver detailing. The shotgun is very nice as well,
with silver lining around the front-mounted flashlight.
While the accessories may not seem like much, in a figure such as this,
they’re crucial. You can’t have a Punisher figure without his guns, and
they’re perfectly executed here. The shotgun isn’t so big that it looks
stupid, and the handguns look like they’d make Jack Bauer proud.
the outfit is pretty bland. It’s just a one-piece suit with the
Punisher Venom insignia on the chest and some combat boots. A nice
addition to the costume is a holster on the figure’s right thigh, which
can lead to some very nice poses. The outfit isn’t overly complicated
which adds to its strength, I think. It’s dark enough to get the moral
ambiguity of the character across and has the brightness of the
Punisher logo so that you know whom this character is.
Fun Factor: ***1/2
So, it isn’t likely that you’re going to buy this figure to run around
your house with, chasing Spider-Man. These figures aren’t made for
that, anyway. But that doesn’t mean that posing can’t be fun. The
figure isn’t boring at all, and just changing the guns out of his hands
and posing him, leaving it there for a few minutes, then making a new
pose can be fun as well. For what it is, this figure is a fun and
At a hundred bucks, Medicom is pushing it a little, as the character
isn’t widely known. However, I’m sure there are some specialty or comic
stores online that sell him for around 85 or 90 bucks. If you can find
one at that price, and are a big enough Marvel fan, then you really
ought to buy this figure.
Things To Watch Out For -
The one thing I noticed when I took this figure out of the box and
tested its articulation, was that I was having some trouble bending the
left elbow completely. I eased the figure’s sleeve up and found that
forearm has warped slightly, bending the plastic out of shape. This is
more of a nuisance, though. Posing isn’t impossible; it just takes some
deliberate, careful pushing. If you’re buying this figure in the store,
I’d just ask to take it out of the box and test it a little. If you’re
buying online, it’s really just luck of the draw.
Overall, the figure is excellent. It’s hard to complain, really. It’s
an accurate portrayal of the comic book character, and has a unique
tone and feel that distinguishes it from the rest of the Marvel Medicom
Packaging - ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2
Where to buy-
I purchased this figure directly from Sideshow, where it’s still
available. I’m sure that with a quick Google search, you can find it
for a price within your range.???
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