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Top Ten: DC Universe Classics
Alternate Costumes Edition

Number 6 – Black Lightning (First Appearance, Mostly)! Number 5 – Poison Ivy (First Appearance)!
Here’s that first example of Mattel simply picking the wrong era for a particular character. Black Lightning was included in the low-tooling, Walmart exclusive Wave 5, so Mattel went with a figure that only needed a new head, the then current version of Black Lightning. Technically, it’s not a bad look and it’s not a bad figure, but it just doesn’t scratch the Black Lightning itch for most collectors. Mattel did do a second version in the misaimed Public Enemies subline, but that featured an even more obscure costume and some collectors can’t even stand to mix-in that subline in anyway. Personally, I would’ve loved to see the short-lived 90s version in Classics, but I can’t deny that the Classic 70s version was where Mattel should’ve gone. Buncha turkeys. Poison Ivy fares a bit better than Black Lightning in the classic vs modern debate because plenty of collectors either wanted the green version, it’s become iconic in its own right, or wanted both. I’m in the latter. The Poison Ivy we did get does feature the great, green-skinned modern look, but I’ve come to enjoy my Silver Age Bat-villains more… or should I say my Super Powers versions? Joker & Penguin look like they walked out of the line. Mr. Freeze is an okay amalgamation. Catwoman didn’t make it into SP, but the SA version from Batman Legacy would’ve been the look if she had, and I would’ve loved to put the more human Poison Ivy with her leafy bathing suit and green tights alongside them. It’s just a shame Ivy didn’t make it to retail where she could’ve had a variant.
Number 4 – Lex Luthor (Business Suit)! Number 3 – Kyle Rayner (First Appearance)!
This one is difficult. I know that I ranked it a little higher than I would personally because I think this is a major want for a lot of collectors. I love Battlesuit Luthor (yep, it’s an SP thing) just like I love the more robotic Brainiac, but I also love Lex Luthor when he’s a more cerebral villain that doesn’t need to go toe-to-toe with Superman. I think that was best summed up in the last episode of JLU when Luthor shows up and says, “Sorry, I’m late. I had to put on my power suit.” That line rocked and rang true. Lex in a suit is really Lex at his best in my mind. My only hesitation would be that the suit buck wasn’t really the best, but I would’ve snapped it up had Mattel just done the simple headswap on a black-suited version of the buck. Those who know me knew this was coming, the only surprise might be that it’s not number one. Simply put, this is still my favorite version of Kyle’s many costumes. The most recent green one that got a figure is okay, loads better than the awful Jim Lee version, but I miss the classic “light in the darkness” costume. One of my big DCUC regrets is that they didn’t get to Kyle before the line went stupid and had to feature current versions. Kyle joined the ranks of Star Sapphire, Capt. Boomerang and others (who are easily in my 10-20). I know not all love the old look, but if you’re reading IAT, you partially have Kyle to thank. It was his TJ figure that got me back into comics and toy collecting. No Kyle, no IAT. You wouldn’t even be here right now, you’d just be reading some other dumb site.
Number 2 – Bizarro (Classic)! Number 1 – Zatanna (Perez)!
That Mattel didn’t do this version is a mystery to me. The line was so Super Powers-era focused, including all of the Challenge of the Super Friends villains in one form or another. Not every character included their minor cartoon differences like blue-faced Captain Cold, the more prude Cheetah, or brown Grodd, but Scarecrow & Bizarro weren’t even close. This is particularly infuriating for Bizarro because they repainted the modern/animated version, like, a dozen times, but what we really needed was Bizarro on the standard buck with a new head featuring the classic white, blocky face. I mean, technically, it should be more of a pale skin tone than white to be cartoon accurate, but it was white for decades in the comics and I know collectors would’ve eaten that up instead of what we kept getting. This was easily Number One for me. No doubt about it. Zatanna is one of my favorite characters, but I simply can’t pick an iconic look for her. I love the classic “blue” tuxedo look, I love the Perez costume. Heck, I even like the Sindella-inspired (Zatanna’s mom) look that predated the Perez version. I’d take ’em all, but not getting the Perez Zatanna to chill out with our Silver/Bronze Age JLA just sucked. One of the main frustrations here was that Mattel knew! Collectors had asked early & often, and Mattel had acknowledged, that both versions of Zatanna were high on the importance list, but Zatanna still managed to end up in a variant-less Walmart wave. Ugh! Moreover, a new cape, head, and forearms and she surely could’ve drawn in more subscription sales, but Mattel just didn’t get to her in time.

Alright, this is my list! Who did I forget?
Who should I have forgotten? Let’s hear yours below!

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31 comments to Top Ten: DC Universe Classics
Alternate Costumes Edition

  • Shadow_Contact

    I agree with Kyle,Catwoman, and most definitely Zatanna. Kinda surprised there isn’t an Alternate Universe Supes or Bats mentioned….. *cough*Red Son Superman*cough*.

    Only Black Canary I think needed to be done would be Birds of Prey Canary, but that opens a can of worms without Oracle.

    P.S. Lex also needed his classic Mad Scientist look maybe with a variant figure, Dr. Sivana

  • J. Lee

    Like all your choices here. Ofcourse the Zatanna never knew but see where could be needed.

    My picks, which may add more. Some will probably be Elseworlds

    Classic Supergirl – Did we ever get the original/Movie costume in fig form, also Crisis look

    Will 2nd the purple suit Catwoman but will add her jungle camo suit as well.

    Speeding Bullet Batman/Superman – I really enjoyed this tale and these looks.

    Luthor in his Power suit (biz suit) cause this can also be President Luthor easy.

    Diana Prince in white suit – Her agent guise I guess would call it from the Dodson drawn series. Liked it and maybe easy way to get us a secret identity fig.

    Yellow Ring Gardner -Recall from one run but later he was found out as a clone and swapped spit with Canary (though not returned)

    Black Canary BoP early look. Bareleg or the full suit worn when found the Gardner clone.

    Black Lantern Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow

    Earth2 Superman, Batman, Robin, Huntress, Wonder Woman, Nit nu52 the real Earth 2 that I think Evillyn for letting us know is still out there.

    • Brainlock

      yellow ring Guy was a clone? what??
      I can see this as an easy repaint of the GLC Guy, but I also like the alien ‘Warrior’ Guy, too. He just got a bad rap as part of DC’s “EXTREME” makeover and sad attempt to copy Marvel’s lame Random, which was a lame rip on Lobo, who…well….yeah.

  • J. Lee

    Oh forgot one.

    Slain nu52 Superman with Powersword thru chest. Yes I loved this scene why do you ask. Okay maybe a pack in corose for a comic He-man.

  • Tom

    Some of these would have been so easy to do when they were adding varients into every wave. Let’s see, in no particular order:

    Black Lightning (original app.)
    Poison Ivy (silver age)
    Huntress (original app.)
    Zatanna (Perez version)
    Amazo (bigger version with striped tunic)
    Starfire (original app. and a better sculpt)
    Hawkgirl (JSA version)
    Supergirl (either Crisis version or original app.)
    Red Hood (the leather jacket version)
    Rocket Red (Justice League Europe, with changable numbers)

    Some of these I’m still unsure why they weren’t done in the first place rather than the figures that were produced.

    What’s the next DCUC Top Ten?

  • Brainlock

    ok, limiting mine to 10(ish) entries this time:

    Donna Troy – Troia/Black costume. while it did seem she dropped her hero name the last decade or so, this black/starfield version would have made a modern/adult Donna. A more mature headsculpt on the F buck with Diana’s bracelet forearms. I prefer the closed neck, but the v-neck is what we’ll probably get. No need to attempt the 90s New Chronos gladiatrix look.

    Zatanna, Parallax, and FA Kyle – nuff said. (and don’t knock the Jim Lee Kyle, it’s still better than the one we did get!)

    Green Arrow – Connor Hawke costume, which Ollie also wore, briefly. Tempted to throw in the Arsenal/”Brown Arrow” Roy as a variant. My favorite costume of his, just ahead of the yellow vest on black bodysuit look.

    Power Girl – gold/white JLE costume. This look from the post-Crisis/Arion heritage era always worked for me, and loads better than the blue/diamond variations that seemed to change up every story.
    (new ‘clean’ larger torso piece re-used for apology Kory and bikini Barda/Knock-Out?)

    Rocket Red Brigade – Freeze/Luthor armor body apology figure. throw in 3 swappable heads (Dmitri/bearded, blonde, brunette) and those number stickers!

    Changeling – NTT red/white costume is what I first remember Gar for. all we need is teen forearms and feet, since he had bare (hairy) forearms and those goofy shoes.

    Starman Will Payton – the only glaring omission in this “family” of characters. Ted and David share the red outfit, Jack and Thom got their own figures, as did Courtney (and STRIPE CnC!), and even Prince Gavyn got two versions in JLU, leaving poor Will without. Heck, David debuted in Will’s run! 🙁

    Darkstar – the brief “almost ran” of the intergalactic police forces which rose up after Parallax destroyed the GLC counted John Stewart and Donna Troy among their forces. M and F bucks with a bit of shoulder kibble and swappable heads for Ferrin Colos and John (and the cowboy?), and Donna and…John’s blue Vulcan ex-GL girlfriend-?

    Brainiac post-Crisis and II – the black-suited 90s appearance only needed a new head on a black body and cape. possible variant Vril Dox II of L.E.G.I.O.N. and R.E.B.E.L.S. fame was a clone of the longtime Superman villain, bridging the gap between his despotic “father” and heroic 30th Century descendant. only new head and vest piece would be needed. (and hey, a ‘Phase’ would be cool, too!)

    Kal-L – HELLO? the *Original* Superhero? and throw in the future KC Kal as a variant!

  • Jester

    80s Jazzercise Black Canary, all the way.

  • Golden Pharaoh is one of my favorite DCUCs as well. I didn’t care much for the original Super Powers figure but the 4H did such an outstanding job with him that they’ve made me truly appreciate the guy.

    Bronze Age Supergirl should have been represented somehow. Her 70’s long haired, hot pants & boots wearing look has never gotten any love beyond a single Mego figure. So I’m given her honorable mention.

    As for the list:

    10. Super Powers Orion!

    Hey, now… Noisy brought it up! And Mattel is responsible for the doubled-faced action feature that was previously used in their Big Jim’s P.A.C.K. line for its villain, Zorak, not to mention Man-E-Faces from Masters of the Universe! I’m sure the 4H would have done something cool with him.

    9. Super Powers Kalibak!

    Kalibak should have been a twofer just like the other Kirby villains. If they wanted a New God character, the C&C slot should have gone to a bigger dude like the Infinity Man, or maybe someone like Doctor Bedlam. Heck, Kalibak’s place would also have been perfect for Granny Goodness herself!

    8. 90’s Catwoman!

    The Jim Balent version which Noisy listed with a retooled Power Girl chest/torso. 😉

    7. Kyle Rayner’s Original GL Costume!

    As an old-school Hal Jordan fan, I hated both Kyle and the crab mask suit at first, but compared to Jim Lee’s New 52 re-imagining of not only Hal but every single freaking JLAer, Kyle’s initial costume now seems positively iconic.

    6. Bronze Age Bizarro!

    Again, what Noisy said. Same goes for the other LOD members such as Scarecrow.

    5. Elongated Man’s Detroit/Europe/International League suit!

    Better known as Ralph’s 80’s/90’s costume. (The white one with his hero initials, not the goofy purple one with the mask.)

    4. Bronze Age Black Lightning!

    The original 70’s suit which Jefferson debuted in with removable afro-wig. It’s his signature look, no matter how you slice it.

    3. Changeling! How could we ever complete the classic Wolfman/Perez Titans without Gar’s Reagan-era duds? Who is this Beast Boy that you speak of? I don’t know the kid.

    2. Adam Strange! I never got the two-pack with Starfire since I always preferred Adam’s Silver Age costume. DC Direct covered both Changeling and Adam’s classic suit, so the 4H should’ve had a crack at them, too.

    1. Perez Zatanna!

    Gotta have her in order to complete the Satellite League. She even led the team back in the early 80’s and almost had a fling with the Flash, for crying out loud! The classic magician version should have included this costume as a variant figure.

    • Brainlock

      you know, I almost put down Ralph’s purple suit on mine, but the original was too gaudy for me, the purple/white I never liked, and the “retro” purple never appealed to me, either.
      (then again, they were all better than Olsen’s Elastic Lad look!)

      I really wish they had given him a few more pieces, considering how they went all out for Plas. At least the coil legs, which Ralph has used on occasion.

  • ero

    Honestly, this list would’ve made a pretty good sub. I’m not a fan of all of these, but a die-hard of fan of the rest. Seems to me that’s about what a wave or two of Classics looked like anyway. It’s just too bad the community was more interested in eating its own instead of forming a more unified voice.

  • ero

    10. Balent Catwoman: For the sake of classics, I’m glad to have the Legacy version, but this is the nicest look that she’s had.

    9. Mary Marvel: Her figure is so ugly, I just need a new one. New head sculpt is a must, but I want the one from the ’82 style guide.

    8. First Appearance Nightwing: No nostalgic connection, but he’s needed for a team and just has the ’80s thing going for him.

    7. UTR Red Hood: Man was I looking forward to that figure. What a tragedy.

    6. Super Friends Gorilla Grodd: I’d happily accept him in a straight Gygor repaint.

    5. Super Friends Captain Cold: I just like this look better.

    4. Bronze age Scarecrow

    3. Bronze Age Bizarro

    2. Zatanna: Essential to the Satellite league and an icon of DC advertising in the 80s.

    1. Super Powers Kalibak: Like Noisy, this is my childhood Kalibak, and yet I really do love the CnC. I just need this guy. I needed both.

  • Freefire

    Another great top ten! Thats definitly a good list. I would have liked in no particular order:

    Modern Guardian (well 90’s Death of Superman era)

    SP Kalibak – I love SP’s too

    Kid Flash – Bart Allen version

    Tempest – 80’s Aquaman was so close, just a head and different colors. I dont know if tis counts for the list though…

    Wonder Girl – Her black starscape uniform would have been nice

    Kyle Raynor – Yeah Im down

    Hourman, Dr. Midnight, Mr. Terrific – Modern versions of any or all (all!)

    Captain Boomerang – I dont think anyone would argue with needing the classic version

    • Freefire

      I forgot 90’s Supergirl as well.

    • Brainlock

      I forgot about Garth! I even bought an extra camo Aquaman to repaint into him, but never got around to it. :/
      (maybe needs the Mosaic/5pk GL John Stewart head for the partial afro?)

  • degra

    Hot pants supergirl
    matrix supergirl Perez zatanna
    JLI ralph
    classic poison ivy
    Perez nightwing
    Perez changeling
    silver age bizarro
    light blue superman
    golden age scarecrow
    animated clock king and classic version
    super powers kalibak
    classic star sapphire
    classic black hand
    third azbats costume
    balent catwoman
    Tim drake fa
    classic capt boomerang
    BA metallo

  • degra

    Oh and
    Deborah domaine cheetah
    troian wonderfirl

    • Thanks for mentioning the Deborah Domaine (Earth-1) Cheetah. She lasted a mere couple of years before the Crisis wiped her out of existence but I always liked her better than the Barbara Minerva version.

      She would have been a relatively easy variant. Just give her a new head sculpt with long brown hair and change her paint deco to bright yellow with orange spots.

  • Juan Solo

    Holy crap…I can’t believe I’ve never noticed that Kyle’s symbol was a “light in the darkness.” That blows my mind…

  • I’d buy a Wonder Woman vs. Giganta Nude Jell-O Wrestling 2-Pack.

  • 1) Black Canary. The Amanda Connor designed one that she wore for almost a decade prior to the reboot. Zipped to the neck “swimsuit,” flat-healed boots, big yellow pads, and for the love of fuck, no “real fishnets.” Those things look awful.

    2) Donna Troy. I almost counted this as two. I want her Wonder Woman suit, as I mentioned, but I also want her black, star-fielded suit.

    3) Arsenal. The Red Arrow figure is okay, but I’d much prefer the Arsenal costume he wore just before getting that one. Heck, maybe a Speedy, too. I’m not into Speedy that much, but we could help fill out a couple different incarnations of the Titans.

    4) Kyle Raynor Jim Lee costume. Yeah, still going with that one over the crab mask and gauntlets.

    5) Modern Red Tornado. Just because around the time the line was released, I really wanted to complete the Brad Meltzer JLA line-up (though it retrospect, I don’t know why, other than it was “current”).

    6) Does Vigilante count? I know they were two separate characters, but when Mattel announced a Vigilante figure, I don’t think anyone was expecting what we got.

    7) Cheetah and Giganta. I want the Terry Dodson designed outfits. He’s also the one who did the Donna Troy Wonder Woman armor. That guy knows how to design WW characters.

    8) Red Hood. Duh.

    9) Swamp Thing. Not only do I want a better figure, but I want the iconic, “head and shoulders” look of the character, not the 1st appearance “I have a neck” version.

    10) Hawk and Dove. I love Dawn and Hank, but I also want Don and Holly. That one I guess kind of skirts the edges of “different characters.”

    • Brainlock

      Vigilante – you were expecting Pat Trayce? She would have been awesome.
      or the cowboy we got in JLU, was okay, too.

      Dodson Cheetah – we already got her. He only added bike shorts and a sports bra to Perez’ redesign. Not a fan of his Giganta, either.

      Red Hood – another apology figure that could have been easy with either the Mr.T or Jack Knight bodies and a new head. Nope! DC demands we get Captain Lipstick! (altho we all know that’s the *polite* term!)

      H&D – see my list on the other DCUC post. I’d like Don, Kestrel, Chaos Beast Hawk, and Light Dove. I could live with never hearing about Holly ever again. btw, did we have a clean “slim” buck? Teen buck was too small (Gar, Kid Flash), and no one else really comes to mind. Deadman was lanky, Robin was mostly new/unique tooling.

  • TC

    Ok, here goes:
    10. Super Powers Kalibak
    9. JLE Elongated Man (purple and white)
    8. Perez Zatanna
    7. Balent Catwoman
    6. Black Mary (Marvel)
    5. JLE Rocket Red
    4. JLI Rocket Red (with number stickers)
    3. Modern Gigantic
    2. Silver Age Metalo
    1. Classic Chemo

  • Stan

    10. Mr. Terrific – Classic

    9. Metallo – half human half robot 6 inch scale

    8. Guy Gardner – in the blue jacket with yellow power ring

    7. Groilla Grodd – Super Friends

    6. Giganta – One year Later costume

    5. Rocket Red – Gavril ivanovich

    4. Black Mask – White Suit

    3. Red Hood – Jason Todd

    2. Bizarro – Super Friends

    1. Scarecrow – Earth 2

  • kantboy2

    My top 10 –

    Bronze Age Metallo
    Bronze Age Bizarro
    Bronze Age Scarecrow
    Bronze Age Poison Ivy
    Modern/Injustice Gang Joker (2003 Batman line style head)
    Suit/Injustice Gang Luthor
    JLA Kyle Rayner
    Jason Todd Robin
    E2/KC Superman
    Knightfall Nightwing

  • […] ItsAllTrue.net had a week of Top 10′s last week but they had one left over to give us and it’s a really fun one. Top Ten: DC Universe Classics Alternate Costumes Edition […]

  • Hellpop

    These are the ones that jump out at me, though I reserve the right to change my mind. I’m also going to be including different characters that had the same name (for example, Don Hall). In no particular order…

    10. Mister Terrific. Figure’s fine, but I would have preferred Terry Sloane.
    9. Guardian. They chose the ugliest costume he ever wore. Partucularly disappointing since they had the more modern one all ready to go, and he looked great.
    8. Changeling. I’m not a fan of the character, but I would have at least bought the NTT version of him. Beast Boy is one of the few figures I don’t own.
    7. Supergirl. Silver or Bronze Age seemed like a no-brainer.
    6. Timber Wolf. The later Steve Lightle design is much sharper.
    5. Black Lightning. Another vote for the Bronze Age costume.
    4. Adam Strange. This is a case where I like the figure, and the costume, just fine, but I really would have liked to have gotten a Silver Age Strange.
    3. Starfire. And this is a case where I hate the figure and the costume. Probably the worst figure in the whole line.
    2. Dove. I’m really glad we got Hawk and Dove at all, but man, I wish they’d made Don Hall.
    1. Huntress. Modern Huntress is fine (and a nice figure), but the original conception of the character, as Batman’s daughter, is one of my all-time favorites. Super disappointed we didn’t get her in the B&B line either (not to mention Earth-2 Robin!).

    • Tom

      With the way the Legion members got shafted by not completing the team (12 pack sells out super fast, twice, and Matty can’t figure out there is a demand for them) I’m happy to just have a Timber Wolf at all.