Another day, another DC Universe Classics Wave 15 review! On this cool Autumn day (or Summer if you’re hanging out in Australia) we’re checking out one of our favorite DCUC figures from Mattel: The Modern Starman a.k.a. Jack Knight! Join us, won’t you? ...of course you will, don’t kid yourself.
Jack Knight is just like you. How so, you ask? Cause he’s a goatee-sportin’ superhero?! Not at all. You see, Jack is a collector. That’s right, this crime-fightin’ sonuvagun even had his own Antique & Collectibles shop and, let’s face it, DCUC figures are highly collectible… and possibly addicting. Jack took over the mantle of Starman from his Dad (Ted Knight), after his brother (who decided to become Starman first) bit the bullet. Literally. He was murdered by one of Jack’s Dad’s old foes: The Mist. Cosmic staffs were constructed, goggles were donned, and before you know it, ol’ Jacks out flying around Opal City busting heads and dealing with inner turmoil just like any other four-color Supe, minus the tight-fitting costume. Instead of opting to sport the familiar reds and greens of his Dad’s uniform, Jack wears a sweet leather jacket just like all the other awesome 90s icons. Jack's long since retired now, and his Cosmic Staff has been passed on to the Justice Society of America’s Stargirl. He now hangs out in San Francisco, just raising his son… and probably hunting DCUCs like all the rest of us.
Starman looks to have a 100% new sculpt. If this is indeed the case, it’s kind of a big deal. You see, DCUC is known for its slick parts re-use, so when the Four Horsemen get to create someone from scratch, its pretty damn cool. Jack’s head is very well done. His face is masked in determination while his tousled hair is falling atop the welding goggles he wears pushed high up on his forehead. His goatee makes a fully-sculpted debut as well. Starman is wearing his ever-present t-shirt beneath his trademark leather jacket. The coat has the look of realism with it’s wrinkles and buttons in all the right spots. His small sheriff’s badge is even present on the lapel. His pants are also notably creased and the cuffs fall around the tops of his combat boots. Jack’s sculpt is generally fantastic and will be used again, you just wait and see. Like all DCUC figures, Starman has a muscular physique that, in this case, isn’t entirely right for the character. While it doesn’t necessarily take away from the toy’s appearance; in the comics, Jack is more slender than this figure would lead you to believe.
The paint on this figure is one of the best in the Wave. His head is molded in the appropriate skin tone, but a nice shading is added to bring out the sculpt. His hair and goggles are black, with the lenses being colored the same green as his shirt. His eyebrows and eyes have been applied cleanly, and the same can also be said for his face-fuzz. His jacket is the highlight of the figure. It’s two shades of black, and the small pin has been painted grey. The back of the coat is where all the awesome comes into play. The astrological emblem that has become Starman’s de-facto symbol is emblazoned across the back of the jacket thanks to a sweet multi-layered tampograph. The pants are tan/khaki and match the color-scheme set up in the comics. They are glossier than they probably should be though, and could have benefitted from some drybrushing to knock down some o’ that shine. Same goes for the boots; although to be fair, combat boots ARE shiny when polished. All in all, it’s still a terrific paint job for a (let’s face it) second-string character, and it’s nice to know that Mattel is showing the same attention no matter how “important” the character is.
This figure of Starman is the first in the entire Wave 15 collection to feature a slightly different articulation model. By “slightly different” we mean “not quite as good”. Sorry guys, while Jack is definitely still one of our favorites, he does have his shortcomings. The articulation he DOES have is as follows: ball-joint head (which works terrifically, like all Wave 15 figures so far), swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps (which seem to be cut at angles, thus limiting posing), hinged elbows, swivel wrists (hidden at the cuffs), swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs (also cut at odd angles), hinged knees, & hinged ankles. What’s missing? The hinged torso! Granted, he’s wearing a jacket so it’s not really necessary, the recent Question figure still managed to have his, and that sneaky faceless freak is wearing a full trenchcoat! Also, the figure we reviewed didn’t turn at the waist. While it looks as if it should, there was just no budging it, which we tried to the point where we thought it best to stop before we snap poor Jack right in two. Do any of you readers have this guy? Does your figure have a swivel waist? Please, let us know in the Comment Section below, cause we’d love to find out!
Starman is packaged with a few accessories. He has been, of course, packaged with his Cosmic Staff. This is one of the most recognizable and iconic weapons in the entire DC Universe. Much like a batarang, or a Green Lantern ring; the Cosmic Staff is as much a part of Starman’s character as Jack Knight himself. It allows him to fly, project a kind of force field around himself, and shoot some fairly hardcore energy blasts. It has been molded in a nice metal-flaked gold and small details of silver have been added to various buttons scattered across the shaft of the staff. Starman is also accompanied by a DC 75th Anniversary button. This one features the original Starman in all his Golden Age glory and its pointed and sharp, so eating this thing does NOT come recommended by us… or anyone else really. Use your own judgment people! He also comes with one of Validus’ legs; so, unless you want that big guy hobbling around, you’ll need to purchase this figure.
James Robinson and Tony Harris really managed to make Jack Knight a viable hero in the DC Universe at a time when flash-in-the-pan heroes and giant shoulderpads were all the rage. It seems like Mattel has followed that tradition, by bringing out a figure that can really stand proudly at the front of the shelf as one of DCUC’s best. We recommend you buy this guy, if you manage to snag one before the other ravenous DC fans gets to him first!