#1651: Big Barda

BIG BARDA

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“Born on the evil, warlike planet Apokolips, Barda was specially trained in all forms of combat by Granny Goodness. However, she fell in love with Scott Free, a child of peaceful New Genesis raised on Apokolips, and used her warrior skills to help him escape to Earth. Barda accompanied Scott, and they married after he assumed the name of Mister Miracle, world’s greatest escape artist. Since then, she has fought evil alongside her husband, both of them serving in the Justice League of America.”

When it came to DC Universe Classics‘ line-up, there was definitely a penchant for leaning heavily on Jack Kirby’s Fourth World creations.  This is something of a carry over from Kenner’s Super Powers, a line that inspired much of the DCUC line.  One prominent Fourth World member that was absent from Super Powers was Big Barda, who made her debut rather early into DCUC‘s run.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Big Barda was released in Series 7 of DC Universe Classics.  There were two versions of the character available: with helmet and without.  As you may have pieced together from the photo at the top of the review, this one’s the un-helmeted release, which, despite not being a standard look for the character at all, ended up as the easiest of the two versions to find.  Why the decision was made to make it two separate figures, rather than just tossing in the alternate look as an accessory is anyone’s guess, but it’s just the first of the problems that plague this figure.  The figure stands 6 inches tall.  I’m gonna say that again: 6 inches tall.  So, for those of you playing the FiQ home game, double-checking the stats up against prior players reviews, you’ll note that Barda is shorter than the DCUC Mr. Miracle, despite Barda being consistently depicted as a good half foot taller than Scott, and having, you know, “Big” in her name. Kind of an issue.  What’s especially odd about this is the fact that Barda has a completely unique sculpt…so, there’s really no reason for her to be the same size as all of the other female figures.  There’s legitimately no good reason for Mattel to have so badly underscaled Barda.  Apart, of course, from the looming “they’re Mattel and thereby must suck at everything” bit they’ve got going on.  And even from an internal standpoint, she’s still really off, because her arms and legs are really quite scrawny, again, in sharp contrast to that “big” descriptor.  How did nobody along the whole process stop and go “wait, something’s not right here.”  Or maybe they just thought it was an ironic nickname?  Like “Einstein” or “tiny”?  That seems like an appropriately Mattel thing to do, I guess.  If there’s one redeeming aspect to the figure, it’s the paint.  It’s from a time when Mattel was still kind of trying at such things, so she actually has some pretty solid accenting work, especially on things like the chainmail on the arms and legs, where it really helps bring out what few strengths the sculpt actually has.  In terms of accessories, Barda was rather light.  She has her staff and one of Atom Smasher’s arms, and she can’t even hold her staff all that well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

No super exciting story about acquiring this figure.  A friend of mine bought this figure thinking there was a helmet included, and upon discovering no helmet was included, she handed it off to me.  The sans-helmet figure wasn’t my first choice, and I mostly just kept her because I wanted to finish my Atom Smasher.  She’s a flawed figure.  I can’t really get past that.  On the plus side, with the introduction of DC Icons and its rather diminutive nature, I at least have somewhere to put her.  Yay?

#1626: Mantis

MANTIS

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED (MATTEL)

“Mantis, an evil resident of Apokolips, decides to lead an invasion of Earth after the apparent demise of Darkseid.”

Of all the New Gods characters, I think Mantis may be the least developed.  I mean, he’s always been there, since Jack Kirby created the group in the ‘70s, but Kirby never did much with him, and subsequent creators sort of followed.  Mantis essentially just exists when writers need a New God for the heroes to battle without throwing off whatever’s going on with the New Gods that actually matter.  Despite that, Mantis inexplicably has four action figures.  Who’d have thunk?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mantis was released as part of the amusingly typo-ed “Attack from Apolkolips” 6-pack from Mattel’s Justice League Unlimited line.  That’s the best name I’ve seen since the good old days of “Muntant Armor.”  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  He’s built on the large male body (patterned after the original Justice League Superman), which is a good fit for the character.  He’s got a brand-new head sculpt, and though it’s made of rather rubbery plastic, it’s actually a pretty decent piece, rather deftly recreating Mantis’ design from the series.  Mantis’ “wings” are handled here has a cloth cape piece.  In a line of figures that used almost exclusively sculpted pieces for such things, this seems a little out of place, especially since it’s not a particularly *good* cloth cape.  There’s no hem on the outside, and it’s held in place by some rather obvious clips.  Organic flow is not among this figures strong suits.  The paint work on Mantis is decent enough; his colors all match up well with the on-screen ones, and the greens are nice and complimentary.  There’s a little bit of slop on his face and mask, but he’s otherwise pretty clean, and the detail lines on his costume are quite sharply defined.  Mantis included no accessories, but this was within the norm for the multi-pack figures.  Also, having seen a number of the accessories that were included with the single-carded figures, I can hardly feel like I missed out on anything.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My interest in JLU had largely waned by the time this set came along, so I didn’t buy it new.  This guy was bought all on his lonesome from Yesterday’s Fun, during my family vacation last summer.  He’s not an exceptional figure or anything, but he’s not awful either.  He’s about average for this line, which I guess is about as much as you can expect.

#1491: Dr. Impossible

DR. IMPOSSIBLE

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“Who is Doctor Impossible? On the surface, he appears to be a dark, mirror-image of Mister Miracle.  Where Mister Miracle is aided in his fight against evil by a personal super computer known as Mother Box, Doctor Impossible accomplishes his evil deeds with the help of his “Father Box.”  Doctor Impossible claims to be Mister Miracle’s brother from Apokolips.  Origins aside, Doctor Impossible remains a formidable foe and disturbing flipside to the powers of Mister Miracle.”

Believe it or not, that bio is the most ever written about this character.  Crazy, right?  Dr. Impossible was introduced during Brad Meltzer’s post-Infinite Crisis run on Justice League of America, and never really amounted to a whole lot.  In his defense, DC decided to put a hold on the usage of the New Gods in general not too long after his debut, but even in his inaugural story, he’s little more than a bit player. Despite that, he’s gotten two whole action figures, one of which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like last week’s Mr. Miracle figure, Dr. Impossible is from the sixth series of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics.  As a matter of fact, Dr. Impossible was just a variant of said Mr. Miracle figure.  Being quite frank, his shared pieces from Scott are probably what really got him made, since he was presumably a cheap to produce figure.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Just like Scott, Impossible’s built on the medium base body, albeit with far less unique pieces this time.  He only gets a new head (slightly re-tooled from Mr. Miracle) and forearms, as well as Mr. Miracle’s cape add-on piece.  Obviously, he’s not quite as impressive as Miracle (who just has an objectively better and more dynamic design), but he’s a solid enough translation of the source material, and he looks pretty decent with the Mr. Miracle figure.  The paint on Dr. Impossible is solid work.  It’s cleanly applied, and the colors are pretty accurate to the source material.  I like the flat colors used here more than the metallic shades on the DCD figure, so that’s a plus.  It’s a shame that he doesn’t get any of Miracle’s accent work, though.  Where Mr. Miracle was packed with a bunch of character-specific extras, Dr. Impossible is not so lucky.  All he gets is the leg of Kaliback, which is exactly the same as Miracle’s piece.  This coupled with his lessened use of unique pieces makes the figure feel rather light for the base price.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Where Mr. Miracle was largely absent from retail shelves around me, Dr. Impossible was quite plentiful.  He was quite plentiful everywhere, and for a good reason: compared to the Mr. Miracle figure (who came with the exact same piece of Kaliback), he’s just not as good a figure.  Add in that he’s a character that even hardcore DC fans will have only moderate interest in, and you’ve got DCUC’s first major peg-warmer.  So, if he’s a disappointment, why’d I get him?  Mostly because the guys at Cosmic Comix just know me way too well.  When I brought Mr. Miracle up to the counter, David (the guy behind the counter, who is aware that I’m an opener) quickly asked if I might be interested in a Dr. Impossible with a dinged up box, offering it at $5.  For $5, I was content to buy him.  Sure, he’s not anywhere near as good as Miracle, but at a fraction of the price, I can certainly enjoy him for what he is.

#1484: Mr. Miracle

MR MIRACLE

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“As part of a peace pact, Scott Free was raised in an orphanage on the cruel world of Apokolips.  Young Scott finally escaped that destiny and made his way to Earth where he was befriended by escape artist Thaddeus Brown, known as Mr. Miracle.  Under Brown’s tutelage Scott assumed the identity of Mister Miracle and elevated to greater glory as an entertainment super-escape artist!”

In time for Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, his beloved Fourth World creations have made their triumphant return to the four-color-printed pages.  Well, a few of them, anyway.  Kirby’s most successful Fourth World creation is the evil monarch Darkseid, but I’d say that Mr. Miracle’s a pretty close second.  His original book ran for twice as long as the others, and he’s had more than a few revivals, including a currently running one, which I’ve been picking up and enjoying enough to keep reading.  He’s also had a pretty good helping of action figures.  I’ve already looked at two of them, but here’s one more.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Miracle was released in the sixth series of DC Universe Classics, which was the final assortment of the line’s inaugural year.  It was a rather rocky year, with a slow start at Series 1, poor distribution for the four series, and quality control issues all over the place.  Series 6 marked a real turning point, being a little easier to find at retail and offering overall higher quality figures.  Scott was the second Fourth World addition, following Orion in Series 1.   Following Scott, there’d be one New God per series until Series 12.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  He’s built on the medium base-body, which works well enough for Scott, since he’s usually a little smaller than Orion and the like, but still usually depicted as larger than average.  Scott has a new head, forearms, and shins, as well as add-ons for his cape and belt.  It’s nice to see just how many new pieces there were on this guy, given how prone to just painting the details this line got as it went on.  The head is a generic depiction of Mr. Miracle’s mask, not based on any specific artist’s version.  Obviously, there’s some pretty heavy Kirby influence there, but it’s not a strict Kirby version of the character.  Nevertheless, it’s a good take on the character.  The other pieces are mostly just designed to slot in pretty flawlessly with the base body, which they do pretty well.  The cape, it should be noted, is made from a harder plastic than you might expect, which means it’s really stiff, solid, and heavy.  It can make him a little difficult to keep standing.  That being said, it’s still a nicely crafted piece, so no complaints there.  What I find most impressive about this figure are the details that most people will never see.  The back of his belt features a removable Mother Box, and the bottoms of his feet have been re-sculpted so as to get some Kirby circuitry.  Both easily overlooked details, but both details included here anyway.  The paintwork on this guy is perhaps his only real negative.  It’s not terrible, but it’s a little sloppier than I’d like.  Still, it’s got some very nice accent work that you don’t see much these days, and is all-around pretty good.  In addition to the previously mentioned Mother Box, Mr. Miracle is also packed with a pair of flight disks (which get a circuitry detailing similar to the underside of the foot), as well as the right leg of Kaliback.  Most impressively, he includes a pair of arm cuffs, clearly modeled after those included with his old Super Powers figure, making this guy the first official call-back to Super Powers in this line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t buy this guy new. Not long before his release, DC Direct had done their own set of Jack Kirby designed New Gods figures, which I quite liked.  That Mr. Miracle was my favorite of the set, and I didn’t really feel like I needed another.  Then this figure’s price shot up fairly quickly, and I figured that was just as well.  Recently, Cosmic Comix got in a nearly complete set of DCUC figures, and they’ve been slowly putting them out.  I saw this guy, and it was the same week as the new issue of Mr. Miracle, so I felt it was appropriate.  I’m glad I picked him up, because he’s quite possibly one of the finest offerings from DCUC.  He’s a character that really fit the style, and it’s clear they went the extra mile to make him so cool.  It’s almost hard to believe this was actually a Mattel offering.

#1124: Throne Room Battle (w/ Superman & Darkseid)

THRONE ROOM BATTLE (W/ SUPERMAN & DARKSEID)

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION

supermanvsdarkseid1

DC Minimates are kind of a tale of woe and misfortune.  Despite the best efforts of a good number of people, the concept has never really taken off the way other Minimates properties have.  There have been some strong attempts, but there always seems to be something a little off with the execution.  Back in 2004, thanks to some tricky legal mumbo-jumbo, DC Minimates couldn’t be released in a straight forward fashion.  The only way to get them made was to make them the included figures in a line of Lego-style construction sets, dubbed “C3” (for “Create, Construct, Customize”).  I’ve looked at a couple of the ‘mates from those sets, but haven’t looked at a whole set as of yet.  That changes today, with this here review of the Throne Room Battle and included ‘mates Superman & Darkseid.

THE SET ITSELF

The Throne Room Battle set was one of the first seven sets in the DC C3 Construction line.  It’s noteworthy for being the only of those seven sets not to be Batman-themed, and also for being one of the two sets in the first assortment to be based on the then running Justice League cartoon, albeit somewhat loosely.

THRONE ROOM

The main bulk of the box is taken up by the Throne Room for which this set is named.  While the Batman sets were themed around a number of his distinctive vehicles and the always popular Batcave, the Throne Room seems a little bit out of left field, since it’s hardly something that most people would consider a signature Superman locale.  I guess it’s a good way to give us Superman and Darkseid, and it’s certainly a better use of the building set theme than some of the later entries in this line, but this is probably the furthest stretch in the first series.  The Throne room is constructed from 41 pieces (the box lists 67, but that’s counting the parts used for Superman and Darkseid), and the final product is based on Darkseid’s throne room as seen in the Justice League episode “Twilight”.  It’s not an overly complicated set to build, nor is it anything particularly astonishing supermanvsdarkseid2once completed.  The bulk of the work goes into the actual throne, which is decent enough.  It’s designed to be removed from the base (on purpose, not just in the “well, they’re all Legos” sort of fashion), which makes for an interesting feature, I suppose.  The base is made from four smaller flats, and doesn’t really offer much in the way of sturdiness.  This isn’t something you can really pick up and carry around.  One of the cooler parts of the set is the tower behind the throne.  While the tower itself is just a simple two piece construction, on the other side of it there’s a little cell, with Kryptonite chains on the wall for holding Superman.  It’s a cool little touch, and it adds a lot to the set.  There’s also a flight stand for Superman included, which is certainly a welcome addition, even if it can be a little difficult to find a good spot for it on the base platform.

SUPERMAN

supermanvsdarkseid3Okay, let’s be honest, no one was really buying this set for the building blocks.  The main draw was this guy right here.  This was Superman’s first ‘mate, but he would later get a few more courtesy of DC Direct’s DC Minimates line.  This one’s more clearly based on his animated design, with an all-around sleeker style to the detail work and such, which was admittedly a good fit for the slightly less detailed Minimates of the time.  He’s built on the basic Minimate body (of note, he’s one of the first ‘mates to sport the C3 feet, but also one of the last to have a hair piece without a peg), so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He has add-ons for his hair and cape.  Both pieces would later be used in the Marvel line.  They aren’t super detailed, but the work well enough, and are about standard for the time.  The cape is actually one of my favorite Minimate capes, just for its simplicity and the way it sits.  Superman’s paintwork may not be super detailed, but it is pretty solid work nonetheless.  The lines are all nice and sharp, and he looks very well put together as a whole.  I wouldn’t have minded the colors being a touch brighter, but late Supermen fixed that, so I can’t complain much.

DARKSEID

supermanvsdarkseid4In contrast to his pack mate Superman, this is the only Darkseid Minimate we ever got.  Like Superman, he’s patterned on his animated design, which is admittedly less noticeable on him, since Bruce Timm and Jack Kirby’s styles are pretty similar.  The figure is also built on the basic ‘mate body, so he has the same basic height.  He does get one extra point of articulation courtesy of his sculpted chestpiece, which has an articulated skirt so that he can sit a bit better.  He also gets sculpted add-ons for his headpiece and gloves.  In general, the pieces show their age a lot more than those seen on Superman, which is something of a shame.  Also, the use of the smaller body, without any real attempt to bulk him up (apart from the chest piece) robs him of a lot of the character’s presence, and ends up making him look rather goofy.  The paintwork on Darkseid is decent enough.  The line work is all pretty sharp, and makes use of the space well, and I quite like the slight metallic finish of the purple bits.  It doesn’t really line up with his animated design, of course, but whatever.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back in the day, this was the second C3 set I grabbed.  I’ve always liked Superman, so I certainly wasn’t going to miss out on a Minimate version of him.  Over the years, I managed to lose most of the pieces to this set (including the two ‘mates included with it).  This past summer, I found a replacement at Gidget’s Gadgets in Rehoboth Beach.  It’s a fun set, if a little out there.  It’s certainly not going to beat something like a true Lego set or anything, but it was a decent enough attempt, and I do really like the Superman included here.

#0798: Mister Miracle

MISTER MIRACLE

DC ICONS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

MrMiracle1

Jack Kirby is a pretty pivotal figure in comics, having had a hand in the creation of a huge portion of the Marvel Universe. He didn’t just work at Marvel; he also spent a fair bit of time working for Marvel’s main competition, DC. He didn’t have the same impact at DC that he did at Marvel, but he did create the Fourth World, which picked up a pretty substantial cult following. One of my personal favorite characters from the Fourth World has always been Scott Free, aka Mister Miracle. Scott (or Scot, as he’s known now. Extra “t”s are so last century) has made a fairly recent return to the DC Universe, and his new look just got a figure, courtesy of DC Collectibles’ newest line, DC Icons.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MrMiracle2Mister Miracle is figure 04 in the first series of DC Icons. He’s the lone New 52-based figure in the first series, which is fair, I suppose. The main purpose of the Icons line was to serve as a competitor for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, so articulation is a key point. Mister Miracle delivers pretty well on this, sporting 27 points of articulation. Like a couple of the animated figures, he would really benefit from some sort of lateral movement on his legs, but you can still get a pretty decent range out of him. What he doesn’t deliver on so much is height. He stands about 5 ¾ inches tall, which makes him a good half an inch shorter than the average Marvel Legend and almost a full inch shorter than prior DCC figures. For what it’s worth, he’s in roughly the same scale as S.H. FiguArts figures. But he, and the rest of the line, are still a lot smaller than expected. Moving past that, he has a totally unique sculpt, which is pretty well executed. The proportions of the body are actually pretty good, and most of the articulation is worked in pretty well. Design-wise, he’s based on Miracle’s look from Earth 2, which is a slight tweaking of his original Kirby design. I think the original is still a stronger look, but this isn’t a bad look. The costume details are mostly etched in, which has MrMiracle3the result of making him look a lot sharper. The cape is a separate, but permanently attached piece, made from a softer materials. The sculpt is okay, but, the cape is a little oddly shaped. That being said, it works for what it is. The paint work on the figure is nicely handled overall. The etched in lines of the costume make for cleaner paintwork, and help to make the details pop a bit more. The colors are all done in a really cool metallic sheen, which really makes him look pretty sweet. For accessories, Mister Miracle includes two sets of hands (fists and open), a pair of hoverdiscs for his feet, and what I believe is a Mother Box.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Mister Miracle from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix. He was actually the only of the four first series figures left. I was somewhat intrigued by the concept of Icons, and I’ve always liked Mister Miracle, so I thought this guy would be a good starting point. The issues of scale are a little frustrating, especially for people who were hoping to place these figures with their prior DCC figures. That being said, Miracle is a really fun figure, and he shows a great improvement in terms of quality for a DCC product. Plus, as more of these figures are released, the scale thing will become less of an issue.

MrMiracle4

#0507: Orion

ORION

DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 (DC COLLECTIBLES)

Orion52a

What’s this? A New 52 review? On The Figure in Question? Is that right? Can we think of any more questions? We can? Should we stop? Yes. Yes we should.

Shocking as it may be, I have bought, and am now reviewing, a DC New 52 action figure. Of my own volition. Nobody’s pointing a gun at me or holding my family hostage or anything. Of course, it’s still me. Did I buy a Batman or a Superman or something? Of course not, that would be dumb. I bought Orion. If you don’t know who the heck Orion is, then that’s probably about right. But I know who he is, and that’s what really counts here. (If you really want to know: Orion is one of the New Gods, a group of characters created in the 70s by comics great Jack Kirby, after he left Marvel to work at DC. Orion is the son of the generally more known Darkseid.) So, let’s see how this guy turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Orion52bOrion is part of DC Collectibles’ expansive (and apparently soon to end) DC Comics – The New 52 line. He was released in August of 2014. According to the back of the box, his fellow figures are Super Girl and Batgirl, but I think Orion was sort of meant to be a solo release. The figure is just shy of 7 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation (plus a flip up visor!). Articulation hasn’t been one of DCC’s strong suits in the past, but it’s actually pretty good here. The only key joints I’d say are missing would be some sort of hinge joint at the hips (a la DCUC) and some ankle joints, but the figure is serviceable without them. Orion is, as one would expect, based upon his appearance in DC’s New 52 line of comics. More specifically, he’s based on Cliff Chiang’s work with the character in Wonder Woman, which is where the majority of his New 52 appearances have occurred. His design has been changed a fair bit from his classic look. Admittedly, aside from the helmet, Orion’s classic look was a teeny bit on the bland side, so a re-design isn’t a terrible thing. The more conventional spandex and underwear on the outside look has been replaced with a look that has bit of a pulpy space biker look to it. It’s, and I can’t believe I’m saying this about a New 52 design, a pretty solid look. It isn’t needlessly detailed; there aren’t any odd bits and bobs sticking off of him; he doesn’t have lots of random etchings everywhere; it just looks good. The figure’s sculpt does a very nice job of translating this design into three dimensions. The proportions are all pretty good, and the whole sculpt is incredibly detailed. The rough texturing of the jacket and boots up against the smoother texture on the pants adds a great bit of dimension and realism to the figure, and they’ve managed to actually make the helmet look pretty good, which has always been a n issue with Orion figures in the past. The flip up visor is a little on the bulky side, but not too bad. I definitely like him more with the visor down, but the underlying face is a well done interpretation of Orion’s angry visage. Orion’s paint work is pretty good, but not great. It’s certainly not bad, but a few of the lines on his coat are out of place, and there’s a strip of up-painted plastic along the top of the left side of his collar. Also, the figure’s skin is really pale, especially when compared to the prototype pictures. On the plus side, the differing sheens on the various parts of the costume are a really cool touch, and do show that DCC is putting some thought into the figures. Orion includes his trusty Astro-Harness. It’s a bit awkwardly designed, and he kind of has to ride it like a Segway, which is a bit goofy looking. In addition, it can be a bit difficult to get the handles in and out of the hands. I actually broke one if the handles off the harness trying to remove it, so be careful. It’s a key piece for the character, so I’m glad it’s included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, why did I get this New 52 figure months after it was released? It’s my comicbook store’s fault. I had a coupon for 40% off of one item in the store, and I used it on this guy. I’ve actually been contemplating getting this figure since before it was released. I’ve always liked Orion, and even though I haven’t read his recent appearances, I thought this was a pretty cool design. 40% off was enough to get me to cave. I’m glad I got him. He’s a very nice figure. And now he’s making me reconsider some of the other New 52 figures. Crap…

Orion52c

#0164: Mister Miracle, Oberon, & Big Barda

MISTER MIRACLE, OBERON, & BIG BARDA

DC DIRECT BOXED SETS

MrMiracle&BigBarda

Hey, I’m back after a brief intermission! Hope everybody liked Tim’s guest review. I personally was really glad to get a day off, and I thought the review was pretty great too! Back to business…

Jack Kirby is a name that most casual comics/super hero fans tend to be familiar with. Along with Stan Lee, he helped to create the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, the Avengers, Marvel’s Thor, and Iron Man. Before that, he and Joe Simon were responsible not only for the creation of Captain America, but also the entire genre of romance comics! That’s quite a list of accomplishments! Anyway, in the 70s, Jack left Marvel and went to DC, where he created The Fourth World, which included New Gods, The Forever People, and Mister Miracle.

Today, I’ll be looking at the titular Mister Miracle, as well as his assistant Oberon and his partner Big Barda. Mister Miracle was Scott Free, who escaped from the prisons of Apokolips as a child and ventured to Earth where he became an escape artist/super hero. Barda was once part of Apokolips’s deadly Female Furies, but was freed by Scott. Oberon was… a short guy.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These three were released as a boxed set by DC Direct in the early 2000s. At the time, DCD was big on the boxed sets, so they released these guys all in one swoop.

MISTER MIRACLE

This is, interestingly enough, not Scott’s first foray into the world of action figures. He was previously part of Kenner’s Super Powers line in the 80s. This figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and features 13 points of articulation. Scott’s sculpt was all new to him. It’s pretty good, though the proportions aren’t the greatest. The don’t look bad, they just seem off in some places. Mister Miracle comes from a time when DCD’s sculpts were more simplistic, so he doesn’t have much texturing. That’s the style of the line of the time, so that works fine. Scott’s cape is sculpted in a similar style and it looks pretty cool and dynamic. The paint lines up nicely with the sculpt. There’s a decent amount of detail around the eyes, so you can actually see the skin around his eyes, which is a very nice touch. The reset of the paint is basic, with mostly large solid blocks of color, but it looks right for the character, and there’s no slop or bleed over. Scott included a set of hover discs which could plug into his feet, which are a cool item.

OBERON

Contrasting Mister Miracle, this is the only figure of Oberon ever made. He stands about 3 ½ inches tall and has a whopping 3, count ‘em 3, points of articulation. The sculpt isn’t bad. It’s a bit more detailed than Mister Miracle. Unfortunately, the legs are in some kind of an odd running pose, which makes him really hard to stand. As far as proportions, his shoulders are a bit too broad, his neck is too short and his head is a bit on the small side. None of the figures in the set are really styled after Kirby’s drawings, and this hurts Oberon the most. The paint is cleanly applied on Oberon, but it’s also really sparse. This figure really could have used some kind of a wash or something to bring out some of the details.

BIG BARDA

Barda got her first toy release with this figure, which was kinda a big deal at the time. The figure stands about 7 inches tall, and has 9 points of articulation. 3 of these points are effectively useless, thanks to her hair limiting the neck, and the cut joints on the hips being useless. The height is an interesting point, as I do believe this is the only figure of Barda to tower appropriately over Scott. Barda’s sculpt is more detailed than Scott’s, but not really any less simplistic. The proportions are also on the strange side. She had very broad shoulders and big hands. I’m not sure what shape her hips are supposed to be, but it’s not the right one, that’s for sure. The removable helmet is good in theory, but not so great in implementation. It ends up being really bulky, and it sits up too high on the head, which makes the whole thing look a bit goofy. Like the other two figures in the set, she has basic paint apps, but they’re still cleanly applied. Barda includes a set of hover discs, and a staff (which I lost. Sorry!)

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I received this set as a birthday present from my friends Renfield and June. I had mentioned to them that I had seen it marked down at their local comicbook store, and if it was still there, I’d like to have it. I later found out that the store didn’t have the set and Renfield had spent a fair bit of time calling around to various comic stores asking if they had the set. I certainly appreciate it. While they may not be the greatest figures, or even the best versions of the characters available, it was a good set for the time, and it’s still a pretty great set over all.