Saturday, May 8, 2010

DCUC Showcase: Superboy

Continuing on with wave 13 of the DC Universe Classics, I'll be taking a look at Superboy. This was the figure I was least interested in from wave 13, but he has grown on me a bit. I don't know if it's the lame costume or the goofy glasses, but he just doesn't do anything for me. Nevertheless, it's nice to have a new Superman character in the line.

Join Superboy and me as we go back in time and party like it's 1993, ugly costume and all. Read on to find out what I think about Superboy!

Wave 13 is comprised of a bunch of characters with complicated and weird backstories. This incarnation of Superboy is Kon-El, a Project Cadmus-created clone of Superman after Doomsday flattened him. Superman, clones, and Cadmus - I won't go into detail. I detest all of Superboy's costumes. His modern costume consists of a black T-shirt, with the "S" emblem on it, and a pair of jeans. It's incredibly boring and odd, and it doesn't look superhero-ish at all. This costume is from the "Reign of the Supermen" story arc, and it's ugly. It was created in the 90s, and should have stayed there. That being noted, this figure is a decent rendition of one of Superboy's older looks.


Superboy uses what's known as the "Sinestro" buck for his body, originally used for the eponymous figure from wave 3. It's slimmer and smaller than the basic male buck. There have been some complaints about the size of this figure, as it should probably be shorter for this costume to be accurate. Collectors have suggested that the small male buck should have been used, but I don't mind the size. I've never been a fan of the small male body, as it makes me feel like I'm getting cheated for the price of the figure.

Apart from the size issue, the sculpting of Superboy is quite good. The jacket is a reworked version of the styles used for Mr. Terrific and Animal Man. The sides of the jacket fan out, probably to suggest a dynamic feeling, with the belt flying off in an odd direction. The details of the jacket are appreciated though, with a fully sculpted belt, lapels, epaulets, and a multitude of intricate zippers. I like the arms of the jacket, as they don't restrict the articulation at all, while still maintaining the folds and creases that bring authenticity to the look. His jacket sleeves end in a cuff where they're attached to Superboy's gloves. The gloves look good for the size of the figure, as they're slightly smaller than the average fist and feature a folded cuff at the end. Superboy also sports a whole bunch of random belts wrapped around various extremities. The big ol' yellow one at his thigh seems the most irrelevant; it's too big and out of place, though it doesn't hamper his articulation.

I don't like the glasses. I don't exactly know why, but they bother me. From the side, Superboy's eyes are viewable, which I like, as it makes the look of the glasses less cheap. Honestly, though, I would've preferred the glasses to be removable, similar to wave 5's Eradicator. I do think the execution of the hair was well done. It's similar enough to Superman's famous look without copying it.


Superboy features the standard, excellent DCUC articulation. His head is a bit stiff, but it still has a decent range of motion. Thankfully, neither the double-layered belt at Superboy's waist nor the chunky one at his thigh get in the way of his articulation, so he's easy to pose.


The paint applications on Superboy are quite stellar. The blue and red pattern on his chest isn't fuzzy, and the lines are crisp on his "S" symbols, featured on his chest and on the back of his jacket. The detailing of the zippers on his jacket are very well done, too; they look real. The only complaints I have about the paint are with the glasses and a few of the belts. The glasses are lumpy at the sides, and the paint looks puffy. Aside from that, the yellow belts around Superboy's boots are messy, and feature some overspray. Otherwise, the main parts of the figure have solid, well-applied paint.


No accessories here. Only Trigon's left arm and the requisite button. Like Negative Man, I don't know what kind of accessories could have been included with Superboy, but the lone figure just seems a bit flat without anything else included. At least the button actually has a related character on it, who appears to be Superman. I still would've preferred the actual figure on the button, but I suppose this is close enough.


I don't care for Superboy, so buying him at a comic shop price was a bit annoying. However, fans of the character, or of Superman lore, will likely be interested in this character, and will be willing to pay the higher price for the figure. An accessory or two would've helped to justify the price for me; but alas, I had to settle for a chunk of Trigon and a button. For whatever reason, a lot of collectors have expressed a good deal of interest in this figure, so I suppose they'll be happy to add him to their collections.


Superman-related characters are always welcome in this line. I'm glad that I have Supergirl to go along with Superboy, and I'm sure I can put together a fun Superman display with these characters and all of their villains. Though I don't have any particularly strong feelings for Superboy, and keeping in mind that the size is a bit off, I'm glad to add him to my collection. As much as it'll probably pain Superboy fans, I hope Mattel doesn't release Superboy in his T-shirt and jeans "costume," as there are plenty of other characters I'd rather see first.

Wave 13 continues to raise the standard for DCUC figures! Stay tuned for reviews of the rest of wave 13 and beyond!

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Questions? Comments? Makeup tips? Feel free to drop me a comment, tweet, or email, if you are so inclined.


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