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DC Universe Wave 9 Part 2
Wildcat, Guardian, Black Adam, Deadshot and Chemo

Deadshot DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel


Last Thursday night I posted the first part of my DC Universe Classics Wave 9 review, including Green Arrow, Black Canary and Mantis, and in the process whined about not having the rest of the series yet. I then promptly went to Meijers at lunch time on Friday, and found the other four - Black Adam, Wildcat, Guardian and Deadshot. Maybe I need to whine about not winning the lottery before I buy my next ticket...

Along with these 7 figures are two variants: a Super Powers style Mantis and a blue Wildcat. I've found the Wildcat variant, who is in the packaged photo for this review, and a friend picked up the SP Mantis for me, so I'm good to go. Considering how difficult I thought this wave was going to be to find after my online order was canceled, I'm pretty damn surprised!

If you're in Michigan, Meijers is the place to find them. They are showing up, and even better, they're still just $11 each. Other retailers have increased their prices already, so I'm very happy to have found them on the sorta, kinda cheap.

This wave has a BAF too, just like usual. This time it's Chemo, and as I mentioned in the previous review, there's two versions of him as well. Or at least of his torso. One version, the one you'll see built in the photos (and that came with the non-variant Wildcat in my case) has very few bubbles. The second, which you can see in the package with the variant Wildcat, has lots more. You may like one more than the other, so it's something to be aware of in case you get an option when picking out your Wildcats. Yea, like that's going to happen.
Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel

Wave 10 is the Wal-mart exclusive series, and it's already popping up. I'll be on the hunt for those over the next few days, and I've got my fingers crossed. Or maybe I should whine about it and hope the action figure Gods bless me again? I don't think so - if I annoy them, I may get crushed by an entire palette of Star Trek figures.

Packaging - ***
After 9 waves, there really aren't any surprises here. I did find more curled corners on this set than past series, which the MOCers are sure to find annoying.

The photo I used for this category shows the blue variant Wildcat, as well as the many bubbles Chemo torso - two visuals for the price of one!

Sculpting - Deadshot ***1/2; Wildcat, Black Adam, Guardian ***
With the new body parts being used on Green Arrow and Black Canary, you might have wondered if Mattel had given up on the goal of re-use with DCUC. Nope, don't go thinking that. Three of these four figures manage to take re-use to new levels, and yet it works out just fine. Much like the Masters of the Universe Series, the Four Horsemen have done an excellent job developing basic pieces that can be used in multiple ways, and still look great.

The oddball out here is Deadshot. He does use many of the same basic body parts, but has lots of re-deco work. There's new boots, new additions to the torso, belt and biceps, new cuffs, and of course the all new head sculpt. Because of these additions, along with the sharply detailed sculpting and the colorful palette, he's a real standout on the shelf.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Guardian. He has a new head sculpt, with the cool helmet sculpted as a separate piece (but glued in place). This gives his eyes excellent depth, adding realism to the appearance. But from the neck down, he's all standard body.

Wildcat is pretty standard too. There's the new head sculpt, and they've done a good job of capturing a classic look for the character. The 'whiskers' lack some detail, but that's a minor quibble.  Like Guardian, he has the separately sculpted mask, which makes for better paint work on the eyes and greater depth to the appearance of the mask itself. He also has the special fist sculpts, with the wrappings sculpted around them. And finally, he has special feet, complete with small claws.

Black Adam has a new head sculpt, and the stern expression looks just right. He does look a little like the love child of Captain Marvel and Aquaman, but the detail in the hair, eyebrows and skin texture is quite impressive for this scale. The rest of him borrows heavily from Captain Marvel, but the paint job helps distinguish him.

Paint - Guardian, Deadshot ***1/2; Black Adam, Wildcat  ***
There's some might tricky colors in use here, especially yellow and silver, and yet all the figures have better than average paint work.

In fact, it's nice to see how good the work has been on all the figures I've picked up from this wave so far. There's a few minor blips and blops here and there, but nothing like some of the awful paint quality we saw with some earlier waves.

Caveat emptor though, since what you get could be distinctly different than what I found. I'm still not sold that this higher quality is consistent across the production run.

Black Adam has the tricky combination of black and yellow, and yet they pulled it off swimmingly. The cut lines are sharp, and the yellow covers consistently. I did take off a bit for a slightly wonky left eye, but it's a minor issue.

The Guardian has plenty of yellow too, but he matches it up with the slightly less complex blue. Still, the colors are nice and bright, with sharp cut lines and excellent work on his eyes.

Wildcat's paint job is far less intricate than some of the others, with a basic black costume. But his eyes are very clean and neat, the wash on the hands is excellent, and there's even a very subtle dry brushing on the body to add some variation to the all black costume. My only complaint is that they paint work on the whiskers only adds to the chunky, non-descrpt appearance, turning them into gray caterpillars sitting on his cheeks.

Finally, there's Deadshot. With the most paint ops and the widest range of colors, he had the most potential for problems. There's a few cut lines that could be cleaner (particularly between the gold and red on the biceps), but overall I'm extremely impressed with the work. He even has 'sights' detailed on his eyepiece!

Articulation - ***1/2
Since they all use pretty much the same body parts as past waves, it's no surprise that the articulation is pretty much the same as well.

There's the pin elbows, knees and ankles, swivel biceps and thighs, post/disc shoulder, cut wrists and waist, ab crunch, and of course, the trademark hips.

Two things would make these perfect four star figures. First, the ball jointed necks aren't working as well as they should here. Only Wildcat has any tilt action, and it's almost negligible. The rest have heads that turn, as if the neck was merely a cut joint, and nothing else.

The second improvement would be rocker ankles, so that the feet could stay flat on the floor. Wildcat's ankles do have a little rocker movement in them, but I think it's because the posts that go into the foot are loose, not because there's really a rocker joint.

Otherwise, the joints are great. None were stuck, and all the pins, posts and discs were very sturdy. A couple were a little loose (particularly the hips), but nothing that interfered with taking or keeping a pose.

Accessories - Black Adam ***; Guardian **1/2; Wildcat, Deadshot **
Bad news if you aren't interested in building Chemo - there's very little extra beyond the BAF piece with any of these figures.

Wildcat has the critical upper body/head section, while the others have legs and the right arm. And for Wildcat and Deadshot, that's it.

The Guardian does have his shield, which has plastic bands on the back to keep it in place on his arm, sculpted and painted to look like leather. It's a nice addition of course, but without it he really wouldn't be the Guardian.

Black Adam comes with some bling, his amulet that fits around his neck. It comes on a real metal chain, which is why he gets a slight bump up in this category even with only one accessory. I'm a sucker for metal.

Considering the price point that we'll see with upcoming waves, we really need something in addition to the BAF parts - if we don't see it with waves 11 and beyond, then collectors will have a real issue with the increased price.

Chemo - ***1/2
I'm breaking Chemo out here with his own category and his own individual score, since he came as pieces with the 7 figures in this series.

I'm not a big fan of Chemo as a character, but like a number of other old school villains, he got new life and renewed interest with his appearance on Batman: The Brave and The Bold. He's pretty much a walking toxic waste barrel, and it seems inevitable that he'll end up in some sort of 'green' themed comic book story line soon.

He's supposed to have all kinds of nasty sludge and acid rolling around inside him, and they've done a nice job replicating that with some cool bubbles in the outside plastic of his body. I say 'outside' because he's largely hollow. I wonder how he'd look filled with a vegetable oil/water mixture? He could destroy the planet AND your cholesterol level!

As I mentioned earlier, there's a more and less bubbly torso available, but I thought they both looked fine. The sculpt is quite good, with reasonable paint ops and detailing. He's not super articulated - there's pin elbows, knees and ankles with T hips, ball jointed shoulders and cut wrists and waist - but there's enough for a couple decent poses.

His most impressive attribute is his size, and we get back to the origins of the BAF with a truly large figure this time. I've included a comparison shot with a couple other figures. He towers over the 6" and 7" guys, but he's no match for Buzz Lightyear.

BTW, I looked for a hidden Mickey and couldn't find one. Obviously the FH aren't big Disney fans.

Fun Factor - ****
These guys make for great action figures, and I really wish we'd see some of these concepts translated to other lines. Can you imagine how great the Batman: Brave and the Bold figures COULD have been?

Value - **1/2
I picked these up for $11 each, which is a good price considering today's market. Sadly, this price isn't going to last, and as these rise closer to $15 a pop, expect my scoring here to drop.

Things to Watch Out For -
Other than keeping an eye out for the version of Wildcat, Mantis and Guardian that you want, as well as more or less bubbles Chemo, you should be good.

Overall - Deadshot ***1/2; Wildcat, Black Adam, Guardian ***
I was looking forward to getting Wildcat and completing Chemo, but this was largely due to my enjoyment of their characterizations on the new Batman show. It's almost like DC Universe Classics has turned into the action figure line for that show, rather than the line that's actually labeled "Brave and the Bold". 

Those two turned out great, but I really wasn't expecting much out of Black Adam, Guardian or Deadshot. Deadshot was a wonderful surprise, and is now one of my favorites of wave 9. The character still doesn't do a whole lot for me, but the action figure definitely improves my attitude toward him.

Both Black Adam and Guardian are decent, and will look good in the collection. Hey, they can't all be Killer Moth.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Deadshot ***1/2; Wildcat, Black Adam, Guardian ***
Paint - Guardian, Deadshot ***1/2; Black Adam, Wildcat  ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Black Adam ***; Guardian **1/2; Wildcat, Deadshot **
Chemo - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - Deadshot ***1/2; Wildcat, Black Adam, Guardian ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include:

- while most folks are going to have to turn to Target, Toys R Us or other retailers for this wave, you can pre-order series 11, 12 and 13 by the case from  Big Bad Toy Store

- Mike's Comics N Stuff generally sells singles, but alas, doesn't have any wave 9 in stock.

Related Links -
Other reviews include:

- I just covered the first have of this wave last week.

- I split wave 8 up into two parts, one here and one here.

- prior to that was wave 7 (duh), which I covered here.

- I broke wave six into two reviews, one here and one here.

- no, I never reviewed wave 5, but prior to that was wave 4 which I also broke into this review, and this one.

- of course, prior to that was wave 3.

- I covered wave 1 in two parts, one here and one at here. It took me so freakin' long to find them, I never did review wave 2, but if you're looking for one, Kastor's Korner has a great review.

- last up in the DCSH figures were the Clayface and Bruce to Bats figures.

- before that was Mongul, who is also one of the best figures this year and Parasite and Steel

- don't forget the 12" version of the smaller Batman, and the 12" Cyborg Superman.

- in this smaller line, the fourth series was Superman themed, with Brainiac and Darkseid. There's also the Batgirl and Superman from the two packs. 

- there's the guest review of series 3 Batman and Azrael.

- a guest review of series 2 Doomsday, and another of the series 2 Superman.

- my review of the series 2 Bizarro and Supergirl.

- my review of the Batman and Killer Croc from wave 1.

- and finally, my review of Bane and Scarecrow that were released internationally as part of the old Mattel line, and then re-released with wave 1 of the DCSH.

Discussion:
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Wildcat DC Universe Classics Wave 9 action figure from Mattel


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

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