SUPER POWERS (KENNER)
“Kalibak, The Cruel Crusher! This massive warrior is incredibly powerful and nearly indestructible. A savage fighter, Kalibak wields the deadly Beta-Club, which can fire nerve beams powerful enough to fell an entire army. Despite his size and strength, Kalibak is not too intelligent. He can be bested by an opponent like Superman, who combines his strength with a sense of strategy.”
When I last discussed Kenner’s Super Powers line from the ’80s, I was getting pretty deep into the Fourth World component of the line, which hit during its second and third years. Thus far, I’ve looked at three of Darkseid’s lieutenants, as well as one of his sons. Today, I look at the figure that combines those two epithets, Kalibak, half brother to Orion, and the brutish son of Darkseid.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Kalibak was released in 1985, as part of Kenner’s second year of Super Powers figures. As with the rest of the Fourth World figures in the line, this would be his debut action figure, and it would remain his only figure until Mattel got back around to him in 2009 as part of their DC Universe Classics line. Heck of a gap there, huh? There was definitely a preferred son of Darkseid in the toy world is all I’m saying. The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall (he’s got a bit of a hunch, which would place him at closer to Darkseid’s height were he standing straight up) and he’s got 5 points of articulation. Kalibak lacks the knee joints sported by most of the line, presumably to give him a slightly more stable stance with the hunch and everything. He still has a bit of trouble remaining standing even so, due to his hip joints being a little loose from how the action feature works. Most of the Fourth World characters got rather changed-up designs for the line, still courtesy of Jack Kirby, of course. Kalibak’s design was new, but he actually had a rather evolving design throughout Kirby’s actual run on New Gods, so this was really just the next step in that evolution. It’s honestly one of the best of the updated designs, and the one that really has the most lasting influence on the character’s main look going forward. The sculpt does a pretty nice job of capturing Kalibak’s larger build, and while he’s a little bit goofy looking, that’s on-brand for Kalibak, so it works out better here than it does for, say, Steppenwolf. Kalibak’s paint work is pretty straight forward. A lot of the Fourth World designs were heavy on green in the comics, and Kalibak was included in that. For the Super Powers designs, they leaned a little more into browns and warmer colors, since there was kind of a shortage of those colors in the DC roster. Kalibak is largely brown and yellow, with a bit of blue. It’s not a bad look, and the application is generally pretty clean. Kalibak is packed with his Beta-Club, which is convenient for use with his “Power Action Beta-Club Swing.” When is legs are squeezed together, the left arm swings in and out, which is actually a pretty cool feature.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Kalibak is the newest addition to my Super Powers collection, in the continuing tradition of my Dad getting me a Super Powers figure at Christmas. He’s slowly but surely helping me make my way through the figures that remain between me and a complete run of the line. Kalibak is one of those figures I wasn’t in a rush to get or anything, but I actually like him a lot more than I’d expected now that I actually own him. And with that, I’m down to just 6 more figures!