Raven & Jemm Review

Our fifth DC Universe Classics Wave 15 Review focuses on the last two regular figures in the wave, Jemm, Son of Saturn & the New Teen Titan Raven. They’re an odd pair, they’ve probably never met before today, but they do have one thing in common. They’re both DCUCs that don’t have double fists. How rare is that?

While I’m a fan of most things DC Comics, I have to admit that the Titans are a weak area for me. When I was a little kid reading comics, I was reading reprints of much older material and when I got older, I started reading the current slate of comics. This left a gap in my comic awareness and it’s a gap that fits the Titans squarely. Even though I haven’t read a lot of Teen Titans stories, I do know the basics. Raven first appeared seeking a group of heroes that would help her fight off her father, the inter-dimensional demon, Trigon. After being rebuffed by the Justice League, she reformed the Titans as the New Teen Titans. A team that she would end up as a recurring member of through a couple deaths and rebirths. A creation of Wolfman & Perez, Raven was of the main stars in the NTT title during its best years in the 80s.

Raven features quite a few new pieces despite her simple appearance. I’m happy with the figure, but there are a couple parts of the figure I don’t like so let me get the negatives out of the way first. One, and this could be just me, I’m not in love with her cape. I think it looks great flaring up on the printed page, but it doesn’t translate well into three dimensions. I didn’t like it when DC Direct chose it for their figure and I don’t like it here. I understand the design choice – it’s dynamic – but I was hoping they wouldn’t go this route beforehand and I haven’t been convinced to change my opinion seeing the final product.

Second, Raven is sorta the anti-Starfire when it comes to her torso piece. I’ve long been annoyed with the Starfire figure. I think she’s one of the worst DCUCs and it’s largely because her uni-boob. Her chest is largely uncovered in her costume, but Mattel opted to use a torso from a clothed figure leaving Starfire just odd and misshapen. Raven has the opposite problem – her torso features a defined chest with two separate breasts, making her dress look painted on. I suppose this isn’t a big problem, but, since she’s going next to Starfire on my shelf, it bugs me to see them together. Plus, this torso is new. It features some serious kibble on the back to accommodate that cape, so, other than a prepaint, I don’t understand why it had to be done this way.

Those two things aside, Raven has some great notable areas as well. The cape is well done even if it looks silly to me. The head sculpt is great and the hood had been done in a convincing way that it looks like part of the cape from most angles. The arms are thankfully beefier than the normal fare and, even nicer, feature a raised sculpt for her gloves. This combined with the new skirt piece really give the figure some depth and help her to pop on the shelf.

Raven didn’t need a lot of paint to get things right, most pieces were molded in blue or flesh tone and then lightly airbrushed. The few painted areas are sharp including the smaller paint apps like the rings and earrings.

Articulation is standard the line. I had guessed there would be some limitations to the head because of the hood, but I was happy to find that most of the range was intact. Like most of the girls, Raven does have a limited ab-crunch, but here other points work as expected.

I didn’t have any real quality control issues with Raven. Her right eye is a tad smaller than her left, but it feels like a nitpicky complaint. Her cape and skirt are both made out of the softer plastic we’re seeing with the capes in this wave while her legs and arms are pretty solid, closer to Katma Tui in DCUC11 than Donna in DCUC13.

Anyway, I’m not the world’s biggest Titans fan, but I am familiar enough with the characters to know this Raven is a great representation of the character. There are a few things I’d like to change like getting rid of the flaring cape and adding some detail to the torso like raised edges and giving it a more clothing-like appearance, but that aside I’m happy to have Raven on my shelves. But having there is another reminder that Mattel needs to sort out which version of the Titans they’re trying to finish. Continue to Jemm…

13 thoughts on “DCClassics.Com:
Raven & Jemm Review

  1. You have got to read New Teen Titans! I thought you were a DC fan! Tell me you’ve at least read Judas Contract?? I feel strangely betrayed! LOL

    j/k You should pick up some of those Titans stories though, lots of great stories in those pages. The Titans books have sucked for a long while, but they were good back in Wolfman/Perez days.

  2. Classic last picture.

    But . . . with the lack of accessories in DCUC anyway, I’m not too bothered.

    That, and I always love the 4H’s hand sculpts.

    1. The lack of accessories is one of the few things I don’t like about the line. Every time I see that adult collector label and wonder where’s Kandor, the bell, wheel, and jar, a HERO dial, a phantom zone projector, the spear of destiny, etc. Plus just tons of swords and guns for the characters that’ll use em. Such a waste.

      1. Agreed.

        When one thinks of great “collector” oriented lines, tons of awesome accessories comes to mind, such as with Palisades’ Muppets.

        But considering Mattel will never give us lots of cool accessories, I don’t see the point in having “accessory-holding” hand sculpts that look ridiculous when empty.

        1. I hold out some hope for cool accessories, so I do hope to get a few less two fisted figures. I swiped a Phantom Zone Projector from JLU for my DCUC display and I’m glad that someone can hold it even though no Superman figure can.

  3. I still need thest two and Starman to complete Validus. Kmart suckered me into buying the whole wave. If it hadn’t been for the sale I would only have bouth SC Bats & MM. But it’s been pretty cool. Golden Pharaoh was a surprise and OMAC is too crazy not to have!

  4. I also was stoked to get a Jemm figure.

    The opposite biceps are switched on my Jemm…Great job Matty!

    Starfire is one of my favorite characters…Mattel could not have phoned that figure in more. My biggest disappointment of the line. 2 for 2 Matty!

  5. I got mine from Amazon (got JACK instead of Ted! YES!) and the only QC issue I have is the “dent” in Jemm’s belt buckle, which seems to be fairly common.

    Raven – I tried to get her to raise her arms into the cape, but it doesn’t quite work. Maybe they should have given her a wired cloth cape like her father? It’s usually portrayed as a sort of shroud, anyway. Like you said, it looks great on the page, but doesn’t quite translate to plastic. One thing I wanted her (and Negative Man) to have was a “soul self” from a vinyl sheet, so it would be flexible.
    eh, I think I’ve got enough plastic flats from action figures to make my own, but still…

    Jemm – I still say he should have been the J’onn variant (whose alt.head/hand should have been accessories!). He’s barely known in the DCU to begin with, and we’re already getting the semi-obscure Kirby OMAC in this wave, so Jemm wasn’t even a priority. Even his cardback shows him in different black costume!
    meh, I’ll probably custom him into a Lantern or something….Blue Lantern 2814???? Now THERE’S a good idea! I can just see him saying, “All will be well.”

  6. Both my Jemm and Raven came out of a shipment of figures that one of our local comic vendors hooks us up with – and were mostly free of any QC defects. Both suffer, however, from package-warping of their elbows. I’m usually reserved about most Mattel gripes, but I really don’t get why they insist on force-posing these into the trays when they easily don’t have to. I’d almost blame the warping for Raven’s crazy cape.

    When you refer to the “bulky” buck with Jemm, do you mean that they finally complied with your brilliant idea of them reusing the Public Enemies buck? Also, I’m shocked to see that there are no “TRULY OUTRAGEOUS” jokes in poor Jemm’s review.

  7. Okay, so does that mean that this wave is being sold out in stores, and not just online? If so, were is everyone getting them?

  8. I almost bought Jemm during the recent K-Mart sale. With no variant Starman or non-variant MM available, I only had the rest of the wave to choose from, none of whom I planned on getting. I couldn’t skip the sale entirely (especially not when I had a coupon), so it came down to Jemm and Raven. Jemm looked like the better figure, but I know nothing about the character and don’t much care to find out. Still, I wouldn’t have minded getting him.

    Raven was a pleasant surprise. I expected her movement to be restricted, but Mattel really came through with the softer plastic parts. She has a worse version of the slightly-detached-right-leg problem that Power Girl has, but it’s hidden from view. If not for the sucky cape and limited ab crunch, she’d be excellent.

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