Zarana (2005 Comic Pack)
Like her brother Zartan, Zarana is a master (or is it mistress?) of disguise. You certainly wouldn’t get that idea from looking at her outfit. Not something that blends in, unless you’re hanging around the film set of a low-budget 80’s Italian Mad Max ripoff. Maybe it’s what she wears on Cobra’s causal Fridays. Say what you will about her, but there’s never been an attractive version of the character in figure form. I know that’s not saying much, particularly with the vintage mold. The technology of the time didn’t allow for the smaller, more anatomically accurate sculpts we see now, so Zarana ends up looking quite mannish. Again, the costume design reminds me of something out of a Mad Max or post-apocalyptic 80’s film, with its thrown together clothing and weapon elements. I particularly enjoy the hybrid assault rifle/hedge trimmer.
Released as part of the comic pack series based on classic Marvel comics, she was included alongside Cobra Commander and Zartan. The later comic pack releases were unique for their attempt to more closely resemble the designs on the printed page. Quite a few of the figures from this time were also given new head sculpts, as is the case with Zarana. The vintage figure had two variant heads, both of which were strange looking, especially in the hair department. This one fares somewhat better. The colors are also different from the vintage line, with more muted tones and a less glossy finish. Zarana here also is without the shoulder armor of the original. The vintage figure would change color in the sun, turning a deep blue. Unfortunately, this effect was not included on this later version.
Most of the comic pack figures can be had for reasonable prices. If you don’t feel like dropping 50 bones on EBay to get the modern comi-con version, and you’re into the vintage style, I think this Zarana beats her original release for look and value.