DC Comics: “New 52” Darkseid by DC Collectibles

Boy have I had this guy on my want list for a long time. My first Darkseid figure came from Kenner’s old Superpowers line. He was eventually outdone when I completed the Collect & Connect Darkseid from the DC Universe Classic line. And now, even that generously sized Darkseid must take second seat to DC Collectibles magnificently mammoth version based on his appearance in the New 52 Justice League. I’ll go on record and say that I still prefer the classic style of the character. It’s the one I grew up with and it’ll always be my favorite. But with that having been said, I was mighty damn excited to see this new Jim Lee version turn up in Justice League #4 and I knew I needed this guy on my shelves in one form or another. Of course, I usually turn to Mattel’s line for my DC figures, but since the Unlimited version of Darkseid turned out all sorts of puny and shitty, I decided to go with DC Collectibles for this one.

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I am not a big fan of DC Collectibles package designs. They’re bland and boring and everything that a package for comic book-based collectible should not look like. Christ, people, you’re in the business of art and graphic design, why can’t you come up with something better than this? Look at Mattel’s Unlimited line… that’s how you do an exciting comic book figure package. Thankfully, Darkseid comes in a giant window box, so the beast of a figure can do all the talking. The package is completely collector friendly if you want to keep it around for storage, although it’s a bit flimsy so it’s likely to get beaten up pretty easily. Darkseid is tied down to the inner plastic tray with a thousand twisty ties, so it helps to have a pair of clippers handy or a set of finely tuned Omega Beams. The only other thing in the box is a sheet of instructions regarding his shoulder pads, but more on that later.

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Before getting to the particulars of the sculpt, let me say this: Holy crap, this guy’s heavy!! Sure he’s thirteen inches tall, but I still didn’t expect this much mass. I guess I’m used to stuff this big being rotocast, but Darkseid is like a solid brick of plastic, possibly with a core of dwarf star alloy at the center. I could probably launch this guy off the roof and while the shoulders will likely shoot off, I think the figure might come away unscathed and dent the pavement. The last time I was this impressed with the sheer weight of a figure was probably when I first held Hasbro’s Masterworks Galactus.

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Darkseid’s body features his New 52 armor. I think the armor looks great in the Jim Lee art, but it’s had mixed results in plastic form. The DC Unlimited version looks terrible to me because it’s basically a standard buck with his armor laid over the shoulders like football equipment. This version incorporates everything into a far beefier body. The shoulder and chest armor still stands out beautifully because it’s a different color than the torso, and it matches the gloves and boots nicely. The armor features weathered cracks and fractures all throughout the sculpt, and he has a translucent red crystal right in the middle of his chest. The torso and legs are black with sculpted muscles and some wrinkles here and there, and Darkseid’s bare arms feature the same stony texture as his face. The final touches of the deco include the gold edging to his belt and the piping on his torso and around his helmet.

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Ok, onto the sculpt… the portrait is gorgeous, and by gorgeous I mean butt ugly, just the way he’s supposed to be. Darkseid looks appropriately pissed off, just like he’s always supposed to look. He’s gritting his teeth in rage, and narrowing his red eyes as if he’s about to focus his Omega Beams and fry some capes. The New 52 likeness features a more complex and craggy complexion than the older Darkseid, and it’s wonderfully reproduced here in every little evil nook and cranny. He looks positively ancient.

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How about articulation? Honestly, I don’t need much from my Darkseid, other than to just stand there and look menacing. That having been said, you do get a decent amount of posabilty out of this guy. He features ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and wrists. He has swivels in his biceps, forearms, and lower legs. He has a standard T-crotch, and hinges in his elbows and knees. The shoulder plates are attached with ball joints to allow them to lift and move with his arms. It works well, but they can detach if you move his shoulders too much. The included instruction sheet shows you how to reattach if they pop off, but apparently, it’s a bitch to get them back on. I’ve done quite a bit of posing with my figure and mine have yet to pop off, so it seems to just be a precautionary warning. The knee hinges are crazy strong ratcheting joints that require a lot of force to bend. There’s no worries about the legs giving out under the weight of the figure, but it can make posing them a little scary.

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As a Deluxe figure, Darkseid clocks in at around $85-90 at most retailers. Once I saw him, there was never any doubt that I was going to add him to my collection, and I’m glad I did. I love Jack Kirby and The New Gods and while I still prefer the Darkseid design that I grew up with, I really dig this one too. The fact that he’s so damn big is just the icing on the cake. He’s scaled quite nicely for the DC Collectibles Justice League figures, which in turn means he’s nicely scaled for display with my DCUC-style figures. In size and stature, he isn’t quite as impressive as Hasbro’s Masterwork Galactus, but he makes up for a lot of that in the beautiful detail of his sculpt and the overall quality feel of the piece.

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