Not Even the Marvel Collector Corps Can Contain These Women of Power
This month, the ladies of the Marvel Universe take center stage in the Marvel Collector Corps subscription box from Funko. It only took eight boxes to do it. I kid, I kid. Mostly. With the exception of Jane Foster's Thor in the Secret Wars box, we've been absent the likes of Marvel's biggest names on the female side of the company's roster. The contents of this box were certainly worth the wait however, as Captain Marvel, She-Hulk and Squirrel Girl all get some nice new merchandise. Why it took a special box for any of them to appear is something only Funko and Marvel know, but they're here now, so let's take a look inside this month's crate.
The big draw with every box is the exclusive Pop figure included --- though I still maintain the Guardians of the Galaxy box experimenting with its contents was what made it so worthwhile and unique. This time, Squirrel Girl gets her moment in the spotlight. Captain Marvel and She-Hulk, as well as Spider-Gwen, are all due to get proper Pop releases this year, so it was nice to see a wholly different character get a shot rather than a new variant of one of the existing figures. Even though I've no stake in the Squirrel Girl game, I still appreciate the attention to detail in capturing her current comic look. The paint app is clean and crisp. Despite her use of varying shades of brown, you can still get a good sense of where one part of the outfit begins and another ends. Additionally, the pose captures her "ready for adventure" attitude quite well.
Tippy Toe is also included, and she's the second-smallest Pop ever offered following in Ant-Man's shoes. Both the characters weren't exactly voted in by the fans, but Squirrel Girl's inclusion in this set came largely from fan feedback. I know she's got an incredibly devoted fanbase, with a number of our own staffers here singing the book's praises, but I've never seen the appeal of the character. Perhaps it's time to look past my notions of the character from a decade ago and see what all the fuss is about. Squirrel Girl isn't going away any time soon, and that can only stem from her book actually being good.
Carol and Jennifer might not get full-sized Pop figures, but they do get their own Mystery Minis for the very first time. Despite their smaller size, the Mystery Minis do capture the personalities of the characters well enough. She-Hulk's confident flexing is a common trope in the way artist's portray her, and seeing it with a slightly cuter bent doesn't take away from her in the least. Giving Captain Marvel energy-charged hands is a nice touch for something so small, and gives the indication she's always ready for action. As a personal preference, I wish the Captain Marvel came with her helmet rather than unmasked, I know I'm probably in the minority there. It's just got a cool design to it that typically isn't shown in figure form as people want to see Carol's face.
The patch features Ms. Marvel and the pin captures Spider-Woman's angered visage. These inclusions are nice, but as I've mentioned in previous unboxings, these portions of the box aren't all that spectacular compared to the rest of the contents. As a fan of Spider-Gwen, I was glad to see her part of the box was the t-shirt. The heather grey shirt features a simple design with her logo and hooded head featured dead center. I was digging it a bit for how minimalist it was until I saw the Spider-Gwen design Funko passed on for the t-shirt. The Marvel Collector Corps has been including a behind the scenes/making of brochure with each box as of late (which hasn't made the jump to Funko's other boxes for... reasons?), and while most of this box's contents were not tweaked very much from concept to execution, there were a few tees that didn't make the cut.
I still like the shirt that Funko went with, but that black Spider-Gwen shirt just has so much more going for it. It's a bit more dynamic, has colors that pop, and sticks to the comic version rather than a Pop-ified version like the Elektra and Captain Marvel shirts. I don't mind the Pop shirts, but they are definitely for a particular fanbase. Some of us like Pops as toys for our desks, but still prefer the more recognizable versions of characters for our clothing. Hopefully Marvel will release a cool Spider-Gwen shirt like that in the future.
The most curious bit of the box this month comes in the form of the variant cover to Civil War II #1. Variant comics themselves aren't new to the Marvel Collector Corps, but the roster of characters used on this particular comic is definitely strange. Captain Marvel, Valkyrie, Spider-Woman and Elektra all make sense in connection to the Women of Power motif. Including Ms. Marvel, and not the recent Kamala Khan iteration, but Carol in her old costume. Funko also wanted to use the Carol version of Ms. Marvel for the patch instead of Kamala, but Marvel vetoed that in favor of promoting the newer hero. Strangely they didn't do the same when it came to this cover. There are literally dozens of different female characters Funko could have used, but decided to double-down on Carol Danvers in two different costumes. I don't think there's any amount of reasoning you could provide that would adequately explain why that choice was made.
It may have taken 16 months for it to happen, but Marvel's women finally made their voices heard in the latest Marvel Collector Corps box. Aside from some strange decisions for the Civil War II cover, this box fired on all cylinders. Each of the featured characters in this box has been in some dire need of attention and appreciation from Funko, and seeing the likes of Squirrel Girl included should make a lot of fans happy. Hopefully it won't take another eight subscription boxes for more leading ladies like Black Widow, Hellcat, Gamora or Storm (or any of the X-Men for that matter) to make the leap.
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.
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