DC COMICS MULTIVERSE
In 1979, Superman started a trend of superhero movies that has continued for over 30 years. There had been superhero movies before, such as the 60s Batman: The Movie, but Superman is important because it treated the source material seriously, while simultaneously making winks at the audience about some of the stranger aspects. It knew what it was. It may not be for everyone, but it’s the prototypical superhero movie without a doubt. Because of this, it’s remained one of my favorites. Until the recent round of Marvel Studios movies, it was my go to example of what a superhero movie should be. One of the movie’s greatest strengths was the casting of Christopher Reeve in the title role. He played both sides of the character with a lovability and sense of heroism that his performance serves as many people’s ideal Superman even to this day. In the late 70s, movies didn’t get toylines like they do today, leaving collectors lacking in a Christopher Reeve Superman for three decades. A few years back, Hot Toys released their own take on the character that was phenomenal, but the smaller scale was lacking a bit. With the announcement of their DC Comics Multiverse line, Mattel confirmed a Christopher Reeve Superman. Yes, I know, it’s Mattel. This is about the point where I warn you it’s gonna be rough. Well, this figure’s actually a bit of a surprise.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Superman was released in the third assortment of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse line. For those of you keeping track, yes that does put him an assortment later than the previously reviewed General Zod figure. I’m not sure what Mattel was trying for there, but it resulted in peg-warming Zod’s everywhere. Sound move, guys. Obviously, this figure is based on Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of the character. If you want to be specific, he’s based on Superman in the first movie, but there really wasn’t much change from film to film. The figure is a little over 3 ¾ inches tall and features 18 points of articulation. The articulation here is better handled than it was on Zod, though they have removed the bicep swivels in exchange for thigh swivels. He also gained a waist swivel that Zod was so sorely lacking. Superman is still a bit stiff looking, and he could really use some ankle movement, but he really isn’t bad. If Zod’s waist was too high, I’m gonna go ahead and say Superman’s waist seems to be too low. It’s not as bad, but it does seem a slight bit off. Aside from that, the sculpt is pretty great. The proportions seem pretty on mark, and the head bears a pretty decent likeness to Reeve, especially at this scale. Superman’s paint isn’t terrible, but I had to look through several figures to find one that didn’t have any immediately noticeable issues. I still didn’t find a perfect figure, as removing him from the package revealed a sizeable portion of missing paint of the logo on the cape. Other than that issue, the paint is pretty good, though there are few areas with some bleed over. Superman includes no accessories, which is really a shame, given the cost of the figure. It would have been cool to get the chunk of Kryptonite Luthor hangs on his neck, or something. Anything would be good.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked up Superman from a boardwalk shop in Ocean City while I was there celebrating my friend Jill’s birthday. Surprisingly, I really like the figure. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than a lot of Mattel’s output these days. It’s a shame that Zod wasn’t quite as good, but the true tragedy is that many people will probably end up passing on Superman based on the lackluster Zod, thanks to Mattel’s odd release order.