After a long drought, Mattel's latest wave of DC Comics-based figures are hitting retail shelves-- and both Batman and Superman are sporting their looks from the New 52! Is that worth the exclamation point? Well, that depends on the fan; but these costumes seem to be sticking around so it's nice to get figures of these particular looks so quickly. Yeah, we know the DC reboot has been around for a year now, but that's also about how long it takes to produce an action figure from start to finish. Anyway, we were able to acquire the DC Universe Classics All-Star Superman figure at our local comic shop, and we're inviting you to join us as we take a closer look at this particular Kal-El, to judge if he's a worthy successor to the previously released (a gazillion different times) Supes we've had in the DCUC line.
The packaging for this wave is the same as we've seen from the last few DCUC releases. It features a clear blister that has some nice shaping to it to give it the appearance of shattering-- sort of. At the bottom is the card which tells the name of the figure along with showing his symbol. The cardboard backer is covered in semi-translucent pictures of various members of the DCU. The back of the package shows Superman in full, along with his bio, a plug for the Matty Collector website, and shots of the four figures in this wave. It's a nice looking package and was a welcome change when it was introduced, and now we're looking forward to seeing what kind of design the DC Unlimited line will have!
Here's the short bio from the back of the package:
Rocketed to Earth from the doomed planet Krypton, the infant Kal-El was adopted by the kindly Kent family of Smallville, Kansas. Young Clark Kent grew strong and powerful under the rays of the Earth's yellow sun, developing a phenomenal array of super powers. In adulthood, Clark would use these abilities as Superman, championing the virtues of truth, justice and the American way while keeping secret his true identity as a crusading reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper.
The Four Horsemen thankfully have been brought on to continue their amazing run on Mattel's DC Universe characters, which also means that the DC Unlimited versions of the figures will match up with the previous DC Universe Classics line-- that this figure is a part of, even though it wasn't originally supposed to be the case. Geez, all of the line cancellations, delays, extensions, online-exclusivity, and re-naming has really taken a toll on what we're going to be getting in the coming months! However, the good thing is that with this Superman we get an early glimpse at what the future will hold, and it's very good indeed! Unlike the DCUC's rampant re-use of basic bodies, this Superman has molded lines all over his suit, along with a fully sculpted collar and raised "S" shield in the middle of his chest. His oots are appropriately overly-grooved, and his face sculpt lends itself to the younger look of the characters as they currently appear in the comics. So much of the figure is new, that it's actually easier to point out the re-used pieces: the shoulder sockets (the outher shoulders are all new and feature a diamond pattern sculpted into them), the crotch piece (the belt is part of a rubber overlay only and isn't a molded as part of the piece), and the hip swivels. Superman still manages to have a barrel chest, but overall the figure itself looks to be a slimmer build. It's a great representatin of the new Jim Lee design while still keeping it not too artist-specific.
The paintwork on Superman is simple and clean, with most of the figure being molded in the appropriate colors. A glossy red has been used for his "S" shield, belt, boots, and the piping on his collar and wrists while a darker blue has been airbrushed onto the blue body suit to help bring out the details of the sculpt and add shading. Bright yellow fills in the middle of the chest logo and we'll admit to looking over 3 other figure before finding one with no overspray. The cape has some dark red airbrushed into the folds and a black "S" shield tampographed on the back. While it looks good straight on, from an angle you can see that the sides of the logo don't carry on into the folds of the cape. It's not a huge deal, but once seen it can't be unseen no matter how hard we try!
Articulation for the Man of Steel comes in the familiar system we've grown accustomed to over the years with DC Universe Classics. Supes features a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and hinged ankles. All of the articulation is tight and Superman holds any position you put him in well. The cape, while laying wide on his shoulders, doesn't really hinder any of the articulation in the shoulders or arms. One big bonus with this figure is that the neck actually works like a ball-joint instead of a swivel, thus allowing Clark to look up as he's flying. Downward movement of the neck is almost non-existent though.
While we're used to DCUC figures to have limited accessories, Superman comes with none. Granted, it's not like he's going to be brandishing a gun or knife, but without a Collect & Connect piece, we expected hi. to have a figure stand, at the very least. After taking these photos though, we think he'll have a permenant place on one of our S.H. Figuarts flight stands.
All in all, this figure is a great representation of the New 52 character design and manages to keep all of the aticulation we've come to love and expect from Mattel's 6" DC lines. The price seems a little steep for a figure with no accessories, but the new tooling helps to make up for it more tha it would for a figure using mostly re-used pieces. Now we've gotta find the Batman! For more on the upcoming DC Unlimited line, and the online-exclusive Club Infinite Earths releases (for the classic DC look), be sure to check out the Matty Collector website!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Mattel and DC Universe toy coverage!