It’s the yearquarter of Aquaman! With his first major motion picture scheduled for December, and his first major crossover arc since Throne of Atlantis beginning last month with Drowned Earth, the once and (presumably) future king of Atlantis is going big for the end of 2018. Diamond Select Toys has been trickling out an entire wave of comics-based Gallery statues this year, and Arthur Curry is the latest to hit stores. DST sent one out for me to take a look, so we’re going to do just that.

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Simplicity

New 52 and other outliers notwithstanding, the comic book costumes for our beloved DC heroes tend to have fewer design embellishments than their cinematic counterparts. Drawing patterned fabric is rather tedious, I imagine, and a potential visual distraction on the page. The first thing that struck me when I took this Aquaman out of his box was how much cleaner and simpler he looks than the Justice League statue I reviewed a month or so ago. Even with the scale-mail and the black trunks, this one looks refreshingly pure.

Like all of Diamond’s Gallery pieces, the construction is essentially molded plastic. The mold is quite good—I love the pose, the wave-and-rocks base, and Arthur’s figure detail. I’m not totally sold on the sculpting of the brow, but unless I’m all up in his face, it’s hard to notice. The paint detail is excellent, and I especially like the varied tones on the shirt. The paint lines between components are nice and clean, owing to the modular construction, but the application on trickier spots like the lips and along the hairline is well-executed, too.

That @!#$%&! trident

If you look back at my pictures from Toy Fair, you’ll notice that Arthur’s holding his trident pretty close to its head. After attempting to install the trident that came with my statue, I’m beginning to wonder how many Diamond employees quit before one of them finally succeeded in getting that bad boy in there. This is an excellent statue in just about every regard, but the trident is entirely too difficult to install. There are two rings around the handle—design elements only, best I can tell—and those two rings are a greater temptation to profanity-soaked rage than the worst insult toward wife or mother that I can imagine. I spent about twenty minutes painfully trying to get the trident installed just as it was back in February, and I eventually settled on what you see in the pictures: past the first ring, but not the second, not quite as far down as it was at Toy Fair.

Bottom line: if you’re buying this because you want it, go right ahead. Prepare to struggle with the trident, though. It’s possible to get it in there, but it’s frustrating. If you’re buying this with the intention of selling it later, proceed with caution—because as annoying as installing the trident was, I suspect getting it back out in one unbent piece is much worse.

Now that that’s done

Once the trident is in, and the rage-shaking has subsided, you end up with a pretty awesome statue of Aquaman preparing to plunge his trident into your enemies—which is ironic, considering that said trident was your enemy just a few moments ago. But seriously, the final product is gorgeous and fearsome, and an excellent addition to my collection, and if you’re an Aquafan, I can’t imagine you won’t feel the same.

Overall

If you can survive the trident installation, you are worthy of owning an incredibly impressive take on Aquaman. The pose, the sculpt, the paint, and the base are all outstanding, and the simplicity of its design makes it pop in a way that hyper-realistic film-based pieces simply can’t. If you like Aquaman, or DC Comics in general, this one deserves a spot on your shelf.

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