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Watchmen: Club Black Freighter
Silk Spectre II Review

After Dr. Manhattan, my enthusiasm for the Watchmen line took a hit. I’m still looking forward to future figures (some of the best figures will be the ones rolling out towards the end of the subscription), but I’ve still got one more so-so one to weather: Silk Spectre.

Silk Spectre isn’t as bad as the intro makes her sound. There’s a lot to like, but a few keys thing hold her back from being a sharp figure like Rorschach is or like some of the later figures appear to be. And she is better than Dr. Oblong-Head.

Silk Spectre II, Laurie Juspeczyk, is the daughter of the original in the Watchmen universe. Unlike many of the Watchmen characters, Silk Spectre doesn’t draw on a particular Charlton character. Some may say she’s a stand-in for Nightshade, but Silk Spectre has no real similarity other her relationship with Dr. Manhattan. She’s more of an amalgam of many female leads and is a pivotal character to the story, tying many characters together; a legacy hero for her mother, a wife to Dr. Manhanttan, love interest of the second Nite-Owl, and her connection to the Comedian.

Silk Spectre features the same fun packaging as previous figures with the book-style inner carton and the full-color mailer. The mailer in particular amused me this go round because Spectre doesn’t really have a logo or iconography for Mattel to use on the side of the box. They seemingly just through things together on the side of the box – her mole, lips, necklace, and a hint of the plunging neckline on her costume. It works, I guess.

Inside, the “coaster” art features another take on Silk Spectre with no eyes. I like that Mattel included these for “value”, but I have yet to be motivated to take any of them out of the packaging.

Liberated from the packaging, the figure itself is pretty nice. Very few parts were needed for Silk Spectre, a new head, new arms, new upper torso maybe new fists, and the dress. The dress is both a saving grace and a possible annoyance on the figure. I applaud Mattel for going the route they did with it. Painting the black areas underneath and then using the clear-yellow “sleeve” over the figure gets really close to capturing the costume’s look on a figure. It’s sharp even if it does bunch up around the shoulders a bit. My only real concern about it is the longevity of the material used. Mattel scares me when they get into different materials. I’ve got that weird “cornstarch” rot on a few of my early DC figures and I worry for how long this will hold up. It could be fine though. I’ll just cross my figures and hope so.

Mattel couldn’t do the arms the same as the dress unfortunately and that does cause a bit of a mismatch on the figure. Mattel did a good job trying to combat the limitation with flesh-tone highlights in key places on the arms where the ‘fabric’ should be more see-through. It is capable of blending altogether and looking okay to me, but I have a feeling that will vary from one collector to the next. Continue to Page 2…

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20 comments to Watchmen: Club Black Freighter
Silk Spectre II Review

  • Brainlock

    Many assumed Spectre was a direct parallel to Nightshade, as she was originally a martial arts expert with a few gadgets before getting any powers. Moore later clarified that he used Black Canary as her inspiration, instead, which does lend itself to the whole “legacy character” aspect, as DC had revealed a few years before the “real origin” of JLA-Canary being the daughter of GA/JSA-Canary implanted with her mother’s memories. yeah, creepy.

    This was later reflected in the comics when Ted Kord was helping out Dinah and Barb with Birds of Prey and he struck up a flirtation with Dinah, who had been separated from Ollie for a while. The BOP writer (Gail Simone?) confirmed it was a nod to the Watchmen characters that were based off those two.
    (btw, Jon and Laurie were never married in the comic, so that gag is off.)

    SS is one of the figures in this line I was looking forward to, but it seems I’m going to have to wait for a while, then get lucky.

    I figured the torso would be limited due to the rubber sleeve, so that was a given. Not sure why they didn’t use the Zatanna shoulder, but I guess it was too square? on the bright side, I think a few Lady Legionnaires could use this one. (70s/hotpants Supergirl! hinthint!) How thick IS that sleeve? You say it sits high on the shoulder, but I would think they went for the cheapest rubber available (not helping!) instead of a thin clear vinyl sleeve. The only other option I can think of is a yellow mesh, but look at how Canary and Zatanna’s fishnets turned out. Badly.

    The head looks a little off, but it might be those two hairs plastered in the middle of her forehead. Comic accurate, but that’s about it. Also I’m wondering if the left earring wasn’t reversed in the book? It just looks odd to me.

    Accessories- what did she have, other than that cigarette bong? her purse? I know I’ve seen people asking for an extension with Bubastis or turn her into the line’s CnC, but that’s really pushing it, even if the CnC part would have others feeling they got their money’s worth.

    Who’s next, Comedian? Have we seen pics of him, Nite-Owl, and Ozymandias yet?

  • Shadow_Contact

    I find it rather funny they made her necklace, lips, and Mole her logo on both the box and included card. Yet when the painted the head, they didn’t include the mole.

  • Tom

    I believe the remaining order for the WATCHMEN line is: Nite-Owl, Comedian and then Ozymandias. Pictures have been shown of Owl and Comedian. They were debut at TOYFAIR, although Owl made a brief sneak appearance at last years NYCC. No images of Ozy yet. I’d assume he will be shown at the SDCC.

  • nice review. This line never looked too good to me, but every time you post pics I’m left wanting a rorschach figure.

  • Lemmy

    Each time one of these figs is up on Matty, I’m a little tempted to buy one. Have passed each time. Something has just always seemed a little off on each fig. Rorshach’s tiny hat, Manhattan’s head, SS’s arms. As awesome as the source material is, this line just doesn’t do it for me. Chalk it up to more “meh-ttel” toys, I guess.

    Still, I appreciate the reviews, and keep reading them. Here’s hoping for an awesome Night-Owl!

    • Brainlock

      they’ll probably give Dan the YJ Batman cape, so he won’t be able to move his arms.
      (altho, a “Arctic/Snow Owl” overcloak would be an awesome idea!)

  • I, too, really appreciate the reviews. It makes a day a little more fun. 🙂

    This is a line that I really don’t feel a bit sad I wasn’t able to ‘buy in’ due to lack of CC. (it would be suicide to sub up with a pre-pay debit card. I’d have to make sure I ALWAYS had several hundred Dollars loaded every month and that’s a lot of money tied up)

    I just can’t believe how Meh every figure is. Like Lemmy says above, it’s ALWAYS something, some annoying little…THING that just shouldn’t be ‘off’ but is.

    Heck, what’s the excuse? Does this fit under the various edicts pronounced over the DCU figures? Is it a case of ‘day late and Dollar short’ (because the TIME to push these may well have been when the darn movie came out, ya know?) or maybe not feeling confident that the pre-release buzz for ‘Before Watchmen’ could carry the line all the way? Or just maybe, just maybe, they don’t really give a f**k about the figures because all this line was meant to be was a giant ‘up yours, crazy old man’ to Alan Moore.

    Silk Spectre II should be HOT. There is not a single drop of erotic fire in that lump of plastic. Yes, I said it. 🙂

    • Brainlock

      you never saw the DC Direct prototypes from 8-9 years ago, did you?
      blew these (and the DCD movie versions) out of the water.

      • Rhyno

        Doctor Manhattan’s head sculpt aside, those cancelled DCDs were about as average as these.

      • Russ

        What really hurts for me is the paint job on Rorschach; I HATE the way his “face” looks.

        It looks like a silhoutte of an Edward G. Robinson stereotype to me.

        The Comedian’s “face” didn’t really do it for me either when I saw the prototype; so far the only one that’s really impressed me was the Nite Owl, and I’m not so in love with the figure that it convinces me to buy the others.

        I have the movie versiona, I might buy the DC Direct 12″ Rorschach, and the Pop! vinyl figure, the metal figures, possibly the HeroClix, and I think I’m good.

    • dayraven

      agreed there stevie, there’s nothing about this spectre that makes me want to toss her onto the console of the owlship and do her till she screams… fail.

  • Mikey

    I think this figure definitely needed cloth goods. The dress is meant to be a sheer gossamer like fabric, and instead we get a fetish rubber suit for water-sports.

  • Megatherium

    I was excited for this line. And then Mattel happened. I really only want Ozymandias. I hope he turns out better than they have been. I suppose the worst they could do is make him undersized, like Golden Age Atom sized (who was ironically too tall LOL)

  • Prince Bubblegum

    These figures are almost as disappointing as the Before Watchmen comics 🙁

    • Russ

      I refuse to read Before Watchmen.

      Alan Moore had nothing to do with it, so I know it will never live up to the classic story he wrote nearly 30 years ago.

  • Prince Bubblegum

    For a while, I had hoped that after the Watchmen run ended, Mattel would continue the trend of offering a secondary DC line (I personally hoped for a Kingdom Come or Wildstorm line while a friend of mine was desperately hoping for a Sandman line). However, after seeing these, I wouldn’t feel comfortable committing so much money to a subscription where I run the risk of receiving disappointing figures. Oh well, I guess I can just try to chase those 60’s era Batman figures from store to store once they’re released, lol.