Forever Evil has been ripping the DC Universe apart since last fall and now the series is set to wrap things up this month. So with a little help from our friends over at DC Collectibles, I was able to get my hands on some of the Crime Syndicate action figures from their awesome Super Villain line! So for the month of May, I will be taking a look at nearly all of the series excluding Deathstorm. Because he isn’t one of what I like to call “original” team, I skipped picking him up this time around. But when it comes to my OCD with action figure collecting he may find his way to the shelf eventually. For now let’s start with the leader of the group, the Kryptonite eating badass, Ultraman!
Ultraman is the evil counterpart to Superman in the Crime Syndicate universe. There have been several versions of him appearing on worlds like Earth-Three, the Antimatter Universe, and the Crime Society universe. Each version has equivalent powers to Superman, but opposites reflected in their personal story. These include changes such as becoming stronger through Kryptonite as a Kryptonian. He’s also been portrayed as a human astronaut named Clark Kent who receives power from aliens. His nemesis is the genius Alexander Luthor, and he’s usually shown in a love triangle with Owlman and Super-Woman. Ultraman was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, first appearing in Justice League of America #29. (1964)
Another great packaged series, but DC Collectibles has been doing this very well since the beginning. With collector friendly packaging, like this window box/clamshell hybrid, it is easy to open up your figure, play with it, and put it right back in the box. I love the appearance of a tattered page turning on the front of these. The color coding for each character is also appreciated as it gives each box a different look for that specific figure, normally highlighting the color scheme of that hero or villain.
Gentle Giant seems to have its hands in all of the collector lines these days and we are thankful for it. The best part of their involvement is the consistency across the wave; something that is of great importance when displaying a set together. If the figures look off, the effect is destroyed. I find superhero costumes to be simple to a certain point, with not a lot of accessories and mostly solid colors. Ultraman is the perfect example of how to surpass expectations. Simple in design and color, you basically have a Superman re-hash figure here. Except for the logo on his chest and belt there isn’t much going on, but color-wise this guy stands out. Ultraman has that half-regal, half-war-torn look about him. I can really appreciate the great paint appliatuion to his entire body and there are clean lines everywhere. I also really like the job on his uniform color, coming off as both matte and shiny is a nice touch.
Sculpt-wise this guy looks mean. The face is a good interpretation, with his eyebrows and mouth done well to show his unfriendliness. His eyes are painted in red, just to show everyone that he doesn’t have a problem melting you down to nothing at any point! Based on the artwork of one of my favorite artists David Finch, Gentle Giant does a great job translating this character from page to plastic. Ultraman’s muscles are done well and he looks perfectly cut, giving the figure’s “spandex” uniform look a realistic touch. The articulation of this figure is pretty decent, here’s what you get:
- ball-joined head
- ball-hinged shoulders, swivel right biceps
- hinged elbows, ball-hinged wrists (side-side swivel)
- hinged torso
- ball-hinged hips, swivel thighs
- front-back hinged higher and lower knees, and ball-hinged ankles
While this guy has some great points of articulation, the lack of a ball-joint in the elbows is a big miss for me. Even though you get that swivel movement at both the bicep and the wrist, the lack of more movement in the elbow actually takes away from some good poses. I also find the hinged torso kind of strange. The posing is good for flying display, but not being able to turn the upper body alone also gives you fewer options of good display. His hair is done as part of the head sculpt, but looks good, as I mentioned before the paint app is perfect on this guy, so his ears stand out perfectly, right along side the famous hair swoop. Yes even the evil version of Superman gets the swoop.
Finally his cape. Great job! The burnt look gives the character a different feel and lets you know that this is not Superman. A hole is even burned through for more detail, a nice touch. One thing the figure lacks though is alternate hands, this is something some lines are doing especially when it comes to holding weapons. Ultraman is a weapon in his own right and doesn’t need to hold anything, but the fists are good for a few poses only. This is a small issue and the figure does well enough without them.
I love what DC Collectibles is doing with their action figure line. I spent many years collecting DC Universe Classics, but these have always been my personal favorite due to character variety and more current versions of my favorites. Even though they are technically scaled at the 7 inch size, they still fit in nicely with the other figures in my collection. Now that the company is concentrating on higher quality figures, we are getting great releases like the Crime Syndicate. There is a huge improvement even compared to the Deathstroke figure I have from the same series, which I found to be heavy on more classic articulation. Keep it up DC Collectibles, these are the action figures that collectors, like myself, are looking for. DC Collectibles Forever Evil Super Villains Crime Syndicate Ultraman gets a 4.5 outta 5 Stars. Like I said this is the first figure on my list of reviews from this amazing series, so stay tooned for more next week! Also don’t forget that Forever Evil #7 hits stands on May 21st!