Sunday, October 13, 2013


This past week I finally accomplished a goal of displaying my ideal Avengers team in Bowen statue form. I've been collecting these things for the past few years, and I have a modest group of about twenty or so. Two were just added to my collection: Iron Man and Ms. Marvel. I'm still down a Thor, but since he was produced before I started collecting, and fetches insane prices on the aftermarket, I'm unlikely to acquire one any time soon. So for now, this is it.

Incidentally, this is not the Iron Man who should be hanging out with this group of Avengers. The classic Steve Ditko-designed armor is probably my favorite iteration of the character, but I was not a fan of the Bowen sculpture. On the other hand, this "neo-Classic" look -- designed by Bob Layton in the late eighties -- is near and dear to me as well, as it was the armor Iron Man wore regularly when I first got into Marvel comics in earnest. It stuck around for maybe five or six years, though I wish it had gotten a longer run. Few suits to come after it have been as streamlined and attractive.

Anyway, though this Iron Man doesn't belong with my classic Avengers line-up, She-Hulk really should not be among them either, but I love her as both a character and an Avenger, so here she is. I'm not adhering to strict continuity with this group, obviously.

I love this statue to bits. The sculpt is dead-on, though perhaps a bit static -- but when one considers that Bowen likes to go for a "Hall of Armor" look for their various Iron Men, it makes sense. And the paint job is slick and shiny without looking overly metallic (which is a feature I don’t really like on a statue). This is the first Iron Man I've bought out of Bowen's many offerings, and I'm glad I waited this long. I'll never need to pick up another.

As an added bonus, it just recently occurred to me that this was the first version of Shellhead's helmet to sport the squared off "widow's peak" -- which has since come to define Iron Man's look via the movies.

As for Ms. Marvel -- what can be said? Bowen produced two more versions of the character using this same sculpt as the base -- her original seventies "belly shirt" costume, and her current Captain Marvel outfit. But for me, there was no choice. This design, by Dave Cockrum, is one of my all-time favorite superheroine costumes (a strong tie would be Jean Grey's Phoenix outfit, not-so-coincidentally also designed by Cockrum).

Add to the costume the fact that this is just a phenomenal sculpture, and I couldn't be more pleased with the purchase. I love her pose -- strong and sexy but not too cheese-cakey -- definitely classic Ms. Marvel.

Now, with these two standing alongside Captain America, Hawkeye, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Beast, and She-Hulk, my quest for a complete "iconic" Avengers line-up is just about done. It's no accident that this group matches up pretty much exactly with the corner box heads on my blog's banner -- even though I've read very few AVENGERS comics from the seventies, these are the Avengers to me.

Someday, if I'm lucky, I may acquire a Thor -- and if Bowen ever sees fit to produce Wonder Man in his red "Safari jacket" get-up, I'll have to pick him up as well. But otherwise, I can safely say that, if there comes a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes must unite against a common threat -- I think I've got it covered.


  1. That's a pretty gorgeous collection. Thankfully (from my wallet's perspective) statues/busts are one area of fandom into which I haven't been sucked, but I do have a a shelf each devoted to Marvel Legends figures for the Giant Size era X-Men and another for the Avengers - though the smaller variety of those figures doesn't allow for my Avengers roster to be too stylized (it's pretty much any Avenger they made a Legends figure for).

    Agreed on the Ms. Marvel statue as well: it looks great, and I love that costume! One of my all time faves.

    1. A friend got me into the Bowens about three or four years ago. His collection dwarfs mine, but he has more space. Plus, I tend to blow more money on collected editions. The amount I spend monthly on hardcovers and trades could probably buy a new Bowen each month. It's kind of scary.

      Besides these Avengers, I also have a group of "All New, All Different" X-Men, and some assorted solo heroes like Spider-Man, Iron Fist, and Adam Warlock.