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DCClassics.Com
Superboy Prime Review

I had six-hour meeting three hours from home today, so this will be brief. When I got home and scanned the unreviewed toy shelf, I wanted to find something I could sum up quickly – probably something I didn’t care too much about, something that had easily gone unreviewed. Oh look, Superboy Prime.

Superboy Prime came out in mid-2012 as part of the “last wave” of DC Classics, but the whole thing was a mess. The C&C line was torpedoed, a new All-Stars line was supposed to launch, the subscription started – and 6” DC Collecting pretty much just came to a screeching, sudden halt. The subscription limped its way into 2012, but the new All-Stars retail line never happened. Instead, this four-figure wave sort of dribbled out containing Nu52 versions of Superman & Batman, Red Robin, & Superboy Prime.

I never saw these at retail. I’m sure plenty of folks did, but no stores here carried the wave and Mattel had handled the DC property so horridly by that point that I wasn’t really inclined to really look for the two I wanted: Prime & Red Robin. I eventually snagged Prime cheap through BBTS (but I still haven’t picked up Red Robin, I need to just eBay it and get it over with).

To be honest, I’m not sure if my lukewarm response to Prime was do the figure, Mattel, or how Geoff Johns altered the character. I’m not a fan of any of it. Superboy Prime started earnestly enough in the 80s as a Clark Kent living in the real world (here, with you & me) that ended up with super powers and chose to emulate Superman from the comics he read. He helped out in Crisis on Infinite Earths before ultimately departing for a paradise dimension with the Golden Age Superman & Lois and an Earth-3 version of Lex Luthor. That was all well & good and I honestly think it would’ve been perfectly fine to never mention him again. That was sort of the point of the ending.

But comic books can never leave well enough alone. Johns brought Prime back, drove him crazy, and turned him into a homicidal hot mess with the convenient ability to retcon out anything anyone didn’t like. I give Johns some credit for crafting such a petulant, whiny character that you hated every scene he was in, but he never made the jump to being a character you love to hate. I could never get him off the page soon enough – but he wouldn’t go away. After he went nuts and killed a bunch of people, he was imprisoned by the Flashes. Then, in the same story, he goes nutzer dons Anti-Monitor armor and kills a bunch more people before being stopped again and imprisoned by the Guardians.

When he escapes from the Guardians, he again dons his Anit-Monitor armor, but to amp things up, he joins the Sinestro Corps. He’s killed and/or imprisoned a few more times, but ultimately ends up back in his home universe (ours) and it turns out they all read the same crappy comics we did and they hate him too. Damn.

Sorry, I wasted three paragraphs on that diatribe, but once I get started on comics… well, y’know. There’s a reason I have a toy site & not a comic site. Continue to Page 2…

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13 comments to DCClassics.Com
Superboy Prime Review

  • Brainlock

    I’m pretty sure I had that DC Comics Presents issue where he first appeared, and Crisis where he and the rest “died”. then Johns turned what could have been a cool character into…an internet troll. Legion of Three Worlds literally ends with him trolling the DC Comics forums in his parents’ basement, demanding food from his mother. sigh….

    I think his joining the Sinestro Corps was a good move after Infinite Crisis, but in Countdown (to Final Crisis), he kept getting “power ups”, aging him to full adult, where he briefly switched to the black costume with silver accents, which was a Superman variant in the DCSH line. At this point, he was laughable and the “I’LL KILL YOU DEAD” meme was in full swing.

    Not even the Lo3W could save him after that, so it was good that was where his story ended. Or should have. He was revealed as yet another version of perennial Legion foe, the Time Trapper. Then he got drug into Blackest Night mess (which I missed the end of that story, as my dealer didn’t send me that issue). and something involving the last version of Teen Titans, pre-nu52. I had stopped reading that title a year before with Eddie/Red Devil’s death, so I’m clueless here. wiki says that he “might” exist in the nu52, but to say anymore would be spoilery to those still keeping up with the S-titles. hints: time travel, more multi-verses, and his counterpart/[spoiler].

    gah.

    I do like the look, and I think I have the DCD version around somewhere? I never saw a hint of this wave in the StL area, or even Louisville, last August when I was out there. I’m wondering if these were all bought up by e-tailers? Amazon has him starting $23-25 on up; BBTS $19 (+ship). not sure about ebay, tho. Red Robin is out at BBTS, and starts around $30 on Amazon. don’t even ask about full sets of this “lost” wave!
    (I was just checking out prices on last two ML waves earlier and glad you reminded me about them!)

    I do think this guy looks too tall, but Mattel has never been one to understand scale. Makes me think that certain parties can’t read rulers properly, which leads to a number of rejoinders. 😉

    The hairline also seems to be off? It looks a bit high, then that spot behind the ear either needs filled in or trimmed out to look right. I’m leaning towards trim.

    I know I had planned to buy two, to custom one into the SinCorps version, but now…I just can’t muster much enthusiasm for anything DC.

    btw, as long as we’re talking Superman toys, I hear the MOS Movie Masters have a street date of May 1? Jor-El and Zod look cool and I may do some head swappage between the three of them to see how they look. Too bad we’re not getting Morpheus White, Lois, or Faora. or even CLARK. :/
    (crap, I just ebay’d my last spare Gordon!)

    • As Prince Bubblegum mentions below, street date for MOS merch is April 28th, *BUT* considering that that’s Sunday and most toy department managers don’t work on Sundays don’t count on finding anything until Monday or later (especially at this time of year when toys aren’t big sellers).

      BTW, Faora and an armored Zod are both in wave 2. First post on the page- http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=25059&start=150

      • Brainlock

        cool. thanks Jim!

        and hey, now that we’re TOTALLY OFF TOPIC, has everyone seen the Walmart Man of Steel movie ticket tie-ins? you can buy advance tickets through some special offer via WM that will allow you to go to your store’s associated theatre. Not Necessarily LOCAL/NEAREST theatre!

        for me: Union = Union Great 8;
        Sullivan = Sullivan 6; Eureka = Wildwood 10 (closest, ~10m away?);
        Washington = O’Fallon #. yeahbuhwha????
        There is Cinema 1 Plus across the way from WM (1/3 mile?) and has been there for thirty years, yet I can only hope this is some glitch so people don’t have to drive 30+ miles to MO’Fallon to watch a freaking movie. Union G8 is about 10m away from Wash store and even Wildwood and Sullivan, among others are closer than MO’Fallon! LOL

  • Prince BubbleGum

    LOVED the Hal Jordan joke! Johns really did wipe out anything that he didn’t like about Hal’s past after GL: Rebirth. Instead of the gray-haired, headstrong Hal that I loved when I first discovered comics as a kid, Johns basically reintroduced the vanilla Silver Age Hal, and threw away decades of character development. I stopped reading GL after being bored by Sinestro War, so I’ve always wondered, did Johns even ever reference Hal’s time as the Spectre? Sorry for my rant too, lol! Like Noisy said, this is an action figure site, not a comics site. I’m glad I never saw this figure at retail. As a Superman completist, I feel positive that I would have felt obligated to snag this figure solely due to his tenuous connection to Supes, even though I dislike the character and am not impressed by the figure.

  • Prince BubbleGum

    Oh yeah, hey Brainlock, keep checking your local Wal-Marts. I’ve found the MoS Movie Masters! Tuesday night I was bored so I scoped out my four local Wal-Marts. They all happened to be putting out stock, but they left the MoS stuff on the pallets, as they had bright orange labels that said “do not display until April 28th”. Unfortunately, the first three WMs only had the awful small figures, and not the Movie Masters. However, I spotted a case of MMs at the fourth WM, grabbed it off the pallet, and tore into it. If memory serves, there were five Superman figures,but there were definitely only 2 Zods, and only one Jor-El per case. I snagged the best looking Zod, and of course, Jor-El. I was short on cash, and I know Supes will be clogging pegs until April 28, 2014, so I passed on him for now. They’re absolutely average figures, but like I mentioned in my previous post, I’m a Superman completist, so I was glad to find them.

    • Brainlock

      April 28? someone posted a pic on AFI FB page that said May 1?
      I only have two WM and a Target here in my immediate vicinity, but I’m running up to the “L”CS for FCBD to meet a friend there and say goodbye to my former dealer who leaves state in June, so I’ll make a few stops looking for them on the way up.

  • J. Lee

    Never saw in Ohio, except the local toyshow and they were $25-35 there and thought that was too much. That was Red Robin and nu52 no wants. No sign of Prime. If had a Prime would use him to just pund on the nu52. Don’t forget RF is partly responsible for the nu52 mess.

    Only know of the spectre time frame in GL Rebirth and thats it.

  • What’s wrong with ranting about comics? Particularly aggressively horrible ones…

    Never saw hide nor hair of that batch of figures round here. Red Robin would’ve been nice.

  • I think Spectre references basically go away in the Green Lantern series after Rebirth (and to be honest, probably for the better – it wasn’t important for his character). Geoff Johns wrote Day of Judgement where Hal became the Spectre, so I have serious doubts as to how anti Hal-Spectre he is.

    It bugged me how tall the Superboy Prime figure was, so I didn’t pick him up when I saw him. It doesn’t take much to convince me not to buy a figure these days.

    • Brainlock

      I read most of the Hal-Spectre series and…yeah. I think JM DeMatteis wrote it?
      one of Hal’s bros gets killed, only the niece survives and she’s a Golden Child or some nonsense. It felt like a rehash of Daniel in Sandman, only less sensical.

      Come to think of it, Hal’s bro is back alive, if that’s the one I remember post-Secret Origin arc?

      so..yeah, just pretend he’s up to Spectre-y shenanigans between DoJ and Rebirth and you won’t have missed a thing.

  • j1h15233

    I actually liked the story when he goes nuts in the paradise and works his way out with Luthor. He basically goes through the same thing we all went through with this New 52 stuff. Think about it, he was living his life, watching his favorite heroes do their thing and save the world and then things kept changing and getting worse and so he went crazy haha. I especially loved the ending of that story with Luthor and Joker though.

  • StrangePlanet

    I’m just endlessly fascinated with DC’s multiple universes, alternate versions of characters, and the odd ways they interact, right from the get-go when the JLA first met the Earth-2 JSA. They way Donna Troy is aware of the multiverse. The way the Earth-2 Superman came back and didn’t like the way this new ‘one universe’ was going. It’s a big convoluted mess, sure, but I just love it. That’s why the effort to once again collapse it all into one big New 52 is always gonna be disappointing to me, but it’s also why I kinda love this oddball character.
    But the toy? Yeah, it’s too big. I passed.