Packaging - ***1/2
I love the look of these packages. Using a simple exterior design, with an
interior design that comes straight from the comics, they've produced some
really attractive boxes.
Two things hold them back from perfect scores
though. First, they are very easily damaged. I didn't see a single
Hawkman - the largest box - that didn't have a damaged window. The second
is that they aren't collector friendly, at least not as much as they could or
should have been. The back of the Hawkman tray looked like the back of my
stereo receiver, with wires going everywhere.
Considering these are aimed specifically at
collectors (it even says so right on the front of the box!), they should have
considered producing these in boxes that were likely to hold up, and could be
opened and repackaged later.
Sculpting - ****
Easily the strongest aspect of this series is the sculpt. All four
figures look excellent, at least in terms of matching the characters in the
source material. Some folks may not like an old Superman, or a Wonder
Woman with thighs that could crack walnuts, but these sculpts are accurate to
the Alex Ross art.
There's also lots and lots of detail, but not so
much as to lose the flavor of Ross' designs. They've managed to produce
figures that look like they walked right off the page.
I also love the poses they selected. With
little to no lower body articulation, getting just the right pose was crucial,
and they succeeded, particularly with Wonder Woman. Hawkman's pose takes a
little getting used to, but it grows on you.
Paint - Hawkman ***1/2; Superman ***; Wonder
Woman **1/2; Green Lantern **
I suspect lots of people will be disappointed by the next two categories.
As beautiful as the sculpts are, the paint application doesn't live up to
You should also notice a big variance between my
four figures. This is a red flag, since it means that the most of the
issues I see with one figure could easily show up on a different one. I may have
gotten lucky on my Superman, or unlucky with my Wonder Woman for example, but
the overall quality issues with the paint ops are obvious.
In my case, my Hawkman looks great, with little
slop, no gloppy areas, consistency across a color, and clean lines between
colors. There's just the right amount of wash on the feet and feathers to
show off the excellent detail of the sculpt without being overbearing, and the
overall appearance is excellent.
Superman and Wonder Woman don't fair quite as
well. Both have issues with the lines between colors, with overspray or
sloppy edges. Wonder Woman has spots of other colors on her flesh tones,
and obvious mold marks on her hips. Her face paint detail is extremely
good, and the colors are nice and bright, but the errors were disappointing.
The big loser here though is Green
Lantern. It's too bad, because his sculpt, pose and accessories are
great. But for some reason they decided to go with decals for his armor
detailing. I have no idea what they were thinking, since the decals don't
line up well, they don't lay flat, and they are sure to fall off in a matter of
weeks, if not sooner. The edges on several of mine aren't even stuck down
well now, and this shortcut was the biggest flaw in the entire series.
You can't do much to avoid the sticker issue,
but with the other problems you can do your best in the store to pick the
figures that look like they have the least number of problems.
Articulation - Hawkman, Wonder Woman,
Superman **1/2; Green Lantern **
While it appears that the figures have decent articulation, there are two issues
that end up causing some issues.
First, many of the points of articulation are
restricted, like GL's shoulders or Wonder Woman's neck. I can live with
that, but it does reduce the usefulness of the claimed point of articulation.
The bigger overall issue here is the joints
themselves. They all seem to be made with soft plastic pins, and gapping
is pretty evident. Now, you might be able to futz around with the joint a
bit and get the gaps to lessen - I managed to do that with my Superman - but
you're going to see a lot of people complaining about the issue.
Superman and WW have seven points - neck,
shoulders, wrists and hips. The wrists are a nice touch, but the hips are
really just there to be sure you can get them in just the right sweet spot to
stay standing. Both do have such a spot though, and can stand fine on
GL has five points - neck, shoulders and
wrists. He gets the lowest score because a) the least amount of
articulation and b) the shoulders are limited anyway.
Hawkman also has seven points, like WW and Supes,
but they are different points - neck, shoulders, bicep, and wings. The
wings move inward and outward nicely, although if you bring them all the way
forward he has a severe toppling tendency.
Posing really is pretty limited across the whole
set, and how you see them in the box is how you'll see them on your shelf.
They all stand fine on their own though.
Accessories - Green Lantern ***,
Hawkman, Wonder Woman **1/2, Superman Bupkis;
Supes didn't get the added advantage of an accessory, and I have no idea
why. Hey, they gave WW a silly stand, I'm sure they could have given us
SOMETHING for Supes.
As I said, Wonder Woman has a base, which is
pretty much unnecessary since she stands fine on he own. The stand also
throws the scale between the figures off if they are displayed together.
She also has her lasso, which looks removable from her right hand, but is likely
to be tough to get back in just right. It looks great out of the package
though, and I'd suggest leaving it be.
Hawkman has his spear, which fits quite nicely
in his left hand, and also makes it possible to keep him standing with his wings
pulled all the way in. He can lean on it and avoid toppling to the
left. His medallion could also be considered as an accessory I suppose,
but it's not removable.
Green Lantern has the best accessory of the
bunch, with his nifty sword. It looks great in his hands, and the
translucent green color works perfectly.