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Public Enemies Wave 2
Black Lightning, Major Force and Brimstone

Black Lightning Public Enemies action figure by Mattel


It might seem like an eternity ago, but it was actually just back in October that the first wave of Target exclusive Public Enemies action figures hit the shelves. These figures are based on the designs in the Superman/Batman: Public Enemies cartoon that came out around the same time, not the comic book series.

Wave 1 consisted of Batman and Superman, as well as Icicle and Banshee. The second series has a repainted Batman and Superman (neither of which I bought, and both are the heavier packed figures in the case) as well as Black Lightning and Major Force. Pick up six of the eight figures (you only need to get one of the Batmen and one of the Supermen) and you can complete the Build A...I mean Collect and Connect figure of Brimstone.

In the film, Superman and Batman are branded as villains by the new President of the United States, Lex Luthor. After Metallo attacks Superman, Luthor has Major Force kill Metallo, and then pins the murder on the Man of Steel. Black Lightning is also in the flick of course, in a more minor role, and is one of the superheroes that is working for Lex, believing him to be good.

Brimstone shows up too, as another of the actual villains of course. Perhaps more important, Brimstone is another of the many New Gods related characters from the comic books that has now made his way into DCUC scale and style.

These are Target exclusives, and you should be able to find them there right about...now. They ain't cheap though, running around the new $15 price point.
Major Force Public Enemies action figure by Mattel
Major Force Public Enemies action figure by Mattel
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Black Lightning Public Enemies action figure by Mattel
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Brimstone Public Enemies action figure by Mattel
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Major Force Public Enemies action figure by Mattel
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Brimistone Public Enemies action figure by Mattel
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Brimstone Public Enemies Chemo Imperiex action figure by Mattel

Packaging - ***
The brick wall backdrop and colorful bubble inserts look terrific, but I'm still cheesed that Supes gets the top corner and Batman is stuck in the bottom.

Sculpting - ***
If you're looking for something extraordinary or eye catching, it won't be in the sculpt of these three. The plain bodies have no sculpted edges for gloves, boots or other costume sections, leaving any unique details to the heads.

The head sculpts are decent, each with their own personality. Major Force has the heavy brow ridge and military haircut, while Black Lightning has a sculpted mask over his eyes. I'm not sure what he's doing with his mouth - maybe he just caught a whiff of Brimstone - but the edges are sharply cut and well defined around his hair, mask and jaw.

Brimstone has his weird hair, eyes, nose and mouth sculpted on the otherwise smooth, molten head, and this really helps what would have otherwise been a terribly dull looking figure. On the downside, the seam along the side of the torso and head is really ugly and obvious.

These can fit in with the other DCUC figures in terms of scale, although Brimstone is a little on the small side when compared to some other recent CnC figures in the sister series.

Paint - ***
There's no extreme slop here, but fuzzy is definitely the best word to describe many of the costume cut lines. The worst work is around Black Lightning's mask, where the sloppy edges redefine the shape. But none of it is extreme when viewed with the nekkid eye, and the colors are vibrant and attention catching.

Perhaps the coolest paint feature is the yellow 'fire' under Brimstone's face. Using over spray, they've simulated a molten, lava-like appearance, and it works pretty well. 

Articulation - ***
Part re-use is key for this (and the DCUC) series, so there's really no surprise when it comes to the articulation.

Both Black Lightning and Major Force have the ball neck that works only as a cut joint, ball jointed shoulders (post/disc style), cut biceps, single pin elbows, cut wrists, cut waist, ab crunch chest, cut thighs, single pin knees and single pin ankles, and of course the funky hinge hips that have been a trademark of this style of figure.

Brimstone has the usual CnC articulation, especially compared to a BAF like Kilowog. There's the disc/post ball jointed shoulders, pin elbows, ankles and knees, cut waist, biceps and wrists, ab crunch and hinge hips. What's missing is the cut thigh, as well as any sort of neck joint.

His ankles do rock side to side *slightly*, but I"m not convinced it's on purpose or just due to a loose ankle joint. Either way, it helps him keep his feet on the floor, since the hip posts are too short to allow the legs to come all the way together. Not surprisingly, Kilowog suffered from this same problem.

Accessories - Black Lightning, Major Force **; Brimstone Bupkis
If you're looking for a bunch of extras to offset the inflated  price, you'll be disappointed.

Black Lightning and Major Force come with the same silly little plastic display stand that we saw with the previous four figures. At least they're consistent.

Most folks will only care about the CnC pieces, and Major Force comes with the torso for Brimstone, and Black Lightning includes an arm. It's these BAF parts that are getting them the two stars, so if you're not interested in Brimstone, then this category is a big goose egg.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While they might not be the most exciting figures for collectors, kids who saw and enjoyed the cartoon will like these as well. The articulation helps of course, and they'd do even better here with a couple accessories.

Value - *1/2
It's bad enough that we're paying $15 a pop for true DCUC figures. But at least with those, you're getting some accessories here and there, and the general quality just seems to be better. These PE figures are definitely not worth the premium we're now paying.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - **1/2
This comes all down to value - are you really getting what you're paying for here? With the price increase on DCUC it's been tough, but they've tried to add some value with the nifty little buttons as well as giving us some accessories when possible.

Here, we get no such helpful treatment. Pay $10 or even $12 and you'd get another half star overall, but at the inflated price that Target is charging, you'll feel less than fulfilled. These are average figures commanding above average bucks.

None of these guys are going to take a center stage place within my DCUC display, even Brimstone. He'll fit in well enough with the other BAF's, but he's not going to be getting a vote from me for the 2010 Best BAF of the Year.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Black Lightning, Major Force **; Brimstone Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
This series is a Target exclusive, so you should start there. Expect to pay around $15 though.

Related Links -
I covered the first wave back in October, splitting it into two reviews, one of Batman and Superman, and the other of Icicle and Silver Banshee.

If you're looking for more Public Enemies goodies, check out the DC Direct figures based on the comic property, including Batman, and the wave 4 set of Superman/Batman figures.

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Public Enemies action figures by Mattel


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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