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First Look – DC Universe Classics Legion of Superheroes Box Set

What started on Monday with a triple-team appeal to continue the DC Universe Classics line, continues today in a fashion that is appropriate to the gravity of the current situation: it’s big time. In fact, with the fate of the line currently hanging in the balance (or in the thermometer) the bravest and boldest (see what I did there?) and BIGGEST DCUC product execution is about to be released – the Legion of Superheroes 12 (that’s right – TWELEVE) pack. We have explored a few different angles with our Op Ed, a Look at series 19 and our continuing Comic Conversation with Eric Treadaway, but this, this is big. It is big for a lot of reasons that run deeper than it just being the largest DCUC release ever. It shows that we are still very much building a universe, it shows possibilities, it shows a different way to get new figures and ultimately, with the new sub possibility down the pike, leave it to the Legion to show us what could be our FUTURE.


You know, taking pictures, writing about toys and publishing articles in quick fashion is a lot of fun. Sure, it can be daunting at times, but when I saw this huge (be very sleek) package sitting at the bottom of the sample box, my heart leapt and my brain turned to mush. This set, and the experience of it is like nothing we have ever gotten in this line. Opening the beautiful packaging, looking at the gang of colorful new figures all laid out in front of you, realizing that you have just built up one of the biggest teams to enter the line in one fell swoop – it can be a bit of sensory overload. I think I am still processing what this set means to a collector, but also to the line as a whole. I cannot even start to consider and appreciate each individual figure yet, it is all really too much.

Open Box, it is very impressive

All of which has sent me to a place that I have never really been at before when attempting to produce one of these articles – I am overwhelmed. Really, I had a very hard time even starting with this, especially since time is of the particular essence right now. I will admit, even it might be just be for selfish reasons, I want DCUC to continue for a long time. I am a stalwart fan of so many characters and I have been wanting something like this for about as long as I can remember. The fact is, if the idea of this set, with all it represents in terms of scope and even future possibilities, doesn’t get you over the goal line of wanting the line to continue, I don’t know what will. I am sure I will say my final piece on that when I get to the end of this Look, but I finally decided late last night before falling asleep that the best way to get a handle on this overwhelming article is to just take it on its own merit. I made it clear in our Keep DCUC Alive article that, at the end of the day, the toys are the only thing that really matter to me; in the interest of holding true to that assertion, which is exactly what I am going to focus on for the lion’s share of this: the figures. So yes, I will say that the idea of this set is amazing, and that the packaging is so incredibly awesome that I had severe reservations about even opening it (took me forever so I could keep everything intact, but it can be done) but you know what, I am going to talk about the toys.

Validus FINALLY has something to do!
Imperiex FINALLY has something to do!
Tyr FINALLY has something to do!

Pretty much since the line’s inception, fans of the lads and lasses of the 31st century have been demanding more Legion in their toy diet. Due to the sheer volume of members and the different incarnations the team has had over the years, I am sure Mattel and the Four Horsemen were even more daunted by this project that I am right now. For me, I have never been a big Legion fan. It is not that I ever had anything against them, I just never had much exposure to them during my most prolific comic-reading years. They were removed in a sense from the rest of the DCU by time along, so they were always just kind of in the background. Honestly, and I know this might still be hard to swallow for the LoSH diehards out there, but doing (starting?) the team like this is the best thing that could have been done. Sure, it took awhile, but the scope, detail and love put into this set is about the plushest red carpet ever rolled out for a DCUC product execution. The teams made it worth it. They made me more excited about the Legion that I have ever been in my entire life, and to their credit, with this tragically coinciding with the DCnU re-launch in the comics, I am going to have a lot of time to catch-up on my back issues. But, that is just another reason why I love toys so much – they can make me explore and appreciate characters and stories I never really gave a glance to in the past. This set has done that in spades.

Size Comparisons

So here you go – some foundational thoughts about what you are going to get from this set. In the interest of keeping this thing under 20,000 words I am going to be concise (I know I can be long-winded and ramble). So, making their premier in DCUC with the grandest of entrances, I give you: The Legion of Superheroes.


So here is something, even though I am well aware that the LoSH played an integral role in Kal-El’s formative years, I would not have even thought for a second that he would be included in a set like this, even though it makes total sense to do so. I guess I just think that anything with an “S” symbol will sell its self on its own. But even though we have gotten countless Superman figures, and even a [Kon-El] Superboy figure, we have never gotten Kal as a youngster in DCUC. We finally have a lighter blue and shorter cape version of everyone’s favorite Kyptonian! This is a happier, cockier version of Clark Kent and I think that the sculpt really captured his persona from the era well. He is very toothy in expression, but the paint on his teeth looks a lot better than it did on the sample displayed at SDCC. He makes for a good centerpiece for the LoSH display too as, even in his youth, Superman has always been a team anchor.

The Supers

Cosmic Boy

There was never any doubt that Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl would be in this set. None. Not by Mattel, not by the fans – none. I mean, they ARE the Legion. This set would have arguably been a failure if they were not included. But that does not mean that they just put them in there – they are all very iconic. Cosmic Boy gets a lot of points from me as well for two reasons: first, any dude that struts around saving the future universe in that powdery pink has my respect. Hey, I love the combination of pink and black, but not even Bret “The Hitman” Hart went this light of touch. Also, does anyone else see a resemblance between Cosmic Boy and Thunder, one of the Three Storms from Big Trouble in Little China? Awesome! “Master, you are flesh!” Indeed.



Think Pink!

Saturn Girl

Oh, the Lone Lady of the Legion, how I am thankful for you. No Dream Girl, no Dawnstar, no Triplicate Girl – Saturn Girl stands alone in her plastic prison with 11 teenage guys. Dangerous. Founding member or no, I am just glad she found a way into this set and I have always thought that Saturn Girl is a great name for a super chick. It just has a charm to it, even if her real name is Imra. She is built off of the standard female body so any likes or dislikes that you might have with that figure will probably carry over to this one in terms of parts or build. Her little skirt is nice and flexible so she can sit down if you like and while she is also wearing pink like her buddy Cosmic Boy, hers is much darker.

Lone Lady

Lightning Lad

I might be wrong about this, but I always considered Garth here to be the most popular of all of the Legion members. Am I wrong on that? Did I make it up? It is completely possible. Anyhow, Lightning is just one of those powers that fascinated me as a kid. It is not as abstract as say, heat vision, or shape-shifting or telekinesis – Lightning is REAL. Even though he is from the future, he has a very 70s vibe going on (appropriate for era that has been adapted for this set) and I am pretty sure that he has the same haircut my dad sported from years 1974 to 1981. He sports a rather simple costume, but bolts are always cool in my book and the fact that his colors are actually a bit subdued makes him unique to this set. For my personal purposes, I originally would have been okay with only him, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl for my LoSH figures so he has always been a “must”, but I am glad he has a lot of company.

Feathered to perfection



This is Brainiac. No, not THAT Brainiac, the other one. Though not quite as recognizable as a Legion member as the three immediately above, I would certainly put him as next in line in the pantheon. The smartest of the smarty-pants (his name does have the word Brain in it after all), I am always happy to add a pinkish-purple jumpsuit-wearing green alien to my shelf. By nature of their costumes, most Legionnaires have that skin tight look to them so the fact that we get some sculpted detail and cloth folds on this guy is a nice change of pace. Sure, he borrows some parts (I think) from Captain Cold, but it is appropriate. His yellow hair contrasts nicely with the rest of his colors and he has a kindly expression on his face. I know this Brainiac is heroic-leaning, but there is importance in a name and heritage, if I were Superboy, I would keep an eye on him just in case.

All in the family

Chameleon Boy

If not for Matter Eater Lad (I’ll get to him in a minute), Chameleon Boy would have my favorite head sculpt out of all of them. I mean, I know most of these guys are aliens, but Chameleon Boy actually LOOKS like something not of this Earth. He has that classic 1950s stereotypical extra-terrestrial look to him his orange skin, coupled with his lavender and yellow costume is color palette run amok cool. I mean, a lot of the Legionnaire’s schemes look like a futuristic rainbow threw up on them, but that is part of their charm to me. I am sure fashion sense will have a shift over the next thousand years. He has one of those looks that I really enjoy for a comic and toy character, he is kind of cute, but strange enough to still kind of creep the missus out.

A Boy and his Blob

Karate Kid

Daniel Larusso never looked so seventies-suave and Cobra Kai is going to be running away like little girls! Okay, that was the obvious reference, but still – Karate Kid is tied for the coolest-looking figure in this set for me. Plus, he was around way before Mr. Miyagi’s fence needed a fresh coat of paint. I am always for more karate guys in my action figure lines and even amongst all of these strange looking aliens, our Earth boy still stands out as neat. I love it when ridiculous style choices are put into comic costumes because it usually mean logic and functionality have gone right out the window (hey, if we are not going to do that in comics, where would it be?). His gigantic popped collar attached to his gi (which is made of a nice soft plastic) is a great example of this. Oh, how he will look back at himself in the mid-31st century and laugh. But if anyone else tries to, he will smash them with his double-jointed elbows (unique to him in this set).

Sweep the leg, Johnny!
There are double joints in this dojo!

Ultra Boy

Dude! Ultra Boy could totally hang out with some Forever People figures if Mattel is given a chance to make them. He is keeping the Hippie Movement alive for a VERY long time after it went out of fashion. I know that boot cuffs are a big thing around here and Ultra Boy can certainly run with the best them and if he lives next door to the Wonder Twins on your shelf, Zan can come over and borrow a cup of sideburns* I do have to say that Ultra Boy does have cool, and classic literature-y power though that I quite like. See, he can do just about anything that Superboy can do, but he can only access his powers one at a time. So if he is being super-strong at the moment, he can’t got running a Flash speed. That is kind of neat and I like the possibilities of the struggle of having to choose the right power for the right moment.

*The first person to reply to this article with the correct identification of that reference will win a Fwoosh No-Prize.

Team Sideburns!

Timber Wolf

Timber Wolf is right up there with Wildfire and Karate Kid as one of the best figures in the set. I love how much personality his head sculpt has. Sure, it is hard to not think of him as the lovechild of Wolverine and Eddie Munster, but he has personality all his own. I like that he has all white eyes as that, when done without a mask, gives a character a non-human feel. He does have a bit of a smirk on his face, but of all of the figures in this set, Timber Wolf still looks the most dangerous. He is fun to pose and his feral nature is rare in the high pantheon of the DC Universe so I enjoy that uniqueness as well. He is a good example of another reason why it was important to start the Legion out in such a big way: ear changes. TW’s look has varied over the years but he was last seen electronic media in the Superboy and the LoSH tv series. There he looked like a wolf kid. Hrm. I am glad they picked and era and did it right.

Howlin' at the moon


Of all of the figures in the is set, I find Wildfire to be the most satisfying from an action figure standpoint. He is one of the few that is based off a larger base body (like Ultra Boy) so he adds variety, but his overall design is very toyetic. I have always been a fan of the color orange when it is used in superhero costumes (there is just something slightly off-kilter about it) and when it is paired up with red, it makes for a sharp-looking costume scheme. The star-themed chest logo seals the deal on that (I like stars too, sue me) and the mask adds that air of mystery to him that is a fun quality in superheroes. Sometimes less is more and in an age of needing to have everything shown to us or explained, I like a good visage-hiding mask. Plus, he deals in fire (duh!) not wearing one would just be foolish.

Stars with wings are like, ultra stars

Invisible Kid

In honor of Invisible Kid, here are some invisible thoughts:




…so that being said, coupled with the former point, I imagine his ultimate “inclusion” in the set is to balance out the symmetry in the packaging.

Matter-Eater Lad

Yep, of all of the regular-sized Legion members, I have saved my favorite for last. He seems like such an odd choice, doesn’t he? But that’s just it – he IS an odd choice. Not just an odd choice to be made into a figure, but probably one of the most spaced-out superhero concepts I have ever seen and I live and breathe the Fourth World. I have a figure on my shelf name Matter-Eater Lad. If that is not cool to you, consider yourself written off in my book. Ever since I saw the 2-up of this figure at SDCC 2010, I was in love. Horseman Chris Dahlberg did not just sculpt a seemingly normal-looking Legionnaire to stand around and look all green and yellow – he gave a big old mouthful of matter. Look at that chaw! Not only that, he has fingerless gloves. This is the kind of concept that speaks to me on so many levels. Front and center, Tenzil – you got matter to eat! (I highly suggest a quick Google image search for some of his awesome comic panels. Heck, I will do it for you.)

Big chaw of matter!
Sweet fingerless gloves!
nom nom nom nom! STRIPE's armor is made of delicious matter

Colossal Boy

The final Legionnaire in the set is Colossal Boy and, you guessed it, he is an oversized figure. If I am not mistaken, he is built off of the Atom Smasher body so he has the basic clean and athletic look, but if you are comparing the two right down the line, that is really where the aesthetic similarities end. For being a big guy in mostly blue, he is a very visually striking figure. He has both flat and metallic blue paints and they go a long way to make a monochromatic scheme very eye-catching. The red is a nice off-set color (c’mon blue and red are the most prolific superhero colors out there) and it keeps him in line with his teammates in terms of having a far-out costume. His face sculpt is a little passive, but I imagine that is the expression that Chris and Eric had on their faces after marathoning through so many Legionnaires. I am really glad they included Colossal Boy since they could have just stuck a number of other members in his spot; but he is important to the overall LoSH landscape and he adds a lot of variety.

Colossally Handsome!
Colossal Punch!


Proty is the Legion’s half-baked little mascot guy, but I have to tell you, I would be kinda grossed out by the little guy. He is a formless blog creature that was, if I remember correctly, rescued from a space zoo by the LoSH. He eventually became the pet of Chameleon Boy (leave it to an alien to keep a wad of protoplasm as a pet) and was instrumental (see: sacrificed) in bringing Lightning Lad back from the dead. I am absolutely thrilled that Proty was included in this set. I mean, a 12-pack on its own is something to marvel at, but including little things like him shows that the designers really cared about getting this team right.

A mite, a blue monkey, a blob of protoplasm, a chipmunk space cop and a murderous blood-vomiting cat. The DCU is a weird place

Flight Ring

I have a Legion Flight Ring that I can wear and it is really heavy. I am sad that it does not actually grant the ability to fly, but I am happy that it has 24-karat gold plating so it the finish won’t chip off. Plus, if you come up short on rent some month because you buy too many toys, you can pawn this instead of your little plastic men.

Whew, okay – we made it! I am very impressed with this set. Simply put, it is has the best quality in terms of plastic, paint, construction, joints and functionality of any DCUC item I have gotten in a long time. Mattel needed to bring this home as a premium product for the price and they were pretty successful. Superboy’s teeth could have been a little better and there is some paint slop here and there, but it is small; I really cannot find anything else to raise a stink about. Sure, I would have loved one or two more females in the set, and more discriminating LoSH fans will probably have finer points to find, but taking it on its own terms with me – I love the set. I love that everyone has a flight ring sculpted onto their hand, I love that I get, essentially, an instant team on my shelf and I love the possibilities for what a product execution like this can bring in the future.

C'mon, guys! You totally gave me this ring, remember?

I really hope this thing sells like gangbusters (I am pretty sure it goes on-sale in October) because this was a risk for Mattel, but they did such a nice job I want to make sure it was worth it to them. Plus, if it does well we might be able to see something like this say, maybe once a year? I can put together an All-Star Squadron set in about 3 seconds if you like. Or can you imagine an Apokalips VS New Genesis set? A Silver Age Villains set? Even a Women of the DCU set would be a blast. I know this set is not cheap, but it is worth it. This is where we are at RIGHT NOW. This is what we are getting in DCUC, let’s not walk away now when the possibilities are so endless. So here it is again: go get that sub!


The Legion of Superheroes: Finally

*Thanks to Fangirl 2.0 for sending this along, but also thanks to Scott, Bill and their teams, The Horsemen, and the fans for making this a reality.

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