Justice League War (DC Animated Movie Series): Superman and Wonder Woman by DC Collectibles

Marvel may be ruling the world of live action movies, but DC has long been kicking ass with their animated direct to video presentations. Justice League War was one of these and boy was it great. Superb characterization, a really fun Batman vs. Superman fight, some dude called Wonder Woman a whore and got outed as a transvestite, and overall a really good feature length treatment of the first story arc from The New 52’s Justice League book. Rather than just bring us animated Jim Lee art, these films tend to skew a little more stylized and if nothing else that gives them the opportunity to market action figures of the same characters to idiots like me.

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Now let me say straightaway, that I would have included Batman here, but for some inexplicable reason, they didn’t make a Justice League War version of Bats. Shazam? Sure! Batman, nah! That seems really shortsighted to me, but they did release him from Son of Batman, naturally I have him and I’ll get to him eventually. Anyway, the packaging here looks nice, but it’s a simple bubble on card affair and not collector friendly. You get some stills from the feature behind the figures and character art on the right panel insert. The figures are numbered, with Superman and Wonder Woman being #2 and #4, respectively. Let’s start with Superman!

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Oh, boy. This is a stylized re-imagining of the New 52 look, and I think the work on the costume is pretty solid. Keep in mind that this line uses some buck sharing, so with the exception of the cape, all the details on Superman’s costume are achieved with paint alone. I like the rich shades of blue and red they used and for the most part the lines are fairly sharp. The intricate panel lines of the comic look have been toned down to just a few. The package suggests these might glow in the dark, but I don’t see much evidence of that. There are a few unfortunate globs of glue on my figure, one by his right cape attachment and another on his left bicep. These were priced about the same as regular DC Collectibles figures, but the quality control on Supes could have been better.

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The cape is OK. It’s not too heavy and it doesn’t drag on the floor, so it doesn’t inhibit wider stances. There’s no S-shield printed on the back. I can’t remember if he had it in the film, but I’m guessing not. Moving on to the portrait…

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Sweet Kryptonian Jesus!!! While everything from the neck down is passable, I don’t know what is going on with this head sculpt. It’s like someone cast older Robert Z’Dar to play Supes. Too soon? Sorry Z’Dar fans. Anyway, this portrait is just all sorts of wrong and I’m hoping that the mold got pinched in production or something, because I don’t want to call anyone out on their work. Phil Ramirez sculpted him and he’s a talented guy. I have lots of his work in both action figure and statue form, so I’m just not sure what happened here. The promo pictures were actually spot on and should have been enough to warn me off the figure, but I remember thinking, there’s no way the actual figure’s portrait is going to look like that. I have no one to blame but myself.

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Articulation is pretty good for a DCC release. You get rotating hinges in both the shoulders and elbows, as well as swivels in the biceps. The wrists look like they have swivel cuts, but mine won’t budge and I don’t want to twist them off trying. The legs are ball jointed and the knees are hinged. And lastly, you get a ball joint in the neck. Let’s move on to Wonder Woman…

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Diana is an entirely different story, in that she’s excellent in almost every way. Granted, you have to buy into the the stylized design, and the fact that her costume got a pretty unique overhaul for this movie, but I happen to like it a lot. Wonder Woman is the only female in the Justice League War series, but I believe they might have recycled some of the parts for the buck for Mera from the Throne of Atlantis.

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Either way, her costume is also all achieved through a deco of red, blue, and silver paint, coupled with some flesh tones. There are a few lines that could have been sharper, there’s a stray spot of silver on her left heel, but all in all, I think the paint is good here. Her sculpted lasso is permanently attached to her hip.

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While Superman looks like he caught a freight train full of bees with his face, Wonder Woman’s portrait, sculpted by Jack Mathews, is very well done and quite faithful to her likeness in the film. The painted features on her face are very sharp and I especially dig her ponytail.

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The articulation here is close to Superman’s, just minus the bicep swivels.

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Wonder Woman comes with her short sword. It’s a welcome accessory, because she used the sword a lot in the movie… even to inadvertently demand ice cream at the point of a blade.

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I’d call my first foray into the DC Animated Movie Series to be a hit and a miss. Superman would have been fine if not for his unfortunately weird face, but I’ve got nothing but love for this Wonder Woman. In fact, she’s so good it makes me all the more sad that I don’t have a decent looking Superman to go with her. Ah, well… I also have a lot more of the Animated Movie Series to open, because most online retailers were blowing them out at $9.99 and I can’t help myself.

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