Continuing our efforts to complete our DC Classics Review Archive, we’re making the Retro Review our regular Wednesday feature. This week we’re taking a look at DC Classics Wave Four, the Despero Wave.
This wave was released in late 2008. And, at the time, was one of the harder waves for us to complete. With four of the five figures having variants, building Despero was easy enough, but it wasn’t always easy to track down both versions of each character.
I remember lucking into an Artemis at retail and a much delayed trip to nearby Kay-Bee finally netted me Unmasked Terry and the sonic arm attachment for Cyborg, but it wasn’t until months later that I was able to get the silver Captain Atom and complete the wave. The gold version seemed to be in abundance even though I understood him to be the variant. I was annoyed at the time, but looking back in a post DCUC5 world, these weren’t that hard to get.
Wave Four was headlined by the Amazing Amazon herself and it’s a relatively good figure with some problems. DCUC has never really nailed down the proportions on the women, but I think with the biceps turned a bit inward Wonder Woman looks pretty sharp from the front (where you can’t see the tiny waist). I like the head sculpt and the hair. Basically, all the details that need to be there are present. The one thing that sets Wonder Woman back though is the articulation. It’s standard and the joints all work well, but there’s just something about skin tone that exaggerates the articulation cuts, particularly on the women. I think it’s a mental thing. We want to see smooth, unblemished skin and the articulation creates more discontinuity than it does on most of the figures. Articulation is standard for the line, but the belt piece blocks the waist from being able to turn completely.
The paint apps on Diana are mostly great, with sharp stars and the subtle blue detailing on the hair, but the face doesn’t quite live up to the 2up. In addition to her Despero piece, the figure included an axe and a shield. The shield clips snugly on her bracelets and she can hold the axe in either hand. Her lasso is molded to her hip. I’m fine with it, but I’m still waiting for a toy company to figure out that WW should include a second lasso molded to fit around another figure (and make the one on the belt removable). In all, Wonder Woman is a good figure, but she’s just not great. Wonder Woman should be one of the best figures in the line.
I love Artemis in the comics and I’m glad she was able to find a way into the line, even if it was as a Wonder Woman variant. Artemis was introduced in the late 90s as a member of a long lost tribe of Amazons. Hippolyta, seeing a vision of Wonder Woman’s death, manipulated events so that Artemis would become Wonder Woman and die instead of her daughter Diana. Her plan worked and Artemis died in Diana’s place. She was later able to escape Hell, rejoin the living, and has been a supporting character in Wonder Woman’s book off and on since then.
She’s depicted here from her brief stint as Wonder Woman. The figure features a new head sculpt with her trademark ponytail, a new belt w/ quiver, and new feet with wings and straps, the rest she borrows from Diana. Instead of an ax and shield, Artemis was given a longbow with two arrows molded to it.
Overall, I’m happy to have this version of Artemis, but I’m still holding out hope that Mattel has her more unique, Benes costume someday. Continue to Page 2…