Entertainment Earth

FREE LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTSTM Intro Pack with any purchase!

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Entertainment Earth

Retro Review: DC Classics Wave 4 (Despero)

Captain Atoms

Captain Atom is one of the Charlton characters that DC acquired in the 1980s and slightly reinterpreted. The DC version, immortalized in plastic here, was an Air Force pilot that was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death. He agrees to be experimented on in hopes that he’ll survive and be pardoned. He’s put in an alien ship and blown up with a nuclear bomb (I said he hoped he’d survive…). The metal of the hull melts around him and absorbs the blast, throwing him forward in time from the late sixties to the mid-eighties. He never received his pardon and the conviction was used to impress him into government service as Captain Atom. Then, there’s the Monarch thing, but I’ll save that in hopes of a Monarch figure.

Cap here uses a standard buck with a new head, but that’s sufficient to be accurate to his comic look. The silver version is his standard DC look, while the gold version has been used in Kingdom Come and while he was briefly in the Wildstorm Universe. Both figures have standard articulation and sharp paint apps. I would have liked both these figures to be a bit brighter or, shinier at least, but they’re both serviceable versions of this stalwart character.


The thing you need to know about the Despero figure is that it’s not really Despero. In his early appearances (including JLoA #1), Despero’s fin went the other way and he liked to play chess (yep, he’s that guy). In the 80s, he liked to run around naked with a UN flag for his cape. In modern times, Tony Bedard is finally making him cool and not completely evil. In the middle of that, in the 90s, his body was used to host the consciousness of the robot L-Ron while he was a member of Justice League Task Force. That’s the look captured here. I’m happy with that decision because I don’t like the sideways fin version and I don’t need Despero running around with his junk hanging out.* I also had this Depsero as a Total Justice figure, so it’s like a little bit of that line lives on in DCUC.

* – Or worse getting Ken-Dolled by Mattel like Trigon!

Despero shares his base body with Lobo, but has plenty of pieces unique to him including his boots, belt, forearms, hands, armor, and head. The figure is heavily detailed, captures the 90s/L-Ron look well, and features standard articulation. I have super gluing his armor’s collar to his torso on my to-do list because I think that will improve his overall look.

His paints are sharp and consistent throughout, except for this strange red wash on his face. It’s a strange thing, as you can only see it in the right light. Despero was originally slated to include a sword, but it was cut before the final figure. He does include a giant rifle and a handgun, both of which can be stored on the figure. The rifle, specifically, is made to fit into the armor on his back. Despero stands at 8.25″ tall (counting his fin).

In Conclusion…

Overall, wave four was a refreshing break from the poor quality control of DCUC3 and the strange leg/joint issues that would plague the subsequent two-packs and DCUC5. I enjoyed the character selection in this wave, particularly with the well-executed Cyborg and Ares. I was annoyed with how difficult a wave it was to assemble at the time, but later waves have put DCUC4 down as one of the easier waves to pick up.

Pages: 1 2 3

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

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ItsAllTrueNet. ItsAllTrueNet said: New Blog Post: Retro Review: DC Classics Wave 4 (Despero) http://tinyurl.com/2cgt6fw […]

  • 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.


  • 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!

  • […] this week saw reviews of Iron Man 2: Comic Series 1, DCUC4, and Shaak Ti while Mr Rant took aim at toy prices, Matty released the first shots of Orko in […]