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Apache Chief Week: DC
Classics Bronze Tiger Review

If the Super Friends or Geoff Johns versions of classic characters leaves you cold, then DC Universe Classics Wave 18 probably isn’t your favorite, but the wave still has something to offer even the most stalwart DC Classics Collector, one of DC’s most renowned martial artists, Ben Turner, the Bronze Tiger!

Bronze Tiger has one of the stranger DC publication histories, first appearing as a supporting cast member for Richard Dragon in a novel, not a comic. Created by Denny O’Neil & Jim Berry, Ben Turner was a student of the O-Sensei alongside Richard Dragon. When the novel gave way to a comic adaptation, the pair became two of DC’s greatest martial artists. But in the final issue of that series, Turner is brainwashed and turned into a villain, the Bronze Tiger. After that, things get a little wonky. Turner exists on the fringe of DC for awhile and, as tends to happen to characters on the fringe, his history gets a little muddy. But there is one constant, as the Bronze Tiger, his skills continue to sharpen and he becomes one of the world’s more feared assassins.

Despite various attempts to deprogram him over the years, Turner would almost always return to the role of a brainwashed villain. That is until he met up with the Suicide Squad and they flipped him back to ‘good’ on a more permanent basis. His tenure on the Squad during Ostrander’s run is surely what gives Bronze Tiger the street cred among fans and the oomph to get Mattel to produce a figure of him. He hasn’t been used as often in recent years, but when/if DC brings back the Squad, the Tiger is usually sure to follow (but hopefully not in the relaunch because that Squad book looks awful).

I’ve rewritten the above biography a couple times because I just can’t quite get it to convey how cool a character Bronze Tiger really is when written well. He’s a really shining example of a great character that gets lost in the c-list and d-list ranks of the DCU. He’s an expert martial artist haunted by a million skeletons in his closet. He’s done some very bad things, but he’s an honorable man at his core and when a writer explores that… well, it’s made for some great comics. Man… I need to re-read some Suicide Squad…

Bronze Tiger uses a basic buck and that gets the job done for the most part. The line has always had painted gloves or boots here and there, but for some reason it’s bugging me more on this figure than previous offerings. Maybe I’m still just hung up on how Black Vulcan turned out. Bronze Tiger does sport a new belt/tunic piece that helps sell the figure’s look despite the other details being painted on. The new piece blends in great and really gives the figure a seamless look.

I harp on the boots and gloves, but the figure still looks great in-hand, particularly because of the two awesome head sculpts. We all know that the Four Horsemen can sculpt amazing animal heads, so there’s little doubt of just how awesome they would do the tiger head, but they also turned in a nice, stern Ben Turner head to boot. I’ll probably be leaving him with his tiger head most of the time, but the alt head might sneak out into the display on occasion. Continue to Page 2…

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17 comments to Apache Chief Week: DC
Classics Bronze Tiger Review

  • bmnbinc!

    cool review! the execution on this figure is really well done.
    I was wondering if you could post a pic of the tiger head on carnivus/beastman/grizzlor’s body..

  • Next to Deadshot, Ben has always been one of my top ten favorite Squad members. He really brought a lot to the series. I highly recommend that anyone who hasn’t checked it out yet, do so now. I hope that DCUC’s sub program brings us more Squad members in the future.

  • Heli

    I know I’m always the negative guy, but I have to say that it’s a sharp looking figure.

    That said, I also have to wonder what happened to additional articulation “when it makes sense.” What makes more sense than a well-articulated martial arts master?

    • JamesLynch

      It could be worse. It could be Black Canary, one of DC’s greatest martial artists, whose articulation was neutered to allow for some truly hideous “real” fishnet stockings.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Yeah since you mentioned it this figure would definitely be much improved with sculpted (as opposed to painted on) gloves and boots.

    But otherwise it’s a nice figure, though one that I won’t own.

    Great Anti-Monitor pic! Ain’t that a kick to the teeth?! :D

  • Zach S.

    I would definitely go with the Ben head. For whatever reason, I can’t get over how ridiculous the tiger head looks on this figure…it’s one of those “works in the comics, not so much in reality” sort of things. He just reminds me of Shark, and that’s not a good thing…

  • JamesLynch

    Now I’m sitting here wondering how that tiger head would look on a repainted Minotaur body…

  • Jonatan

    I also didn’t like very much the Tiger head in the body. In my opinion it’s too big for the neck (like a strange poodle or something), although I must admit it’s very well sculpted. I do prefer Ben’s head…

  • redddevil

    Thanks for this review! Bronze Tiger is definitely the diamond in the rough for me when it comes to wave 18. (Boomerbutt 2.0 a close second.) His orange color just pops, but I have to wonder if his ’70s era man-skirt was worth the cost when you consider his sleeker look from SUICIDE SQUAD. (As you mention, SS is what really put him on the map anyways.) Nonetheless, happy to have him! Would love to have more SS-ers in my collection too, but you know how that goes.

  • AmericanHyena

    Bring on Captain Boomerang!

    That is all.

  • Oh, come on, not ONE shot of this guy with Kamandi?

    I was thinking of trying to make a custom ‘Great Caesar’ figure but a Kirby Man-Tiger is much more bulky than the buck used for this figure.

  • dayraven

    man… i’ll say it. that minotaur looks gorgeous. everything else looks like your little brother’s toys… sorry. :) they just got outclassed, that’s all.

    the character is cool as balls though. i’m not THAT familiar w/ dc comics, but i’m hardly johnny neverreadadccomicinhislife either. bronze tiger is a badass, it would indeed be nice to see him come w/ at least one unique weapon and then be set on the full articulation buck.

  • I’m with 100% about the tiger head being cooler!

  • Heck, I haven’t bought a DCUC figure since Wave 15 and I have no idea who this guy is, but I still picked him up when I found him at WM. The pics on Michael Crawford’s site really sold me. I love the tiger head!

  • Omega Agent 1

    the Tiger is a great figure. I’m already waiting to buy the modern version, hopefully Ben will get more articulation and custom broad swoards. But over all the Horseman are my heroes for the amazing job they did with this guy. Removable mask next time though.