Doomsday Clock: Dr. Manhattan & Ozymandias Action Figure 2-Pack Review
A year ago, DC Comics began publishing Doomsday Clock, the long-awaited sequel to the most celebrated comic series of all time, Watchmen. After teasing the Crimebusters’ involvement in the DC Universe in DC Universe: Rebirth and The Button, we finally got to see what some of the characters had been up to since November 1985 and how they would impact the lives of Batman, Superman and the rest of Earth 0.
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are now halfway-through the popular new story, so it’s the perfect time to release action figures of characters from the series! Personally, I’ve been enjoying Doomsday Clock and have been waiting for the release of reasonably-priced Watchmen figures for ages (the last time I remember seeing any in stores was around the release of the movie adaptation, nine years ago). The first set to come out features Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias, which I have reviewed for your pleasure below!
Doomsday Clock finds Utilitarian and master manipulator Ozymandias once again willing to go to extreme lengths to save humanity from itself. This time, he’s travelled to Gotham City in pursuit of the only man that can set things right: Dr.Manhattan.
The first thing I noticed about this figure is that he isn’t wearing a mask. The purple domino mask, which appeared only briefly in Watchmen, appears in shots of the Ozymandias action figure on Amazon and, until recently, on DC Comics’ own website (the picture has been updated to reflect the absent mask). This was a pleasant surprise as I think we can all agree, we mostly picture Adrian Veidt sans mask.
The paintwork on Adrian’s head is perfect. The sandy hair and the gold band encircling it never bleed into one another. His head and body are broader than I had expected but after looking back through my comics, I now see Ozymandias is broader than I remembered him. Though I think he looks younger than he should, the figure’s face is pretty fantastic; he stares intently whilst simultaneously wearing a smug smile.
The copyright information moulded onto the back of his thighs is mercifully hidden by his cape, though unfortunately nothing can hide the prominence of the screws in his elbows and knees. His tunic and cape are made of soft, bendy plastic, which you’ll already be familiar with if you’ve bought figures from DC in recent years.
I counted 20 points of articulation at 13 point-sources on this figure (though I know this a contentious field, I’m sure you understand what I mean by this). Though I think this Ozymandias can do any punching or kicking that you might wish him to do, he can’t bend the way the Ozymandias doll Rorschach plays with in Watchmen Chapter One does, and, thanks to his tunic, he can’t raise his fists in triumph as he does in Chapter Twelve. The cuffs of his boots are weirdly connected to his shins so they don’t turn when his feet do. A lot of figures need plenty of movement to get their limbs twisting smoothly but this one moves much more loosely straight from the box. Nothing is so loose that it droops when posed, though.
His torso is too heavy for his legs so getting him to stand upright without support is almost impossible, as with many figures of this size. I tend to lose patience and balance him against a wall or shelf instead. His cape is short so you can’t rely on it to support him as most Batman figures’ capes can. There are no display stands, extra hands or heads included, and unfortunately no Bubastis cub either (which is odd, given that Bubastis II is significant to the plot of Doomsday Clock).
In Doomsday Clock, the scientist formerly known as Jon Osterman is the catalyst of the story, having left his own world to meddle in the fate of Earth 0. After Rorschach, he’s probably the most popular Watchmen character so for many prospective buyers, the figure has to look just right.
There are a couple of very tiny scratches and paintwork errors on this figure but I’m pleased to report that the proportions are great. The face is 100% comic-accurate and the sculptor has paid a lot of attention to getting all the muscles right. Unlike his comic counterpart, this Manhattan has no nipples, but he does have tiny, little fingernails and toenails.
As with Ozymandias, this figure has very prominent screws at the arm and leg joints. I think the main concern for many fans will be his inaccurate hue. In the comics, he’s a celeste blue while his figure is more of a teal. The darker colour does look cool, though. What bothers me more is his stooped posture, which I don’t recall from any of the comics.
Manhattan is a little more flexible than Ozymandias; I counted 22 points of articulation (only one of which is stiff) at 15 point-sources on him, plus he’s not restricted by a tunic or cape. He can’t sit cross-legged or bring his legs together as in the iconic shots of him floating in the air but he can twist into almost any other position. His trunks are painted onto his legs so it looks weird when they’re in any other position than standing straight.
Because there’s no extra hand pieces included, he’s perennially pointing with his left hand. This is great for re-enacting his very first appearance, working on supersymmetrical theory, or his looming presence in Vietnam, but otherwise it’s pretty distracting. Then again, this is the Doomsday Clock iteration of Dr. Manhattan who is a darker blue and has been pointing in the two issues he has appeared in so far, issue #2 and issue #7. Because he’s not very heavy, this figure can easily stand unsupported.
Okay, so I can’t re-live every scene from Watchmen with these figures but they look great nonetheless, right? They’re both very pensive characters so I think they shouldn’t be moving too much anyway. As mentioned, Veidt doesn’t appear as advertised and I’m hoping this will be true of later figures in the line because the promo pics show the Comedian looking uncharacteristically debonair and Rorschach’s face looks ridiculous. Anyway, the first pack in the series is a flawed delight and these 7” figures sit comfortably amid the New 52 DC figures or the more recent DC Essentials figure line. They’re not perfect but they mostly look as the characters should and they’re pretty sturdy. At only $50.00 for the pair, I reckon they’re good value for money.