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DCClassics.Com Review:
Riddler & Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex is arguably DC’s most important western character, though he’s far from the first. Jonah’s not from the “western age” that ran through the 50s. He first appeared in 1972 in the pages of All-Star Western (which became Weird Western Tales soon after) and took over the book until he received his own series a few years later. He did go through a long Post-Crisis drought, but the amazing Palmiotti & Gray brought Hex back in 2005 with a book that is still going strong today.

Jonah isn’t your typical Roy Rogers cowboy*. Here are the greatest hits: His mother abandoned him at an early age and his father sold him to an Apache tribe. He was raised by the tribe, even gaining the Chief’s favor, only to be betrayed by the Chief’s son and left for dead after a raid. He joined the Confederate Army (and surrendered to Union forces twice). When he later returned to his tribe, he killed his former rival, the Chief’s son, and the Chief “branded” Hex as a demon and scarred the right side of his face with a white-hot tomahawk, giving Hex is trademark appearance. Almost all of his stories occur after this point, chronicling Hex’s time as a dangerous and surly bounty hunter in DC’s Old West.

* – You might have seen some movie where Hex has mystical resurrection powers… yeah, no.

I find myself somewhat frustrated by this figure. I was really excited at the prospect of getting a super-articulated cowboy, let alone the fact it was Jonah Hex. Going over the numbers, the figure doesn’t seem that bad, but there’s something about it that’s off. Let’s go over the details and see if I can explain it any better.

The Four Horsemen definitely did their part with the sculpt. Though I might’ve liked slightly less wear and tear on it, the confederate uniform looks great with the tattered edges and tears throughout. The boots, gloves, and straps all have seams and the leather has crosshatching for texture. Simply put, the body of the figure looks sharp right down to the CSA belt buckle. And it’s all overshadowed by the head sculpt.

The head sculpt must either a dream job or a nightmare for any sculptor. I’m not sure what was felt in New Jersey, but they nailed it. The left side is simple, clean and fits in with the line. On the right side, the 4H outdid themselves with the right amount of detail. It’s not too simple or cartoony, and it’s not so detailed as to be graphic. It’s really just right.

The articulation is where things start to go a little wrong. It’s mostly the same except for two things: Mattel removed the ab crunch and altered the shoulders. It does help maintain the aesthetic of the figure, but I would’ve rather had at least traditional articulation.

An unintended side effect is that the chest feels enlarged and well, hollow – cheaper than what we’re used to. The top of the torso also overhangs the ball-jointed shoulders which feature much less range than your average DC Classics figure. It’s annoying. The head is again a saving grace with good range all around. His hair does hit his collar when looking up, but you can work out the blockage and get a great upward pose (which you more or less have to do, more on that in a minute).

I guess my real problem here is he’s an all-new sculpt. So where’s the extra articulation? Instead of getting some awesome ball-wrists (any character that has a weapon ought to have ball wrists), we’ve got no ab crunch and restricted shoulders. It’s just a bummer.

Paint is almost fantastic. The tears in the tunic have skin painted in the recesses. There’s a nice dirty wash on his clothes. The face is painted great even with all the little details on the scarred side of his face. It’s all great except that he’s another figure that’s permanently looking upward. In Hex’s case, he’s always staring at the brim of his hat. I know Mattel calls this just an instance of “vendor error”, but after several waves and being present on nearly every figure with visible pupils, it’s just become one more stupid QC issue that shouldn’t be happening over this sustained a period.

The accessories are the place where the figure fell really flat for me. The sculpts are nice, though the revolver feels a little undersized. The real problem is they are very soft plastic. You can more or less fold them both in half. They both can be stored on the figure, so Mattel gets some points back there. The shotgun fits snugly in a loop on Hex’s back and the pistol has a holster, though it doesn’t hold the pistol particularly well. You can see it trying to escape in some of the images.

Overall, these are two of the better figures in the wave. Riddler is a great example of how the line can work on a budget. The paint could be a little crisper and they could do better than to paint on a belt buckle, but the buck body looks great here and the colors are spot on for this version of the Riddler. The classic head sculpt brings it all together and gets us one step closer to having a full Batman Rogues gallery.

Hex has a few things I don’t like about him – the gummy weapons, the restricted articulation, the mispainted eyes, but the power of the Four Horsemen sculpt saves this figure and somehow outweighs all those negatives (Mattel should consider that if they ever want to make DCUCs without the Four Horsemen). He’s a mean-spirited, mutilated cowboy and he’s probably completely out of place in this line of superheroes, but you’re not going to find too many DC fans that care about that. He’ll look great on the shelf and, not counting Xevoz, he’s surely the best articulated gunfighter figure in this scale despite missing some obvious points. I’m glad to have a cool Jonah Hex figure. Now, we just have to work on getting Mattel to give us some horses…

For more DC reviews, check out our
DC Universe Classics Collector’s Guide.

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18 comments to DCClassics.Com Review:
Riddler & Jonah Hex

  • Gildeft

    Im getting whole DCUC wave 16!The Riddler is the BEST Batman villain IMO.

  • Megatherium

    I suppose we’ll have to wait for SWIFT WIND for any Mattel Horses. Although, didn’t they say those 2 lines would never cross? It would be mighty foolish of them not to utilize that pretty pony for multiple lines…I really liked Wave 16, it wasjust too bad Robin and Azrael Broke so easily. I think I’ll get the NECA Jonah Hex for his hatchet, revolvers, rifle, and to see if his outer long coat will fit on the DCUC figure…

  • Freefire

    Both of those figures look great! If you guys are seeing them now, it should be about 2 more months before they get up here.

  • Acala

    Great review! I love Hex’s dialogue.

  • Cal Girard

    Hex does look great in the pictures, it’s hard to believe he’s not as impressive in person.

  • Krupke

    Love the pics. I’m with on getting a horse for Hex, but we definitely need one for Shining Knight. I hope Mattel is smart enough to figure out how to co-opt Swift Wind like they did with the falcons.

  • Da Vinzi

    I actually preferred the wave 5 Riddler. I admit he’s a crappier figure, but the suit it better fitting of a character with Riddler’s intelligence.

  • Palinsworth

    I don’t care about Hexes missing articulation. He’s a cool looking figure. I just hope they get to Batlash, Scalphunter, and the other western heroes soon.

  • Trollbridge

    The belt buckle thing is going to drive me nuts. It’s not the first painted on detail of course there’s plenty of gloves and boots that have been done similarly, but it’d be nice if it felt like Mattel was willing to invest more heavily in the line.

    Hex is a 100% tool though so that’s nice. I suppose it all balances out.

  • Starro Superman

    Great review!

  • Fisto's Foot

    I loved Hex’s dialogue! Did you make those up or are they real old sayings?

  • Stop making these look cool! I just wanted to cherrypick Creeper and Hex from this wave, and now I’m thinking about the Riddler.

    May not matter, though; I haven’t seen this lot in my neck of the woods yet. Grrr…

  • 3B

    I think you’re not giving Mattel enough credit… Riddler’s belt is obviously meant to be a riddle! How does he put it on if the buckle is painted on?

  • Rann

    For some reason this new DCUC Riddler seems taller than some previous DCUC figures…must be my imagination…?

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Awesome review, great strips as usual, and two figures I’m really looking forward to!!!

    I love how you perfectly summed up the shortcomings of the 1st Riddler in a single panel! 🙂

  • StrangePlanet

    I thought the old Riddler was too tall and this o e looks even taller. Any comparisons to wave 1 Batman?

    I think you hit the nail on the head with Hex – his chest is too broad. Makes him look funny. But then again, if the Riddler is gonna look like a steroid-eatin bodybuilder maybe that was on purpose.

  • kingflame81

    I just got mine at target. a few question marks on the front were sloppy, but not a bad figure overall. Can’t believe I passed up on getting The Creeper. Won’t happen again!