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posted by ROB JAN alias zero g on Tuesday 3rd of January 2017 11:29:38 AM

THE TWELVE AGES OF ULTRON - THE TENTH AGE "LADIES WHO PUNCH" THE TENTH AGE In the tenth Age Of UItron Joss Whedon gave to me Ten broads a leaping Nine blasters blasting Eight ladies chilling Seven spiders spinning Six gaussed a-laying Five Mandarins Four brawling nerds Three drenched men Two mortal foes And a Rocket in a Groot tree ----------------------------------------- Well, this one was relatively straightforward... Ten female Avengers leaping into the fray, about to well and truly kick the evil Ultron's shiny metal arse. The players: -The big silver chap is the 2015 30 cm (12 inch) Hasbro Avengers: Age Of Ultron Titan series electronic Ultron. It's got the usual limited articulation that characterises all the Titans...simple swivel joints on the shoulders, hips and one for the head. The electronic feature is cool though. Pressing the chestplate lights up the head with a suitably sinister red glow, and the beastie then trots out a number of different sound effects and choice phrases. (No, James Spader doesn't do the voice.) "Avengers you disgust me!" "I will crush humanity." "Mwuhahahaha!" "I’m living vibranium." "Ultron will be bacckkk...." "Pew!" "Bow before the might of Ultron!" "Hulk, you’re a monster." "Your armour is a joke. Just like your species." "I am everywhere..." "Iron man. I expected more." Loquacious little silver spud, ain't he? LEFT SIDE (TOP TO BOTTOM) -STORM (Ororo Munroe) Although better known as one of the heavy hitters of the X-Men team Storm joined the Avengers in 2011. This is the Sam Greenwell impressively sculpted 2012 18 cm (7 inch) Marvel Select Storm figure, with fifteen points of articulation, and a heavy, stiff, moulded cloak that doesn't really allow you to make full use of said joints. Storm's infamously a weather witch, and as soon as her team mates have delivered their portion of pain to Ultron she's going to light him up with tens of millions of volts of lightning! (It's not just Thor who brings 'The Thunder' in the Avengers!) -HAWKEYE (Kate Bishop) Kate, a Young Avenger, is the third person, and first woman, to adopt the "Hawkeye" name. This is the 15 cm (6 inch) Hasbro Marvel Legends Hawkeye from the 2016 Toys R' Us Exclusive triple figure pack, which also included Vision and Sam Wilson, Captain America. This is a beaut, 18 point articulated figure, with a lot going for it, apart from the odd omission of a separate arrow to string on the bow, even though there's certainly a compartment in the quiver to put one or two in. -SPIDER-WOMAN (Julia Carpenter) Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman. goes back to 1977 in the Marvel Universe, and like Hawkeye, her superhero name has been co-opted by other people over the years. Julia Carpenter first appeared as Spider-Woman in 1984. This is the 1994 13 cm (5 inch) Toy Biz Spider-Woman, with only six points of articulation and a blue-white uniform that may be unfamiliar to fans of the iconic red outfit featured in contemporary comics. This figure was spun off from the mid 1990s Iron Man Animated Television Series, and was part of the first wave of toys created for it by Toy Biz. It has a 'karate chop' spring action that allows Julia to throw her 'psychic webs', included with the figure. -BLACK WIDOW (Natalia "Natasha" Romanova) Everyone knows that the character of Black Widow was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Iron Man 2 movie. Less well known is that the character was originally first seen in Iron Man comic books way back in 1964. (Tales of Suspense # 52, which then featured Iron Man before he got his own book.) Widow was a Soviet spy, intent upon stealing the fantastic industrial secrets of Stark Industries. Her fellow covert operative was a bruiser named "Boris", so yes, following on from the infamous villains of The Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon series, the Marvel spies were actually "Boris & Natasha"! Five issues of Tales Of Suspense later though, she drew budding thrill criminal Hawkeye into her femme fatale web, introducing that other well known character into the comics, who of course would also reform (more or less!) to become an Avenger. This is the 18 cm (7 inch) Hasbro Marvel Select Black Widow figure, with 16 points of articulation. I thought her standard pair of hand pistols wasn't going to cut it against Ultron so I equipped her with the Coulson Special BFG, as seen in the Avengers movie, and used against Loki. The figure isn't modeled after the Scar-Jo MCU Widow, but is inspired by the 1990s look of the comic book character, though it actually came with a base littered with smashed robot parts, so...entirely apt! RIGHT SIDE (TOP TO BOTTOM) -SCARLET WITCH (Wanda Maximoff) Again, this figure is based on the comic book character, rather than the MCU on screen incarnation, and is another character who started out 'naughty', as a member of her non-biological parent's team, The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, but became 'nice' when she joined the Avengers, soon after her first appearance in 1964. (X-Men # 4) This is the 2014 Hasbro Marvel Legends Infinite Series Maidens of Might Scarlet Witch, 17 cm (7 Inch) figure. A beautifully rendered realization of the character, this was part of the All-Father Odin Build-A-Figure line, so components of that second character were included with her. I particularly like the pink plastic 'hexes' that came with the figure, which represent her reality warping powers. -WASP (Janet van Dyne) Jan was a founding member of the Avengers, giving it its name, and the only founder present in this picture. This tiny 3cm (1 inch) figure is from the 2014 Hasbro Marvel Universe, Infinite Series, Wave One. It came as a bonus figure with the regular 10 cm (3.75 inch) figure, representing, of course, the Wasp's ability to shrink down in size using Pym Particle technology. -INVISIBLE WOMAN (Susan Storm) Sue Storm, is better known as a founding member of the iconic Fantastic Four team. As well as being a heavy hitter in her own right, thanks to her force field and invisibility powers, Sue is also married to team leader, Reed Richards, and is mother to Franklin and Valeria Richards. This is a 13 cm ((5 inch), 13-point articulated, Hasbro Invisible Woman released as a tie-in to the 2007 movie, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, so it's fashioned after the likeness of actress, Jessica Alba. -CAPTAIN MARVEL (Carol Danvers) Captain Marvel is another exceptionally powerful Marvel hero, who has experienced a resurgence in popularity recently, with her own comic book and a feature movie in the works. Although the character of Carol Danvers dates back in Marvel Comics to 1968, she did not demonstrate her Captain Marvel powers as 'Ms.Marvel' until 1977. Captain Marvel recently achieved new heights of excellence with writer Kelly Sue DeConnick at the helm of her book. This 18-point articulated figure is styled from that era, is 16 cm (6 inches) tall, and, like Scarlet Witch figure, is part of the 2014 Hasbro Marvel Legends Infinite Series. (Maidens Of Might is actually a fairly naff title, don't you think?) -MOCKINGBIRD (Barbara 'Bobbi' Morse) 'Mockers' is another Marvel hero who first surfaced in the 1970s and has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the 21st Century, getting her own enjoyably eccentric book in 2016. She later became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, reflected in the current television series where the character is played by Adrianne Palicki. I borrowed the Hot Toy Age of Ultron Black Widow electric taser batons for Bobbi to wield against Ulty....I'm always nicking gear from her! This is the 2015 Hasbro Marvel Legends Captain America Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D 15 cm (6 inch) figure. It was part of the Iron Skull Build-A-Figure series. HANGING OVER ULTRON'S HEAD -SHE-HULK (Jennifer Walters) She-Hulk, like Spider-Woman, started out as a bit of a Marvel Comics place-holder, in this case, insurance against the producers of the successful "Incredible Hulk" t.v show creating a female Hulk, without Marvel owning the rights to the character. As a lawyer in her own right, as well as being Bruce Banner's cousin, Jen has had a very interesting arc of her own, that's often been satirical and downright whimsical, with a line of irreverent humour not entirely unlike Deadpool's. She's currently the featured character in the main Hulk book. The 11 cm (4 inch) 2011 Marvel Universe Series 19 She-Hulk action figure (# 12 in the line). It's an excellent figure for its size, with an incredible 24 articulation points packed into her small frame. The backdrop for this was thrown together opportunistically as I walked through the room, grabbing a sheet of MDF off-cut, the window adaptor plate for the portable air conditioner and one of the cat-proof screens off the window. In spite of the "Ladies Who Punch" sub-title, if I had to rate the crew in terms of who'd actually be able to defeat Ultron, I'd go for Scarlet Witch or Storm, as both have powers that could disrupt Ultron's signature ability to upload his consciousness to a replacement body when his current one is destroyed. It's possible that Cap and Sue Storm would also be able to achieve this. On the other hand, She-Hulk bono publico!

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