I told you I'd be back to discuss the recent SKU releases.
As a warning, any guesses as to who is who is pure speculation. I'll discuss reasoning, possibilities, and I'm always open to more insight, but it's guesswork. A lot of people seem to exist on the "it's true until proven otherwise" theory when unfortunately things don't work like that.
On with the show...
First off we've already discussed initial impressions. If Spdr-Armor and Sprd-Man are Spider-Man figures, then the trend of 2 Spider-Men per wave continues and could be the 6th wave in a row to feature 2 Spider-Men.
For those keeping tabs, Psylocke wave (in stores now) has two Spider-Men, the Carnage/Ares wave has two Spider-Men, the Electro/Sentry wave has two Spider-Men.
And we have rumored waves (also pre-released SKUs) with the Ultron/Kang wave featuring "SPD" and "S-M", the Kang wave with "SMan" and "Insulated S-M", and this wave. Spider-Man retains his 25% placement rating. There was some talk early in the year (and for the life of me, I can't find the original interviews anywhere, but they dated around Toyfair 2008 so maybe I'll look for those later) about having 6 waves this year not counting Hulk and Iron Man. For those counting, we've got the Spider-Woman wave and the Psylocke wave currently out, Ares and Electro waves already shown on Hasbro's site, the Ultron and Kang waves shown in previously released SKUs. And Avalanche wave makes 7. So was the early news of only 6 waves bunk? Was it accurate, but Hasbro under-estimated the line and move up figures? Is the Avalanche wave coming next year? All I know for sure is it's a far cry from months ago on the Marvelousnews message boards where one gentleman announced news from source, a dealer who heard from a Hasbro insider, that Super Hero Squad was canceled.
I've already heard the "why Character X, and not Y?" start already. Nobody seems shocked to see Tombst (which likely means Tombstone as I don't think many other Marvel characters have the letters Tombst in their names) but I've heard a few complaints against Avalanche (why Avalanche and not Blob? Why not Toad?) Other people are happy to see another member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Spider-Man villains haven't seen some great releases, but the early movie/Ultimate versions of characters, including Ultimate Rhino, mean some fans are just dying for the 616 version. See our announcement about 616 classic comic Green Goblin here.
If this is Rhino, and like we said earlier, not a lot of characters have Rhin in their names.
Beast is a mystery, with some speculation from left field saying it may be the Dark Beast. Villains have been somewhat rare, and a two-pack of villains has been unheard of outside of the Spider-Man line, so the Dark Beast seems like a longshot to me. A sculpt of Astonishing Beast seems more likely, especially if we ever see Shadowcat and the second Collector's Pack. All things are possible though.
The main mystery is BLK. BLK by itself means absolutely nothing, but we've got some possibilities:
Black Widow - Avengers are a mainstay of the line and we have started a pattern of one Avenger (not counting the obvious Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man and Wolverine choices) per wave, for instance, the upcoming Ares, Sentry, and Ronin, so she's got one plus in her column. She has a history with Captain America, both as teammate of the original and ex-lover of the current, so the pairing wouldn't be totally unusual.
Black Knight - While I think Black Widow might be more likely, just for her Avengers connection, Black Knight would be a great choice. He has always had a great design, one that gets minor tweaks every few years. He's been an Avenger, Hero for Hire, a part of Captain Britain's short-lived Excalibur mini-series team, and even the Ultraverse team Exiles. He will also feature in the upcoming Captain Britain and MI-13 series tying into Secret Invasion. If memory serves, he was a stone statute in Doctor Strange's house during the Defenders era and was even had a mini-series featuring Valkyrie. Little known fact, Exodus, who is currently a major player in X-Men Legacy and the recently completed Messiah Complex, shares a tragic one-shot with Black Knight and Sersi wherein we learn Apocalypse's role in his creation. Black Knight's recent Marvel Legends action figure is a sign that he's not completely forgotten. Still doesn't mean he's a lock for the position though.
Blackheart - He's got some publicity, mainly from videogame appearances going all the way back to Marvel's Capcom era. There's also his Ghost Rider movie appearance, and a history with Marvel characters Punisher, Daredevil, Spider-Man and the Inhumans, and his position as member of the Hellfire Club.
Black Bolt - A possibility, but given his upcoming Hulk figure it seems unlikely for Hasbro to put another one so soon.
Black Cat - Highly unusual pairing, but that's not determinative. There's no reason it ISN'T her, just no strong argument for her.
Black Crow - A relative rarity, he first appeared in a Captain America comic, but has later encountered Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and Red Wolf. His most recent appearance, that I know of, was as one of the many background filler characters in Civil War. Still, at least he's got connections to Captain America.
Black Box - the man formerly known as Comcast is a mostly obscure character, languishing in x-purgatory between his introduction in the early Deadpool limited series and his return in Cable & Deadpool. Now he's just another apparently dead x-character. On the plus side, he was once in a Cable & Deadpool story feature Captain America's girlfriend (and sometime foe) Diamondback and her BAD Girls.
Black Archer - from the Squadron Supreme, this would be the first Supreme figure for the line, but Supreme figures are a rare feat in Marvel's toys. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a figure based on a Squadron Supreme character.
BlackLash - An old Iron Man foe, but one with a distinctive look and the possibility of a great sculpt. The original Blacklash is dead, but I think a new Blacklash was introduced in the pre-Ellis Civil War era Thunderbolts.
Black Brother - from Savage Tales 1, back in 1971? You mean you haven't had him on your wishlist since the line came out?
Black Fox - Either the hero from Front Line or the cat burlar... both seem highly unlikely.
Black Lama - Not likely.
And that's my run-down of the contenders, both likely and unlikely. Just remember, this is speculation. And also note, Black Mamba (Captain America's ally and enemy, in turns), the two Blackouts, Black Talon and Black Panther are also options but geez, you've had to read enough haven't you?
Analysis of the 4-packs later. Maybe I can put a poll up on who we think the BLK is.
Labels: Avalanche, blk, SHS, Super Hero Squad, Wave 13