DC Gallery Superman: The Animated Series Superman PVC Figure review
Like Batman from his respective animated series, the Superman from the mid-Nineties cartoon defined the character and his world for a generation of fans. While Christopher Reeve is, to this day, "the" Superman in the eyes of many (and really, they're not wrong), Superman: The Animated Series fleshed out the character of the Last Son of Krypton, his supporting cast, and even the city of Metropolis to the point that it's a pretty perfect primer for all things Superman. It also helps that it was paired with Batman for The New Batman/Superman Adventures, so you'd get twice as much superhero bang for your buck in your after-school cartoons.
The folks over at Diamond Select have taken the iconic nature of the Superman cartoon and cast him in a physical form, another example of the great pieces they have in their DC Gallery collection. Standing at a little under a foot in height atop a detailed, the Superman PVC Figure is ready to spring into action and take on the hordes of Apokolips as he fights for truth, justice, and the American way.
Before you even get the figure out it's worth noting the quality of the box it comes in. It's nice and sturdy with three large windows so you can get a good look at the figure from the front and sides, well worth holding onto in case you need to store the figure or pack it up for a move. It might seem frivolous, but the amount of love and care that a company puts into their product can often start with its packaging.
Much like his counterpart from Gotham, Superman looks as if he leapt right off the screen. Superman has one of the most recognizable costumes and logos in the world, so it's often easy to take for granted just how great his design really is. Those bright primary colors are pleasing to the eye, and there are just enough color breaks to keep him looking interesting without being too busy. Superman has a great look, is what I'm saying, and the live rendering of his animated series design is top-notch.
Where the Batman statue captured Bruce in a calm, more reactive state, Superman's statue sees the Man of Steel charging toward an unseen enemy. The pose is more determined, lacking in finesse but making up for that in unwavering resolve. This is a Superman who sees danger, knows what he needs to do to stop it, and won't let anything get in the way of him saving lives. The brilliant sculpting tells an entire story in a single figure, which is a credit to Diamond's design team, and from the clenched fists to the hanging cape you know what story they're trying to tell.
The head sculpt is stunning, with a determined scowl (his sights are surely on the likes of Kalibak or Darkseid), and, most importantly, the spit-curl. The curl makes an 'S,' and I am not joking in the least when I say this is one of the most integral details of Superman's look. It's a small detail, easy to overlook or dismiss, but that 'S' curl is just as much a part of the costume as the cape and shield.
While Superman's costume isn't exactly complex, the animated series had a fairly streamlined look. Clark doesn't have massive pectoral muscles or sculpted abs; instead, his muscular frame is indicated by his broad shoulders and strong arms. The statue stays true to that by not giving him more musculature than absolutely necessary. It actually helps make the figure easier on the eye as there aren't too many individual details that distract from the figure as a whole.
There is one incredibly minor detail that I want to point out, along with the caveat that it's not actually a true complaint about the statue. As you can see in the slideshow above, it's clear that Superman's face is a separate piece that was attached to the rest of the head. You have to be looking at the figure from behind and over the shoulder to even notice this, but I did want to point it out. Certainly nothing that would (or should) make or break a decision to purchase the statue, and nothing that I would call distracting.
There's no question that Superman himself looks absolutely phenomenal. The neatest detail, though, may be the base. It's all craggy, monochromatic brown rock, with enough texture to look interesting without, again, being distracting. Look closer, though, and you see that the rock Superman is running over is actually the face of Darkseid. I love this detail, as it takes an already interesting and dynamic pose and almost spins an entire narrative out of it. If Superman is stepping on a rock that looks like Darkseid's face then surely he's on Apokolips, and if this bust is lying on the ground then that must mean it was broken off of a statue. If so, there must be some sort of uprising or revolt on Apokolips. If Superman's there, I guarantee it wasn't voluntarily, so now he has to find a way home while saving lives in the meantime.
The DC Gallery Superman figure retails for $45, so it won't break the bank. It's perfect for a fan or collector who wants to have a very nice looking looking display piece but can't afford those that retail for hundreds of dollars. It's a stationary piece of sculpted art that nevertheless has a story to tell, and it's a perfect piece for Superman fans of all types.