On Monday, we brought you the three Green Lanterns of DCUC11, but that wave still had more Green Lantern goodness to give. Today’s review is on two Green Lantern foes: the Shark and Cyborg Superman in his Sinestro Corps duds.
These two villains are not the first you’d think of when contemplating Green Lantern’s rogue’s gallery. One is a mutated tiger shark that can evolve from shark to human, or somewhere in-between, seemingly at will. He was created in 1963 by the same Broom/Kane team that brought us Hal Jordan. He wanted to teach Hal Jordan a thing or two about fear* and get a hearty meal while he was at it. He got reverted into a shark and put under guard for his efforts. He’s only had a couple dozen appearances since and has moved on to terrorize Aquaman (go figure), Superman, the Justice League, and even the (awesome) 90’s Black Condor. Most recently, he’s become a hulking, monstrous man-shark at the hands of Geoff Johns.
* – And really, who doesn’t?
Cyborg Superman is a villain seemingly on permanent loan from Superman. Hank Henshaw first appeared as DC’s (unlucky) version of Mr. Fantastic in 1990. The origin is basically the same as the F4, except for Hank’s whole team ends up committing suicide after they transform into hideous things. Well, his cured wife kills herself because Hank transformed into a hideous thing, but same difference. Hank would’ve likely offed himself to, but since he turned into a “ghost in the machine”, he can’t. He temporarily transfers his consciousness to Superman’s birthing matrix, picks up Supe’s DNA and some Krypton tech, then leaves for certain oblivion.
He’s gone for a couple years, but returns to impersonate Superman when he was ‘sorta’ dead. He gets busy convincing most everyone he’s the real deal, but then go and destroys Coast City and the jig was up. That same action caught the ire of Hal Jordan and set our fearless hero down that wonderful path that cracked the GL fanbase in half. He gets busy after that. He conquers Apokolips, spends some time in the Marvel universe, becomes part of the Source wall, and ends up in the Phantom Zone. Yet, he always makes his way back from any punishment or prison. His latest return was in Geoff John’s Sinestro Corps War where he appeared in this costume as the Grandmaster of the Manhunters.*
* – Yeah, that was way too long, but I can’t help it. I like the character. Still, you’re here for the review, right? Well, let’s go…
I have to admit that the Shark surprised me. I hadn’t cared much about him when he was first shown. I didn’t mind his selection. I’m up for just about anybody, but they don’t all hold the same level of interest for me. I was expecting a Shark head on the basic buck with the dorsal fin plugged in the back. When I opened him, I discovered that he also had new forearms and new calves, each with their own sculpted fin. Frankly, that’s probably more pieces than this character deserved, but it’s appreciated. The five fins help really help sell the overall look. On the head sculpt, the 4H smartly used his 80s look, making him more shark- than his initial appearances where he was a big-nosed, pointy-eared dude. Some fans are upset by the oversized neck, but, in hand, I don’t think it’s all that distracting.
Cyborg Superman is mostly a repaint of the original DCSH version* and as such he retains the detailed sculpt. He features a new pair of DCUC legs bringing him in line with his current appearance (and making him easier to stand). He also sports a new right hand, this one adorned with four Sinestro Corps rings. I like the look of the figure overall, and am most happy about the tighter ab-crunch and lighter cape. This version won’t be stuck always leaning back. He also has the Sinestro symbol on his cape, something missing from the original release. I was happy to find that back there. His head is the same slightly undersized one, but I’ll talk more about it in the paint section.
* – I was disappointed to find that my DCSH Cyborg Supes had collected some of the white gunk similar to what is occurring on some wave three figures. So I took to cleaning it up with a toothbrush I use for customs. I thought I did a good job as it looked clean in person, but the camera reveals the true tale. It’s disappointing and I’ll have to replace the figure with one in the scheduled to be reissued Cyborg Supes/Mongul 2pk.
The Shark is painted in a bright metallic color scheme. The costume lines are sharp and when combined with the shine, the figure really stands out. Sadly, the paint on the teeth is spotty at best. I’m not sure if the black spots/wash was on purpose or slop from the inside of the mouth. I don’t think straight white teeth would be good either, but I don’t like the dirty look of these teeth.
The paint on Cyborg Supes is executed well with crisp lines and fine details, but some of the decisions made on the paint apps are excellent while others are disappointing. I’ll get the bad out of the way first. I don’t think the weird airbrushing and paint splatter n the metal parts of the DCSH was the way to go, but the super clean cybernetic arm of the DCUC version just doesn’t look right either. Some shading would have helped there.
But the amazing part is the face. The sculpted details are really brought out by the paint on this version. The eyes and chin are painted with more care and some fine black line work, but the real standout is the teeth with their white paint and grayish lines to make sure they’re all neat and separate. These apps were executed perfectly and make this version far creepier than the original. Excellent work there.
Shark’s articulation is some of the best we’ve seen lately. His body range is all what you’d expect, plus he has good up/down movement on the head. There’s no tilt because of how it fits over the neck, but the other two directions are far enough to make up for it. Cyborg Superman also has good articulation except for the machine parts on his right shoulder that block the joint just a smidge. The head is a different story, however. I don’t know what’s going on in there, but the joint that was well-done on the DCSH version is now heavily restricted. Not only is the up/down motion gone, but on all the ones we received at IAT, the swivel is so tight that you’re positive it’s getting twisted off / breaking when you turn it. As such, I’ve left it alone for the most part. That’s really the one thing I dislike about this new version.
You’ll find no accessories here. This is something we’ve grown accustomed to, but we like to ponder on what accessories a real collector’s line might have included. Still, we’ve come up short on the Shark. The guys a brawler and short of a chewed on license plate, a pelican skeleton, an old cannonball, or some Spanish doubloons there’s not much that can come with this guy and make sense.
Cyborg Superman could sport a couple different arm attachments, a second copy of his head for accessory purposes. Or heck, a severed Manhunter head could be sweet and even be reused later. Still, that’s a dream, right? The figures get their Kilowog pieces, we get a great collect & connect, and we happily await wave twelve.
Overall, these are two fun figures. The Shark is a great rendition with a few quibbles. He’s a very minor character that once again signals the true diversity in the DC line. He’s also a villain which helps one of the two areas in the line where there could be more diversity. The paint apps are sharp and the extra pieces make for a great final figure. The head could connect to the neck better, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Cyborg Superman has great paint apps on the face and the costume. He’s an excellent (and welcome) repaint of the earlier DCSH version. The new ring hand looks fantastic and helps seal the deal. I’m probably over excited by this figure because of the character, but I can’t help it. He’s going to look great with the ever-growing Green Lantern shelf and I hope to get some Manhunters to hang out with him next year.