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Marvel Zombies
Captain America and Spider-man

  

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Jerry Reed is back with a review of a couple oozing zombies...who just happen to be well known superheroes!  Tell us all about them, Jerry...

Hey all!  Jerry Reed (aka Barbecue17) here again with another review! This time, Iím reviewing the first two figures from the Marvel Select Marvel Zombies series distributed by Diamond Select toys. The two figures are Zombie Spider-Man and Zombie Colonel America, and it appears that a Zombie Hulk is on the way.

I still havenít gotten around to picking up and reading Marvel Zombies yet, although I did read a couple issues of Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness over the summer, but at some point I dropped off the title due to moving to a new state and having to search out a new local comic shop. I really need to read the main book soon, however, because Iím a huge fan of Robert Kirkmanís writing. (Do yourself a favor and pick up The Walking Dead and Invincible.) Anyways, the concept of mixing popular Marvel Super Heroes with zombies really appealed to me, and I was looking forward to these action figures. I really donít collect many super hero toys, but címon, this is Cap and Spidey as zombies! I canít pass that up!

Well, my local comic shop had a sale on toys a couple of weeks ago, and I picked these guys up. What do I think about them? Conflicted might be a good term to use, as these figures are to me, quite a mixed bag.








Packaging: **
The first thing youíll notice is that the packages for these figures are huge! I have both a Greek and a Hebrew lexicon here on my desk, and these packages are larger than either of those enormous books. Iím familiar with Marvel Select toys, and know that they generally come with lots of cool accessories that make up a nice diorama squeezed, but these packages only contain one 6-7 inch figure and a piece of a base. I assume the Hulk is going to be a bit bigger than these two figures, but still, this blister package wastes a ton of space. These figures werenít cheap (the average price on these figures is about $20), and so I get the feeling Iím paying extra for wasted packaging space. 
When it comes to appearance, the packaging isnít bad, but it doesnít really do much for me. It certainly keeps the figure safe, and seems to be relatively sturdy for the mint on card collector, but they are pretty large, so theyíll take up some storage space.

Sculpt: Colonel America **, Spider-Man ** Ĺ
When it comes to the sculpt of these two figures, they are both pretty solid, but fail to be spectacular. I do not judge all figures equally; I look at who made the toy, how much it cost, and who it claims to be targeted towards. A mass market toy directed at kids does not get judged the same as a specialty market collectible. These figures retail for around $20 each, so I was expecting something spectacular, especially with them being zombie. Looking at the vast amount of zombie action figures I have, they just donít compare. Really, the sculpt for these figures is on par with what I would have expected had these been released in a mainstream Marvel line like Marvel Legends or the Spider-Man origins figures that came out a year or two back.

Thatís not saying I donít like them, but Iím just not wowed by them. They certainly do have a certain coolness factor inherent in them just because they are zombie versions of Spider-Man and Captain America, but they could have been a lot better. The super hero aspects of the figures are good. Spider-Manís costume is well detailed, the proportions are good, and his hands are appropriate for the character: the right hand is posed in a pose that looks kind of like a web shooting pose, and the right hand is balled up in a fist, useful for knocking out humans before devouring their brains, I assume. Captain America (or Colonel America, the characterís name in Marvel Zombies) looks good as well. His head is a little small for his body, but since this version depicts good old Steve as more monster than man, I can accept that. Interestingly, the torso of Captain Americaís costume has a very interesting texture to it that almost gives off the feeling of scales. 

The zombie aspects of these figures are cool, but certainly not on par with what I expected from Marvel Select. While I certainly didnít want these figures to make me physically ill just from looking at them, I did hope for a bit more detail of their zombiedom. Spidey has some patches of his uniform ripped away, and his right leg from the knee to his ankle is bare to the bone. In fact, this leg is removable at the knee, allowing Spidey to carry his leg. Pretty crazy, huh? His left eye appears to be a hollow socket, and the mouth area of his mask is ripped away, revealing his teeth, sans lips. The head sculpt is really effective on Spidey, and is certainly a different depiction of the character.

Captain America disappoints, however. Other than wearing a dirtied uniform, the only place ďzombifiedĒ on Cap is his head. His chin and face have some missing patches of flesh, his eyes are white and pupil less, and his brain is exposed. Thatís right! Captain America comes with a skull cap that can be removed to reveal his brains. While the effect may be a little too neat for a zombie (the removal of the top of Capís skull looks like the work of a very skilled surgeon) it still is a fun effect, nonetheless. It is just disappointing that only his head is truly zombified.

Maybe this is just how the characters appear in the comic? Iím not sure, I havenít read it yet, but Iím just calling the shots as I see them, and to me, these guys are a little plain for zombies. 

Paint: **
These figures have some paint issues that Iím not thrilled about. Iíll start with the good point, and that is the wash used on these guys. I know some people hate washes, but here, it nicely helps differentiate these zombie figures from regular versions of the characters. The colors and uniforms are correct, but they are much drabber and have a nice dirty appearance to them, which helps them to stand out from the average spandex-clad, non brain eating super hero. 

That being said, these guys could certainly use some more dynamic paint on their zombified parts. Other than the exposed brain, Zombie Captain America could easily just be a battle damaged Captain America. The color of paint used for the blood is too similar to thered used on the uniform, and really blends in with them instead of standing out.
The other negative issue I have is the paint used on the joints. The joints are painted, but the paint there flakes off easily. In fact, the paint on the arm of my Captain America is beginning to flake off just from the movement of the elbow joint. The quality really upsets me. If it werenít for the fact that these are zombies, and thus can look a little rough without appearing damaged, Iíd be even more disappointed.

Articulation: ***
Both figures sport a decent number of articulation points: ball jointed necks, shoulders, elbows, thighs, and knees, pin jointed ankles, and cut wrists and waists. All in all, these guys are pretty articulated, but the quality of the joints worries me a bit. They have ratcheting joints, which Iím kind of unfamiliar with. I guess this prevents the figure from eventually developing loose joints. The only problem with this is that you really have to turn the joint to get it to move, so achieving subtle movements is tougher. Also, a few of the cut wrists were stuck for me, so I was afraid that I might break the wrist peg with too much force. 
Overall not too bad, and they definitely seem sturdier to me that I thought they would be when I first opened them up.

Accessories: Spider-Man **, Captain America ***
One of the things Iíve always admired about the Marvel Select figures were the fantastic accessories and display pieces they came with. Well, these figures donít come with as much. Both figures come with a piece of a display base that features the mangled body of the Silver Surfer, limbs ripped off and spewing blue cosmic goo. There are three pieces to this display base, and I assume the third piece will come with Zombie Hulk, whenever he is released. The display piece is nice (the blue cosmic goo looks particularly cool and translucent), but it doesnít feature any foot pegs, which makes sense since these guys have no holes on their feet. The figures can stand fine on their own, but I always appreciate the choice of whether I want to use stands or not.

Captain America comes with two more accessories: his shield and the top of his skull. The shield is a pretty basic Captain America shield, only dirtied up. It has a wrist clip on the back, which can fold flat, and two elastic straps for carrying it around. The top of Capís skull doesnít stay on his head tightly, but most likely youíll be displaying him with brains exposed.

Spider-Manís only other accessory is his removable leg. He comes packaged with it removed, and frankly, once you put it on, you probably wonít want to take it off. Iím afraid that if I remove it, Iíll end up breaking it, as the peg seems rather delicate.

Value: **
For toys that retail around $20 dollars, these are a little too pricey for me. I paid $15 dollars for each of them at my local comic shop, and I still felt slighted. These really should be $8 - $10 dollars at most, as they look and feel like mass markets released figures, just not as durable since theyíre not for the kiddies. They just donít appear to me to be worth $20 dollars. If you pay $20, subtract another half a star.

Overall: **1/2
Iíve actually had these figures for about two and a half weeks, but Iíve waited to finish the review so that I could see how I felt they held up after some time. Initially I was very disappointed by them, but I have come to appreciate them as something different and fun, albeit poorly executed. The concept of these figures excited me to no end. Zombie superheroes? Sign me up! Too bad that theyíre just not as detailed or as well sculpted as they should be for specialty market collectorís figures. These really should have been included in a Marvel Legends wave, as they are equivalent to the quality of those figures, which isnít bad; itís just not up to par with most specialty release figures. The lack of accessories also disappointed me as well, since the Marvel Select stuff is usually chock full of goodies. Still, if youíre a fan of the characters and of zombies, well, where else are you going to turn? Unless youíre good at customizing, these are the only game in town. 

Jerry Reed lives with his wife and dog in North Carolina. He is a grad student, an amateur disc golfer, and an avid toy buyer. He also has an unusual love of zombies. 

Score Recap:
Packaging - **
Sculpt - Colonel America **, Spider-Man ** Ĺ
Paint - **
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Spider-Man **, Captain America ***
Value - **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
Michaelís sponsors have it-

- Toys and Cool Stuff has them for $19 (Canadian) each.

- CornerStoreComics has them for $16 each.

- Alter Ego has these for $17 each.

- Circle Red has them for $18 each.


Figure from the collection of Jerry Reed.

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