If you’re a comics fan, chances are you’ve seen a character or scene in a book and thought “I wish that was a toy.” Well, McFarlane Toys are certainly doing their part to bring us as many action figures and sets as they can, all based on our favorite DC Comics properties. Here we have a pretty broad selection of pieces, ranging from Superman to a Flash villain to a member of the Wildstorm universe to a bunch of Batman.
Of course there’s a bunch of Batman.
There’s something for most everyone here, so read on to see what sticks out to you.
Kicking things off, we have this magnificent specimen: the Joker Dragon. Ripped from the pages of the absolutely bananas Dark Nights: Metal, the aerial reptilian creature with the Clown Prince of Crime’s ghastly visage is quite the sight to behold.
Seriously. Look at it. Behold it. You will either want this, or you will not. Nothing I can say will sway you, because this is such a weird, specific, niche piece that it’s bound to appeal to a select group of fans rather than the audience as a whole.
And that’s fine. Not everything is for everyone, nor should it be. Personally, I appreciate this figure, in all its zaniness, and like its technical aspects as well. The sculpting is magnificent, with gross-looking gills and bumps and scales all over. It’s quite long, and the tail is… kind of prehensile, with what feels like a metal wire running along the interior so it can be bent into different shapes. The main problem is that the soft rubber of the tail itself is pretty thick, so while it’s sturdy, it won’t move too far in many directions so the articulation is limited.
Even still, with its hinged jaw that can be opened and closed to display its yellowed, crooked teeth, the Joker Dragon is a nice piece for collectors who like things to be a bit off the beaten path.
Batman of Earth-22 (Infected)
The infected Earth-22 Batman here is also weird, for a different reason: despite being a Jokerized Batman, he’s a pretty stellar figure through and through. Like the Joker Dragon, this is going to appeal to a smaller base of fans, but that still shouldn’t stop anyone who’s at least curious from checking it out. Even with the Joker elements, it’s a solidly sculpted Batman figure, with a great, chunky utility belt and a pretty sweet Batarang accessory.
I particularly love the bright green of the Batsymbol on his chest, which pops against the leathery suit, which is a deep navy blue. The crooked ears on the cowl are a nice touch, as are the claw-like fingers of the left hand. No surprise here, but my favorite aspect is the cape, which has been one of McFarlane’s strengths with their DC figures. Like the suit, it has a leathery quality to it that adds weight and dimension to the figure, and there are some great tears and fraying in different spots.
Usually, I’m not a fan of villainized looks for heroes, especially the constant “Batman if he was also Joker” variants we’ve been seeing. For this Infected Batman, though, I might make an exception, because the action figure is a genuinely great piece all around.
Available from Entertainment Earth.
Superman Jon Kent
Yeah, I’ll get it out of the way: aging up Jon Kent was the worst possible thing to do with the character, and he has yet to recover (if he ever will). With last year’s Future State, I was at least interested in seeing how he would fare as Superman, but the answer ended up being “not well.” The character is just bland and boring now, missing that youthful pluckiness and innocence he had before his childhood was taken from him.
And this Jon Kent Superman figure is in that same vein: adequate, yet dull. The sculpt and coloring are fine, as they’ve thankfully gone with his pretty solid Future State costume rather than the hideously over-designed suit he wore in books leading up to that event. I particularly like how his S-shield sits high on his chest, with the red border stretching around his shoulders to the back of the suit. It’s different than his dad’s costume, while remaining an identifiably Superman suit.
There’s just… something missing here. It might be the head sculpt, which is alright save for the eyes. I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to have a red glow, indicating he’s using heat vision, which is not my favorite look for any Superman. The paint is too subtle, though, so instead of having any sort of character– even menace– his eyes just look hollow and lifeless.
Jon comes with an extra set of hands, so you can have two clenched fists, two open palms, or a combination of the two. They slide on and off easy enough, and the included posing arm and base allow you to emulate the illusion of flight.
Ultimately, Jon here isn’t the best figure I’ve ever seen, nor is he the worst. He’s just very average, which shouldn’t be said of a Superman.
Available from Amazon.
Ah, Hush. I have… complicated feelings about the character and the titular story in which he was introduced, but I tried to not let that color my opinion of this piece. After all, that Infected Batman above is awesome, even if I don’t like those kinds of aesthetics, and there’s a figure further down in the review that I like despite not really loving the character.
So yeah, despite my best efforts, I didn’t find this Hush figure to be amazing. Even with some solid detailing here and there, he’s kind of boring.
My favorite aspect of the figure is the trenchcoat, which has some amazing texturing and is molded really well. Even the windswept effect works well enough, as it isn’t so extreme that posing the figure “against” the coat’s flow doesn’t look awkward.
And the rest of the detailing on the figure is fine, but it also becomes pretty clear pretty quick that as far as character designs go, Hush isn’t that interesting. His defining characteristic is his “bandage mask” about his head, which is unique, sure. The gray bandages combined with the brown coat and black pants and bodysuit result in a character that doesn’t really pop. And it’s not even the lack of color, either. Batman’s suit from the same story is black and gray, yet its design is widely considered to be one of the Dark Knight’s best. Hush just looks too… grounded, maybe? Like he’s supposed to look practical and utilitarian, yet just comes across as boring and disorganized. Not even the purple gloves can add much of a point of interest.
He comes with two knives, which fit well in his hands, so that’s a plus. I know the guy has lots of fans, and I am not one, so I tried to give his figure some credit. I don’t hate it, and can even praise some aspects without hesitation, yet I don’t love it either.
Kind of like the book, come to think of it.
Oh hey, speaking of characters I don’t usually care for, here’s Grifter. Is he cool? His real name is Cole Cash. He wears a sweet mask. His codename is “Grifter.” Of course he’s cool.
Do I enjoy stories with Grifter, though?
While his presence in a comic isn’t guaranteed to move the needle of interest, though, this action figure is pretty great. He has one of the best sculpts of the lot in this review, and some solid accessories too. I was surprised, but Grifter here is one of the best figures I’ve reviewed in a while.
It helps that his look is so unique, especially with his loose-fitting mask. Instead of having a normal head sculpt, the draping cloth of his mask adds some nice dimension, and his hair poking out of the top of his head complements it well.
Then there’s his jacket, body armor, pants, and boots, which all look like different materials. The jacket has realistic folds and bunching, as do his pants. The more solid material of his armor and boots look great as well, providing a smooth counterbalance to the look of the “fabric” clothing.
His sword and knife accessories would have fit the character better if he had a gun instead, but given how McFarlane is hesitant to ship figures with firearms, I wasn’t expecting him to have one to begin with.
If my thoughts on the Hush figure seemed harsh or colored too much by my feelings about the character, take this Grifter piece as evidence that I can look past it if the quality is there. Seriously, this guy rocks.
The speedster figures McFarlane have put out are generally of good quality, though they’ve become kind of hard to review. They all have the same general body shape and type, and usually have the exact same accessories too. To really stand out, those who tap into the Speed Force really need to have something special about them, so how does Godspeed hold up?
Fine, I guess. He has a fairly creepy design, with a full face mask and those gold eyes. The white bodysuit with the gold accents belies his sinister nature, and the figure captures that well enough. Still, with the lightning bolt and energy crackle accessories, this feels like “just another speedster,” in the least insulting way I can mean that. If you’re a huge fan of the Flash and his rogues, this will be right up your alley. Otherwise, there isn’t enough here to interest anyone who doesn’t run with those guys.
Azrael (Batman armor)
I unironically love Azrael, as we all know. Even still, I’m not down for anything and everything Jean-Paul Valley, so I can keep expectations with an Azrael figure in check.
Like this one here, in fact. I’ve reviewed a few Azrael figures so far, and while this isn’t the worst, it isn’t the best either. I like it more than the White Knight figure that came in a two-pack with Batman (you know, the one where the thumb just straight up snapped off when I tried to fit the sword in his hand), but it isn’t nearly as cool as the standalone Suit of Sorrows figure. While I can– and should– judge it on its own merits, the fact that I’ve encountered better Azrael pieces and that a comic accurate AzBats figure was just announced kind of tempered my enthusiasm for this guy.
So overall, it’s fine. It’s touted as “Batman armor,” resulting in a weird fusion between the AzBats suit and a suit of heavy plate armor. To that end, the sculpting is pretty complex, which makes for neat-looking armor at the cost of articulation and posability. There’s a lot of detail, but it’s all awash in silver, with very little other coloring. Due to that, everything kind of blends together.
My favorite aspect is the cape, which is made of semi-translucent plastic. It has the same silver coloring as the rest of the armor, but it isn’t opaque like the capes of most other figures, so it emulates a thinner, lighter type of cloth. Whether that’s intentional or not, I don’t know, but it looks pretty cool.
As for accessories, he comes with a sword, almost identical to the one the Suit of Sorrows Azrael wields. It doesn’t have a sweet flame effect, though, so that’s a bummer.
Available from Amazon.
Batman vs. Hush two-pack
Finally, we have a two-pack with Batman facing off against Hush. Other than different colored gloves and a slightly different head sculpt (he’s screaming instead of grimacing), Hush is the exact same as the figure earlier in the review. So let’s just move right on to Batman.
Who is awesome. This might be the very best standard Batman figure that I’ve come across so far, in terms of sculpt, design, and all around playability. Clad in the black and gray suit that gained popularity in the Hush storyline, Batman is brawny without being overly muscular, like Jim Lee’s illustrations from the time tended to be. Bulkier than the Year Two Batman, he isn’t as stocky as, say, The Dark Knight Returns look, so he strikes a nice middle-ground between lean and burly. Granted, this isn’t my personal favorite look from the comics, as I do prefer the blue and gray with the yellow oval, as well as a more fit, athletic build, but I’ll still give props when an action figure looks as great as this one does.
It’s hard to pinpoint why it’s so awesome, too, because it just is. The design is clean and simple, the limited color palette works incredibly well in the figure’s favor, and it has great articulation and a strong center of gravity. Due to all those factors, this is just a great Batman figure from head to toe. My one complaint is that I wish the forearms were articulated too, so that the glove spikes weren’t always pointing the same way. It’s a minor nitpick, though, and one easy to overlook when the rest of the piece is just about perfect.
It wouldn’t be a two-pack without some sort of base or diorama, and this set doesn’t disappoint. Batman has two Batarangs he can wield in either hand, and there’s a shovel accessory included too, in addition to a graveyard scene the figures can be placed on top of. Naturally, there’s a gravestone for Jason Todd, so you can recreate the infamous scene from the book where Batman was led to believe that Hush is actually his departed partner returned from the grave. It’s a relatively small base, but effective for what they’re going for.
The biggest selling point for this set is also its biggest drawback: the Batman figure is so good it almost makes it worth it to get a just okay Hush figure too. Still, I hope and wish that McFarlane would release this same Batman sculpt on his own, because he’s that good.
Overall: A whole lot of new figures, and like most waves of Multiverse toys, there’s something for pretty much every DC fan here. Heroes, villains, iconic comic scenes, dragon… things. All sorts of DC goodness. Some of the figures are noticeably better than others, sure, but even the lesser offerings will have their own fans.
Disclaimer: McFarlane Toys provided all figures for the purposes of this review.
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