DC Comics have one of the richest and most iconic stables of heroes in all of fiction. For every Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Flash, there’s also a Nightwing, Vixen, Hawkman, Black Canary, Green Lantern, Mister Miracle, and Big Barda. And that’s just a handful of recognizable names I pulled off the top of my head.
With great heroes come great villains, and DC has its fair share of foes too. Some are less evil than they are morally grey, while others are so sinister that they’d make anyone blush. McFarlane Toys have provided us with another batch of action figures based on these ne’er-do-wells and miscreants, so take a walk on the wrong side of the tracks and check them out below.
Azrael (Suit of Sorrows)
Azrael’s original costume is one of the most ridiculous, overdesigned, and amazing suits of the Nineties. With a segmented cape, flaming gauntlet daggers, and plenty of armor plating, it’s a look that was very much of its time and yet one that worked perfectly for the character.
His second suit, dubbed the “Suit of Sorrows,” leaned a little more into the crusading knight aspects of the character, while still being just as flamboyant and impractical for someone who runs across rooftops to fight crime.
And it’s still pretty cool, to boot.
Especially rendered in plastic, because my goodness, I adore this action figure. The overall design is stunning, from the flowing “cloth” robe to the overlapping belts to the segmented… weird… cape things on his back. It’s a striking look, and one that’s absolutely fantastic both on the page and in reality.
Plus, he comes with a sword with detachable flames, which is about the most metal thing you can imagine. That the armored segments at the shoulders make him a tad hard to pose is more than made up for the sheer cool factor of literally everything else.
Available from Amazon.
Red Hood (Unmasked)
Speaking of flaming swords, good ol’ Jason Todd comes with two All-Blades, one of which has a sweet flaming edge. Pretty cool, though I had to dig deep into my memory to remember that he ever had these in the comics.
He’s a pretty decent figure, too, looking much like he did during the New 52 run of Red Hood and the Outlaws, sans helmet. This is marketed as an “unmasked” version of the character, so his red hood is nowhere to be found, so it’s a good thing he has a pretty good head sculpt to go with the rest of his outfit. The messy mop of hair is very much a Jason Todd look, as are the rolled up sleeves of both his bodysuit and sweet brown jacket. His lean frame makes it easy to get some good articulation from his arms and legs, though he’s a tad top heavy with his fairly thin legs, so it can be hard to get him to stand on his own. Still, if you like the Red Hood, this is a good representation of the character in action figure form, even if I still think it’s weird to give Jason a crowbar as an accessory. No matter how much precedence it has, it just feels… strange.
Available from Amazon.
Lex Luthor Power Suit
If you have a Kryptonian in your life that you want brought down, then Lex Luthor is here to assist. Decked out in his trademark green and purple power suit, the Man of Steel’s most resilient foe cuts a striking figure indeed.
While Lex here is definitely an action figure in the strictest sense, certain aspects of his sculpt might make him more ideal as a display piece. In particular, his head is turned slightly to the side, with his eyes looking to his left. Rather than a standard face forward, he’s clearly meant to be posed where he can be looking at something in particular, which honestly made getting certain shots for this review difficult. It looks good in the sense that it’s sculpted well and his menacing gaze is highly intimidating, but he can’t look forward without turning his head pretty far to the side, or getting creative with your staging.
Even still, you can get some pretty “Lexian” poses from him, especially with the different combinations available through the two sets of hands. With some intricate detailing in his suit, it’s hard to imagine a Luthor that looks more powerfu–
Lex, what… what are you doing?
I’m not sure that’s such a good idea, Le–
Harkening back to Lex’s look in the Justice League arc “The Darkseid War”, this power suited titan of industry looks particularly menacing. Even with the S-symbol on his chest, which he wore as an almost mockery of Superman when Lex tried to prove he should be humanity’s greatest hero, there’s a lot of Darkseid in the design, which makes this a truly frightening figure. His cold, steely gaze is bereft of any humanity, replaced instead by the look of a despot who wants nothing more than to rule and have power.
The included throne further drives that point home, which makes this Lex more interesting than the other Power Suit figure, but not necessarily better. The throne itself comes assembled, with no way to pull the pieces apart, but the bifurcation point between the two pieces of the seat is so obvious that it’s almost distracting. The finish is nice, looking like an ancient piece of stone that’s been etched with Apokoliptian symbols, and Lex sitting on the throne makes for a striking image. The cosmetic aspects of the throne, and some of the details on Lex’s suit, look more like prototypes for a more detailed figure than a finished product. The ideas are great, and taken together each piece makes up for some of the shortcomings with the other, but this is more like a base hit than a home run.
Lex Luthor in Green Power Suit is available from Entertainment Earth.
Lex Luthor in Blue Power Suit is available from Amazon and Entertainment Earth.
If you want me to check out of a story pretty quick, he’s one of the characters to use. Other than parts of Infinite Crisis (which I generally enjoy, and will even defend the Multiversal wall punches as not being as dumb as their reputation suggests), I’ve never really liked this guy. He’s a character that served a particular purpose, but was brought back way too many times to ever be interesting again.
But this action figure rules, and I will gladly admit that. The bright colors of the suit, those crazy Monitor armor attachments, and the beautiful flowing cape look incredible. Even if I don’t like Superboy-Prime, I can recognize when a figure captures a character well, and this piece is a perfect example of that.
The only accessory he comes with is a base with attachable posing arm, which can be used to simulate flight poses, and dare I say he looks almost heroic? Yeah, knowing his reputation, that shouldn’t be the case, but his face is softer and less intense than you’d think, considering how murderous the guy could get in the comics, and there’s just something about seeing a Superman– any Superman– hovering on your shelf. Of all the characters I’ve reviewed, this is one of the biggest surprises, because he’s all around great.
Superboy Prime is available from Amazon and Entertainment Earth.
Speaking of characters I didn’t like much in the comics, but have cool figures, King Shazam has some of the best detailing and sculpting of any figure in the entire line.
Based on a corrupted Billy Batson from DC’s “The Infected” story arc, this is a Shazam who has been… well, infected with evil by the Dark Multiverse. As a story, it didn’t do much for me. As an action figure, though, he’s pretty sweet.
A lot of that has to do with the detailing on his suit and cape.
Okay, it all has to do with that, but even still, this is a mighty impressive figure. He’s sculpted in a sort of hunched position, intimating his corruption weighing down on his inate goodness, and the texturing on his suit, boots, loin cloth, and especially the cape are more complex than you’d think at first glance. It all looks like real, genuine fabric up close, which makes it stand out all the more when viewed from a distance. The sculpted cape is “stuck” in the one position, but it’s made of a soft-yet-resilient rubber so it isn’t too clunky or heavy. I love the folds throughout it, and the “fur” around the neck and hood.
The only accessories are another set of hands, which actually look better than the ones that are already attached. The latter are in a standard action figure “grip” position, while the second set has the fingers extended to give the figure a disturbing looking grasp. As I said before, for a figure based on an event I almost forgot ever happened, King Shazam here is pretty memorable.
King Shazam is available from Amazon and Entertainment Earth.
Lobo rules. The end.
…okay, I need to write something, because yes, this figure is amazing. The tattered jeans and vest, the sinister grin on his face, those boots that are made for stompin’ dweebs, the wonderfully crass message on his back. I. Love. This. Figure.
You can probably tell I had a ton of fun posing Lobo, which goes to show how great the figure truly is. Even with a single hook and chain accessory, the tall, stout Czarnian is easy to pose, and you could look over the figure a dozen times and still find fun little details you didn’t catch before. If I could wish for anything, it would be a few additional accessories, like maybe a blaster and another hand that’s holding a cigar, just to up the mojo. Even still, he’s practically perfect the way he is.
And just remember:
No one frags with the Main Man.
Lobo is available from Amazon and Entertainment Earth.
OVERALL: This wave has some incredibly high highs– Lobo and Azrael are some of the best figures McFarlane has to offer, full stop– a few surprising gems, and some slight disappointments that are nonetheless solid, if nothing else. With familiar faces like Lex Luthor and Jason Todd, and some surprising pulls from comic storylines of yesteryear, this is a group of some of the most diverse figures McFarlane have on the market, and proof that they have something for everyone.
Disclaimer: McFarlane Toys provided the figures for the purposes of these reviews.
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