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DC Classics.Com Legion of
Super-Heroes Review (Part I)

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…

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38 comments to DC Classics.Com Legion of
Super-Heroes Review (Part I)

  • Lemmy

    Great review, as always!

    I have to say, I was thrilled enough to get this set that i didn’t mind the double fists, lack of accesories, and missed opportunities for extra articulation. Of course, I’m also a long-time Legion fan, and am glad to finally have some decent action figures of some of my favorite Legionnaires. We definatly need to get more of this team, though. It really is sad to see how many females they missed out on. The Legion never was a “good ‘ol boys” club, after all…

    I love the lonely Validus pic! I’m waiting to see a pic of him with his parents yet, of course. I wonder if we’ll see more of the Fatal Five ever. However, in the “one against twelve” pic, it could have been “two against twelve”, as Tyr was certainly a classic Legion villain (even if we got the Super Powers, non-comic gun-arm version).

    Can’t wait for the second-half review! Keep up the great work, and thanks again!

  • Sandman

    Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl are actually sporting their post-Disco-Legion costumes from the 1980’s Levitz era. The original (pre-swimsuit) Saturn Girl costume was red and had a high collar, and the original Cosmic Boy costume (before he started running around with a bare chest) had a different design than this one, with shoulder-rings and such.

    So overall you have some disco-era costumes and some later ones which makes me wish they’d just stick with one era for any single set…

    • Brainlock

      Mixing eras was one thing I was worried about for this team. If you’ll recall, Cham was originally shown as sporting his red w/ purple shoulders look, which I always thought was hideous scheme outside of Magneto.

      Then again, I would make some personal tweaks (Saturn Girl in red, Cos in a darker/purple-ier color), but so would everyone else and compromise on what works best is the name of the game. I do hope the fact this set sold out both times in a surprisingly short time helps them on a second set, even if it’s a 5-6pk or two.

      • Thanks for the update on the costumes, I thought there was some mismatched figures – Cosmic Boy was throwing me for sure.

        • Tom McCraw

          The costumes are really mixed. They are all taken from the History Of The DC Universe that was drawn by George Perez.

          Interesting that you referred to Ayla as Spark. That was her LEGIONNAIRE code name. Those were some cool costumes for that era, if I do say so.

  • da man

    Seeing poor Validus make me wonder if some of the other Fatal Five members were on tap for DCU before the whole re-launch was announced. At this point, I am not sure how we would see the rest of the team unless we get a box set or a member or 2 in the DC sub. DC All-stars have no rhyme or reason as to who is included so maybe we will see a FF member there. 20 waves and we only saw Validus is a real shame. I still have my LSH set in the package with no room to display them!! I hope toy fair has some good reveals cauee right now Mattel is getting crushed IMO by the Return of ML…

    • JamesLynch

      Since we never got a full Teen Titans, Titans, Young Justice, New Teen Titans, newer Teen Titans, many eras of Justice League, Doom Patrol, Birds of Prey, Metal Men, Rogues, or any other number of higher-profile teams, it wouldn’t surprise me one tiny bit if Mattel never gave any thought to putting out any other Fatal Five members.

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  • Braystreet

    What’s Brad Pitt doing here?

    It’s nice to see that Mattel treats the Legion just as well as DC Comics does.

    • BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA!

      *snif*

      So true it hurts.

      Remember! “That’s SO Mattel!!”

      Yeah, it’s a real blender of eras there, but I’d still go for it, if I had even the slightest hint that they would do more Legion. Really need more gals, that was always one of the key things about LSH, it wasn’t just a boy’s club.

      Hey, can I make a wacky prediction? SDCC limited pack, ‘first appearance Legion’3-pack packed in a Time Bubble. The bubble will just be the vac molded package, the needed prop being the platform and controls. The only real development needed is the ‘guts’ of the Time Bubble and they may be able to fake THAT from some other things.

      Naaaaa, never happen. Legion isn’t ANYTHING right now in the comic DCU. OTOH, they did make a bendy Starro for no real reason I’m aware of, so…

      • JamesLynch

        The Legion does have, what, two, three on-goings right now? It’s not that DC hasn’t given the Legion their fair shake, it’s just that the Legion doesn’t seem to have been bale to sustain a book for more than a couple of years in the last few decades.

        • I might posit that it’s because they want to keep away from the core of what the Legion is, to wit: A group of teens who admired Superboy back in the 20th Century and thus formed a club in order to be heroic and perform acts of good.

          There’s really nothing wrong with that idea, other than it might seem corny to today’s tastes. Not nearly edgy enough.

          but you can see that DC is just totally unable to figure it out. I saw a pack of LSH Heroclix one time, thought they were nice for being little teeny things but what the heck? The box listed as one of the included figures “Young Superman”. That’s just messed up.

          but then again I think the Mike Grell years were awesome, so I may have zero cred in this discussion. 🙂

        • Brainlock

          The current Legion books are:
          Legion of Superheroes – main book. doesn’t seem too affected by the DCnU reboot? The main plotline seems to be the same from before, but last month’s issue had Cos as leader after Mon-El was elected last year?

          Legion Lost – a group on a mission somehow get stranded in the past/present day DC, in which they are aware of the “disturbance” of the DCnU reboot, claiming it isn’t their proper past. The main hindrance is their fugitive has unleashed a virus into this world and they have to contain it, while trying to figure out how their equipment doesn’t work and get home. Time bubble and flight Rings are useless for them.

          LoSH: Secret Origin – another new take on their origins or something. 6 issues.

          LoSH/Star Trek – IDW and DC crossover their “future” series for six issues. a bit plodding, mashing numerous characters from both worlds, like Tharok and Ruk (aka the tall, big headed alien played by the Addams Family’s butler). Front half of the series is a bit slow. First issue: arrival in merged timeline. Second, ends with groups meeting, third is working out a plan. Fourth has the groups split up and meeting the (potential?) antagonist, who is a familiar face to DC group and to Kirk. I think the fifth issue is out this week or next? I won’t get mine until end of the month.

          • dayraven

            wait, one of the modern dcnu groups knows that the timeline has changed? then the alteration is not permanent. despite dc’s claim that this reboot was for keepsies, there’s no way you allow characters in the story metaknowledge of the plot unless they’re the vehicles of “fixing” things i.e. back to the dnou (?)

            • JamesLynch

              Psycho Pirate was aware of pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC.

              Of course, when the actual CoIE miniseries ended, ALL of the heroes remembered the previous continuity. Then, the next month, in the rest of the books, nobody but Psycho Pirate did, without any explanation. It’s one of the many things that’s always bugged me about CoIE.

            • Brainlock

              They released info today on a Titans/Legion Lost crossover, with the new “Ravagers” group/tile which features a red Beast Boy (tying in with Animal Man?), mixed twins Thunder & Lightning (F), and yet another Terra. The Legion’s virus storyline is integral to the crossover, but their knowledge that they are in the “wrong” past has only been mentioned in passing by Levitz.

              I really don’t think Paul’s saying too much until they see how bad sales are going to start dropping once the DCnU attention dies down. That way, they can just acknowledge the DCnU as another Earth, like Johns insisted in his Superman & Legion crossover that they have with the Livewire/XS/Gates/Monstress/247 Legion, and the Threepeat Legion from a few years ago (black Starboy, anti-elder thinking).

        • I’d still hold DC accountable for not making the book interesting over their being some inherent flaw in the property.

          One thing I’ve always disliked about the Legion is that there’s little to no trace of modern times. I don’t want the long shadows of modern heroes to move the spotlight off the Legion characters, but the Legion was a lot cooler to me when the modern heroes legacies were covered. Rond Vidar, XS, etc.

          • Well, yes. I mean, it was 1000 years of history, and the 20th century was seen as something special. Just the wacky adventures of dealing with Mon-El’s lead allergy (didn’t Brainiac 5 come up with something to cure that? Dammit, I’m gonna have to go dig out all my Superboy and LSH issues out of storage now, aren’t I?) were worthwhile, and the teen stuff like the kissing computer! Brainiac 5’s hopeless love for Supergirl!

            cripes. I kinda hate comics nowadays. I’m old. 🙂

  • I was really torn over getting this set as the $180 price tag was just SO MUCH, especially at a very expensive time of year for MOTUC. It just couldn’t factor out across both tries and, though I’m hoping they’ll put this set up for sale again, the extraordinary cheapness of some choices makes me wonder if I should get it. Don’t Donna Troy and Stargirl have a smaller female body to use so that Saturn Girl wouldn’t tower over everyone? Also Wildfire’s slight pinhead and the mismatched colors on Brainiac just kill me as they’re my favorite Legionnaires.

    I hope the 2nd half of the set fared better but since at least 1/4 of the set has major problems, I have to wonder what Mattel is doing with all the money they’re saving from avoiding basic quality control. Hasbro’s going to kill them if they can keep up the quality of the 1st wave of new ML’s.

    • I almost didn’t buy it… affording it was at the extreme end of the budget, but I pulled it off (and then didn’t open it for four months!).

      Vault should fare better in his review, he’s got most of the basic body guys and their paintwork seemed to be nicer overall. I’m actually excited to see his review too!

  • manekochan

    Damn you for your photoshop insets. You realize Vault is going to make me do all that on his review, right?

  • Fire King Xi

    “…heptagon-shaped cylinder…”

    Nonahedron. Just count the number of faces, start with the numerical prefix, end with the -hedron suffix, and you’re done.

    • I’m sticking with heptagon-shaped cylinder. 😀

      A heptagon-shaped cylinder has to be a nonahedron, but a nonahedron doesn’t have to be a heptagon-shaped cylinder, see? I could’ve gone with heptagonal prism, but I wanted to keep it simple.

  • Brainlock

    FKXi – Heptagon is nothing compared to the other typos scattered in the review, and “Gil Ammon” [sic].
    GIM ALLON. HIS NAME IS GIM ALLON. HIS NAME IS GIM ALLON! HIS NAME IS GIM ALLON!!

    As I said above, I would have tweaked their appearances some, and the color change on Cham’s costume is better. I think mine are slightly better than the set Noisy got, but I only had it out for a few days, then put it back in the box, as I thought I would be moving (delayed for now). I have bought a couple loose figures off ebay and Saturn Girl doesn’t seem to be as discolored as the one pictured here.

    Could any of us planned a better mix for the set? Probably, but maybe not. There are some I know we’ll never see in plastic form for various reasons (koffCHUCKkoff). would halving the set into their LoS-Villians counterparts been an option? We would have solved the hero/villain ratio, but also lost out on unique figures because of the “evil twin” option.

    If we had to lose two and replace them with two others, or even fill in the “missing” spot, I would lose MEL and Superboy, even Proty. Replacing them would be Dawnstar, Phantom Girl, and maybe Emerald Empress?

    Who do I think would be a good single figure, had DCUC continued? Mon-El (Valor/M’onel variant?), Dawnstar (Hawkgirl redeco), XS (Stargirl redeco), Shadow Lass, maybe Star Boy (b/w costume) and Sensor Girl. then Tharok, Persuader, Pippi Long–er, Hunter? nah. (Who’s the guy with the chains?)

    Future Box sets: LoSH: Bouncing Boy, Luornu (pick a version, but pack 2 variants), Star Boy, Night Girl, Shady, Mon, Thom, Yera, Blok, White Witch, Saturn Queen, Chemical King, Mekt, Mano, Tharok, Persuader, E.Empress. (GL Rond Vidar and his monocle’d dad??)

    but I guess that’s just pipe dreaming at this point and why we have a large custom community. (image search to jog the brain shows several LoSH customs, especially villains.)

    • Gim, Gil, whatever. Unless IAT gets some sick days, y’all are gettin’ ill-typed reviews when necessary. 😀

      Phantom Girl is my absolute thirteenth figure. And Superboy would be the first one I dropped without a second thought.

    • Lemmy

      Hunter? No thanks. Never could stand a bearded man with pigtails and an eye patch. I appreciate odd characters and all, but he just never worked for me. I’d have passed on him.

      BTW, the “chains” guy was named Grimbor the Chainsman. He would, of course, almost certainly need to come paired with Charma. Then we could have all the male Legionnaires swooning over her, while poor, lone SG could be raging at her. Man, I love those classic LoSH stories!

      As far as LoSH villains go, it’s a shame we only have two of them. Between the Legion of Super-Villains, the Fatal Five (either version), the League of Super-Assassins, Mordru, the Dark Circle, the Dominators, the Controllers, the Khund, Pulsar Stargrave, Starfinger (gotta love the crazyness each version was), and of course the Time Trapper, there’s a rather large, varied, and well-storied past to draw from. Perhaps we didn’t need those 14 versions of Hal, or 19 of Bats… (not sure the actual number of versions of those two, off the top of my head, btw)

      • Lemmy

        One last thing: who do I have to bribe at Mattel to get an “Arm-Fall-Off Boy” fig? Best. Sub. Ever.

        • De Baisch

          I’d love a variety pack of Subs and Rejects. Arm-Fall-Off Boy and Plaid Lad are at the top of the list. Throw in Stone Boy, Infectious Lass, Chlorophyll Kid, and Color Kid. It’ll never happen but it;s fun to dream.

      • Brainlock

        That was why I started to call him Pippi Longstocking.
        I suggested another 5-6pk or more above with the best chances of getting figures. Not really holding much hope for Chuck or any Luornu variants, tho. 🙁

        I know they could squeeze in Mordru if they wanted but a Dominator would really be pushing it.

      • Brainlock

        oh yeah, what about a braided beard? LOL
        Noisy and Clutch can see the pics I posted the other morning while totally bored. damn this insomnia! It is kinda hard to see the band I put the chin fur in, tho.

  • dayraven

    i’m amazed that as yet, no one has griped about double K getting double elbows, but only single knees. i would think he certainly would qualify for the full compliment of extra joints… and rocker ankles would have been a nice addition as well (but i know that’s like asking for him to be made of gold)

    • Lemmy

      “That was a design choice by the Horsemen.” Wait, this isn’t an “Ask Matty”…

      Unfortunatly, at this point in the game, I think we all know that asking questions about articulation will be completely ignored by Mattel. Sadly, the choice presented is to either let it bother you, or just try and ignore it and focus on the positives. Certainly not an ideal situation in any condition

      The mixed-bag of articulation on KK certainly comes from the fact that they reused most of w16 Robin’s arms (which had 2x articulated elbows), and the standard legs for this buck. I’m not sure how well the Robin/Mercury/Boomerang legs (w/ 2x articulated knees) would have worked on this fig. Might be a neat custom to try out…

    • Brainlock

      It doesn’t help that his gi comes down a bit too far and hinders some articulation.

  • Clutch

    I honestly never thought I’d see a Wildfire figure during my lifetime. Bravo, Mattel! Now bring on the second set with Dirk, Dawny, 70’s Tinya, Jan, Dreamy, Brek, Swimsuit Imra, Tellus, Blok, Shady, Quislet, Jacques, and so forth.