DC Icons: (#25) Supergirl by DC Collectibles

We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it any easier. DC Collectibles has officially discontinued the single-boxed releases for their DC Icons line and as things stand Number 25, Supergirl, appears to be the final release, with Nightwing preceding her and a Robin and Superboy two-pack included in the assortment. I’ve reviewed a lot of these figures here, but certainly not all of them. I’m still pondering over whether or not to go after the handful that I missed. But for now, let’s just enjoy checking out this last figure.

The packaging hasn’t changed. Supergirl comes in a clean window box with an angled corner that bears her name. If you’ve collected any of the DC Designer Series, you’ll also know what to expect here. Her name and number are also on the side panel as well as the comic she’s drawn from, in this case ReBirth Renaissance. The window shows off the figure beautifully as well as the bevy of extra bits, which are laid out beside the figure. Everything here is collector friendly, and while I would have loved to be able to keep these boxes, my available space doesn’t allow it.

Here she is, freed of her packaging and looking amazing. Icons has been a great line from the beginning, so when I say I was impressed by Kara here as soon as I got her in hand, well that’s saying something. I think this is one of those perfect combinations of great choice of outfit, great portrait, and some spot-on coloring. So where to begin? Well, for starters, the costume design lends itself to this sculpt really well. The thigh-high boots are sculpted at the top edges, as is the belt and skirt. The S-Shield is fully realized in the sculpt and I love the look of the way the cape hugs her shoulders. Note, I said the look, and I’ll come back to that in a bit. The sculpt on this costume is just the right mix of poetic simplicity and just enough detail to know that no shortcuts were taken.

The cape falls naturally down Supergirl’s back with just a hint of breeze blowing it to the side. The yellow S-Shield is stamped on the back, and I will point out that there’s a bit of chipping to it on my figure. But that’s about the only place I can criticize the paint or coloring here. DC Collectibles used the exact perfect shades of red and blue for her costume. From the neck down, this is a figure that absolutely pops on the shelf.

And things aren’t too shabby from the neck up either. I really dig the way they sculpted her portrait and the use of a printed face instead of paint makes for a nice change. If you get in really close, you can start to see the halftone effect begin to break down, but when viewed in hand with the naked eye, it looks perfect. I like the styling on her hair, but I do think it could have used a little refinement. As it is it looks a tad more like putty and less like hair. Maybe deeper cuts in the sculpt to give it the feel of actual hair would have helped. But don’t get me wrong, Kara’s coif does not even come close to diminishing this figure for me.

The articulation here is standard for the Icons line, which means it’s good and comes oh so close to being great. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and have double hinges in the knees. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a hinge in the torso down near the waist, a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is ball jointed. Alas, the hair keeps her from being able to look up while flying and the absence of thigh swivels will forever bug me. I will say that they did a really nice job on the skirt. It’s very soft and pliable and allows for a decent range of motions in the hips. And remember that shoulder-hugging cape? Yeah, it does restrict shoulder articulation a bit, although not nearly as much as I would have expected.

Supergirl also comes with three pairs of hands, all of which are very easy to swap in and out. You get fists, accessory holding hands, albeit with nothing for her to hold, and hands with her fingers together as if she’s about to karate chop someone. But why karate chop your foes, when you can just fry them with heat vision!

Yes, Kara comes with a second head and two effect parts that plug into her eyes to recreate her heat vision. I think this looks pretty rad from a distance, although if you get in really close it looks goddamn creepy. Also, if you display this head without the effect parts plugged in, her eyes look like two bloody, vacant holes.

Supergirl includes one final accessory and that’s a rather unique flight stand. It’s actually just a clear cylinder with a slanted top and a peg for her right foot. The illusion is supposed to be not so much one of flight, but more like hovering. I’ve had mixed results with it, but I do think it’s a pretty neat experiment and I may very well wind up using it to display her. In fact, I wish they had included something like this with Superman as well.

If DC Collectibles wanted to punish everyone for not buying into this line enough, this figure was a great choice for the final single release. It makes the point that this line was pretty fantastic and that in a perfect world it would have kept going. I know at least one fellow collector who was confident enough in the success of Icons that he started selling off his DC Universe Classics figures. I’m glad I didn’t go that route, although I would have been very happy had Icons become as prolific as Mattel’s and took its rightful place as the new resident universe building line. As things stand, I will forever be disgruntled that we are likely to never get the Booster Gold/Blue Beetle 2-pack. I can, however, promise you that this will not be the last time you see DC Icons grace my pages of toy bloggery.

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DC Icons: (#21) Deathstroke by DC Collectibles

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.

DC Icons: (#16) Firestorm by DC Collectibles

In case you haven’t noticed, 2016’s final wave of DC Icons figures has been trickling onto the pegs. I was able to get The Joker a little early and now I’m working on picking up the rest of this four figure assortment of comic book randomness. Today I’m checking out the one figure I was looking forward to the most, and a character that still eludes my DC Universe Classics collection… Firestorm!

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Firestorm comes in the same style packaging we’ve been seeing since the launch of this line. You get a clean and collector friendly window box with the figures name and number on the side panel along with the comic he’s drawn from. In this case, Firestorm hails from “Trinity War,” his last hurrah before his matrix became a living prison for the Justice League in “Forever Evil.” As always, the package gives you a great look at the figure as well as all of his extra bits and pieces.

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I’ve gone on record many times for holding the rather unpopular opinion of liking most of the New 52 costumes and that holds true for Firestorm here as well. Of course, this costume isn’t a radical change from his more classical looks. As a result, I’m going to guess there aren’t that many people hating on it. I will concede that I miss the flared shoulders on his older costume, but everything else here works just fine for me. As has been the case, just about every detail on the figure’s costume is part of the sculpt, from the panel lines to the chest emblem. DCC has definitely not been cheaping out on these sculpts by re-using a lot of parts.

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The coloring on this figure is absolutely fantastic. DCC uses a gorgeous, deep metallic crimson for the pants and sleeves and a pearlescent yellow and white for the rest. You also get some neon orange paint in the panel lines. There’s a slight variation between some of the painted yellow bits and the actual yellow plastic, but it’s really not that bad. I particularly dig how they used translucent red plastic discs for his chest emblem and the larger one on the back. On the downside, my figure has some scuffing on his chest, which is pretty unfortunate. These are the pitfalls of having to buy these figures online and sight unseen.

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From the neck up, things are just fine. This is one of my favorite portraits in the Icons line so far and the translucent yellow and orange plastic used for his hair/flame effect looks great. You get more of that snazzy metallic crimson for his helmet and the paint lines are pretty crisp and clean.

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The articulation on this line has remained consistent throughout and there are no changes here. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and forearms. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with double hinges in the knees and both hinges and rockers in the ankles. There’s an ab crunch hinge near the waist, a ball joint in the chest, and another ball joint in the neck. Still no thigh swivels, which remains my only gripe about these otherwise excellent figures.

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Firestorm includes some pretty spiffy effect parts. These replace part of his forearms and the hands attach on to the end. I love the look of these and may actually keep them on the figure for everyday display. As someone who is generally pretty indifferent to effect parts, that’s some high praise, folks.

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You also get an extra pair of hands, which are cast in translucent yellow plastic.

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This line continues to scratch that itch left behind by the absence of DC Universe Classics and I find myself excited every time a new wave drops. It’s hard to believe we’re at sixteen figures already! Firestorm and Joker are both high points of this assortment for me, but I’m still on the hunt for Static Shock and Jon Stewart before the end of the year. I don’t want to venture into 2017 behind on my Icons, because it looks like DC Collectibles is going to be putting out a ton of these next year and the pre-orders are already beginning to pile up like crazy!

DC Icons: (#14) The Joker by DC Collectibles

DC Collectibles is ramping up their DC Icons line to epic proportions in 2017 (seriously, there are a ton of these things coming out!), but for now, 2016 has been experiencing some delays in the last two waves. And yet, here we have The Joker from “A Death in the Family.” I don’t know what the deal was with him, but he slipped out to online retailers about a month before his wave was due to hit the pegs. I was going to wait and pick up the whole shebang when it shipped, but in the end, I just couldn’t resist getting him early.

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The package design is exactly the same as what we’ve been seeing all along. You get a nice, clean window box with a spiffy angled edge. The side panel has the figure’s name, number, and the source comic he’s based on. Everything is collector friendly and if space wasn’t such an issue, I’d certainly be keeping these packages. Sadly, they have to go to make room for more figures. So, let’s get him out of the box and check him out!

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Damn, I love the look of this version. For a character that has spanned comics, cartoons, TV and film, it would be impossible for me to pick a favorite incarnation of The Joker, so many of them have their merits. I could definitely pick a least favorite, but why pour gasoline on that fire? With that having been said, this figure takes some of my all time favorite elements of the character and blends them together into a why-so-seriously great look. The purple high collared trench coat, the pimp hat, orange waistcoat, striped trousers, and spats is the epitome of Joker outfits for me, and I particularly love the long and lanky body that this guy is built on.

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Complaints? I have a few. The way the waistcoat is painted on below the ab-crunch doesn’t look all that great, but I don’t see any other way around it. There are also a few stray marks of paint on my figure’s coat, but nothing too bad.

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The head sculpt here is fantastic. I love how they did the mouth. You can see straight between the teeth and there’s all kinds of detail in there, including his tongue. The paint on the face is pretty solid too, so long as you don’t get in too tight. He’s got some sparkly eye makeup and the bright green they used for his eyebrows and hair is perfect.

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The articulation here is consistent with what we’ve been seeing. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s an ab-crunch hinge in the waist, and the neck is ball jointed. You get a total of five hands with the figure, but they aren’t complete sets. The figure comes with a set of fists, but the other three are all right hands. Here’s my biggest complaint with the figure, but first, let’s look at the two accessories.

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First, you get this nifty crowbar. There’s a hand designed to hold it, although the crowbar tends to slide in the grip. There’s a gap between the fingers if you want to pass it through and have him hold it that way, but I think it looks a little awkward.

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And then there’s my favorite accessory, the Thompson sub-machine gun. This thing is absolutely fantastic. I mean, just look at the paint apps and sculpt on this little weapon and compare it to what Hasbro is doing with their Marvel Legends weapons. It’s night and day. I think this is even better than most of the incredible small arms NECA is putting out with their figures these days. And that’s high praise indeed! Unfortunately, DCC included what appear to be two slightly different right gun holding hands, instead of a left hand to grab the front grip of the gun. They were already including an extra hand, so why make it an additional and unnecessary right hand. I’m baffled by this.

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Hand issues notwithstanding, this Joker is another top notch addition to my DC Icons shelf. This entire line has been quality from day one, and it’s exciting to finally be expanding on some of the more tightly related characters in the DC Universe. The Joker looks great alongside Harley or facing off against Batman. The fact that DCC is expanding this line next year pleases me to no end, and I’m particularly excited to pick up Firestorm when the rest of this wave finally hits.

DC Icons: (#11) Aquaman by DC Collectibles

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

DC Icons: (#12) Atomica by DC Collectibles

It’s another DC Friday and I’m winding my way through the most recent wave of DC Icons figures. I’ve already checked out Superman and Harley Quinn and today I’m opening up that traitorous bitch, Atomica! And yes, that’s a spoiler for an old comic.

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The packaging is the same as we’ve been seeing throughout the run of this series. It denotes that Atomica is the twelfth figure in the line and that she hails from the pages of Forever Evil, although she was in the company of The Justice League for a while before that. It was right before Forever Evil that she showed her true colors as a mole who was sent ahead to assist in allowing the Crime Syndicate to escape their Earth and conquer our own. Where the hell does The Atom fit into all this? Ray Palmer was busy screwing around in the pages of Frankenstein: Agents of SHADE, a book that got shit-canned after 16 issues, and if you ask me deservedly so. But don’t worry, Ray is in this box too… and so is Ryan Choi!

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The beautiful and sadistic Rhonda Pineda dons her striking red and blue outfit, which gets by with very little in the way of sculpted detail other than the new belt. Now, with the first two ladies appearing in this assortment, it would be understandable to assume they were straight repaints of the same buck, but that’s actually not the case. The Harley figure features a number of slight rumples and wrinkles on her costume, whereas Atomica’s is totally smooth and skin tight, with just a handful of subtle sculpted lines. That’s not to say the lack of detail is an oversight, as the figure’s appearance is quite faithful to the costume as it appears in the panels and thanks to the vibrant colors, this is a beautiful figure in hand.

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And speaking of beautiful, the head sculpt here is no slouch. Her mask is part of the sculpt and she has her goggles up on her forehead. The hair is also nicely done, but as expected it can get in the way of the neck articulation. That can be frustrating at any time, but a little more here, since Atomica is a flyer and she can’t look up. I’ll also note here that the paint on the face is really curious in that through the lens, it looks really mottled up close, but in hand it looks really good. I noticed that a bit with Harley too. Weird!

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The rest of the articulation is unhindered and features everything we’ve seen in this line before. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and feature both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The neck, is ball jointed, there’s another ball joint just below the chest, and there’s an ab crunch hinge just above the waist. Still no swivels in the legs… Insert sigh here.

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Atomica’s only accessories are an extra pair of hands. These are sort of gripping hands, but not quite. Truth be told, they aren’t really different enough from the fists that come attached to the figure, so I doubt I’ll be swapping these out a lot.

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You do, however, get two additional figures in the box, or at least one figure and one display piece. The figure is a mid-sized version of Ryan Choi. Both the paint and the sculpt on this little fella is pretty damn impressive considering his size. He also features a standard 5-POA articulation with points in the hips, shoulders, and neck.

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And lastly, you get a super teeny-tiny Ray Palmer with a stand and translucent atom shrinking effect.  I really love the way this guy looks. The paint isn’t as clean as the other figures. Mine actually has a stroke of blue paint on the face, but considering the size and how close you need to get in to see any issues, I’m not bothered by it. I am, however, going to go on record and just say that I’d rather they given us a midsize and small versions of Atomica herself, as opposed to the other Atoms. Given the context of this figure, it just seems more appropriate.

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And so we have another DC Icons release, and another very solid figure. Of course, with this particular character, the mileage may vary. With a wave that includes very classic versions of A-Listers like Aquaman, Superman, and Harley Quinn, Atomica definitely feels like the odd figure out. As for me? While I was admittedly disappointed by the payoff of the whole Pandora’s Box thing in The New 52, I actually enjoyed Forever Evil and Trinity War quite a bit. The reveal of Atomica’s true nature was a neat little twist and both she and Johnny Quick were memorable characters to me, because they were just so damn twisted. In other words, I am very happy to get her, but also bummed that we’ll probably never see a Johnny Quick in this line to go with her. On the flipside, in DC Collectibles’ regular New 52 line, we got a Johnny Quick, but no Atomica. Bummer.

DC Icons: (#10) Superman (With Kelex) by DC Collectibles

It’s DC Friday again and what better way to spend it than looking at another of DC Collectibles’ newest DC Icons figures? Today I’m checking out Superman! The fact that he’s appearing for the first time in Wave 3 is a great indicator of how diverse this line is. Think about it. We got Earth 2 Mister Miracle before Superman! It’s a risky move and I commend DCC for making it, as opposed to just flooding the pegs with A-Listers like Batmans, Supermans and Harley Quinns. Um, Harley Quinn was in this wave of DC Icons, so… SHUT UP!!! Anyway, hopefully it’s paying off for them.

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We’ve seen the packaging before and it’s as attractive and collector friendly as ever. The blue and white coloring looks sharp and I dig the placement of the S-Shield in the “O” of ICONS. The box indicates that Superman is the tenth release in the series and calls out that this is Superman as pulled from the pages of John Byrne’s landmark “Man of Steel” miniseries way back in 1986. The big window not only gives a good look at Supes, but also the other figure he comes with, Krytonian helper-robot, Kelex!

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And this is indeed honest-to-goodness Classic Man of Steel! Before they took away his red undies, textured his suit, and turned him into a brooding shit. As has been the case with this line, everything about the suit is part of the sculpt. And while that doesn’t really amount to much here, it’s nice to see it in the raised S-Shield, the sculpted belt buckle and loops, and the top edges of the boots. Even the S-Shield on his cape is sculpted on. The costume features some gorgeous red and blue coloring with some welcome variations, like the use of matte red on the undies and cape, and gloss red on the boots. There’s just something about this costume that does it for me every time, and everything here looks so bright and vibrant and the applications are sharp and clean.

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The cape flows out from the front of his shoulders and hangs close to the body. It’s just the right size and heft so as not to throw off his balance or get in the way of articulation.

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The portraits in this line have been good, but not always exceptional. In this case, I’m very happy with what we got. The detail in the structure of the face is very impressive and I dig the stoic expression. There’s a little bit of red in his eyes, and while I doubt it was the intention, I’m just going to assume he’s charging up that heat vision! Probably the best thing is how they did his protruding cowlick, it’s epic! Note to self. Rename my band, Epic Cowlick!

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Superman holds no surprises in his articulation. We’ve been getting pretty much the same thing across the board in the Icons series. Here you get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows and knees, ball joints in the hips and neck, swivels in the biceps, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s an ab crunch hinge in the abdomen and a ball joint just under the chest. Normally, I complain about the lack of thigh swivels, but here I’ll point out that an added hinge in the neck would have been very welcome so Supes could look up when flying.

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Superman himself only comes with an extra pair of hands, so you get fists and relaxed open hands. That can, however, be forgiven because you also get this…

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Kelex is more of a bonus figure than an accessory. He’s big and he does have some limited articulation, with a ball jointed neck and rotating shoulders. He also comes with a clear display stand to allow him to “hover.” I can’t say he was high on my want list, but I’ve always liked this design a lot, so I’m happy to get him.

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I don’t know if it’s the attractive coloring of his costume or how much the character meant to me as a kid, but I get excited every time I pick up a new Superman figure. I can still remember getting the DC Universe Classics version and smiling ear to ear. Needless to say this getting this figure has been no different. I’ve had him within reach for the last few days to fiddle around with while I work and he and Lex have been slugging it out for supremacy of my desk. Superman is a refreshingly simple and classic release and he’ll find a place of honor on my expanding DC Icons shelf!

DC Icons: (#13) Harley Quinn by DC Collectibles

It took a little longer than expected, but DC Collectibles has finally shipped out the third assortment of their DC Icons line. And so pleased I have been with the first two assortments, here I am ready to scarf up more. Today I’m checking out a very classic looking Harley Quinn pulled from the pages of 1999’s Batman: No Man’s Land, although this look works for her on any number of levels if you’re after a well-rounded Harley for your collection.

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The packaging hasn’t really changed at all from the previous waves, so I won’t dwell on it. It has a bright and clean look to it with a window that shows off the goods splendidly. It’s also collector friendly so you have somewhere to store the extra bits if you want to keep it. The side panel has the figure’s name and number, in this case Harley is unlucky number thirteen, so you can store these on a shelf book-style and still know which is which.

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And this is indeed, good ol’ Harley before The New 52 turned her into a stripper and the Arkham games turned her into a stripper in a nurse costume. Hey, I’m not hating, I like Harley’s trashy look, but I also know that I’m in a very small minority when it comes to the sentiment. I’m sure a lot of collectors are thrilled to see this figure introduced into the line. She dons her trademark black and red jester outfit and while a good part of this figure is a generic painted female buck, you do get some unique sculpting on her wrist and ankle ruffles, as well as the collar piece. She comes wearing a pair of fists, but you also get three additional hands designed to interact with her accessories. The paint here is fairly basic, but extremely clean with sharp lines.

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The portrait is a winner. I think they really nailed both her smile and her eyes. Of course, she has her jester hood with the tassels hanging down on the sides. The paint here is a little less crisp than what we got on the costume, with some over-spray along the top edge of her forehead, but it’s not too bad. The paint work on her vibrant blue eyes is absolutely haunting.

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Harley is the first female figure in this line that I’ve opened, but the articulation is consistent with what we’ve been seeing so far. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, and double hinges in the knees. There’s an ab crunch hinge just above the waist, a ball joint just below the chest, and a ball joint in the neck. The only thing that I’m really missing here is some sort of swivel in the thighs, but she’s still a fun and highly pose-able figure.

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For accessories, we start with Harley’s pop gun. The sculpt and paint are particularly nice for such a small accessory and she comes with a left hand that is designed specifically to hold it. The cork looks very realistic.

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And of course, you can’t have a Harley figure without an over-sized mallet, right? This is another beautifully done piece with some great detail and paint, particularly in the barrel-style head and the red wrapped grip. She comes with a pair of hands designed specifically for this accessory, but if you aren’t a big fan of swapping out hands, the left gun hand works just fine with it.

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So, here we are into the third wave of DC Icons and I’m still extremely happy that I got on board with these figures. I can remember waffling quite a bit in the beginning because the scale didn’t match up with DC Universe Classics and I didn’t want to start over. But in the end, I believe these are the best figures that DC Collectibles have ever put out and and I’m both thrilled and excited to see that it’s been successful enough to keep going. And I have a feeling that Harley here will be a stand alone pick up for a lot of fans who aren’t yet collecting this line. And I think she’s good enough to maybe convert some of those people into jumping on board.

DC Icons: (#07) Black Adam by DC Collectibles

I’m a naughty DC Fan. Today’s DC Friday update is late because I had friends over for pizza and beer and a screening of the Deadpool Blu-Ray. But we got here eventually and today sees me finally get all caught up with the DC Icons line… at least until Wave 3 hits in a little while. This has been a long run, so let’s finish off Wave 2 with Black Adam!

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We’ve seen the packaging for this line plenty of times now, so I’m not going to dwell on it. This is the seventh figure in the line, and like the Icons Lex Luthor figure, Black Adam here is drawn from “Forever Evil,” which followed “Trinity War” in the New 52 run. With ReBirth coming, it’ll be interesting what DC Icons does vis-a-vis the other continuities, but my guess is we will likely see a lot of stuff based on the new run.

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And here is Black Adam out of the package. Late last year, I featured this character in the DC Collectibles Super-Villains series, which was a great looking figure with fairly restrictive articulation. In terms of sculpt, this Icons version gets the slight nod as some of the costume features, like the cape clasps and belt, look less chunky and more reasonably proportioned. It’s a stylistic preference on my part, to be sure, but even beyond that I’d say the costume sculpt on this version is exceptionally good. Every detail of the costume is part of the sculpt from the subtle panel lines on the vest to the impressive musculature and the chest emblem is raised and hangs off his chest toward the bottom.

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The cape is cast in very soft and pliable plastic and doesn’t add a lot of weight to throw the figure off balance. It’s not sculpted to look ragged like on the Super-Villains figure. The hood is sculpted down behind the back of the head. The paint here is really phenomenal. Sure, he’s mostly black, but the gold leaf paint used for his boots, bracers, belt, and other decorations is carefully applied and looks brilliant. Even the gold borders around the cape is splendid. I also really dig the Kirby Krackle printed in the center of his emblem.

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The portrait features what I think is one of the better head sculpts in the line so far, but keep in mind, this hasn’t been Icons’ strongest point. Is it better than the Super-Villains figure? Hmm… that other head was a tough act to follow. I’ll cop out and just say it’s different. This is more of a passive expression than the crazy-evil expression of the previous release. The pupil-less eyes are pretty creepy and there are some especially nice and sharp contours in the face. I’ll just say that I like what we got here and leave it at that.

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Articulation is exactly what we’ve been seeing all along with the Icons line. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, there are swivels in the biceps and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels at the tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a torso hinge down low by the waist and a ball joint in the chest, and lastly a ball joint in the neck.

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For accessories, you get three pairs of hands. Black Adam comes out of the package with fists attached, you also get a pair of graspy hands and finally a pair of lightning shooting hands, which are pretty damn cool. Many of you know I’m not all that much for effect parts, but these are extremely well done and look great on the figure.

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I came into this line apprehensive about the new scale and starting over, but nine figures later, I’m mighty glad I got in. With solid accessories and articulation aimed at having fun, the only thing that this line has working against it is the scattershot approach to character selection. If you’re out to build teams, it could be a long time before you get any resolution on that quest. On the other hand, this line seems to have no boundaries. There’s new and old, New 52 and Classic, anything seems possible and we’ve already seen some figures, like Earth 2 Mister Miracle, that haven’t been given figure form before. If DC Collectibles throws enough love behind it, DC Icons could be more than a worthy successor to DC Universe Classics, but only time will tell. Meanwhile, bring on Waves 3 and 4!

DC Icons: (#09) Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) by DC Collectibles

Today’s Feature is running a little late, because I just got back from seeing Captain America: Civil War. I want to talk about it, I want to review tons of Marvel figures and bask in all the Marvel greatness, but in a bitter turn of irony, it happens to be DC Friday. That means I’m going to do the right thing and open up another DC Icons figure, this time the Wave 2, Deluxe Green Lantern! Hey, Green Lantern had a movie, didn’t he? Oooooh. Riiiight…

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While the style of packaging is the same as the previous Icons releases, Green Lantern is a Deluxe, which means he costs a little more and comes in bigger box with a bunch more stuff. The larger tray has the figure to the right and all his construct parts spread out beside him. It’s an impressive set that boasts 26 pieces. The side panel notes that this version of Hal comes from the Dark Days story arc, which I found very adequate, but not as good as as the preceding stint by Geof Johns. Anyway, considering the number of pieces here, I may actually hold on to this box just to have somewhere to keep all this stuff.

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So, obviously Hal sports his New 52 design, which isn’t all that big a break from many of his previous looks. I dig it, but then I didn’t have much of a problem with any of the New 52 costumes. Just about every detail in the costume is actually part of the sculpt from the borders of his green “vest” to the tops of his boots and his Lantern Corps emblem is printed on the raised disk in his chest. And of course, his power ring is sculpted and painted on his finger.

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The paint here is overall quite good, with the only exception being an extra dollop of green on his chest to the right of his emblem. I’m not sure if that was added to correct a flaw or just a drip, but it’s worth noting all the same, especially since the paint on this line has been more or less flawless so far. The metallic green looks great and contrasts nicely with the black matte and white gloves.

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The portrait is sold enough and probably one of the better ones I’ve seen in this series. If you’ve been reading my Features on this line, you know I’m not overly enamored with the head sculpts. With that having been said, the hair looks good, I like the furled brow, and the mask is part of the sculpt as well as painted. Hal is wearing a rather determined face, which fits the book this figure is pulled from.

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Articulation is right in line with what we’ve been seeing in this series. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders and wrists. The elbows have double hinges, and there are swivels both in the biceps and in the forearms. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinged knees, and the ankles are hinged and feature lateral rockers. The torso sports a hinge, which is set down by the waist, and there’s a ball joint in the chest. Finally, the neck is ball jointed.

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While the base figure is quite good, the real draw here comes from all those extra goodies in the box. For starters, Hal comes with two pairs of hands: One set of fists and one set of grabby hands. He also comes with his Green Lantern battery.

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You get one stand-alone construct, which is a giant fist cast in beautiful translucent green plastic. This piece looks fantastic, but is a little problematic. It fits right over Hal’s right hand, but to accommodate his construct armor, his forearms can be un-pegged and the connection is a little weak. If you can’t see where this is going… putting the fist construct on all the way over the fist means that when you pull it off, the arm is going to un-peg and stay stuck in the fist. At this point, it’s frustrating to get it out, so I try not to put it all the way on.

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And then you have the full set of construct armor and it is absolutely amazing. It’s all cast in the same translucent green plastic and features boots, upper leg pieces, the arm weapons, shoulder pieces, the torso and helmet harness, and a removable backpack with removable wings. The boots and legs come apart to fully enclose around the legs, the front of the torso is hinged to open, the jetpack is hinged, and the wings on the jetpack are ball jointed.

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The fit of the pieces are designed so as not to interfere with the articulation, and that’s quite a clever feat of design. The only thing that’s really lost are the ankle rockers. It’s also impressive how most everything more or less stays put when he’s wearing it. Sometimes I have to re-position the torso piece and sometimes the shoulders will pop off, but otherwise, it fits and stays on really well. The translucent plastic with the figure visible inside creates a beautiful effect and is pretty damn convincing as a ring construct.

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Hal is the first Deluxe in the line and as such, he set me back an extra ten bucks, which isn’t a bad deal considering how much is in the box. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that this is my favorite Hal Jordan figure in my collection, and that’s saying something because he’s represented in a fair number of different lines. As a normal release, Hal would have been a perfectly solid and worthwhile figure, but when DC Collectibles threw in that lovely set of armor, they really went above and beyond with this one. I’ve got only one more Icons figure to check out before I’m all up to date and waiting on Wave 3, so next Friday I’ll take a look at Black Adam!