#3115: Captain Atom

CAPTAIN ATOM

SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES (DC DIRECT)

In the opening arc of Superman/Batman, after Lex Luthor makes the titular duo fugitives, he sends his own team of government-sponsored heroes after them.  Heading this team is Captain Atom, a character that DC really seems to like pulling the Inspector Javert angle with.  Surprising no one, the Captain realizes that, you know, Luthor’s, like, a villain and all, and aids our heroes.  As I’ve mentioned before, the story’s not high art or anything, but it did give Captain Atom some nice focus, and also netted him his very first action figure in 2005.  That’s pretty cool.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Atom was released in the first series of DC Direct’s Superman/Batman line, which, as previously noted, was entirely themed around the “Public Enemies” storyline.  Captain Atom is seen here in his one look from the story, which was also his one main look for his time at DC during his post-Crisis revival.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation…or at least he did before his shoulder joint crumbled when I pulled him out of storage for this review.  This is why you shouldn’t make joints out of clear plastic, you guys.  It doesn’t end well.  Captain Atom sported the most basic version of the McGuinness-styled body mold that was introduced for this assortment.  It’s a good, basic mold, most of which wound up re-used for various other McGuinness-style characters, including Superman Blue and Red, whom I reviewed here a few years back.  It does better with the arm posing than the other molds…you know, when the shoulder joints don’t shatter.  His head sculpt is the one notable unique piece, of course, and it’s a nice recreation of McGuinness’s version of Atom.  The hair in particular has just the right amount of swoopiness.  I dig it.  The paint work on this figure is rather on the basic side.  It’s admittedly a slight letdown, because the finish is all very flat, where in the comics, McGuinness made it very clear that Atom was supposed to be very shiny.  At least a slightly more showy metallic finish, or possibly some gloss, would have been really nice.  As it stands, it’s okay, but not very flashy.  Captain Atom is packed with a display stand, sporting the Superman/Batman logo.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in last week’s Superman review, back when these were new, my buying habits were rather scaled back, so I could really only afford one of them, and that was this guy, who I picked up from my usual stop Cosmic Comix back in 2005 when they first hit.  I was quite excited about this figure, I recall, because I’d always found the character’s design to be pretty awesome, and there were previously no toy options at all.  Since Mattel was still unable to produce him for their JLU line at the time, this one was my first real option.  Issues with the breakage and the flat finish aside, he was awesome at the time, and he’s still pretty cool now.  And, even all this time later, the competition on the good Captain Atom figure front is still rather sparse.

#1402: Rorschach & Dr. Manhattan

RORSCHACH & DR. MANHATTAN

WATCHMEN MINIMATES

“ERNIE KOVACS has a troubled mind, and will go to great lengths to protect the innocent as RORSCHACH.  When someone kills an old colleague, his investigation into the death brings mysteries to light and puts him back in touch with the world’s only known super-powered human – DR. MANHATTAN.”

On the plus side, this bio does at least do a better job of working in both characters than yesterday’s set did.  Unfortunately, Rorschach’s name is WALTER Kovacs.  Ernie Kovacs would be this guy.  And, while it’s still up for debate as to whether or not Ernie had a troubled mind, he most definitely wasn’t going around as a costumed vigilante…I think…

Right, the actual review.  I should get to that!  Here’s some more Watchmen Minimates!  As noted by the bio, it’s Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan.  Alright!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Like yesterday’s set, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan are one of the “shared” pairs of Watchmen Minimates, available in both the specialty four pack and as a two pack in the Toys R Us’s assortment. Mine are the two-pack version, but they’re functionally the same.

RORSCHACH

Rorschach is the closest the story gets to a main character, and is probably the most popular character contained there-in.  He was originally intended to be The Question, and is honestly the least changed character in that respect.  Rorschach’s design in the movie was completely unchanged from the comics, resulting in a ‘mate that can easily work for either version of the character.  The figure stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the basic body, with add-ons for his hat and coat.  Both pieces are new to this figure, and they work pretty well.  The coat’s a little on the bulky side, but it’s decent enough, and the hat’s one of the better takes on a fedora in this style.  Rorschach’s paint is about on par with the pair I looked at yesterday.  It’s pretty decent overall, but there’s some slight sloppiness on some of the base paint.  The detail lines are also minimal on this guy, so it’s a bit less of what DST’s good at, but what’s there is pretty solid.  Rorschach is packed with his grappling hook (a standard Rorschach accessory), as well as an unmasked head and hair, and a clear display stand.  The extra head is definitely cool, and my favorite extra.  The grapple is okay, but I can’t say I get why every Rorschach has it; I find it to be a rather minor piece.  I would have much rather had the aerosol can he uses to escape the cops, or his journal.  Also, the lack of extra heads with differing expressions is a little annoying.  Still, not a bad selection.

DR. MANHATTAN

Dr. Manhattan is the story’s one true super human, originally planned to be Captain Atom.  Visually, Manhattan is one of the story’s most memorable characters, and as such, his design remained essentially the same when they adapted the comic to film.  Structurally, Manhattan is just a plain Minimate, with additional parts or anything.  It’s certainly well suited to the character.  It does mean that all of the heavy lifting is handled by his paint work.  He’s done in a semi-transparent blue plastic, which, fun fact, is also glow-in-the-dark.  It’s surprisingly powerful, provided you give it a little time to charge up.  The detail paint on this guy is phenomenal.  All of his parts have detailed musculature, and his face is a spot-on recreation of how he looks in the film.  It should also be noted that this is the first Dr. Manhattan figure to forego the usual black shorts seen on all the merchandise.  I mean, they still Ken-Doll-ed him; he’s still got to be decent and all, since he’s being sold at retail.  Should you want him to be more modest, though, he does include an extra pelvis piece, molded in dark blue, thus replicating the shorts.  In addition, he’s also got the standard display stand, as well as a flight stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s set, I picked this pair up from Toys R Us on my birthday.  This pack is more comic-compatible than the last one, which is pretty cool.  Manhattan’s just plain awesome, especially for being a ‘mate that could have been super simple and boring.  Rorschach’s overall pretty decent, though I’m not sure he translated quite as well to the style.  Still, not a bad set, especially if you’re a fan of the source material.