Honesty time: I wasn’t nuts about McFarlane’s first set of DC Multiverse figures. Whether it was Batman’s ears and Batarang looking pretty stubby, or the clunkier-than-necessary split torsos, there was much that gave me pause. But then, I stopped by the McFarlane booth at Toy Fair (right before the zombie apocalypse), and my expectations were adjusted. Turns out, Detective Comics #1000 Batman and Action Comics #1000 Superman were not representative of the whole line, and McFarlane has been doing nothing but nail it lately.
The company was good enough to send Batman News some of their newest figures, featuring characters from Dark Nights: Metal, and the Batman Who Laughs mini that came in its wake. So let’s take a look at Dawnbreaker, Murder Machine, Devastator, and the Grim Knight.
Dawnbreaker looks quite good, and he’s indicative of the improved chest connection I mentioned above. The separation is more apparent on the back, but even there, it’s much more elegant than the Detective Batman or the Action Supes. And there’s no evident loss of articulation for the improvement, either.
The one downside is that you’ll have to put a spacer between those ears if you want them to stay straight up—at least until they adjust to that position. Straight out of the package, they want to bend inward because of how the plastic shell pushed them inwards. Beyond that, it might have been nice to have another construct or two, or some glow coming out of that ring, but it’s not all that big a deal. This thing looks awesome, with lots of great detail on the suit.
Murder Machine is a nice, solid representation of what we saw in the comics, but I haven’t got a whole lot else to say about him.
Devestator is my favorite of the bunch, because he’s huge. And as I pulled the figures from the shipping box, I got a little giddy seeing four boxes, uniform in size, with one of them absolutely flooded by this enormous, hulking monster. The arms connect a little bit differently than on the other figures, and the extended socket is a little bit unsightly, but in the end, I don’t really care. This guy’s a beast, and he’s beautiful. Bonus points for the posable jaw, too.
The Grim Knight
The Grim Knight is sort of an evil Punisher Batman, and on a conceptual level, I’m just not all that interested. The figure is definitely well-made, though, and captures the character aesthetic from the page fairly-well. If you’re a GK fan, have at him.
The big picture
I absolutely love the trading cards. I expected them to be cheap cardboard, but they’re printed on a nice, coated stock—something actually worth holding onto and collecting. The only head-scratcher for me is the absence of artist credit. I would expect that a company founded and run by one of the most celebrated comic book artists of all time—who co-founded Image Comics so that artists could be properly valued for their creations—would credit the artists in this sort of thing, but they did not. Maybe that’s something they can start doing in future waves.
As for the figures themselves—which is what most of us are actually here for—I don’t think I’ve seen anything this good at this price point, period. They’re bigger than Marvel Legends (or the old Mattel Multiverse), sure, but they’re better figures, too. The construction feels more solid, the finish is better, and at times I think it would be more fair to compare these to the (much more expensive) S.H. Figuarts stuff. S.H. has more accessories, and some other bells and whistles (wire capes, for example), but in terms of figure construction and finish, I think this latest batch of McFarland stuff is way closer than the price gap would imply.
With excellent construction and paint, ridiculously-flexible articulation, and designs that capture their comic book counterparts, McFarland’s latest wave of DC Multiverse Figures are an impressive crop, indeed. At $19.99 retail, they are perhaps the best value on the market for DC figure collectors. And with DC Direct going the way of the dodo, the Multiverse line is now the only real player achieving this sort of blend of affordability and quality. You can find yours in stores and online this fall.
DISCLAIMER: McFarlane provided Batman News with these figures for the purpose of review.