Hulk's greatest foe is easily the Leader - it's the classic battle of brains vs. brawn. But when you want someone to go toe-to-toe in a pure fight, someone who actually stands a chance of winning, you want the Abomination.
Possessing power and endurance enough to rival even the Incredible Hulk, former spy Emil Blonsky
is cursed to walk through life as a grotesque, green-skinned abomination. Forged in the fires of the same gamma-irradiated hell that spawned the Incredible Hulk, Blonsky retains his intellect and with it a longing for the wife he left behind, the life forever lost to him. Enraged beyond human measure, the man-monster has often unleashed his earth-shattering strength in defiance of his hated twin!
That bio makes it sound like what happened to the Abomination was an accident - not so. Emil actually exposed himself on purpose, hoping to turn into a creature like the Hulk. Of course, he gave himself a concentrated dose of gamma radiation, and ended up twice as strong as Bruce. Also twice as ugly, and that's no mean feat.
Abomination is a great example of escalation -
one character gets big, the next has to get bigger. The last time we got an Abomination figure, he was a respectable 7" tall. This version? He's 8 1/2" tall, the same size as the Face-Off Hulk. Articulation is actually a bit light for a Marvel Legend: 'bommy has a balljointed head, balljointed shoulders, hinged elbows, wrists and fingers, a peg waist, balljointed hips, pin knees, balljointed ankles and a hinge for his toes. Now, double-joints never look right on big figures like this, so we can forgive the elbows and knees, but there's no rotation for his feet or hands. No sort of joint for the chest or torso, but he'd probably just flop around if he had it.
The sculpt is based on the art of John Romita Jr.,
who has now had at least a brief stint on almost every Marvel book. JR Jr. has a nice blocky style, and he made Abomination look like a big monster - everyone else had been trying harder and harder to make him look like some kind of bat, but JR Jr. turned him into a frog. His thick, banded skin is covered in random warts, but a rougher pebbling of lumps spills down from his head and over his shoulders. Abomination has his teeth gritted, and his yellow eyes stare out from beneath a thick brow. Really, the only thing that doesn't look like Romita's art is the choice to give Abom tiny blue underpants - he was nude in all those issues, though it didn't really matter.
The paint on the final figure is darker than the prototype pictures, and it's to the figure's detriment. Everything looks fine when he's in the pose you find in the package, but start moving things and light spots start to show through. If the final coat wasn't so dark, it wouldn't look this blatant. The insides of his hip joints are molded in green plastic rather than blue, and it doesn't take long for the paint to wear off - about two times moving his leg. His eyes can get sloppy, so watch out for that.
There's a variant Abomination available,
with an even uglier face, if you can believe. In Incredible Hulk #364, the pair were fighting, and Hulk won by throwing Abomination into a vat of toxic waste, which began dissolving him. The variant melted Abomination looks okay, but he's really not a "must have," unless you like your big green monsters with a big green money shot. On the plus side, you can see one of his teeth through his lower lip and his right ear is half-eroded. Ewww! Lovely.
Marvel Legends 13 is all villains, including the series' Build-A-Figure, the mighty Onslaught. Since Abomination is so huge, he gets a small piece: the big guy's left arm. He's also got a reprint of Incredible Hulk (vol. 2) #25, which sees Hulk and Abomination having an absolutely brutal knock-down, drag-out fight. It's a good choice for inclusion, though some of the story has been cut out to keep the length down. Shame, too, since the end of the story was so cool.
ML13 also has a new extra packed in with the figures. There's a VS. card, from the CCG of the same name, but those have been an on again, off again insert since ML8. This time, however, we get a diorama backdrop display thing printed on the cardboard insert. Cut it out, stick in in the included stand and you've got a nifty little scene for your figure. Abomination gets the ruins of some nuclear facility - a lab, from the looks of it. Considering how many Marvel heroes have origins with nuclear energy (or even just adventures around the stuff) it would make a good insert for just about anyone.
Who's your favorite Hulk villain? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.