KINGDOM COME SUPERMAN
DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)
“Having spent ten years in solitude, Superman returns to fight for justice in a new disinterested and indecent planet.”
In the mid-90s, after several years of totally un-ironic “X-Treme” comics, the industry was starting to get at least a little bit introspective. Not a lot, mind you, because they’re only rated for so much self awareness, but there was definitely a move by some of the older fans who found themselves within the industry to try and reign things in, and throw back to the good old days, with maybe a jab or two at modern comics’ expense thrown in for good measure. Rather than making statements about these “not being your daddy’s comics,” there was a push to actually start treating things a little bit more seriously and add just a touch of prestige to things. Marvel hired the up-and-coming writer and artist team or Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross to create Marvels, a four-part mini-series that told picturesque real-world stories from throughout Marvel history. It was enough of a success that DC decided to bring on Ross for a series of their own, pairing him off with writer Mark Waid for Kingdom Come, an alternate DC future rife with references to the days gone by, and deeply critical not just of modern comics, but also of people who didn’t like change or compromise in their comics. The star of the series was an aged and despair-ridden Superman, who was desperate to regain some of his old-fashioned hope. It’s gone on to become a rather defining take on the character, with its fair share of toy goodness. Most recently, he’s received a figure from Mattel, which I’ll be taking a look at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Kingdom Come Superman is part of the Lobo Series of DC Comics Multiverse figures. He’s our second Superman following the reworking of the bodies, and our third 6-inch KC figure under Mattel’s tenure (though a good argument can be made that Red Robin and Magog are really just main universe figures…of course, technically the same can be said of Superman, so the whole thing’s a wash.) The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation. KC Superman is built largely from the same bank of pieces as the Clayface Series’ Rebirth Superman (which in turn means a lot of those pieces are also shared with Bizarro), for better or for worse. It means he’s more articulated than a DCUC figure, but also means the balance between pieces is still a little bit whack. Not terrible, but not quite Ross’s ultra-realistic anatomy. The figure gets a brand-new head and forearms. The forearms are fairly basic; all they really do is remove the pointed ends on the outside of each wrist, which is accurate, but also minor enough that I imagine most people are going to miss it. The head’s really the star piece here. While certainly a more generic take on the character than other, more Ross faithful releases, the head is nevertheless a quite nicely detailed piece. The details are sharply defined, capturing the very slight aging seen on Ross’s version of the character; it’s definitely one of Mattel’s best goes at a Superman portrait. The paint on Superman is mostly pretty basic, at least on the body, which is actually fairly accurate to the source, since Superman’s costume is very classically inspired in the book. The head gets a bit more work, with some pretty solid accenting. I particularly like that they did more for his greying temples than just solid white streaks, as is usually the case with this design. KC Superman includes two sets of hands in fist and flat poses, as well as piece to the Lobo CnC.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Part of the agreement that got me yesterday’s Kyle figure was me agreeing to take the figures from the line-up that Max didn’t really want. Superman was one such figure. I wasn’t inherently opposed to getting the figure, but I can’t say that he was super high on my list. Going in with essentially no expectations, I’m pretty pleased with this figure. He’s not as strong as some of the other recent offerings, but he’s certainly one of Mattel’s best Supermen they’ve ever made.