DC Comics is one of the most popular and prolific publishers on the planet*.
Zombies are one of the more popular horror creatures out there too, which makes sense because the undead are both terrifying and easy to adapt to practically any property.
Combine the two and you’ve got yourself DCeased, DC’s immensely successful take on the undead. Penned by Tom Taylor, the book began as a bit of a sleeper hit and quickly became a franchise of its own, with multiple sequels and spin-offs in its wake.
Not surprisingly, McFarlane have decided to adapt the creepy undead designs of the series and render them in plastic for a brand new action figure line, so let’s see how they stack up.
It’s crazy. This is a great Superman figure, with a spot-on translation of his classic costume.
It just, you know, has blood splatters all over it.
This is one of the better figures in the line, thanks to its great paint job, sculpting, and articulation. I know the blood and disfigured face are on theme, but it’s a shame that there wasn’t a “pre-infection” variant because it would have been one of the best Superman figures McFarlane’s produced thus far.
Regardless, I love the sculpt, and the bent fingers and undead face really sell the point of the DCeased branding.
You could copy and paste everything I said about Superman, replace “Superman” with “Supergirl,” and you’d have my general thoughts about this figure too. Like her Kryptonian cousin, Supergirl has a great sculpt and likeness to her comic counterpart. I particularly love the detailing in her hair, with a few strands just a bit out of place to indicate that Kara’s in complete disarray.
Her dead eyes and the flecks of red paint look incredibly creepy, and I love the fact that the bottom of her cape is dirty too. Yes, like Superman, I wish there was a variant that wasn’t zombiefied, but for the purposes of DCeased this is one of the best pieces in the line.
The Flash is the fastest man alive.
Because he’s a zombie.
This figure is fine, with a good sculpt and bright colors. The undead aspect is a bit more subtle, as any blood splatters will blend in with most of his costume, and his cowl obscures most of his face. There are some nice details, though, like his hair poking out from a tear in his cowl and his claw-like fingers. In all it’s a good figure, but one you probably wouldn’t be able to tell is supposed to be zombiefied from a distance.
As a character, I do not like Deathstroke. At all.
As a member of the legions of the undead? I’ll take it.
This figure is pretty cool, thanks to a bunch of ironic elements that are both hilarious and macabre.
First off, he looks like Deathstroke, rendered in his Rebirth era Ikon suit. He has a holster, but no gun– we’ll get to that in a bit– and no other accessories to speak of.
Then you get a good look at his face, and this figure becomes amazing. The torn up mask to reveal half of his screaming mouth is great, and his hollowed out eye socket is just the gory cherry on top.
Besides that, like the other figures, it’s competently constructed and painted, just with some extra details that really elevate it.
Even if you hate Deathstroke.
Now we come to that tragedy of Harley Quinn. It’s a shame that this figure is the best Harley figure to come along in years. She’s in her classic jester suit, which is far and away her best costume, and it is beautifully sculpted and painted.
It’s also covered in fake blood and she has a zombie face.
For Superman and Supergirl, I was a bit disappointed that their sculpts weren’t used for non-infected variants, but they’ve had some other great figures recently. Harley hasn’t had much of anything outside of those based on her looks in the films, and when she finally gets a classic, comics-inspired look, it’s for DCeased.
So yeah, this figure looks great, I just wish it wasn’t part of this line. That’s… praise, right?
Babs here has some definite strengths and weaknesses, making her one of the lesser figures in the series. It’s a shame, because I love Batgirl, and this could have been an amazing figure, but it falls just short.
Her sculpt is incredible, perfectly capturing her Burnside look from the comics. The purple and yellow really pop, especially compared to her ghostly pallor. I love the detailing on her suit, like the layering of her tunic over the rest of her bodysuit. She has some of the best hands out of any of the figures too, one with fingers outstretched and the other more claw-like. They look really dynamic and make Babs look particularly sinister.
It’s when we get into the blood adornments that things start to break down. Some of the paint application is incredible, particularly on her hands. Other areas look sloppy, though, like the big patches of red on her chest, thigh, and knee. Where the stippling on her hands is consistent with the blood effect on the other characters, those larger spots seriously looks like someone dipped a brush in paint and hastily swiped it across the figure. It’s a shame, because other than that this is a strong piece, and could have been one of the best if not for those details.
Red Hood (Unkillables)
So Red Hood here is the only character who comes with accessories. Nobody else has so much as a Batarang, yet Jason Todd gets two weapons.
And they are both guns.
Not sure how this could be, considering the supposed moratorium on firearms with these characters, but there they are. Two pistols that fit nicely in his holsters, because they sure don’t stay in his hands.
As for the figure itself, this could almost be a plain Red Hood toy. Other than the cracked helmet with his zombie face poking through, you could say that this is just battle-damaged Red Hood and call it a day. To that end, it’s alright, though McFarlane have made better Red Hood figures before, and he’s victim to some of the same slapdash painting as Batgirl. Overall, he’s one of the lesser picks, because so many other figures in the line are more interesting.
Dick Grayson might be my favorite character in comics, so hopefully it’s understandable that I’m kind of picky when it comes to Nightwing figures. His best costume– the blue and black from the Nineties, with the fingerstripes– is so simple and perfect that designers and sculptors seem to feel the need to make it more complex. That happens in the comics, too, with too many “improvements” to his look just feeling like updates for their own sake.
The DCeased Nightwing figure is based on one of the more successful updates to his costume, even if I’m not crazy about it either: the blue and black outfit he wore coming out of Grayson and going into the Rebirth era.
My thoughts about the design aside, the figure is pretty accurate, like pretty much all the other characters represented here. Superman might be my favorite of the set, but I like a lot of the gory elements they incorporated here. The blood looks better than the previous two pieces in the review, even if it’s still lacking in some of the larger spots. I really liked the effect around his calves, with the subtle red paint discolored the blue design element, making it look like dried blood.
The head sculpt might be the best of the line, thanks to that huge gash running through his hair. It’s gross and gory, and helps sell the undead idea all the better.
All of the figures were at least passably posable, yet Dick stands out with the ease of articulation. He is a gymnast and acrobat, after all, so he needs to be able to be posed in a number of positions.
Overall: This is definitely a specific, niche line, given that it’s based on an out of continuity comic miniseries and one of its spin-offs. That they’re immensely popular books will certain help with the appeal, though, and fans of the story or horror-themed characters will definitely find at least a few characters that they’ll want to add to their collections. If nothing else, maybe a successful DCeased line will lead to more series based on other comic stories, movies, and shows.
*Unintentional alliteration? You decide!
Disclaimer: McFarlane Toys provided each figure for this review.