We'd make a joke about "second time's the charm" or "if at first you don't succeed," but we just did it last week!
No mind can hide from these mutant mavens! One absorbs memories, one forges them through pure telepathic force!
Thanks, multi-character biography that means nothing since the variant figure is never coming out! At least this time Hasbro's actually admitted it, unlike usual: when these figures were shown off at Toy Fair this year, Emma was one of two figures sold under the "Manipulators of Memory" name (the other being Rogue in her modern costume); but a few months before the Wolverine Legends shipped, it was announced that all the variants had been cancelled, that only one version of each figure would be coming (though clearly not in enough time to change the packaging). Of course, that may be a blessing in disguise: it was hard enough to find the variant figures when they were being carried by mass retail stores; imagine how much more frustating it would be with these figures that are only available through Diamond distribution (and stores that use them).
To begin with, yes: Emma looks much better this time. The character was in the first series of Marvel Legends Hasbro released after inheriting the license, and even though the figure had been designed by ToyBiz and planned for what would have been ML Series 16, her face was abysmal. This new one is far superior. [Or is it? --ed.]
The new figure is much larger, too. The previous figure didn't break the 6" mark (fitting her listed height of 5'10"), while the new one tops out at 6⅜". That's not too overiszed, however, since she does have on tall heels. Regardless, she towers over the 2007 figure, part of the perpetual "size creep" that always seems to plague superhero toys, because nobody can ever seem to stick to one hard scale (example one, example two). Even little figures, like Marvel Universe, have crept up over the life of the line. It's annoying.
One advantage the old figure has over the new one is the level of detail in the sculpt. ML1 Emma had raised, sculpted seams all over her costume, just like she's drawn with in the comics - this one, based on the standard Hasbro female body, gets none of that. Her costume details are just painted on (and her choker is a bit too high on the neck to really be seen). She gets new feet, obviously, because no one else is wearing heels to fight crime, and the same hands as Jean Grey. She has a free-floating belt, so that it doesn't look like her pants have no waist, and her chest is a new mold - the back-laced bustier isn't one any figures
have worn before.
Though her outfit is not pure white, it's not shaded with blue, either - more of a pale gray. Her skin is bright, unlike the muted tones of the previous figure, but it is a bit dull that her hair is plain yellow, rather than having any sort of a wash to bring out its deep details. Her lipstick is metallic blue, and she's wearing a bit of eyeshadow to match. The eyes are a bit crooked, which seems to be a common complaint, but they're not so bad that I feel the need to repaint them.
This Wolverine-themed series of Marvel Legends features
a Build-A-Figure, the only Canadian shorter and harier than Logan himself: Puck. Like the two previous "build-a-minifigures," Puck is split up as head, arms, and then torso and legs together. It's that last piece that Emma gets, which makes her kind of a must-have in this series. Good luck with that, though.
If the variants hadn't been cancelled, I probably would have gone for Rogue over Emma - after all, I already had one (ugly though she may be). Having been forced into accepting the former White Queen, however, I'm okay with this update, though there's still quite a bit of room for improvement.