Power Man and Iron Fist

There’s something absolutely great about the B-list of the big comic book companies. Like those oh-so-bad-they’re-good B-movies, geeks love their B-list characters, often times trying to out-do one another on which geek has the most unheard of favorite. Oh, your character was only found in one story arc back in 1969 as a rookie sidekick of Captain Sledgehammer? Well, my character was a 1976 villain who only appeared on one panel of a special edition issue you could only get if you were able to cut out and complete proofs of purchase from 7 region exclusive comics! And one of those was only available in Tibet! I lost a toe to frostbite!

Thankfully, not all B-listers are that obscure.
Though Power Man and Iron Fist have become somewhat more well-known in the Marvel Universe, they are still very much B-list. Both came from pop culture stereotypes born in the exploitative 70’s. Luke Cage screamed blaxploitation with its street level stories that featured its super-powered hero fighting crime and shouting silly catchphrases instead of profanity. Danny Rand on the other hand was the white outsider who mastered kung-fu. He was David Carradine, only he didn’t move like an 80 year old and he wore some bad-ass superhero duds.

Though we got both their classic costumes in the old Toy Biz Marvel Legends line (Iron Fist in Toy Biz’ Legends series 12 and Power Man in Legends series 14), we only had their modern costumes in 1/18th scale. I never bothered with Modern Luke Cage since he doesn’t look like a superhero at all, just some run of the mill rapper or gangbanger. I caved and bought the Marvel Universe wave 2 Iron Fist (the one with the yellow emblem) because the Silver Surfer had impressed me so much and the Fist figure used the same body. Still, it wasn’t he Iron Fist I remembered, with the ridiculous collar and the ballerina slippers.

That’s the one I wanted.

And that’s the one I bought last weekend.

I found this at Toy Kingdom in Megamall, the last piece of this particular set. Of the 4 that were released last week, only this one and the Captain Britain vs. Spider-Man remained. That was about 36 hours or less since the sets were spotted in the wild here in the Philippines.


Having already bought the modern Iron Fist, I was on the fence about dropping another Php 900.00 (about $20.00 US) on this, but the fact that both their 70’s costumes are so visually interesting, coupled with a 15-minute long side-by-side comparison of the two Iron Fist figures in the toy store won me over.

I like the old version of character that came out a few years ago, but there were some drawbacks to that Silver Surfer body. For one thing, his name is Iron Fist, but neither of his hands are clenched in fists. They're not even proper karate chops, but limp-wristed bitch-slappin' hands. He also doesn't have a sash. It's basically a re-colored Surfer with a different head.

The new figure uses the Black Spider-Man body that I was never so fond of, but some creative retooling has done wonders for it!

The upper torso has been changed and the classic collar replaced. It's a little soft-looking, with the lines not as crisp-looking as they are in the comics, but I imagine that's because of various safety issues. Can't have those sharp points that can poke out eyes, can we?

He also suffers from the same problems that Colossus and Nightcrawler did where the collar doesn't meld properly with the bottom half of his torso. Since he's rocking the douchbag neckline here, the collar should go all the way down to his belt. Of course, since he's got a joint midway down his upper body, that can't really happen. So what we have is a collar that kind of just ends abruptly at his stomach.

It would have been better if they had just filed it down so that the collar disappeared before it got to that point, gradually fading down into the body until it was flush with the surface at the end of the top half of the torso. At the bottom, they could have just lined the edges of the suit with a line of yellow. Oh, well.

Because they chose the Black Spider-Man body, this Iron Fist isn't as flexible as the old one. The same buck has been used for several characters so far, but it isn't suited for the more agile characters because the body is so badly designed from an articulation perspective. The wells in the hips are too narrow and shallow and the thighs far to thick at the top end to give good range to his lower limbs. His ankles are somewhat limited as well because of the lip of plastic that surrounds it. The torso joint also is more limited than the old version, making him feel stiff.

While this one does have a fist, it's still that odd, soft-looking lump that the body has always had, and another limp-noodle hand on the other side. His name is Iron Fist. He should have a fist that looks like iron. It would be awesome to see some muscle there, or a vein. Even a hard edged karate chop hand would have been a nice addition.

I may seem overly hard on this figure, but I really like it a lot.

The new head really makes him look determined, and although the pose-ability isn't as good as it was with the old figure, it's not enough to make me hate it. And I love how his mask's ribbon and his sash are blowing in the wind as if he's moving. Always, always, always do this with your belts and capes and any other hanging clothing, Hasbro.

Power Man is another hit for me, even though I have a lot of the same problems with this figure as I do with Iron Fist. Again, Hasbro is re-using the Wrecking Crew body. It’s been used quite a lot since it seems to be the only body they have for body builder type heroes. I’ve already got quite a few that use this body and I jumped into the toy line pretty late.

He uses the older version (Thunderball and Piledriver) with pirate boots.

Articulation just as much a problem for him as it is for his partner, and in much the same areas. The hips have always been my biggest gripe about this particular body, since they have no mid-thigh swivel and have a somewhat limited range of motion. He also shares those awful lump-of-clay hands with all figures made with this body. One is shaped like a soft-looking fist, and the other like a limp claw.

You’d think that for a street level brawler with no accessories to carry around, Hasbro would have just given him a pair of tightly clenched fists.

He does get some new parts, though, and that increases the perceived value for me. The head is new and looks really great. This bastard is mean looking in a bulldog kind of way. He’s a bruiser spoiling for a fight. The head also attaches to a newly sculpted chest to accommodate that pimp-y collar of his.

There's also his chain belt, which is actually a separate piece that is slipped over his torso before final assembly. It's not removable.

The biggest thing that bothers me about him though is the paint wash that they've applied to him. He's cast mostly in yellow, with brown paint where his skin is showing. The brown is fairly good and matches the brown of his hands and head (which are cast in color). Over the yellow however they've applied a wash that is... yellow.


I fail to how this application is supposed to enhance the figure. The two hues aren't different enough to provide any contrast. In fact, they're so similar, I had a hard time trying out different exposure settings that would allow me to capture the color changes with my camera. As applied, they just look... messy.

He's got other paint apps as well, and you'll need to watch for those. His eyes are a particular problem area. Mine is on the cusp of being wall-eyed. The more I look at it, the more I think it's actually crossed the line.

Even with the problems that I've mentioned, I'm still going to recommend this set.

The fact that they are older costumes on characters that aren't really in the mainstream consciousness make up for the fact that they are older figures with quality and design issues that have been re-colored and given some new parts. I look at these two and I see all  those movies I used to watch with my Dad after bedtime on the local channels starring guys like Bruce Lee and Richard Roundtree go through my head.

Ernt Ernt Ern Wocka Wocka... Shaft! Can ya' dig it?

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