Dr. Archibald “Venom” Monev (2010)
Doctor Venom–there’s so much to say about the guy. I guess the thing that most old school Joe comic and toy fans found themselves saying back in the 80’s was–where’s his action figure? While he may not have been the most exciting looking character in the comic (older guy in white lab coat), there’s no denying the impact he had on those early Marvel comic issues, and the impact he and his Brainwave Scanner still have in the Joe mythos.
The Collectors Club produced a Doctor Venom figure that sort of filled the void for comic fans. This isn’t the doctor as he appeared in the 80’s, but rather from the time of the Adventure Team. It was a bold move, and just one of the more recent attempts by the club to tie the toyline of the 60’s and 70’s more closely to the Real American Hero storyline. Of course, Larry Hama had started this back in the Marvel comic with Joe Colton and Jane, but it seems the club is going whole hog with the concept, in both their 3 3/4 and 12 inch offerings. In this pre-Cobra era, the doctor has been cast aside by the US government for being a little too evil (go figure) and has relocated to the jungle to extract mind control toxins from plant life. I wonder where that’s going to end up?
Civilian clothed GI Joe figures are problematic to depict, given that many of the parts available don’t work well as normal attire. The supply of plain looking shirts, pants and coats has always been limited, but the 25th anniversary line’s propensity for removable gear has made at least the search for plain shirts a bit easier. The mix of parts works quite well in this case, with the Rise of Cobra Rex Lewis labcoat being a wonderfully perfect part.
The portrayal of a younger Doctor Venom naturally gives rise to a more youthful looking figure. I thought that the head was entirely new, but in looking around, it appears to bear a strong resemblance to the Mortal Kombat Movie Liu Kang head. Even the little spit curl is there. Comparing both side by side, they’re not exactly the same, and obviously the scale is different, but they look like they may have been separated at birth.