Today we’re knocking one of the bigger items off our backlogged review list: the DC Universe Classics Legion of Super-Heroes 12-pack. To help ease the burden of reviewing a twelve-pack, Vault and I have split the review duties. Today, I’m reviewing six of the figures, while Vault will follow-up on Friday.
The Legion of Super-Heroes is an interesting thing in the DC Universe. It’s an important component, but – by virtue of being set a thousand years in the future – it’s also exceptionally disconnected from the main shared universe. In some ways, you could be considered an avid DC reader and still read next to nothing about the Legion. To others, the Legion is one of the coolest parts of the DCU. I fall somewhere in between. I think the Legion is a pretty cool idea and I’ve kept up with them over the years, but I can’t say I’m a regular reader – particularly of anything recent.
Part of that is because the Legion history has been played around with more than I usually care for – they’ve already had their share of “New 52s” so to speak. The Legion originally appeared as Superboy supporting characters in the late 50s before gaining enough acclaim to receive their own feature. That Legion would grow and expand over the next thirty years, but after Clark’s time as Superboy was removed from continuity, the Legion – somewhat metaphorically, lost their way. Some new angles were tried, but eventually discarded in favor of the reboots. I enjoyed the late 90s reboot quite a bit, but after two more reboots in the last eight years… well, I haven’t been reading the Legion much anymore.
The Legion presented in this set is the original version, though a little later in their history. By the 1970s (or 2970s in their time), they’d grown up a bit and many of the costumes were redesigned. Despite my love of the rebooted Legion, I think this was definitely the way to go with the set. Even after all the changes over the years, these 70s looks still the iconic ones if you ask me. There’s a few I wish were a little different, like Saturn Girl’s later all pink costume or Timberwolf being a little more feral, but overall I’m happy with the choices.
The packaging for this set is one of those rare items that I just can’t quite bring myself to throw it. In fact, I felt the allure to the point that I actually left these guys in box for awhile since I didn’t have time to review them. I only recently opened the set to put together DCClassics.Com’s 2011 Page. The packing is inspired by the Legion Clubhouse and is a heptagon-shaped cylinder that rolls out flat to display all the figures. I neglected to grab a shot of the set unfurled, so you’ll have to poke around the net if you want to see it (or keep an eye on the background while watching Big Bang Theory). The figures can be removed with minimal damage, by cutting the tape on each “tube” you can slide each figure out (though it does get annoying to have to open the set fourteen separate times).
I say fourteen because, in addition to Proty & the Flight Ring, I opened the set while it was rolled up. As I made my way around the bottom level, I was perplexed for a split second when I pulled out an empty tray. See, Mattel thought it’d be cute (and it was, though Hot Wheel’s Invisible Jet stole their thunder) to include a blank spot for Invisible Kid to help balance out the packaging.
Saturn Girl – Real Name: Imra Ardeen – Powers & Abilities: Highly Skilled Telepath, Exceptional Leader
I’m going to start off with Saturn Girl because she’s unique to the set, the lone female representative of the Legion included. Saturn Girl was a no-brainer, but I can’t believe Mattel passed over all the other Legion Ladies. I could maybe understand if these were the hands-down, twelve most popular Legion characters – but that isn’t the case. The lack of Phantom Girl is the biggest problem with the set.
Anyway, Saturn Girl is also a great one to talk up first because she represents some of the best and worst things about the pack. On her own, the figure looks pretty good. The head sculpt is fantastic, she’s got a new ring hand, and the skirt piece captures her costume detail nicely. There are some issues simple because she’s a female figure and the line just doesn’t seem to handle those as well as the guys, but overall the sculpt work here is pretty good. There are two issues though.
One is her height. By virtue of Mattel not really ever putting money into an accurately scaled female teen buck, Saturn Girl is using the standard girl body. The women in the line run small, so Saturn Girl isn’t outrageous, but Mattel’s poor buck management is a huge issue for the line overall. The second issue is one you’re going to hear me whining about a lot over this review – two fists. I guess it doesn’t matter since most Mattel figures can’t touch their heads anyway, but not being able to get Saturn Girl into a “telepathic pose” is just no good.
Cosmic Boy – Real Name: Rokk Krinn – Powers & Abilities: Generates Magnetic Forces
Cosmic Boy utilizes the standard male teen buck. The basic parts of this buck were created by accident, but that turned out to be a great thing for collectors (that first Sinestro aside). With the Legion set (& Young Justice) Mattel tooled up new arms, fists (including a Legion Ring fist), and legs for the teen body and it forms the basis for most of this set.
Like Saturn Girl, Rokk got some new pieces to get the costume details right – the aforementioned Legion hand (which all the guys will share), new forearms and lower legs for the boots and gloves, and a new head sculpt. I appreciate the new pieces, but the open mouth expression is less than desirable. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just doesn’t look quite right – more of an annoyed smile than I think was intended. Continue to Page 2…