Saturday, August 23, 2008

Justice 8: (Almost) A Perfect Goodbye....

The Alex Ross JUSTICE figures have been a pretty divisive series of toys - fitting being based on an artist who is such a divisive character in the comics world! I don't know if I fall so much into the "love" side of the "love them or hate them" debate, but I definitely appreciate these as a standalone line of figures - definitely not for mixing or matching with your other toys.

After two disappointing waves in 6 and 7, which offered two armoured figures and only two new characters each, a new wave featuring four new sculpts was welcome news, even if one was Toyman, but we'll get to him later.

After a week's unexplained delay - and do you notice that when this happens DCD never communicates about it?? - I was pleased to pick up my Wave 8 figures yesterday, but was laid so low by the blinking flu I didn't have the energy to do much more than look at them and put them aside before I crawled into bed. Thankfully a new day and a major cold and flu drug cocktail found me with enough energy to do the unpacking and photographing thing today. (But hey, kids, drugs are, like, bad for you and all......)

The JUSTICE packaging has remained consistent throughout, but I was pleased to discover inside that whoever did the packing seemed to resist the urge to follow the practice in previous waves of strapping the figures in with twist ties at two-inch intervals - never fun to have to complete a puzzle just to get your toy out of the box! Most of these just had a twist tie around the waist which is more than enough to secure the figure inside the bubble. On the other hand I was sorry to see that the JUSTICE bases had remained the same - handy things if you don't mind displaying your figures two metres away from each other - why these had to be so big I'll never know!

As much as I love the Batgirl in this wave I'm going to have to rate Captain Cold as the top figure because of the detail included. His head is fully sculpted underneath his hood and his face is sculpted underneath his glasses. On inspection it almost looked like the hood could be removed but I didn't want too pry too much for fear of causing any damage. Other details like a functional holster for his gun with a usable snap make this a winner. He does, however, seem a little too tall when compared to the other figures in the wave and the other JUSTICE villains. But hey, this is DCD and this is JUSTICE. Scale schmale.

Batgirl is a thing of beauty. I'm a big Oracle fan but I have alot of nostalgia for the Babs Gordon Batgirl and she is looking at her best here. The lines are sleek and the paint apps are excellent. There's not much articulation to he had: her head is stuck in place by the sculpting for her hair and her hips and legs have limited movement that will still allow her to stand - a difficulty with the heavy plastic capes. She comes with a small batarang which does fit into her right hand. I would love to see this figure re-released with the traditional blue and grey Batgirl colours - it would become the ultimate Batgirl figure in my eyes.

Supergirl is another decent addition to the line. Paint is not quite as solid - her eyebrows are a bit heavy, she has a white mark on her upper right chest and something about the way her neck strap (collar? whatever those things are called) makes it look a bit strange. Her "S" symbol also seems a little bit too far to the left. These are little nitpicks at what is basically a great figure. Again, her sculpted hair means there's no neck articulation and any posing is precarious because of her cape. She is nicely in scale, being shorter than the other female figures.

And then.... to Toyman. This is the type of figure that I wouldn't mind having in the line, IF all other possibilities had been exhausted. But to think that this is likely the last JUSTICE wave, having Toyman in place of Metamorpho, Atom, Aqualad, Mera, Riddler or Robin makes little sense, except that it gives in to Ross' conceit of redesigning everything in his own image by using a version of the character that exists nowhere else. While it looks like some thought has gone into it, it's a pretty uninspirational figure, especially with all the ridiculous strings hanging off it that just get in the way when you're trying to pose him. While he does stand up easier than I thought he night, the whole thing comes off feeling a bit cheap.

If not for this last figure, I'd say this was a great way to farewell what has been a comprehensive and overall well produced series of figures, all criticisms of Rossisms aside. As it is, in my view there's certainly at least another wave in this, and I'd love to see DCD come back and give a greater sense of completion to it all. If only DCD's track record on giving fans a sense of completion gave be more faith that this might happen!


Anonymous said...

Great review as usual!
Looks like a decent set from DCD. But shame about Kara's paint apps; she could use a little more lipstick on her upper lip like in Kalinko's paint master. She looks a little too shy at the moment.

In the future, do you think you can snap a few pics of your entire Justice collection? I'd love to see them all together. Thanks, hope you get well soon!

Rob'em Steve-Dave said...

My Supergirl and Batgirl figures arrived today. They are figures of beauty.

ryanlb said...

I realize this is a really old post, but you're the only person I've ever heard say anything bad about this Toyman.

Most have said it's one of the best toys DCD has ever done, particularly in the articulation department. Others have lauded that it fits in reasonably well with the DCUC line. One of these days I'll pick it up for that very purpose.

Someday, I'll try to pick up all the Justice figures, but for now I'll be content with the four or five I have, Batgirl being the only one so far from this wave. And she's gorgeous.

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