Today I’m kicking off a three-part set of features with a look at a pair of older DC Universe Classics figures. Follow me on this one, it’ll all be connected. I tend to get my share of strange looks when I tell people that Mr. Miracle was one of my favorite comics as a kid. He’s not exactly an A-lister in the DC roster. It was even an unlikely choice for me, as I just stumbled upon his books at the local used book shop and my dad bought me a stack of them. I also owe it to Mr. Miracle for getting me back into comics in 1989 with the return of his ongoing series (and introducing me to Booster Gold and Ted Kord, but more on that tomorrow). What sucked me in wasn’t necessarily Mr. Miracle as a superhero, but rather the whole New Gods tie in and the backstory between Scott Free, Big Barda, Darkseid and Apokolips. I thought it was epic stuff, and the book was packed with great humor as Scott and Barda tried to build a new suburban life on Earth and no one would leave them in peace.
As a result, Mr. Miracle was actually the very first DCUC figure I ever bought, and it became the slippery slope that led to my addiction to the line. He was quite the pegwarmer, and one day I encountered an entire wall of them in the action figure aisle at one of the big box stores. Leave it to me to be overjoyed by a figure that nobody else wanted. I tend to be funny that way. I couldn’t help feel bad for Scott. First he gets traded to Apokolips in one of the most poorly conceived peace deals ever and now he’s made to suffer the shame of pegwarming. The dude just can’t cut a break.
The DCUC version of Mr. Miracle gets by with a pretty standard buck and a few tweaks and bobs to the sculpt to make him unique. Oddly enough some of the best detail in the sculpt is on the soles of his boots. He’s got a crazy amount of circuit-styled detail down there where you would never see it. He’s sporting a rather seriously pissed-off head sculpt, which might not have been an optimum choice for the character. He also sports one of my favorite capes in all the DCUC line. It doesn’t drag on the ground, it has a bitchin’ over sized fastener in the front, and he’s got that great high collar that gives him a regal countenance.
The colors on the other hand? Well, I always thought red, yellow and green were an interesting choice of color palate. Or at least they would have been if you’re Captain Bolivia. In fairness, I think Miracle’s deco works better on the pages of the comics than in figure form, and even then it depends on who’s doing the colors. Still, he’s one distinctive looking figure. He does have some strange shadowing on his inner thighs that makes it look as if a bomb exploded between his legs!
I don’t usually expect accessories with my DCUC figures, but Mr. Miracle is one of the few that actually came with some cool stuff. First, you get a set of manacles for him to escape from. These slip on over his wrists and feature some amazing sculpted detail, nice silver paint, and even some additional paint apps. Very impressive!
He also came with a set of his signature Aero Discs, which peg into his feet. Again, the paint and sculpt on these are brilliant. It’s almost a shame that there’s so much detail in the bottoms of the Aero Discs, since you can’t see it when they’re plugged into the figure’s feet.
And that brings us to Big Barda. The lovely Mrs. Miracle if you will. She was available in two versions: Helmeted and sans Helmet. I have the later, but one of these days I’ll pick up the one with the helmet. In order to accept DCUC Barda into your heart, you need to lay aside a pretty glaring issue of scale. As one of Darkseid’s Furies, in the comics Barda was huge (hence the name!), much bigger than her husband, and so she falls into the trap of uniform scaled figures that DCUC often fell into. It should probably bother me more than it does, but somehow I’m able to look past it.
I’m pretty fond of the headsculpt on Barda. She’s attractive and looks a tad angry. The sculpt seems a little soft by today’s standards, but it’s not bad at all. I also appreciate that the hair is sculpted back a bit so as not to inhibit her head movement too much. Barda’s armor is reproduced with a very cool scale texture sculpted right onto the figure, and the top and bottom bronze plate. You could certainly argue that she should have been bulkier. The super thin arms don’t really reflect her character, but I’m guessing Mattel was faced with the dilemma of making her either too feminine or too butch.
Both figures feature the same DCUC style articulation. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows, and have swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs have the usual universal hinge joint, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. They have ab crunches in their torsos and their necks are ball jointed. The only difference is that Barda’s armor skirt sadly renders her hip articulation rather useless.
And that’s Mr. and Mrs. Miracle. These two figures have a special place in my heart among the 150 or so DCUC style figures on my shelves. Every time I look at my DCUC display, my eyes are drawn back to this pair that started it all. Tomorrow, I’ll be back to check out another pair of older DCUC figures, who happen to be based on two of my favorite DC characters of all time, and as already mentioned, were introduced to me in the pages of Mr. Miracles own book.
*This photos for this Feature were revised on 1/21/2016