Havok is Alex Summers, younger brother of Scott Summers, better known as CYCLOPS of the X-Men. Introduced back in the 60's, Havok is a mutant who can channel cosmic energy through his body and expel it in powerful bursts, generally through his hands. For quite some time, Havok had trouble regulating and controlling this power. His original costume, which is the basis for this Marvel Legends figure, was designed to help him better control the massive energy his mutant power was based on. The concentric circles on the costume were an indicator of his current power level.
An interesting artistic note is that generally, the circles were drawn "facing the camera" regardless of how Havok was positioned on the page. Obviously, that would be impossible to accomplish with the action figure. I believe we can thank legendary comic artist Neal Adams for that one, and I always thought it was a cool effect.
Havok has not had an easy existence. He was never fully a member of the X-Men. At the same time, he's never had all that much luck living a normal life, despite several attempts to do so. And in recent years, he's headed up at least one incarnation of X-Factor, been brainwashed by a survivor of the Age of Apocalypse, that reality's Hank McCoy, and gotten tossed into an alternate universe for a time to star in his own title, "Mutant X". I'm honestly not sure what he's up to these days, although I do know he's back.
There's always been a little bit of friction between Alex and Scott. Nowhere was this in greater evidence than the Age of Apocalypse, where both brothers worked for the big "A". Scott was more compassionate than was really good for him in that reality, and even so, managed to get all the perks and promotions. Alex was nasty, ill-tempered, and thoroughly despised his older brother.
In the main Marvel Universe, the two generally get along, but even so, Scott has fared better than Alex for the most part, and this fact isn't lost on the younger sibling.
The action figure is excellent. Granted, it's not all that hard to do an all-black body, and this body has been used before. The copyright date is 2005. As to who this might've been before, I really don't know. The figure has been given a new head-sculpt, and that weird head-piece can't have been easy to figure out. It's about the only silly aspect of the costume, but it's certainly distinctive to Havok, no argument there.
The headsculpt gives Havok a very angry facial expression. Maybe this kid's more angry than I thought he was. But it's well sculpted, nicely detailed, and neatly painted.
Despite the photograph shown here, the figure doesn't actually fire any energy bursts, just so you know...
Overall, HAVOK is an excellent figure, and a superb addition to the Marvel Legends collection, and I suspect will be very popular among longtime X-Men fans who remember the classic Havok when he actually wore this outfit.
Talk about a convoluted and often unpleasant history. Warbird is Carol Danvers. She first appeared in her own title back in the 1970's under the name Ms. Marvel, a name she maintained for many years. The costume this figure is wearing is actually the second one she adopted along the way. Some years later, she came into conflict with a young mutant named Rogue, who has the ability to absorb the memories and (if they have any) super-powers of anyone she comes into physical contact with. At this point in time, Rogue was a villain, and stayed in contact with Danvers a little too long, permanently absorbing most of her powers, including super-strength, flight, and invulnerability, as well as her memories.
Carol Danvers was left a blank slate, but not long after, was captured by an alien race called the Brood. They saw something unusual in Danvers' hybrid makeup (she's half-Kree), but something about the experiments gave her a whole new series of super-powers, on a cosmic scale. She called herself Binary and, missing the memories of her life on Earth, took off for the stars, teaming up with a group called the Starjammers for a time.
What happened next, I honestly do not know. But somewhere along the way, Danvers returned to Earth, had lost her Binary powers, had regained her original super-powers, as well as her costume, and chose the name Warbird. She joined the Avengers for a time, but when they realized she was struggling with alcoholism, and it was affecting her performance, they asked her to get help. She refused at the time and left the team. Ultimately, she did recover, and became a super-powered liaison between the Avengers and an incarceration facility for super-criminals.
Recently, she decided to resume her career as a super-hero, and has once again taken the Ms. Marvel name - which probably ticked off Toy Biz and Wal-Mart no end if these package cards calling her Warbird were all ready to go at the time.
The figure is excellent, but as is the case with Havok, the body has seen use before. And this time I recognize it. With a 2004 copyright date, I checked a hunch, and I was right. The body used for Warbird is also the same body that was used for Phoenix. Curiously, the belt, although of nearly identical design, is longer. I suppose it might be an all-new belt, or, and I suspect this may be more likely, the belt is the one that was used for Dark Phoenix. I never did find that figure.
I suspect the headsculpt may have seen use before, although I am not certain. It's a fairly straightforward sculpt, but what makes me believe that it could be someone else (it's definitely not the Phoenix head) is that the mask is merely painted on, not sculpted on. So that's just a theory.
Looks like Toy Biz may be having some of the same problems as a few other toy companies have shown evidence of lately, in that the factories they're using aren't quite heating the plastic enough before injecting it into the molds. There's a few minor creases in the head. I've seen worse, certainly, but it's still a shame when this happens.
That aside, though, this figure is excellent, and it's certainly a good overall likeness of Warbird/Ms. Marvel. The comic included with the figure is Avengers Annual #10, dating back to 1981, and I'll guarantee it's been given a new cover, because they didn't have printing technology that good 25 years ago!
Overall, this huge Marvel Legends assortment is an interesting one. Along with Havok and Warbird, we have two entries from the Age of Apocalypse - Sabretooth and Weapon X, as well as Thor, Kitty Pryde, Captain Britain, Sentry, and Ant-Man. Round up all the "Build-A-Figure" parts and you can get a giant-sized Giant-Man out of it, as well. That's a pretty diverse cast. I can't say as I'm that interested in everybody. I could honestly care less about Kitty Pryde or Sentry, but I have to say that they are significant characters in the Marvel Universe, and if they're ever going to become a part of the Marvel Legends line, the time is now.
Meanwhile, I certainly recommend both HAVOK and WARBIRD to any collector
of the Marvel Legends line, or any fan of these particular characters.
They're really superb figures.