Collecting the Icons series has been quite the roller-coaster ride. The line swelled pretty quickly and with a slew of releases planned for this Summer, it only seemed to be gaining more and more steam. I was sure we were looking at the next DC Universe Classics. And then DC Collectibles began the cancellations and it seemed as if the writing was on the wall. Right now, we’re getting mixed signals, with some figures still shipping, but I think it’s safe to say this line is on its way out. DCC blames poor retailer support. Either way, I’m not going to let my support for the line falter. Today I’m checking out Figure #21: Deathstroke!
The packaging remains unchanged from the last Icons figures I looked at, and it’s actually very similar to DCC’s Designer Series as well. Hey, why not go with what works! You get a nice clean design with a large wrap-around window to show off the goods. The left panel includes the name of the figure, the number in the series, and the comic that he was pulled from, in this case, The Judas Contract, a real classic, and the subject of a recent DC Animated film. Very good choice! Let’s open up this box and check out Slade Wilson!
As far as costumes go, Deathstroke is about as iconic as they get. I wouldn’t think that orange and metallic blue would go so well together, but I guess it works for The Hobgoblin too. Here we have Deathstroke in all his classic comic book glory. He features some ridiculously exaggerated buccaneer boots and gauntlets, and sculpted scale armor on his legs, arms, and lower chest. The upper chest and shoulders are matte black, which leads into his mask. The use of all original sculpting is a big part of what makes this line shine, and there’s plenty of that on display with this figure. I particularly love all the detail in his belt, right down to the pouches and grenades. He also features a belt of ammunition slung across his chest.
From the back, we can get a good look at Slade’s sword and scabbard. The scabbard pegs into his back and stays on firmly. It’s orange, to match the costume, and it features gold painted fixtures. And a closeup of the holster shows that his revolver fits into it… well sort of. I wish they had put a hole in the bottom to pass the barrel through. As it is, it rides kind of high. That’s probably convenient for those quick draw situations, but not so beneficial when it falls out unexpectedly.
I’ve already mentioned the coloring on this figure, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t praise both the quality and application of the paint. The metallic blue used for the scale armor is just so damn gorgeous and it contrasts so nicely with the matte orange. You also get some yellow applications on the trim of the gauntlets and various places on the belt. The ammo strap has more of that lovely blue, with each cartridge painted gold on the front and back, and some more gold on his collar. Even the sculpted straps for the holster are neatly painted. This is a beautiful figure!
Slade comes out of the box with his masked head, which is simple but nonetheless excellent. I really dig how the sculpt shows the contours of his face underneath it, and the one eye is superbly painted as is the black outline around it. You also get some metallic paint on the discs over the ears. The mask is rounded out with tie strings coming off the back and running down behind the neck.
And you also get the unmasked head, which is a fantastic piece of work and really presents me with an unsolvable conundrum. Which head to display him with? Which only leads me to other questions: Do I need to pick up another one of these figures so I don’t have to decide? Will it save the line if I buy two of every figure released? Because I’m prepared to do that!
Articulation is standard DC Icons stuff, which is to say it’s pretty damn good, but not quite pretty damn great. The legs have ball joints in the hips, double hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. Nope, still no thigh cuts, and that’s a big part of what keeps the articulation from being all that it could be. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso has an ab crunch and a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed as well. Make no mistake, this figure is tons of fun, but after playing with the Designer Series Bombshells, I can’t imagine why DCC couldn’t have added those thigh swivels.
No doubt Deathstroke comes with a lot of goodies, which I’ll run through right now, but he also has an extra pair of hands to help hold his killing tools. I’ve already shown off his revolver in the holster, so here’s a shot of it out and ready for action. It’s a good sculpt, but just cast in silver plastic and has no extra paint apps. His right hand is sculpted to hold it perfectly, trigger finger and all.
Next up, we have this assault rifle. It’s an interesting design, very futuristic, and like the revolver, he can hold it perfectly in his right hand. It’s cast in the same plastic as the pistol, and here especially I think some additional paint apps would have helped make a cool looking weapon even better.
His sword draws from the scabbard easily, and his left hand is designed to grip it firmly. The blade is made of pretty stout plastic, so it isn’t susceptible to warping and I really dig that.
And finally, Slade comes with his staff. It’s another accessory cast in silver plastic. It also separates to form two fighting batons.
DC Icons Deathstroke is such a damn great figure, I can’t help but feel sad for the Icons releases that have already been cancelled. Booster Gold, Ted Kord Blue Beetle, Etrigan, Catwoman, Sinestro, and Deadshot are all among the confirmed cancellations and that’s breaking my heart. I know, I shouldn’t be pissing all over the end of this review by dwelling on this stuff, but every time I open a new Icons figure, I just want more and more. I’m guessing it’s too late to save this line, but I still have pre-orders up for all of these figures on Amazon, where they have yet to be taken down. I know, it’s wishful thinking that I can change anything, but I’m still willing to try.
Another great review, that heightens my interest in a figure!
I agree with the dismay over cancellations…to me, it becomes a double-edged sword: why should I invest in a line that’s just gonna get cancelled? BUT if I don’t invest in a line, it gets cancelled.
I’m primarily a comics guy, with toys and such being an expensive add-on in addition to the comics, and running low on space for everything. Though it’s been nearly 15 years, I still remember the $5.99 Marvel Legends figures, and being annoyed when they increased to $6.99 and $7.99 (how ridiculous $8 seemed back then!)
Still, $15+ makes me pause…I find it’s far easier to spend huge amounts if I spread it out…I have a harder time convincing myself to drop larger amounts in one go.
I was really looking forward to the Booster Gold/Blue Beetle pack, though–to me, that would’ve been an “icon” WITHIN the Icons line. Also looking forward to the Superman/Doomsday set (having missed out entirely on the Doomsday Unleashed or whatever the one was a couple years back).
Ultimately, same sorta thing to me as cancelled comic series (or even tv series)–Unless it’s something that singularly captures my attention and specifically engages me, I don’t like to be an early adopter–I’ve had so much cancelled out from under me that I usually prefer to let something gain traction/longevity and “prove itself” before I’ll take yet another chance.
All great points. What baffles me is that this is a line that is targeted squarely at specialty shops. It’s not like Hasbro cancelling a line because Walmart won’t give it space on the shelves. It’s a line sold primarily through comic shops and online retailers. It’s so hard for me to believe that even among that niche audience the retailer interest wasn’t strong enough.
I’m with you on at Booster/Beetle pack. It was one of my most hotly anticipated releases this year. I can’t believe it’s not happening now.
I don’t mean to sound elitist in implying the potential lack of interest for this line might’ve been because they were “collector’s figures”, but they definitely were designed for posing/play (similar to Revoltech, although not as extreme) rather than standing straight on a shelf, like may do for the BTAS and Mattel DCUC figures. If that weren’t enough, the size discrepancy from other lines turned off even those collectors.
Like Walt said, if I’m jumping into an entirely separate scale (which I’ve found to work well with S.H. Figuarts, now that I have them in-hand), I want to play it by ear a bit to see if it’s worth it. I think they are, but then DCC pulls confusing moves like upscaling the Rebirth pack and cancelling certain releases. It will be interesting to see if the speculation about them focusing on multipacks in the future will hold true. As cool as the Death of Superman two-pack looks, it’s basically just an isolated diorama and not really what I had in mind when I bought into this line. Sure all the characters are story-specific designs, but they still work together in more of a best-look-for-each-character way.
Yeah, scale was a sticking point for me initially as well. And I don’t know what they were thinking with the scale of the ReBirth Justice League set.
And it irks me that they claim they’re going to focus on multipacks and yet still killed off the Booster/Beetle 2-pack.