Watchmen Series 2
Comedian, Silk Spectre (original),
Dr. Manhattan and Nite Owl (original)

Watchmen series 2 action figures from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 Dr. Manhattan action figure from DC Direct

I enjoyed Watchmen. There, I said it. It seems to be popular to bash it for being too silly, or being too serious...for following the source material too closely or not close enough...or for just having too much blue wang. But for me, it was a damn fun ride that might stumble here and there, but manages to stay on both its feet for the duration.

The second series of action figures hit a week or so ago, including the classic versions of Silk Spectre and Nite Owl, as well as the Comedian and Dr. Manhattan. Along with the basic eight figures covered over the two waves, there's also a Comedian variant, a Manhattan variant (both to be covered in an upcoming review), and two Rorscach variants, both unmasked but one bloody and one not.

Considering the box office flop that the film has been (at least in terms of U.S. box office), I'm not sure we'll see anything beyond these 12 figures. Thankfully, the dozen does a pretty decent job of getting the main characters out there.

You can find these at most LCS stores for $15 - $20 each, depending on the retailer. As always, I have some suggestions at the end of the review as well.

Packaging - Manhattan ***; the rest ***1/2
I like the basic design of the boxes, and I have to admit that they store nicely for MIBers. The interior artwork on the cardboard tray is great (and you see it in photos all the time because of it), and for the most part, the packs are very collector friendly too. While there's a couple twisties, you can easily remove the figures and return them to their plastic prisons later, if you feel so inclined.

With the exception of Dr. Manhattan, that is. They've heat sealed an interior bubble to that cool cardboard tray, holding the girder base and 'floating' base in place. This means you'll have to damage his package to get him out, and results in the slightly lower score.
Watchmen series 2 action figures from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 Comedian action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 Dr. Manhattan action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 original Silk Spectre action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 Original Nite Owl action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 Dr. Manhattan action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 Comedian action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 original Silk Spectre action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 original Nite Owl action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 Comedian action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 original Silk Spectre action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 original Nite Owl action figure from DC Direct
Watchmen series 2 action figures from DC Direct

Sculpting - Manhattan, Nite Owl ***1/2; Silk Spectre, Comedian ***
I don't know if it's because I've seen the movie now, or just because these are better figures, but I certainly like this wave overall much more than the first series.

The sculpting on Dr. Manhattan is not exactly complex, but they did do a wonderful job adding in muscle and vein detail to give him more visual pop. Without providing that extra level of detail, this guy could have just ended up looking like a reject from the last round of Blue Man Group try outs.

Instead, he's one of my favorites of the group, especially when you pop on the extra set of 'floating' legs. The proportions, while comic booky, are very well done and quite appropriate to the character.

If you're looking for more detail, there's the Comedian. They really went the extra mile on the complex suit, right down to the buckles and rivets. This older, scarred face included the permanently attached cigar as well. He doesn't score quite as high for me because the actual portrait likeness is off, especially with the hair, but I can deny how cool the overall effect of the outfit is.

The portrait on the old school Silk Spectre is much better, and she's one of the prettiest sculpts we've seen in awhile. Actually, when it comes to female figures, 2009 has been a pretty decent year so far.

Although she's sculpted to hold really only one particular pose, that pose is at least interesting and dynamic. The stockings are actual material, not simply sculpted stockings. That does mean that the strands are a little larger than they should be for this scale, but in person the realism makes up for the minor scale issues.

She did end up scoring a little lower though, because of her wonky left forearm. It's oddly shaped, tall and skinny in a weird sort of way. It's obvious enough to be distracting, even in person.

That leaves Nite Owl, who is the surprise for me. I love this sculpt! There's something very cool about the retro 40's look, and the small details like the raised stitching on the shirt really adds to his basic appearance. Yea, it's a goofy looking costume, but this guy pulls it off.

These figures are actually pretty well scaled to the previous wave, an issue that has occasionally plagued DCD. Folks who should be shorter - like Rorschach and Spectre - are, while others are appropriately tall. The series is supposedly scaled around 7", with the figure heights varying to fit in, but most of the taller figures are closer to 6 3/4". I suppose Manhattan could be a smidge taller, but it's a very minor nit.

Paint - ***1/2
With the first series of figures, I had a number of minor paint issues that pulled the score down a bit. I'm happy to say that with these four, none of those issues existed, and the paint work is much cleaner and well done across the set.

There's still a minor glitch here, a bad cut line there, but the overall quality of the paint operations is top notch. I hope that the work is consistent as well, and that you'll find the same results with your set.

Of course, with some of these figures that's more impressive than with others. Manhattan, for example, is not exactly a tough figure to get right. The basic blue is consistent and clean, and it's really only the undies (done correctly this time, not like the goofy version the 13" figure is wearing), his eyes, and his symbol. Also unlike the 13" version, the symbol on his forehead is about the right size.

On the opposite end of the "man, this is a bitch to paint" scale is the Comedian.He has plenty of silver and black, always tough colors to do cleanly, and yet it's only on very close inspection that you'll find problems. The smiley face button on his chest is perfect, and even the cut line around his mask (and the corresponding eyes) is extremely clean for this scale.

Nite Owl is probably my favorite in this category, because of that same retro kitchy look I talked about in the Sculpt section. The bright, well defined colors look great, and I'm surprised by how well done the smaller yellow areas are.

But the figure that probably won't get the recognition she deserves in this category is Silk Spectre. She actually has a few more sloppy spots than the other three, but again, these aren't easy to see with the nekkid eye. BTW, the small mark on the left cheek was my fault...

The issue that sets her apart is how they managed to translate the gauzy, translucent quality of the thin 'nighty' she wears over the corset and garter. It's hard to tell exactly how they managed to do this. It looks like some of the black might actually be showing through the yellow...or that perhaps the nighty was painted black in the proper spots before the yellow top coat, to make it appear like it's showing through. Or perhaps it's just a really well done wash, put on top of the yellow itself. Like I said, it's tough to tell just how they did it without damaging the figure, and I'm not damaging mine. Suffice to say, it's a small detail that took some serious thought and careful execution, and they pulled it off.

Articulation - **1/2
If you're looking for a super articulated series, look someplace else. This is DC Direct we're talking about here.

But these have enough points to make it possible to capture one or two decent poses, which is probably all that most collectors will end up asking for.

All four figures have a ball jointed neck, and you know how big I am on this particular joint. It's critical to make a pose look realistic and not toy-ish, and the neck on all four works pretty well in this regard. A couple are a bit more restricted by the sculpts than the others, but it's a minor nit.

The Comedian and Dr. Manhattan have ball jointed shoulders (the pin/post kind you'd expect) jointed only at the torso. The Comedians shoulder armor allows the arms to move up and down as well, although it did look like the soft rubber connectors holding them in place could break over time. 

Poor Silk Spectre only gets cut shoulders, probably to keep those arms looking lovely. Of course, with the wonky left forearm, I think that's a bit of a moot point.

Nite Owl, Silk Spectre and the Comedian have cut wrists, but Manhattan (who could really use them) does not.

This is DC Direct, so there's no cut waists, and everyone has V style hips, pin knees, and pin ankles.

The extra set of legs that comes with Dr. Manhattan are not articulated.

The best poses are going to come from Manhattan and the Comedian, but even there, they are limited to one or two cool looks.

Accessories - Manhattan ***; Comedian **1/2;  Nite Owl, Silk Spectre *1/2
Here's a category that this line is really not meant for.

All four figures come with the little girder stands (seen in my previous review), as well as the foot pegs and connectors. They're decent enough, but unlike Rorschach, none of these figures need it to stand. In fact, if you don't mind Rorschach having a dopey foot pose, even he can get away without it.

Surprisingly, the classic Silk Spectre doesn't need her stand either to stay upright, and even better, no dopey foot pose is necessary.

That's the only accessory for her and for the classic Nite Owl. And no, at $17 or so a pop, that's not enough.

The Comedian does a bit better, coming with his trademark pistols, given to him in commemoration of his service. They have the small smiley faces on both sides of the grips, and are very good sculpts. They fit perfectly in his hands or his holsters.

Dr. Manhattan also has two accessories, and it's not the quantity but the quality that gets him the extra boost in score. He comes with a second set of legs, posed in a hovering or floating stance, along with a small clear display stand that looks like turbulence below his feet.  The legs swap easily, the stand fits perfectly, and it keeps him standing in a classic pose. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the review, and you'll see a large photo of him in this pose.

Fun Factor - **
Yea, these aren't exactly toys for kids, although you can buy them off the pegs at Toys R Us. Hmmm - I don't think they've ever carried a figure of a character quite as vile as the Comedian.

As these aren't really intended for kids, I won't be dinging them much on my overall for the low Fun Factor, but your mileage may vary.

Value - Dr. Manhattan **1/2; Comedian **; Silk Spectre, Nite Owl *1/2
Pick these guys up for $15 or under (which is possible at some places), and you can add another half star to these figures in this category, bringing them up to a more average value place.

But pay the $17 - $18 a piece that some places are charging (and that seems to be the norm), and you'll feel the pain, especially with characters like classic Spectre and Owl. With nothing more than the base, you might begin to wonder if you can justify spending that much (or more) on many figures.

Things To Watch Out For
Not a thing. The little trigger fingers on the Comedian were surprisingly sturdy, and the leg swap on Manhattan works flawlessly.

Overall - Dr. Manhattan ***1/2; Comedian, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre ***
As I said earlier, overall I like this wave quite a bit better than the first. And as a complete set, they make a terrific display. I'm a fan of the movie, so I'm glad I picked them up, but you can't ignore the fairly high price tag, and the fact that to own all dozen it's going to cost you over $200.

If they line ends here, as I suspect it will, I'm happy with it. The set makes for a fairly complete set, and there isn't any other character I just have to have. Oh, there's a few I'd like to have, but that's why I'm a geek. Top of my list would be another series of eight figures, all of the main characters, but this time from the comic book, and done with as much care and quality as these are. That would be Watchmen heaven!

Score Recap:
Packaging - Manhattan ***; the rest ***1/2
Sculpting - Manhattan, Nite Owl ***1/2; Silk Spectre, Comedian ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Manhattan ***; Comedian **1/2;  Nite Owl, Silk Spectre *1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - Dr. Manhattan **1/2; Comedian **; Silk Spectre, Nite Owl *1/2
Overall - Dr. Manhattan ***1/2; Comedian, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre ***

Where to Buy -
You have a number of online options if your LCS is lacking or overcharging:

- CornerStoreComics has the set for $55, or the singles for $17.

- Entertainment Earth has the set of 4 for $60 (just $15 each), or the singles for $18.

- Mike's Comics and Stuff has the set for $63, and the variants at just $18.

- Circle Red has the set for $63 as well.

- Urban Collector has them for $17 each.

- Things From Another World has them at $20.69 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered series 1 in two reviews, one of Ozymandias and modern Silk Spectre, and the other of Rorscach and modern Nite Owl. I also checked out one of the 13" deluxe figures, Dr. Manhattan.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!


Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.9

Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Watchmen series 2 Dr. Manhattan action figure from DC Direct

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2008, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour