Hasbro slipped out a third wave of 6” Marvel Legends for 2012. This wave, titled “Epic Heroes”, consists of mostly kit-bashed/repainted figures. The Build-A-Figure pieces have been replaced by figure stands for this wave as well. We can expect Build-A-Figure pieces to return with the first wave of 2013. According to Hasbro, this wave was put together at the last minute because they saw a long gap between the second wave in 2012 and the first wave in 2013 and they wanted to put something out for collectors to tide them over.
The figure that stands out the most to me in this wave is U.S. Agent. I have been a fan of the character since he first turned up in the 80’s with Captain America #323. I have hoped Toy Biz would make a figure based on U.S. Agent’s original costume since they first started making action figures. I even took one of their original 5” Captain America figures and repainted it, making my own custom U.S. Agent. Since then, Toy Biz and now Hasbro have given us several versions of the character but we never had a 6” Marvel Legends version. So when I first saw this figure make its debut at New York Comic Con last year, I was pretty happy.
Now that I finally have the figure in-hand, I felt it was necessary to review it and see if it lived up to my expectations so here it is.
Packaging - The front of the blister card looks similar to the first two waves of Hasbro’s 2012 Marvel Legends line. In the upper left corner, art shows off the character. Underneath the art, the figure is packaged in a plastic bubble that clearly displays it with its accessories. The figure’s name is shown next to the figure, and the Marvel Legends logo is displayed towards the bottom. You can see three columns behind the figure, the first two featuring orange and yellow colors that help highlight the figure while the third column has more character art showing off other figures in the wave. The words “Epic Heroes”, the title for this wave, also are featured on both the front and the back.
On the back of the card, a much larger image shows off the character. The packaging art for all the figures in this wave was done by Clayton Crain. The character’s name is displayed again as well as the phrase “U.S. Agent Charges BOLDLY Into Battle”. Below the art are some thumb images showing off all the figures in the wave, not including the variants.
Clayton’s art is really nice looking, especially for USAgent, and gives the figure some nice characterization on what is otherwise a fairly generic-looking cardback.
Sculpt - Hasbro took the body of their Bucky Cap figure which was released in wave 2 and reused it here. Repainted with some different gloves, belt and a new head sculpt, this figure does a nice job of capturing the look and feel of John Walker, AKA U.S. Agent, especially with the new head sculpt they use. He has that mean grumpy look you might expect from the character. Size-wise he is about the same height as the Toy Biz Marvel Legends Captain America. Walker’s official stats say he is 6’4” and weights 270 lbs whereas Steve Rogers is listed as being 6’2” and weights 220 lbs, so U.S. Agent should be a little bigger but the difference isn’t so drastic that I feel the scale is terribly off. Some artists in the past portrayed the Walker character as more muscular than Rogers, but often they tend to look fairly similar in size. If the size bothers you that much, I recommend you rename your figure “The Captain” which is the name Steve Rogers went by when he wore the USAgent costume.
Paint - I think Hasbro did a really good job with the paint job on this figure. The lines are crisp, and they managed to mix in a nice black type wash with the reds and whites which gives the figure a realistic feel. They also did a good job tying in the triangle red and white striped pattern on his chest with the ab-crunch joint so it doesn’t stand out too much. The one thing they did forget to include was the white star on the character’s back.
Articulation - As I mentioned before, this figure incorporates the same body sculpt which was used for the Bucky Cap figure in wave 2, so this figure has the exact same articulation. The head is on a ball joint and has the neck articulation to move in all directions. Double-jointed knees, double-jointed elbows, wrist joints, ab-crunch joint on the chest, swivel waist, swivel boots, and swivel wrists also are included. I should note that you can turn the hands at the wrists but you can’t turn the cuff part of the gloves which were added for this figure. Bucky Cap doesn’t have the cuffed gloves.
Accessories - U.S. Agent comes with a repainted Captain America shield. Instead of red, white and blue, it is painted black, red, white, black with a white star in the middle just like the first shield U.S. Agent was given in the comics (he has had several different kinds over the years). The shield has a clip that folds over to reveal a peg that will fit in the hole on his back. This allows the figure to securely hold the shield on either wrist or to wear it on his back. The figure also comes with a gun and a knife. These are the same weapons Bucky Cap came with, however they have been re-painted with two tones, black and silver, making them look a bit more realistic. Agent’s hands are molded so he can hold the gun pretty securely in either hand, although it looks better in his right hand. The knife does not fit as well in the hands. I could get him to hold it without too much difficulty but if you bump it at all, he will likely drop it. The figure also comes with a utility belt which is removable. There is no holster for the gun or sheath for the knife. You can slide the knife blade in between the figure and the belt if you want to, but it’s not really made for that so it’s a tight fit. I know U.S. Agent has at times been portrayed with a knife and gun, but to me these are accessories I don’t really associate with the character. I would recommend giving them to your Bucky Cap figure since the paint job is nicer on these. The figure also comes with a figure stand which is what Hasbro used to replace the Build-A-Figure pieces for this wave. It’s the exact same base Hasbro used for their 6” Avengers movie figures, minus the Avengers logo. The bases will connect with each other and form a circle to display your figures if you get enough of them. They are also stackable. Price-wise I don’t think they really make a fitting replacement for the BAF parts and they take up more shelf space than I would like.
Fun - The figure can be posed in lots of different positions and it’s great to be able to pose it with my Toy Biz Captain America or some of my other characters who were on the West Coast Avengers with U.S. Agent, like Hawkeye. I had fun trying to re-create the classic cover from Captain America #350 which depicted John Walker as Captain America going head to head with Steve Rogers as The Captain.
Overall - The figure looks good and has a lot of possibility. Some might argue that the sculpt is too small but compared with the Toy Biz Captain America, the figure looks pretty good on the shelf. I have waited a while for this one and am pretty happy with what we have gotten here.
Final Score: 4/5
Check out hi-res images for this figure in out GALLERY below.