Welcome to our review of Mattel’s DC Universe Classics Wave 17! Yep, the whole friggin’ wave (minus the Collect & Connect) at one time! Why are we blowing through them all at once? Well, after 16 Waves of some of the best DC figures ever to be produced it seems like this one was ripe for repaints and re-use and rightly so considering the theme of the series. There are some pieces of unique sculpting however, and we’ll talk a little about each figure below their bio information to cover their individual strengths and weaknesses. Let’s get to it!
Blue Lantern Flash
When Nekron unleashed his Black Lanterns upon humanity and its super heroes, the various power ring corps joined forces, sending out rings to new human champions. The Blue Lantern Corps, wielders of the Blue Light of Hope, chose Barry Allen—a man who never gives up. As Blue Lantern The Flash, he joined the battle against the Black Lanterns with an unshakable belief that “All will be well.”
This is almost a straight up repaint of the original DCUC Flash figure. However, there is the addition of a ring-bearing right hand and an open left hand—for Lantern-holding action! The paint deco is nice and we’re big fans of the black and blue color scheme.
Sinestro Corps Scarecrow
Criminal Psychologist Jonathan Crane reinvented himself as Scarecrow, the living embodiment of terror. With his own feelings of fear numbed, Scarecrow was a lost soul when the Blackest Night descended upon the world. But after being chosen by a Sinestro Corps Ring to battle the Black Lanterns, Scarecrow channeled pure, unbridled fear through his Yellow Ring in ways that exceeded his wildest dreams and nightmares.
Scarecrow is one of the highlights of this wave. While he managed to take on the Spectre (for a short time) in Blackest Night, this toy has to compete against Sinestro Corps Batman on our shelf! Lucky for him, he’s got dual-hinged knees and elbows along with swivel/hinged wrists! Yep, Crane is the only character in Wave 17 to get any of the coveted articulation. This is just icing on the cake after his head, torso, arms, hands, and jacket are all new pieces as well as far as we can tell.
White Lantern Hal Jordan
Hal Jordan has faced countless foes, but not even the might of the entire Green Lantern Corps could prevent the Blackest Night. Under siege by Nekron, the White Entity bestowed its power upon Hal Jordan, who used it to free heroes like Superman and Green Arrow from Nekron’s control. Together, supercharged by the White Light, they formed a White Lantern Corps and charged headlong into the final battle against Nekron’s forces of death.
Hal Jordan finally got a new head! After countless versions of our favorite Ring-Slinger shared the same noggin, now we have a Hal that looks pissed off enough to beat the White Light into somebody! Other than the head, he’s a repaint of the ever-produced Green Lantern body. The paintwork is clean and the gray shading on the white areas of the suit really help to make the silver areas “pop” more. There is also a Black Lantern variant of this figure and he has even another head… but we don’t have one to review. Yet.
Star Sapphire Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman has always been a warrior and a peacemaker. After Nekron seized control of her, converting Wonder Woman into one of his Black lanterns, a Violet Power Ring found her and severed her connection to the forces of death. She transformed into Star Sapphire Wonder Woman and turned the immense power of her love for all living things against the Black Lanterns.
The DCUC line is slowly but surely making better female action figures. While Star Sapphire Wonder Woman isn’t perfect, she comes a long way from the toothpick-armed Katma Tui. While she comes with a lantern, you’ll notice it’s not pictured. That’s because there’s just no way to make her hold it without it looking awkward. Some of her figure shares pieces with the Carol Ferris star Sapphire form the GL Classics line, but everything else form her head to her star-adorned wardrobe are new additions. Her lasso is attached to her side and, while not usable, helps give her that extra piece of character familiarity.
Orange Lantern Lex Luthor
As Black Lanterns spread across the globe, Lex Luthor was hunted down by hundreds of his rivals rising from the grave. The Orange Ring of Avarice chose Lex Luthor, the greediest, most self-serving man on the planet, and granted him the power to defeat his undead attackers. As an Orange Lantern, Lex Luthor can never be content, always wanting more including the Power Rings of his allies.
Luthor was our favorite figure upon seeing the wave at this year’s Toy Fair. Upon opening him though, we were a little disappointed. The sculpt and articulation are top notch, but the translucent plastic used for his chest harness and the shoulderpads were bent pretty badly in the package. Also, the two small tubes on his chest were brittle and snapped off while photographing the figure. He still looks good on the shelf, and the see-through nature of the toy is great, but there are some drawbacks to Lex.
Indigo Tribe Atom
One of the most brilliant men on Earth, Professor Ray Palmer became The Atom after creating a belt that allows him to shrink to microscopic size. After his best friends Hawkman and Hawkgirl were murdered and transformed into Black Lanterns, Ray was granted an Indigo Power Ring to assist in defeating the Lord of the Dead, Nekron.
Atom definitely scored the tooling dollars for this wave and it really shows. While the figure’s design matches the odd hippy-ish vibe of the comics, it manages to come off with an added air of cool thanks to the Four Horsemen’s handling of Ray. The Indigo staff also fits snugly in his hand and is tall enough to work as a walking stick like it’s seen in the pages of the GL titles.
Fans argue the validity of this wave, and that’s understood. While the line’s title is DC Universe Classics, these figures are based on a story that’s only a year or so old. Of course, Blackest Night was a huge event that could be considered a “classic” within the next decade, so we’re just chalking these guys up to “pre-emptive toy making”. The Collect & Connect Anti-Monitor is a very nice piece, so if you skip this wave, you’ll definitely be missing out. Just how cool is he? Well, the Anti-Monitor’s review is on its way! For info on this wave and others, be sure to check out the official Matty Collector website and their Facebook page… after you’ve looked here first, of course.
Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your Mattel and DC Universe Classics coverage!