SUPERMAN & LEX LUTHOR
Sometimes when I’m down, I like to remind myself that I’m not as much of a failure as I could be by looking at other failures. Is that perhaps a cruel way of making myself feel better? Yes. So, I guess I shouldn’t do it. Well, on a completely unrelated note, let’s talk again about DC Minimates, one of the great tragedies of Minimate collectors. Try and try as they may to get more, they just aren’t going to happen, leaving us to reflect on the short eight series run that we actually got. Things certainly started off strong, with a first series filled with heavy hitters…which might actually have been part of the line’s problem, since they ran out of those heavy hitters rather quickly. Whatever the case, it meant that Superman and his arch rival Lex Luthor were among the line’s first offerings.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Superman and Luthor were one of the four two-packs in Series 1 of DC Minimates.
Superman had had two ‘mates prior to this one, as part of the legal loophole-inspired C3 line. While his initial C3 release was a pretty decent classic Superman, it was still animation based, allowing this one to supplant it as a proper comics variant. The figure was built on the basic ‘mate body, and therefore stands 2 1/4 inches tall and sports 14 points of articulation. He’s constructed with three add-on pieces, for his hair, cape, and belt. All three were new to this guy (though the hair was shared with fellow Series 1 release Green Lantern), and would go on to see re-use throughout the line. Compared to the prior Superman, the parts on this one were mostly an improvement, though I always liked the way the C3 connected at the neck a little bit more. This one isn’t bad looking, but I have trouble getting behind the red bar running across the neck. I do like the overall shaping of the actual cape part, though. His paintwork is appropriately bold, and overall not a bad offering, but the red paint on the pelvis in particular didn’t stand up very well to wear and tear. Superman included no accessories, since stands hadn’t yet become a thing for the brand.
Luthor actually hadn’t gotten a ‘mate before (though a C3 prototype was shown), nor would he get one after. This was his only shot. The character has had a lot of different looks over the years, but this one went for his at the time current iteration of his battle suit, which was definitely a solid choice. Said battle suit was built from six add-on pieces, again all-new to this figure. The sculpting on these parts was superb, and is one of the earliest examples of such elements making their way into the line, as well as a good example of it being done well. All of the sculpted parts are things that should be bulked up, but they have a lot of small detail work to set them apart. Aiding the sculpted parts, there’s also quite a bit going on with the paint. Again, lots of small detail lines, which makes him an interesting counterpoint to the much bolder Superman. Luthor is packed with a chunk of Kryptonite. At least, I assume it’s his. Neither figure in the set can actually hold it, but it makes more sense to go with him.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
These guys, like all of my DC Minimates, were purchased new from Cosmic Comix. While it was the Green Lantern set that really held my focus going into this line-up, this one’s a strong one. Superman’s the definitive version of the character, and Luthor is just one of the best ‘mates the line ever produced. By far one of the strongest sets the line offered up. This pair set a high bar for the rest of the line.