#3110: Superman

SUPERMAN

SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES (DC DIRECT)

In the early 2000s, DC revitalized their World’s Finest book, a series that chronicled Superman and Batman’s joint exploits (well, mostly; it didn’t start that way), under the more minimalistic title of Superman/Batman.  The series launched with “Public Enemies,” a story line that saw Superman and Batman labeled enemies of the state by a soon-to-be-deposed President Lex Luthor.  It’s far from high art or anything, but it’s a fairly fun story.  At the time, DC Direct did a line of figures to tie-in, based on Ed McGuinness’s art from the book.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at the line’s take on Superman.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superman was released in the first series of DCD’s Superman/Batman line, which was entirely “Public Enemies”-themed.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  These figures were far from super-poseable, with little more than enough movement to tweak the basic standing pose.  You can get maybe a slight take-off pose out of him, but even that’s pushing it.  He can at least get his arms closer to his sides than Batman could, but even so, it’s pretty limited.  Superman had an all-new sculpt, based on McGuinness’s art; it certainly shares a number of elements with the other figures, since they all had rather similar builds.  It’s at the very least a pretty solid recreation of the art in three dimensions.  In particular, they’ve really gotten McGuinness’s Superman’s head down pretty spot-on.  I do really love how that sculpt looks.  The cape seems perhaps a touch short, but I do like the dynamic flow to it; it helps to break up that basic standing pose just a little bit.  Superman’s paint work is actually quite nice.  I’ve always really enjoyed the metallic blue they chose for this first release; it just really pops so nicely, especially next to the matte finish on the flesh tones.  I’m not entirely in favor of the lack of actual eyes, but it’s a stylistic choice, I suppose.  It does sort of have a twinge of nostalgia for me, since it makes me think of the early Kenner STAS figures, so I guess it’s not entirely bad.  I do quite like the blue accenting in the hair, so that works out.  Superman is packed with a Superman/Batman display stand.  It’s just a stand, but it does what it needs to, I suppose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was in middle school when these were released, so I was on a much smaller budget.  That meant I only had the money for one figure from this set, and it wound up being Captain Atom, since I didn’t already have a bunch of him laying around.  I always wanted to grab this guy at some point, but I just never got around to getting one.  Last year, I was helping a family friend downsize their collection, and they gave me this guy in return for my help, which was honestly very nice.  He’s a very specific type of figure, and you have to want that very specific type of figure.  That said, I really like that very specific type of figure, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better adaptation of Ed McGuinness’s art, so he very definitely works for me.

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