A post from my old Marvel blog concerning a packet of materials sent to members of WAM!, the Wild Agents of Marvel
Jen Grunwald brought me in an artifact from the past, well-timed given some of the stuff I talked about in that Bendis interview that saw print last week. It was a packet of stuff sent out to members of WAM!, Marvel’s short-lived fan club from the early ’90s, the “Wild Agents of Marvel.”
This particular packet featured a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the latest line of Marvel Toybiz action figures, including the second X-Men assortment and the first X-Force line. The first section is a transcript of a meeting I attended on 1/10/92 about the various features each figure should have. My brilliant contribution to this discussion included lines such as:
“It would make more sense to mount the light device inside Magneto’s belt, rather than into his arm.”
“Now, Forge has one bionic hand and one bionic leg. We have to make sure on which is which. They way they’ve done it here (indicating control art), we only see half the figure. We want to make sure which is bionic and which isn’t.”
“The only problem I found with the lifting action is that like in the case with Colossus, it worked with the barbell. But when he didn’t have the barbell, the action made it look like he was saying, ‘Why me?'”
“He is more like a mastermind, plotting and scheming. He lets other people do his dirty work. I guess you could package him with three other guys and let him stand off in a corner…”
Also included in the packet were schematic drawings of many of the figures, as well as the control art from which they were adapted. This is of interest because most of the control art was drawn by me. At the time, the X-Force characters were brand new, and so no usable three-views existed yet. So, taking a stack of Mark Gruenwald’s three-view boards that he’d printed up for the three-ring binder version of the Marvel handbook, I sat down and executed the control art myself. I can vaguely remember trying to figure out how some of the X-Force costumes worked, because Rob Liefeld would draw them differently based on what angle you were seeing them from–which was fine in comics, but wouldn’t work when you were making a three-dimensional toy.