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Retro Review: DC Classics Wave 4 (Despero)

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.

Wonder Woman


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.

Artemis


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…

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28 comments to DCClassics.Com: Wave 4
(Despero) Retro Review

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  • Deathmask

    It was a good wave, but you never see it rank that high on many favorite wave lists. There’s no one really flashy in the wave.

  • Adrian

    Ares is one of the better overall figures, but I still cut open the slats in his skirt to free up the hip movement. That made him even better.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    I actually had fairly bad QC with this Wave.

    Ares’ arm broke off at the bicep, and WW and Terry had frozen hips.

    I still kinda want that KC Atom, never did track him down . . .

  • Hadson

    Are you ever going to go back and add DCSH to your checklists? Will they get retro reviews too?

  • Teamon

    I never thought about gluing the armor down on Despero. I might have to try that.

    • I haven’t tried it yet. The plan is to heat up the armor too so that it will contour to the body easier. I’ll post it on the forum if it works.

  • Spectre

    Why no short bio on Wonder Woman? LOL

    As a big Batman Beyond fan, I can’t say enough that we need villains like Blight and Inque in the line. Some of TG’s comments about including animated characters has been driving me nuts. Yes, some fans want those! Justice Lords would be excellent repaints! Batman Beyond has some great designs that I’d love to see the 4H tackle.

    • MattTK

      We do NOT need more toon crap in this line. We don’t have Martian Manhunter. We have one Flash rogue. Mattel doesn’t need to be wasting slots on characters that haven’t appeared for over a decade.

    • AdventureVault

      I’m all for more Batman Beyond in DCUC. Hopefully we’ll get some now that DC has started a non-animated Batman Beyond book. Toy Guru doesn’t have that weak animated excuse to fall back on now.

    • I figured every knew Wonder Woman? 😉

  • RonPaul

    I still wish Cyborg came with a drill hand. And the variant should have just been the same version gold! I think that was the biggest ripoff in the whole line. Here’s the same figure with the one attachment we split off to make this exclusive and then they took away his normal hand! Idiots.

    • Me too!! Drill hand was a must. Sad day.

      And a gold version would have made the KB one work. I would’ve wanted a silver sonic attachment to come with the regular figure still, but a gold version at KB would’ve been sweet.

  • MattTK

    Wonder Woman doesn’t get enough respect in this line. This wave featured three of her characters, but they didn’t revisit her again until wave thirteen! Even then, there are only six WW-related characters in this line. Disgraceful.

  • dayraven

    it would help if her biceps were larger than her neck.

  • Ares and Captain Atom are definite wants for me from this wave and I kinda want a WW to complete the JLA

  • shouldn’t be too hard to find WW, she’s one of the MANY repacks Mattel keeps throwing at us. For the kids you see. But remember it’s almost fifteen bucks now because it’s a COLLECTOR line.

    ugh.

  • De

    Paint was very much an issue with my silver Captain Atom. Small flecks of the stuff still occasionally fall out of the joints 🙁

  • 3B

    I completed Despero about two months ago after finding Capt. Atom (Gold) sitting on a peg at my local Target. That was very strange as they’ve only had wave 7 figs on the pegs since last summer (and Dr. Impossible). So I grabbed him and bought the missing left leg and arm I needed for Despero off of ebay. He looks really nice on display, however, his joints feel weak.

    I bought “Sonic Arm” Cyborg from an online comic book shop, which had him and several other figures for around $7 each. That was late last year. I was disappointed to learn the sonic arm was his only attachment, while the regular version had the “normal” hand and two other pieces. Drats!

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