When X-23 first appeared in comics, I got a strong feeling of “been there, done that.” Ignore the old comic standard of the younger female version of the main superhero as with Batgirl and Supergirl for a moment. I saw X-23 and instantly flashed back to the old Marvel comedy comic What The-!? and the issue featuring Wolverinia, a female version of Wolverine intended to boost sales (NOTE: that was the joke of her appearance). At the same time I also flashed back to the original Guardians of the Galaxy series which featured Rancor, an ancestor of Wolverine in the alternate future who leads a group of mutants that had left Earth centuries before. Rancor was a pretty mean villain for the series but she still had a great deal of similarities to X-23.
Some like X-23 and I can see that, but her character often feels like Wolverine lite, same great taste with half the killing. She isn’t terrible but at the same time there is nothing really unique to her as well. Then again in an age that has half a dozen Avengers and X-Men comics that might be a working formula.
It is a bit of a surprise to note that it has taken nearly three years for X-23 to make an appearance in the Marvel Universe line. Her appearance heralds a new female mold at last. The old female mold was loaded with issues, not the least of which was the fact that the arms were so much less than what they could be. So is this new mold a good rectification of that, in some ways.
The arms are much better with elbow swivel and wrist/forearm articulation at last on a female. It seems odd that it took Hasbro so long to put this very basic articulation on their female figures, but at last here it is. The legs have thigh swivels and calf swivels as well. This is where the figure becomes a bit of a problem though because her hips are very hard to move from side to side. Side kicks are near impossible with the new articulation and putting the leg more than 45 degrees forward is a huge annoyance too. In addition there are tons of paint issues that could have easily have been avoided with a little quality control. But one of the worst parts of my figure is the way she was packed. She was packed incorrectly in the box with her thigh swivel going to wrong way. As such her right leg got very bent and distorted. This is the only time I have seen her at retail so I couldn’t pass her up. At this point I have tried to straighten it with a few techniques, but the hard to move hips have prevented the simpler solutions from working very effectively. She has a belt that is not part of the mold that is pretty cool though.
Her head sculpt is good, but something about her paint on her face is a bit off. I know they are trying to emulate the mask she wears in X-force, but at a distance she looks like a raccoon. Of course her paint job of silver and black doesn’t match up with X-force’s three pack and is closer to the single packed X-Force Wolverine. What this means is that no matter how hard one tries, they will have at least one oddball figure in their X-Force (probably Deadpool). Beyond the mask the outfit chosen works great, I like it overall but can’t help think this figure could be so much more.
She’s a good figure, but not great, and Hasbro’s QC issues make an alright figure less than she can be. Still I can’t say avoid her, but I would not recommend her at the same time. Get her if you are a big X-fan or curious about the new female mold. However, if you are not a huge X-23 fan, let her pass, there are plenty of women with the new mold coming.