DC Universe All Stars: “New 52” Superman

Time to check out the second New 52 treatment in Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line… oops, I mean All Stars. Make no mistake, this isn’t DCUC, that line was cancelled. This is something brand new. You can tell just by looking at the package…

Yep, there’s nothing at all familiar here. We just saw this packaging a few days ago with New 52 Batman, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it. It still looks great to me. The back panel of the card has a blurb about Superman, just in case you don’t know who the hell he is, right? The bottom of the card shows the other three figures that make up this wave. Let’s rip it open and get Supes out…

Once again, your mileage with this figure will depend a lot on how you feel about the New 52 costumes. Batman’s wasn’t all that much different than what we’re used to, but Superman here breaks from tradition a bit more. It’s still a blue outfit, red cape, and giant “S” shield on his chest, but as they say, the devil is in the details, and a number of the iconic details have changed up a bit. The most obvious is the omission of the red “underwear” which seems to bother fans the most. The belt has gone from yellow to red, there are panel lines in the costume, giving it a slight armored look, and he’s now sporting a high collar. But in the end the design is what it is, and we’re here to see how well the figure pulls it off…

Pretty damn well, I think. First off, the size difference doesn’t seem as apparent on this figure as it did with Batman. Yes, New 52 Supes seems a little slighter when standing next to my DCUC Supes, but they’re roughly the same height and they can certainly hang on my shelf together. The second thing that grabs my eye the most is the new head sculpt. It really does a great job matching the new, more youthful guise of the New 52’s comic book counterpart. I like it a lot. Next up is the glorious sculpted chest shield. Yes, just as with Batman, DC pointed out in one of the early issues of Justice League that the emblem on Superman’s chest should be raised in any 3D recreations and Mattel answered the call. The difference between a sculpted emblem and one that is just painted on makes a huge difference to me. As with Batman, the panel lines on Supes’ costume are downplayed a bit. I think I would have liked to see them more pronounced.

I’ve always been a fan of Superman’s colors scheme and this figure’s coloring really pleases the eye. The blue plastic used for the body suit is vibrant and spot on and meshes beautifully with the red plastic used for the cape. The paintwork on the chest shield is immaculate and the use of glossy red paint for the boots is certainly welcome. There’s no slop or bleeding to speak of and everything looks snazzy and fresh.

The only things here that I’m not all too keen on are the belt, the wrist cuffs, and the emblem on the cape. The cape emblem is just tampoed on in drab black ink and doesn’t really match the colorful snap of the rest of the figure. The belt is oddly un-centered. I’m not sure if this is a stylistic point that I missed from the comic artwork or not. Either way, it’s not a huge deal. As for the cuffs, well that’s just a sticking point I have with the design, not the figure.

How about articulation? Well, I realize this All Stars line is brand new *cough* so you might not know what to expect. Surprisingly, the articulation is identical to the old DCUC line. Imagine that! You get a ball jointed head; the arms feature ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have that same universal movement from the old DCUC line, hinged knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. The torso swivels at the waist and features the ubiquitous ab crunch hinge. Nope, no surprises here!

In the end, I really like this figure a lot. It’s definitely fresh and new and it hits all the points of the redesign quite well. The sculpting is all around solid and the coloring is gorgeous. I’m not prepared to toss my original DCUC Superman figure into a tote and give this one his space on the shelf, but I respect the changes, probably more than most vocal fans, and the figure really does it all… dare I say it? Justice!

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