Before superheroes, Marvel was all about the sci-fi. Aliens, robots and giant monsters were the order of the day, but they were soon shuffled aside for the guys in the tight trunks. There's still one guy who hasn't forgotten the monsters, though, and he's ready to bring them back.
Harvey Elder was born nearly a century ago.
His earliest memories are of his mother and father turning away from him in disgust. On the surface, he was an ugly little man whose intellect was ignored because of his appearance. When he went underground, however, he became a king. Battling creatures far more ancient and powerful than himself, he became one of the mightiest rulers of Subterranea, as well as the first and perhaps most dangerous enemy of the Fantastic Four. Commanding nightmare creatures from the depths of the Earth, he plotted the destruction of entire cities, the reorganization of Earth's continents, and the conquest or destruction of the entire surface world. Despite his age and size, he is a formidable combatant, with an army of Moloids at his command and a list of super powers that render him deceptively dangerous.
Despite being the first supervillain created in Marvel's Silver Age renaissance, the poor Mole Man has been remarkably absent from toy aisles. He had one figure in 1995, then that was it. Heck, he even made it into the pint-sized Superhero Showdown line before getting an ML-quality update. Score one more "first" for Hasbro.
Mole Man proves that Hasbro's Marvel Legends
are every bit as good as ToyBiz's were. He's only 5" tall, which suits the character - he's always been a shrimpy little dude. Because of his small size, his articulation is slightly lower than the other figures'. He has a balljointed neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, plus swivel wrists, waist and thighs. Yeah, the range on the joints is limited, thanks to the tubular design of his limbs, but it's still enough for some good poses.
The sculpt here is fantastic.
Easily one of the best Hasbro has given us yet, and right up there with the best of the first 15 series. His costume is old and tattered, covered with rips, holes and stitches, evidence of the long time he's worn it while crawling through the tunnels of Subterranea and ruling Monster Isle. Same for his shoes, which are caked with mud. And in addition to being deeply wrinkled, his skin is pockmarked and positively festooned with large warts. It's supremely disgusting, just like it should be.
Paint is simple, but that's not a bad thing. His suit is a nice solid green, and his cape is slightly darker. His belt and shoes are brown, and he has a black belt buckle. His squinty glasses are metallic blue, and there's a wash on his face to catch all the details of the sculpt. Unfortunately, it mostly makes him look dirty, not detailed. Of course, the guy does spend a lot of time in the dirt, but this is still more of a drybrushing than a wash.
To compensate for his small size, Mole Man taught himself a form of bojutsu; that's why he's always carrying a staff around with him.
You didn't just think it was a walking stick, did you? The figure includes a 4¾" stick that can be held in either hand - or in both. His right hand is a fist, while his left just has the fingers curled lightly. But still, he can hold his accessory perfectly. It isn't very detailed - no kind of wood grain or anything - but in some of the comics it looks like smooth metal, so that's fine.
Sadly, Mole Man does not come with any of his Moloids; since this is a BAF series, he's packaged with Ronan's left arm. This is the arm designed to hold the hammer, so the hand is gripping an invisible accessory. Just like the right arm, it seems to bend better when it's bending the wrong way. Still, that's just an oddity, not a flaw, and the arm is perfectly fine otherwise.
The Fantastic Four were the birth of the Marvel Universe, and Mole Man was right there with them. But he's overshadowed by Dr. Doom, Galactus, and any number of others - he's the forgotten FF villain. But Hasbro remembered him, and gave us a really nice addition to our plastic version of the Marvel Universe.