Apologies that today’s DC Friday Feature is going up so late. It’s been a bitch of a week and I’m glad to put it behind me. But after a detour last week, I didn’t want to delay wrapping up Wave 3 of DC Icons any longer. Yes, today’s figure is Aquaman, and while he tends to take a lot of guff from a lot of people, I’ve always had a soft spot for the guy. I was happy to see him getting a slot in the DC Icons line, as the series continues to alternate between classic versions of cornerstone characters and more fleeting appearances of back-benchers. And so some may shake their head when a wave goes from Harley Quinn and Superman to Atomica and back to Aquaman, but scoff if you will, this is what Universe building is all about.
We’ve seen this packaging many times over by now. It’s clean, attractive, and collector friendly. Aquaman’s box is branded with orange coloring, indicates that he is the 11th figure in the line, and the side panel notes that this figure is taken from the pages of “The Legend of Aquaman,” a limited run origins story that was published in the late 80’s. I actually remember reading that one way back when, it was probably one of the last comic series I read before the 90’s hit and I started drifting away from comic books for a time. I revisited it after getting this figure, but unlike my re-reading of “Man of Steel,” it completely failed to capture my interest.
Nonetheless, the book features a very classic look for Aquaman and a great basis for this figure. But is there really a lot to say about this guy? With a few exceptions, his costume has changed the least out of anyone over the years and whether I’m looking at the original DC Universe Classics version or the New 52 Justice League version from DC Collectibles, there’s not a lot new here to talk about. You get the gorgeous gold fish-scale patterned top and dark green gauntlets and legs. From the back you can see the sculpted fins on the back of his lower legs. This is a fine treatment of the character, but I don’t think it’s really anything we haven’t seen before plenty of times.
You get two portraits with the figure. The regular head is one of the better ones I’ve seen in the DC Icons line. At the risk of overusing the word here, it just looks very classic Aquaman. The paint is very clean and the figure features a strong jawline.
The alternate head features a hole in the forehead to insert his telepathy effect part. I like the look of this piece and I’m glad DCC included it, as it’s one of the few things that makes this figure truly stand out as something genuinely new and different. The head sculpt is virtually the same, and I’m not sure why they bothered to make the effect piece removable. It’s not like anyone is going to use the head without the cone telepathy cone pegged into it. Maybe it was just cheaper to do it that way.
If you’ve been collecting this line, or reading my Features on it, the articulation here should present no surprises. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows and knees, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, ball joints in the hips, an ab-crunch hinge just above the waist, a ball joint under the chest and again in the neck, and swivels in the biceps. It’s all pretty good stuff, but the lack of a waist swivel in this figure really irks me, as does the lack of thigh swivels. The wrists are on hinged pegs, allowing for swappable hands. Aquaman comes with a total of three pairs, including fists, relaxed hands, and trident-holding hands.
And conveniently, you also get a trident for those-trident holding hands to hold! I have my share of Aquaman figures and I can safely say this is the best trident that’s come with any of them. The prongs are super thin and fragile, but I think that’s what makes it look so good. The head will pop off the shaft to help slide it through his closed grips.
If you’re in the market for a very classic and solid Aquaman figure, you can’t go wrong here, and thanks to the timelessness of this look, he works fine as a modern version of the character too. I should also note how cool it is that Icons has so far been pulling the core Justice League characters from appearances published in the 80’s and that gives me a very classic and cohesive looking team so far. And this Feature also gets me current on DC Icons, but I’ll be anxiously awaiting Wave 4 to ship with Firestorm, John Stewart, and The Joker. Unfortunately, it looks like they’ve been delayed well into 4th Quarter.