Vault Review: DC Unlimited
New 52 Superman

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve bought a DC figure at retail. After Classics was canceled, I pretty much just glaze over that aisle on my way to the Marvel section.  So I was a bit shocked to see a new Superman staring back at me during my last trip to TRU.

I’m not a big fan of the New 52.  I understand the need to interest new readers in comic books, but I don’t think it should come at the cost of seventy plus years of rich history.  Couple that with their new emphasis on art over story, and they’ve pretty much lost the majority of my business.  But not all the books or ideas are bad.  Even though I may not enjoy the new spin on some of my favorite characters, that doesn’t mean their new looks aren’t cool.

So there I was, in the Toys R Us aisle staring at the nU Supes, Flash, and Hawkman.  After some back and forth debating with myself, I ended up walking out with Superman.  (I would have also picked up Hawkman, but he had some really disappointing paint issues with his face.)

Sculpt wise, this is the exact same Superman figure that came out last year in the DC All-Stars wave with nU Batman, Red Robin, and Superboy Prime.  Compared to the average DC Classics body, this DCnU “buck” is super detailed to capture all the intricate line work and piping from Jim Lee’s designs.  Most notable is probably his new chest with its raised “S” symbol.  This is a really nice touch, and I kind of wish some of my other Superman figures featured it.

Supes also has an entirely new belt piece, biceps, forearms, fists, and shins.  His feet may also be new, but I can’t quite tell for sure.  nU Supes also has a nU head.  I don’t think the Four Horsemen captured the look of Jim Lee’s style very well, but that’s actually a good thing in my book.  I definitely prefer the 4H to bring a bit of their flare to the design, this way all the nU DC figures won’t look exactly the same.  He definitely has a much younger look than our previous DC Classics version.  Personally, I don’t even think he could pass as a younger version of Classics Supes.  He’s more like an older clone Superboy, or even a passing resemblance to Kal Kent.

The biggest difference between this Unlimited Supes and his previous All-Stars release is in the paint/plastic.  Not only are the red areas a much brighter shade, but glitter was added to the blue plastic to give him a glowing sheen.  Personally, I really love this bright and shining look.  It reminds me of something Grant Morrison quietly pointed out in his DC One Million series.  Superheroes have always had flashy costumes, with each new generation making theirs a bit brighter and showier.  The costumed heroes from the 853rd century seemed to glow and were even colored differently in the books to emphasize this difference.  Continue to page 2…

27 thoughts on “Vault Review: DC Unlimited
New 52 Superman

  1. I like the review Vault, short and concise. I’m hoping to find the All-Star one, I was wondering which you would have got if they both were staring at you from the peg? Looks like they may have overdone the blue in his hair, but otherwise a nice painted figure.

    Also your last pic, Inspired by Supreme: Story of the Year?

  2. Nifty review and great pics, but if it weren’t for this site, I wouldn’t have known that DC was doing another reboot. But wouldn’t have been surprised. I’m just glad I don’t collect comics any more.

    Like the sparkly outfit on this guy, though. In the last picture on the first page, you can practically hear the “TING!” sound effect as sunlight glints off him as he strikes his heroic pose.

    1. yeah, DC rebooted everything after the “Flashpoint” mini ended in Sept 2011. they didn’t even make it known until halfway through the series. Almost every title was affected, with the exception of the (top selling) GL and Bat-family titles, and even then it depends on who is writing/editing on how much has changed. So of course, the continuity problems that plagued Hawkman post-Crisis in 1986-on are nothing compared to what has cropped up in the GL and especially Bat-titles the last year and a half.

      for instance, I dropped from about twenty books to maybe a dozen just to keep my pull but after a year, I was only looking forward to TWO books a month and killed my comics addiction after three plus decades. (Marvel costed me out several years back at $4 for 20 pages.)

  3. Well truth no nu52 for me other than to have it look like Supes and Ultraman and trying to figure who he looks more like.

    Saving money I am.

  4. I saw this (and Flash) at a TRU a couple of days ago, but ultimately passed. I don’t care much for the new52 designs, although Batman is “passable”, but I hate the head on this Supes. It’s just way too off-model for my tastes.

    Although now reading your review, I wonder how the old DCUC Superman head would look on this body… I’d also repaint his belt gold, or silver.

    Thanks for the insight!

  5. I agree, that last pic is great.

    Superman looks more like he joined the Silverhawks than the JLA. I just don’t get why Supes would need a shiny armored suit if he’s already indestructible. Jim Lee should know the answer but then again, I really don’t care to know. DC’s spanking new, next generations of readers will find out in my place.

  6. Every time I look at the head sculpt from the front, it reminds me a great deal of Nicholas Brendan (Xander from Buffy). I think it’s the ears and the eyebrows. I wish they sculpted it closer to Jim Lee’s design. I might try a head swap with the DC Collectibles head as they’re reasonably close in scale.

    1. THAT’S who it reminded me of! Thank you! Every time I look at it, I think, “That face looks familiar, but . . . . ”

      Now I can sleep.

    1. AGREED.
      I look at Cavill’s movie suit and can’t help but think it’s even more laughable than this iteration.

      I can only hope DC reverts soon, not that I care, anymore.

  7. Man, Mattel should make that lion head Superman, or even better, put him in a two pack with Zebra Batman! The perfect Con exclusive!

      1. That’s actually a DC Direct figure of Superman. It came with alternate lion, ant and giant brain heads so you could reenact all the crazy things that happened to Supes in the golden age.

    1. Agreed. DCC is easily better with most figures due to unique sculpts. Just articulation is lacking.

  8. honestly, I still hate this new costume and take on Superman… it really isn’t very good. I’ve dropped most of DC by now, which is really depressing… at least Marvel stepped up their game and is kicking ass.

    1. I’ve dropped most of my DC (I almost dropped all of it when DC fired Gail Simone, but when they reversed course I added a couple of their books back to my pull list), but I’ve also dropped most of my Marvel. Many of my favorite books by my favorite creators came to an end recently to make way for the “Marvel NOW!” stuff, and I haven’t enjoyed most of the new books nearly as much as I’d been enjoying the previous versions. Specifically, Avengers, Captain America, and Iron Man are nowhere near as good as the Bendis, Brubaker, and Fraction stuff, though Iron Man’s decent enough that I still pick it up. All-New X-Men has been great so far, but Young Avengers was a huge disappointment on every conceivable level.

  9. The head sculpt IS a little bit distracting. Kind of reminds me of Superboy’s look in the all-too short-lived “Legion of Super Heroes” cartoon. It’s a nice figure, though. Love the raised “S” shield, and the sparkly paint is really growing on me. I don’t think I’ll ever recognize nu52 Supes as the “real” Superman, but this figure might act as a stand-in for Superman One Million (from the above referenced story). Nice stuff, Vault!

  10. wait, you got the All-Stars wave with Prime last summer? I didn’t. 🙁

    While I don’t like the character or many nu52 reiterations, this does appear to be a good translation. I never made the DC1M connection before, but I see it now. would that we could get some of THOSE in plastic form! (except John Fox needs his FA black/blue Flash costume, not the gaudy red/yellow 1M one)

    One drawback to these sculpts is that they’re ONE-OFFs with all those detailing lines. Sure, we can expect a couple variations of “Kal’El” here, as this is already the second version, but for some others, it will be much harder and lack of parts re-use will be another excuse for Matty to drive up the price again. (For me, I’m hoping to paint over Flash’s “speed lines” for a basic Wally, don’t know about the rest of the line, yet.)

    btw, I found out the other night a friend has been over in Germany for their Toy Fair, she commented she was on the way back from it. Her work makes those big Playskool type tables and larger toys (sleds and ride-on vehicles) of more durable plastic. She didn’t go into details, but this is just what I know about her place of work, here in Onion.

    1. Don’t give up hope on the All-Stars wave! They actually just started showing up at K-Mart by me in the last few weeks. Funny enough, I haven’t seen the All-Star Superman yet, but was able to pick up the other three.

      1. Are you serious?! I’d given up hope of ever acquiring those figures at retail prices. Thanks for sharing that info!

  11. Picked one up at TRU last week – the only figure from this line in the store and I found mine laying on the floor in the middle of the aisle. The package was pretty beat up, but I always open my figs anyway.
    The legs on mine are horribly warped from the flying pose the package forces the figure into. He can’t stand up, even with a figure stand… the left leg is the worst, but both are jacked.
    This guy is gonna need some serious boiling.

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