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Hydro-Man

Spider-Man: Far From Home
by yo go re

In the immortal words of Wayne Brady, "Dave, I didn't know you liked to get wet!"

Knocked into the ocean by Spider-Man during the testing of an experimental generator, Morris Bench gains the ability to transform his entire body into water.

ToyBiz did make a 6" scale Hydro-Man figure, but it was largely garbage. I personally made a custom version, but it was also largely garbage. At least mine was wearing the right dang clothes, eh? Well, I can't even cling to that small sliver of superiority any more, because Hasbro has pretty much pivoted to catering directly to us nerdy collectors with their Marvel Legends, aiming for the kids' market with the lightly articulated 6" figures. No matter what, you'd never see someone wearing jeans and a tank top in the basic line. But here? Sure!

And that is what Hydro-Man wears: not some thick armor that makes no sense for a liquid being, but regular civilian clothes. Specifically, blue jeans and a black T-shirt, meaning he can reuse the Luke Cage mold. And that would be great, except for the new arms. They're molded from translucent blue plastic, and sculpted to look like large, swirling spouts of water. Now, that by itself is pretty awesome. ToyBiz did the same thing with their first Hydro-Man way back in the 5" days, and this looks tons better than one from more than two decades ago. Plus, it has articulation instead of being solid. No, the problem is that those are the only arms he has. You will never have the option to have him de-watered, and that's disappointing.

The head, though, is superb. Based on a 2004 piece of Ariel Olivetti art from Upper Deck's Marvel VS System cardgame, this is far from some emotionless mask. Morrie has a strong chin, a big smug smile, and slightly wavy hair flopping around his head. This doesn't look like some generic face, it looks like a real (exaggerated) person with real personality. Love it!

Obviously most of the articulation will be the same that Luke Cage sported: swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel waist, hinged torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged neck, and balljointed head. The new arms have swivel/hinge elbows and wrists, though the range on the elbow hinges is very slim. Also, the big hands are removable, so you can make the arms just look like geysers rather than, well, "arms."

Other than the hands, Hydro-Man's only accessories are two little swirls of water that clip around his feet. That's a neat little idea, making him look like he's emerging from his purely puddle state, but the fact that you can take those off (rather than Hasbro creating new shins that have them permanently molded on) underscores the fact that he should have come with alternate human arms as well.

He does also come with a piece of the Molten Man Build-A-Figure: the head. Its golden color stands out from the blue and black that predominates the rest of the packaging.

Hydro-Man is a low-tier Spider-Man villain, but he's one who really never had a good action figure before - yes, you could get a Hydro-Man, but not one you'd want. Hasbro absolutely should have given him plain arms as an option, but the way they did his watery bits is pretty neat. Now I kind of want one of those Tamashii Nations water effects sets to bulk up his display options.

-- 08/02/19


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