The fourth of five planned Marvel Collector Corps subscription boxes arrived this week, and this time Funko's diverted attention away from the goodie-two-shoes of the Marvel U for once. The Villains box is the first to arrive with such a broad theme, but even though Marvel's got a steady stream of movies and events constantly happening, Funko was eventually going to have to step outside the existing comfort zone created in the Collector Corps.

While the Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron boxes were nice, there's a lot more to Marvel than just its movie brands. The last box, which was inspired by the Secret Wars comic and event, was a promising glimpse into the future that Villains maintains, even if it doesn't exceed expectations. The broad vision for the Villains box may just have been its undoing, as there is strong variation in this box, but it's a lack of laser-focus leaves it ending up a mixed bag.

As always, the figures are the main attraction, and Funko drops three different characters from three different lines in the Villains box. Morbius, the Living Vampire gets the Pop treatment as the exclusive. There are actually two Morbius Pops being offered at random, though you'll only get one in your box. There's a standard Morbius (which we got) and a Zombie Morbius, which has a much more intricate face sculpt with a lot more fangs. It's not really clear what the ratio is, but if the previous random t-shirt designs from the Ultron box are any indication, it's an even split.

Morbius isn't a bad choice for the box given its release date proximity to Halloween, but he's not exactly one of the most attractive characters to consumers. There's a reason he hasn't gotten a wide release and was included here. (Also, is he even a villain? Surely he's just misunderstood?)

 

 

The star of the box, Venom, also gets a Pocket Pop keychain figure. It's a little bigger than the miniature Ant-Man, and you can have him standing in your collection if you're not keen on attaching him to your keys. It's okay. There's enough detail in there for you to tell it's Venom, and the classic appearance still holds up quite well all these years later. I'm not a big "things on my keychain" person, but the Venom is small enough that if you are into that sort of thing, it shouldn't bog down your collection of keys too much.

There's also an exclusive Loki Dorbz figure included. This is the centerpiece this time around. This version is based on the Loki we saw in the Avengers movie, including the incredible horned helm he dons for certain sequences. Since the Dorbz aren't limited to being bobbleheads, there's a bit more appeal if you can get past the idea that they're always smiling because these figures are meant to be adorable. Get it? Smiling actually fits Loki's demeanor quite well anyway, even if you can trust what he's smiling about.

The Red Skull and Green Goblin, arguably two of the biggest bads in the Marvel Universe (next to Doom, of course), are relegated to a patch and pin respectively. It's a shame they couldn't get more attention in the figure department, but unlike Morbius, this probably isn't the last opportunity they'll have to become Funko toys either.

The biggest disappointment in this box is the t-shirt, which is as comfortable as Funko's tees can be, but is just too busy. Between all the different characters and styles present, the aesthetic just doesn't match the previous shirts. Plus, with Funko releasing its own line of tees featuring its versions of favorite characters, the jump back to this comic-styled art feels like a step back.

For some reason, the comic this month is Invincible Iron Man #1, which while nice, doesn't exactly go with the theme at all. The exclusive variant features a Tony Moore cover with Iron Man and zombies, so I guess that's close enough?

There are a handful of books in the All-New All-Different line-up that actually feature villains as the headliner, but perhaps they just weren't ready in time to debut in this box? Look, free comics are always nice, and I'm sure Invincible Iron Man will have a solid run under Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez, but its inclusion here doesn't jive. When so much else is carefully curated, it's just a head-scratcher why Iron Man made the cut over someone like Venom or Carnage.

The Marvel Collector Corps Villains box doesn't continue the upward trend the past few have, but it does remain a solid effort maintaining the status quo. With one more box to go this year (Guardians of the Galaxy), Funko has one more shot in 2015 to show it can keep up the incredible pace set early on in the subscription service. There's a bit more focus in that box already, so I'm optimistic Funko can turn things around and get back to elevating its game.

 

This box was provided by Funko for review. The Marvel Collector Corps subscriptions run $25 a box, and you can sign up on the official site if you wish to join.