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Fwoosh Staff Review – DC Universe Classics Series 9

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Like the sands of time, your Fwoosh Faithful Staffers are back to bring you a gigantic group review of the latest release of DC Universe Classics figures – Series 9! This the biggest, most ambitious and diverse group review yet and we have SEVEN staffers on-hand to bring you some thoughts and pictures of this great new series. Check it out!

canonball, RoboKillah, Ibentmyman-thing, Prodigy, Matthew K, DisThunder and VeeBee are all represented here to gush about their new toys, so without further ado, take it away canonball!

Figure 1: Wildcat

Wildcat has been one of my most wanted characters for the 4 Horsemen to include in the DCUC line since it launched, and the figure is definitely one of my most wanted from wave 9 (right behind Black Adam), so I’m very excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the wave 9 review with Wildcat as my subject.

There are two Wildcats in wave 9, and this version is the purple variant. Given that the sculpt is the exact same as the black version, I’m assuming both are supposed to be Ted Grant, the original Wildcat. The figure’s design is very simple, and very faithful to the character’s design, but there are some nice details that make him stand out from the rest of the line. The base body is a familiar one, having been used for Amazo, Captain Atom, Booster, etc, and the figure’s muscular bulk works particularly well here since Wildcat was a professional boxer prior to joining the Justice Society. 

Where the figure really shines is in his head sculpt and his newly-sculpted fists and feet. Staying true to the character’s design, and to his legacy as a boxer, Wildcat’s fists are taped up in true pugilist style, which, more than anything, makes him look like the bruiser that he is. His feet feature newly sculpted cat-like claws integrated into the standard DCUC foot design and, while subtle, add a lot of character to an otherwise pretty basic design. His head sculpt is all aces and adds an element of grit that the character needs to truly capture the likeness of Wildcat. When viewed straight on, his mask looks like it could come off because of the way the tassels of his mask dangle from the sides of his head and the way his eyes peer out from deep inside his mask. It isn’t removable, however, but captures that subtle bit of realism the 4H often do with their head sculpts. 

As far as articulation goes, it’s pretty standard DCUC articulation. His joints all move nicely with nothing sticking or feeling like it’s about to break, and just feels good and solid in general. Overall, this is a fine addition to the collection and a very welcome figure to add to the steadily increasing ranks of the Justice Society. Thanks, Mattel!

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Figure 2: Deadshot

When DCUC9 was announced I was all “Ack! Gotta have Green Arrow! And Wildcat..and jumpin’ gee willikers……DEADSHOT!”

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He was my biggie. After Gail has taken me on yet another fun-filled ride, I knew one of my dreams for this line was to establish a well stocked Secret Six shelf. Up to this point we have…Harley. And the Parademon…kinda. So Floyd here clocks in as the first official Secret Sixer who has lasted longer than one story arc.

As far as DCUC figures goes, he’s pretty sweet. Lots of added detail to the standard buck. Nice clean paint lines, especially impressive because of the lower torso line work. And the shiny parts are shiny! 

The money shot…

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How can you NOT like this figure? When I first cracked him open I was afraid the limited head movement I’ve been hearing about was going to affect my grail of this series…..and it does, to a degree. After forcing it around a little I can get a bit of up and down movement, but not as much as previous waves. And in a perfect world the gun extensions on his hips to be removable and then attachable to the gun barrels on his wrists, but I knew that wouldn’t happen. Understandably so. 

Now you got this ball rolling Mattel, let’s not lose momentum now. That’s right. Bring on Floyd’s hetero life mate Catman! (What, you didn’t expect me to throw that in there?)

Figure 3: Guardian

Guardian has taken a lot of flack for being a bit of a boring misfit in series 9. His costume’s not flashy, consisting of a simple pair of heroic primary colors. He doesn’t have any special powers. His only accessory is a simple yet stylized shield. And I couldn’t have been happier when I heard he was going to be included in the line. As a kid, I read reprints of his early stories in the Adventure comics digest, an anthology series reprinting stories from the golden and silver age, and always had a fondness for him. Maybe it’s the shield. Maybe it’s the bold dichotomy of the blue and the yellow slamming against each other. Who knows what grabs us as kids.

Guardian’s origins begin in the forties, a simpler time with simpler heroes. A creation of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Guardian was a beat cop named Jim Harper who–after a harsh beating from the local criminal element–decided to become something more…a Guardian that could move beyond the restraints of the legal system, and enforce his own sense of justice. Comics are filled with street level heroes whose sole purpose is to smack around the local gangs, and Guardian is one of the earliest and most longstanding examples.

Guardian’s action figure suits his simple origins and style. He uses the smaller of the two main base bodies currently available. His headsculpt perfectly captures his half-helmeted vintage look. The paints on my figure only suffer from a bit of blue bleed in the yellow on his shins. No stuck joints. The twin straps on his shield keep it snug on his arm. 

Overall, a simple yet perfect representation of a timeless character.

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Figure 4: Black Adam

Y’know those characters who you love because they’re usually a bad guy, but still do enough “good” stuff so that you can sorta lump them in with the “anti-hero” category? Y’know the guys who you like to see act like a bad guy when it comes to dealing with other baddies? 

Y’know , they kinda do stuff like this:


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Yeah I like those guys, so Black Adam is right up my alley.

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Black Adam from DC Universe’s wave 9 is a really nice figure. There’s nothing flashy or super stylistic about his uniform or over all look, but his simple yet striking look is captured perfectly in this figure.

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The sculpt of the face is what really stands out to me. He looks pissed, regal, conceited, tough, and powerful all at the same time. A headsculpt this good really makes what could have been a ho hum figure because of the simple costume into a “wow” figure. Add to that the perfect skin tone paint apps and it’s a winner.

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Black Adam uses the bigger chest as figures like Superman do, but it looks as if there is even some new sculpting on his collarbone area as this looks different. The bigger size is perfect for Adam compared to the rest of this series and allows him to stand toe to toe with his nemesis, Capt. Marvel:

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Overall a really nice figure that there really isn’t much to complain about. His paints are clean, his joints have the right amount of loose/tight combination to him, and like I mentioned in the review, his sculpt is right on. The only nit pick I have with him is the same with most of wave 9 and that’s the lack of head movement. The ball joint in the neck is built in a way that he can’t look up/down as much as he should be able to. That’s important for all figures, but having that poa on a flying character is even more important. That will get fixed in future waves hopefully.

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Figure 5: Mantis (Original)

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Did the 4 Horsemen and Mattel capture the essence of this classic Kirby design with this figure? Of course they did! Don’t make me smack you! The headsculpt, while not super panel specific, captures the Kirby feel with his wild eyed expression and an awesome Kirby style grimace. The horns on his headress were a little bent on my figure, but they move back into place just fine.

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The body, as most of you can probably tell, is the classic larger male body used on figures like Superman blue and red. The body works great for Mantis’ build as I recall from the books, and gives him a nice imposing look. This is a guy who has gone head to head with Orion and lived to tell the tale and the figure looks it. He has newly sculpted forearms, boots, feet, cape and headsculpt. The paint job is nice and crisp, which is good because he has a lot of detailed lines on that costume.

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The cape is super flexible, and while it does limit articulation slightly, it works great in all the poses you need your Mantis in (ranting, punching, flying and even just standing around). The cape does have a slight drawback in that Mantis’ arm raising ability is slightly restricted, but it’s not really a deal breaker. I really can’t imagine how this type of cape could be done any better. My HML1 Banshee is soooo jealous. I did notice on my figure the hip joint that hinges outward was kind of loose and as a result the cape pulled the legs apart for a slightly wider stance.

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The only other slight quibble I have with this figure is that his neck range of movement seems a little more limited than past figures using this body. When I was posing him with series 1 Orion, the difference was night and day.

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The plastic quality on this figure is top notch, no gummy or stuck limbs or strange divots from molding. All in all another great figure for this line and I can’t wait to get Forager to face off with him! (VeeBee Note: By Forager, I am sure he means the FOREVER PEOPLE!)

Figure 5: Mantis (Super Powers)

Wow. Super Powers has come a long way. Matthew K has already gone over the standard Mantis, so I’ll stick to the changes. It is very hard to tell this thing shares any parts at all, much less a “buck” body under all that tech.

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For starters, this is a big base body as-is, but the chest armor and head make him downright imposing around other figures. Mantis has new forearms and shins,torso has a chest and back plate, a “skirt” that conceals the hip joints, thighs that actually have sleeves that cover the base figure’s thighs, and of course new and completely unique head, hands and feet. As you can see in the pic below, even the flightpack is a new sculpt, not a carry over from the Parademon as it had appeared.

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Articulation is consistent with his classic counterpart; although the skirt does limit his thigh movement, like most similar figures.

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It’s going to be tough to avoid temptation to army build this bad boy. If you like the Super Powers version, you won’t be disappointed, but even if you favor the Kirby, I’d imagine you’ll still want a couple of these. If nothing else, he makes a great looking shock-troop to go with the ‘demons.

Figure 6: Black Canary

By the luck of order of those that have come before me, I get to take a look at the dynamic duo of the ubiquitous pairing of Black Canary and Green Arrow. Partners in crime (fighting) and in life, I have been waiting for these two to grace the shelves since the line’s inception. Thus, it would only be fair to take a look at them together. But being that I think chivalry is still hanging on by a thread, ladies first.

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DCUC series 9 is filled with some awesome figures (as you can clearly see), and it is probably the strongest series of the entire line up to this point, no lyin’! However, even the best series of a line has to have a figure that doesn’t quite stack up to the crowd. For series 9 I am going to have to say that distinction belongs to Dinah. Yeah, I did not want it to be like that, and she is not a bad figure, she is just surrounded by giants.

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A lot has been made about the fact that she does not have the hip hinge point of articulation like the females that have come before her, and even though that is not a huge issue for me, I do wish it was there. I am a vanilla poser (but still demand super-articulated figures!) so I have my figures standing, faced forward like they are posing for a team picture. So, she can definitely accomplish that, the thing is, she is probably one of (if not THE) best lady-fighter in all of the DCU so she needs to be able to do kicks. Again, this is not such a huge deal to me, and I know they did it to be able to compensate for the real fishnets, but I am sure it is going to be a big deal to a lot of people. The other thing is that she has a very dark wash on her hair making it look kinda dingy (an apt descriptor I have pilfered from a good collector friend). So, I am thinking that I might do a little paint work to lighten up her hair.

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Past those two things though, Canary is a very nice figure. She looks great (c’mon, she is Horsemen make) and has a lot of little details in her jacket and her finger nails are even painted! I do think that the real fishnets work for her and Mattel did a great job of engineering them so the fit nice and snug. So, I am very excited to have her on the shelf to hang out with Hal and Ollie, maybe we need to have a Hard Traveling Heroes photo project. Speaking of Ollie….

Figure 7: Green Arrow

Picking a favorite piece from this series is like trying to pick a favorite child (I would imagine, I don’t have any kids). There are so many things to like here, and I am such a fan of so many of the characters themselves (Wildcat, Deadshot, Mantis, Canary) that I really needed to have them in hand in order to make my choice. While it was extremely difficult and I might still flip-flop, from a top-notch action figure stand point, I have to go with Green Arrow.

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Wow wee! Even in a line of this caliber, Green Arrow is still a step up from most everything that has come before him. Really, when it comes down to it, I think he is the best representation of any of the big-hitter JLA figures we have gotten so far. He is dead set perfect in terms of visual interpretation of a classic Green Arrow. His face sculpt really is amazing. Oh, but don’t let that distract you from the rest of him – his costume is very well done too (all of this straps and armbands are sculpted, not just painted). Even still, that does not get to his trick arrows! You have a boxing glove arrow, bolo arrow and even one with a time clock where you can actually see the “:00” printed right on it neat!

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Even Ollie’s articulation has been stepped up in a line that has been pretty consistent from the beginning. He has new ball-jointed wrists that help help him hold a bow and arrow in the firing position. I say “A bow” because, unfortunately due to new product safety standards, you cannot use the included bow as the arrow is permanently positioned and attached. Really though, you can find another bow and achieve great results.

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Figure of the line? Figure of the year? Ollie is a very strong contender for both of those categories. He is most certainly the best Green Arrow figure we have ever gotten, and that by, ahem, a long shot!

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Collect and Connect: Chemo

First off, this thing is simply an engineering marvel. Mattel/4H were able to turn a doughboy-formed ziploc bag into a menacing, fully articulated monster. 
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For the uninitiated, Chemo is basically a mad scientist’s trash bag. With each added toxin, he became larger and more sentient. Other than that, his most prolific quote is “Oop” (While falling on Bludhaven), He’s now a cartoon star (in B&B), and apparently Lex made adorable little mini-versions of him.
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While he may not be the building-size monster he is in the books, he is an impressive build all the same, making even Giganta look puny. He is articulated with ball-jointed shoulders, elbows and glove swivels, hinged wrists, t-crotch, knees and ankles. While there may be some outcry over the lack of bicep cuts or hinged-hips, I really don’t see them as necessary on this figure. Since when have you seen toxic trash bags do sidekicks? The articulation blends very nicely, without breaking the silhouette or marring the rotocast/translucent pieces. This also helps in the sturdy build department:


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The sculpting is amazing, there are sections with two layers of sculpted bubbles. The tech details on the glove and boots (including boot-treads!) are pure gravy. He also has two tubes that connect into his back ala Bane:
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They do pop off somewhat easily, though.

So, in a series like this, with this many aces, it’s easy to look at the C&C as just icing on the cake. But man o’ man is this some good icin’.

So there you have it. This has been the most comprehensive Staff review we have been able to bring you so far, so we hope you enjoyed it. Series 9 is hitting all over the place right now so be haunting you local toy aisles for these babies as you will not be disappointed, this is probably the best overall DCUC series yet.

*As always, a huge shout out to Toy Guru and the rest of the good guys (and girls) at Mattel for making this possible. Keep up the great work, everyone!

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10 thoughts on “Fwoosh Staff Review – DC Universe Classics Series 9

  1. I really love the first pic on the review. The figures look so cool all in their individual panels. That’s a neat way to intro the review.

  2. Well, there’s nine good reasons why I can’t quit DCUC!!
    Nine!! Nine!! Nine recent good reasons…why!!
    I’m NOT complaining.
    This is the …yea, you know… greatest action figure line EVER!!!

  3. THERE IS THE “GIANTS OF JUSTICIE” LINE, SO I THINK THE “BIG GUYS” LIKE GIGANTA, CHEMO, AND STARRO SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THAT LARGE SCALE LINE!!!

  4. Great review guys!

    I’m not sure, but (based on the pictures) I think the SP mantis’s flight pack IS identical sculpt to the ones the Green Parademons have. just the paint app is different.

  5. What an amazing wave! Mattel keeps the excitment going, unlike some 6 inch super hero toy lines…Cough Cough hasbro! Anyway, I found Black Adam, Guardian and Deadshot this week and its killing me cause I need to complete my Chemo! We do need a new Doomsday bad! My current one is just too small Mongul is also too small!

  6. Great review guys! Thanks for sharing this with us. There are so many well executed figures in this wave and Mattel seems to have improved greatly since last year’s quality control issues.

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