DC’s deadliest assassin makes for a superb action-figure. But what about Swamp Thing, Static, Wonder Woman and Cyborg?
DC’s Icons line of action figures has been an interesting experiment. There’s no real uniting principle, unlike, say, the various Designer Series that celebrate the work of a particular artist, or the New 52 line, which was geared toward emphasizing the supposedly permanent new looks given the publisher’s characters.
Rather, these highly articulated, 6-inch-scale figures are created to hone in on a character’s appearance in a specific, popular story — though not necessarily how that artist drew them. (They’re designed by A-List artist Ivan Reis but are decidedly generic in appearance.) There’s also wiggle room built in so that DC Collectibles can stay current by offering a 7-pack of Justice League Rebirth figures (click here for a look at those) or the upcoming Super Sons 2-pack.
Not everything’s worked out. Casting too wide a net has led to some missteps, such as soliciting figures for which there was little retailer enthusiasm. A classic Booster Gold-Blue Beetle 2-pack, for instance, had to be cancelled for just such a reason. Perhaps it’s because Mattel’s defunct but fairly comprehensive DC Universe Classics line already filled such niches. Plus, DC Collectibles and its antecedent, DC Direct, similarly has a voluminous library of classically attired figures that are readily available on the secondary market.
Still, I like that the Icons line exists. It’s not the level of articulation — a benefit I find to be overrated in general — it’s the accessories and the quality of the figures, which has improved after some early issues.
This month, we’ve gotten five new ones: Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Static, Swamp Thing and the best of the bunch, Deathstroke.
Here’s a look at each:
Similar to the version in the Justice League 7-pack but not an exact copy. Both are skirted and the faces are the same but there are significant differences as well, particularly with the color scheme. (This version is based on the New 52-era Amazo Virus storyline.) What this WW has going for it are all the bells and whistles that were missing in the Justice League set. In that case, WW didn’t even have a golden lasso, a regrettable oversight. This version, however, more than makes up for it with two — one that you can hang on Wonder Woman’s belt, the other in what I guess you could call “lasso mode.” There’s a sword, the usual set of extra hands and a shield, which doesn’t stay on Diana’s forearm particularly well.
As I noted last time, it’s tough to get an athletic woman’s build done right in a 6-inch action figure but this is a solid sculpt. And she certainly looks like Wonder Woman, even if her face is a little on the squashed side.
This is a deluxe set that goes all in with the accessories. It’s nominally based on Vic Stone’s Forever Evil look but that hasn’t changed much since then so this is basically the same figure as the JL version. (I will never get used to Cyborg as a member of the Justice League, by the way. He will always be a Teen Titan to me.) Like Wonder Woman, the difference is in all the extras. There’s all sorts of faux hardware, including limbs that feature a variety of weapon attachments. It’s pretty cool but be prepared to pay extra: About $45 instead of the standard figures’ $28.
This is an interesting one. Static is perhaps the best known of the Milestone characters what with his popular animated series and all. But neither he nor the rest of the Milestone crew are active right now so it’s kind of an odd choice. That said, Static will always have a following and this is a solid, basic figure.
He comes with an interchangeable head featuring his “X” cap and a manhole cover that can be “elevated” on an electric charge. He was originally announced as having a yellow overcoat and an extra set of hands but those did not end up in the final set.
This is the one real disappointment of this assortment. Swampy is taller than the others but this is a character who should be hulking, with vines and roots and all manner of flora hanging off of him. This Swamp Thing, ostensibly based on his earliest appearances by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, is far too slim and sleek. Just looking at him takes you out of the illusion. DC Collectibles’ New 52 version was far more evocative of Alec Holland’s monstrous alter ego.
This figure has a strong visage but there’s little else to recommend him other than the spectacularly horrifying Un-Man accessory.
This is the one that makes the wave. First off, I can’t do a story like this without playing the Official Deathstroke Theme — thanks to the late, lamented Dave’s Long Box:
Beyond that, this is a great figure — one of the best of the Icons line to date. Why? Because the basic design feature of these figures is the rounded musculature — which lends itself perfectly to a character designed by George Perez.
Ol’ Slade looks like he jumped right off the pages of The New Teen Titans’ The Judas Contract, which is fitting because this figure is based on his original orange-and-blue get-up.
By the way, if you look at Deathstroke’s outfit dispassionately, it’s kind of silly. But it works, man, it works.
The accessories are excellent, with all sorts of Slade-specific weaponry, including guns, sword, bo staff and whatnot. Best part, though? The interchangeable heads. You get badass Slade and badass Deathstroke.
This is an icon.