Even the Marvel Collector Corps Can’t Escape the Secret Wars
I was skeptical about the mystery contents of this month's box when Secret Wars was announced as the inspiration. Basing a collectible delivery around an untested crossover event with little knowledge as to how the storyline would be received seemed risky. Additionally, where the films reach a massive audience globally, we all know comic books themselves top out in the hundreds of thousands in sales. Depending which sales source you believe, Secret Wars has been the most popular book for the past few months, but even still, that concept hasn't reached as wide a consumer base as Age of Ultron or Ant-Man.
As the first box in Funko's Marvel Collector Corps to not be based on a film property, no one really had any idea what to expect from the Secret Wars box. To be fair, there have only been two boxes in the subscription service so far, with both having arrived at the same time as one of Marvel's cinematic escapades. There won't always be a movie to base one of these themed boxes around, but if the Secret Wars box is any indication, that won't be a problem for Funko.
The big draw of the Collector Corps boxes has been the Pop figures Funko has released exclusively through the service. This month does not disappoint in the least. Miles Morales' Spider-Man and Jane Foster's Thor are both given away here, marking the first time Funko's put more than one Pop in a single shipment. While Ant-Man's box included a few Mystery Minis, the market for Pops is decidedly bigger. Though Miles has been around for quite a few years, the female Thor is so new it was a nice surprise to see included. Typically it takes a few months for Funko to get popular new characters out, and with a backlog of potential candidates the Jane Foster Thor seemed impossibly far away from ever happening.
Both figures came out well enough in the sculpt department, with Thor getting some nice detailing in her armor. Unfortunately for both, the paint apps this time around were a bit sloppy. Thor's armor uses a few different colors throughout, and there's plenty of bleed all over the place. It's a tiny bit excusable given how much variation there is in the figure, but it's rather inexcusable for Miles. The suit only uses a few colors, and since it has so much dark blue, the red splotches stand out quite a bit when they crop up where they shouldn't. The previous figures didn't suffer from this issue, so it's a bit disappointing to see it happen here, and especially on two characters that won't be easily replaceable.
The t-shirt in the package features the Marvel characters that had been used to promote Secret Wars prior to its start, like Iron Man, Sam Wilson, Thor and Miles, but all in Pop form. It's a nice design which doubles down on two specific fandoms. It's not quite as clever as the Age of Ultron tee, nor is it as spartan as the Ant-Man shirt, but it will still make a nice addition to the rotation. You'll also get another pin and patch featuring Superior Iron Man and Sam Wilson respectively.
The biggest problem I had with the Ant-Man box came in the form of its exclusive comic. The cover was worn almost beyond recognition, and it felt a little slipshod. This time Funko addressed the issue by polybagging the variant (a Thor Pop Secret Wars #1), thus protecting it from the elements and duress of shipping. I've been waiting out Secret Wars' completion to read it all, but after flipping through this first issue, I might be swayed to pick up the rest the next time at my my local comic store. I might need a diagram to figure out all these allegiances and plotlines, as I wasn't paying that close attention to what was transpiring before it kicked off, but there appears to be some cool high-concept stuff happening. I should have expected as much from Jonathan Hickman.
The most questionable box of the three released so far has been far and away the best. The Hulkbuster Pop was nice, and the Ant-Man set was interesting, but for me, the two Pops included this month more than make the Secret Wars box Funko's best effort so far. This kind of batting average is, quite frankly, unsustainable, and there's bound to be a box that doesn't bring it as well as the first three. For now though, Funko and the Marvel Collector Corps continue rolling on, making this one of the best box services to which you can subscribe.
This box was provided for review. The Marvel Collector Corps subscription runs $25 per box, and you can sign up over on the official site if you wish to join.