Vanessa got me a bunch of cool stuff for Christmas this year including five action figures but I haven’t gotten around to reviewing any of them until now. Four of them were Star Wars Black Series figures and the odd man out was this Superman figure by DC Collectibles.
I’m a DC fan but the figures are generally a low priority in my toy collection. I grew up a hard-core Marvel kid so I’ll happily waste a ton of money collecting of all the random D-list Marvel figures but with DC I tend to stick mostly to mainstream characters. I also try to avoid multiple versions of the same character. I don’t mind owning dozens of Spider-Man and Iron Man variations but when it comes to DC heroes like Flash or Green Lantern I try to find the single most iconic and cool figure available and leave it at that. For the past 10 years the one Superman figure in my modern toy collection has been the DC Direct 2005 version based on Ed McGuinness’s artwork from the Public Enemies (PE) storyline. I love McGuinness’s exaggerated cartoony style and I thought the DC Direct sculptors captured it beautifully in their PE line. Many great Superman figures have been released since then but none of them could dethrone the beefy squinty-eyed McGuinness version.
However, my one version rule went out the window when DC Collectibles unveiled this beauty based on the artwork of Jae Lee. I wouldn’t say it dethrones the McGuinness version because they’re so different but it was definitely a must have for me. I can’t recall the first time I saw Jae Lee’s artwork, he’s done a smattering of work for both Marvel and DC since the 90s, but I know when I became a fan. In 2004 he illustrated a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover for Dreamwave, a Canadian company that published Transformers books for a few years in the early 2000s. The story was set in WWII which was an interesting concept but it was Lee’s pencils that really left an impression on me. Everything was so dark and mysterious and the period-accurate character redesigns were amazing.
In 2013 DC launched a new Superman/Batman team-up book with Lee as the primary artist. That series is what inspired DC Collectibles to release a wave of figures based on Lee’s unique take on four DC icons; Batman, Catwoman, Wonder Woman, and Superman.
This figure may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I love it. It looks like Lee’s pencils have leapt off the page and I’d have thought that would’ve been near impossible to pull off given his unconventional style. I think the New-52 era costume looks great as rendered by Lee. There’s a lot more line work for him to play with than there would have been on the classic tights. The head sculpt is very well done too and the paint job highlights all of the sculpting work. I think the red eyes give him a very alien look that we haven’t seen before. This is kind of a dark and scary Superman which is the polar opposite of the bright and polished McGuinness version.
One thing I particularly love about this figure is the cape. It’s a just a rubbery mass of folds but it looks surprisingly realistic. It’s one of the best action figure capes I’ve ever seen. My McGuinness figure has an embarrassingly small hand towel on his back so this figure definitely trumps him in the cape department.
This is an awesome figure that I’ve been looking forward to reviewing for months but the real reason I selected it today is because I wanted to talk about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. I saw it on opening day but I wanted to give everyone time to see it before I blogged about it. The thing is, after some thought, I realized that I don’t have much to say about it. I didn’t like it but I didn’t hate it either. I think Man of Steel lowered my expectations to such a point that it would have been impossible for me to be disappointed by its sequel. I think you have to be passionate about something to get worked up over it and this movie didn’t make me feel much of anything. I could rant and rave about what I dislike about DC’s burgeoning cinematic universe but I feel it’s already been said to death in every corner of the internet. I will say that I saw flourishes of potential for future movies, Affleck showed promise as Batman and Wonder Woman looked pretty hot and tough, but sadly it was Superman who got shortchanged yet again (not to mention Jimmy Olsen). I still think Henry Cavill could make a great Superman with the right material but BvS didn’t do him any favours.