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First Look – DC Infinite Earths Aquaman (Hook Hand)


Ah, the ’90s. For the comic book industry, the 1990s were a decade when comics, well, existed. Yep, they sure did exist. Depending on your view, that was either a great thing or about the worst thing ever. It’s funny, I don’t think I have ever met someone with an “in the middle” opinion of that decade in terms of comics; most people either loved them or hated them. While there were always exceptions, for the most part, I think they stunk. I know, I know, you have heard all about it before, but it is hard for those ten years to brush off the handle of the “decade of Liefeld.” But there were some good books, and Grant Morrison brought some new life to our beloved JLA in the latter part of the decade. I think that is one of his best runs and I still read it on occasion today. So as that book ushered in the end of the ’90s, as does the starring Aquaman begin leading the exodus of the DC Infinite Earths line. Yeah, sad face.

I know many people have moved into the “acceptance” stage of the end of the DCIE/DCUC line, but I am still pretty torn up about it. There are still so many characters I was hoping they would get to, but it looks like Aquaman, Ice, Superboy, and Damien Robin are going to be all she wrote. So savor the flavor, DC fans! The good news is that this Aquaman figure actually turned out really nice. I know there were a ton of factory rejects out of China that showed up on eBay, some of which had some strange afflictions (like upside down hair). The production set looks to be good, though, so if this is your version of Aquaman, you will probably be pretty happy with the end result. Well, as happy as a fickle action figure collector can be!

I am not going to beat a dead horse, but this is certainly NOT my version of Aquaman. In fact, I don’t think a design update to a classic character has ever missed the mark so spectacularly. Like most redesigns in the 1990s, they tried to butch him up, so they gave Arthur a beard and a hook hand. Frankly, they should have just made him a different character entirely because after all the aesthetic and personality changes, he barely resembled Aquaman at all. He kind of took on Namor’s personality with ’90s Thor’s looks. I know, there is probably nothing wrong with that on its own, but I am such a big fan of the classic Aquaman look (and the DCUC series 2 figure) that it all just feels so wrong to me.

However, that does not mean those elements cannot make for a good action figure, and, I have to say, this Aquaman is one of the more dynamic DCIE figures we have gotten in a while. In fact, this figure is actually composed of more new parts than reused, so that is certainly saying something. I think the look and personality of this version of Aquaman has been captured very well from his signature hook hand to his dour expression. He can challenge Batman for the “surly”-guy title while your Wally West and Kyle Rayner look on.

The head sculpt is very detailed and that extends to his flowing hair. I find the hair to be a touch too dynamic for my taste, but if you are going for that “underwater” look, it does a good job. The face and expression look right out of a Howard Porter page, and I think the face will be a popular feature of the figure, both for Aquaman fans and customizers alike.


His torso is all new to compensate for the half metal shirt thingee, and while that looks very accurate to the source, it also affords Art a nipple sculpt on his left side, something that is rare in the DCUC collection. That left side also provides you with that famous (or infamous) hook hand, and, again, it is realized just about perfectly from the source material. My one gripe with the hook is that is does not feature a twist, so that can potentially limit some posing options.¬†This figure does (finally) feature the classic “A” on the belt, so I am appreciative of that, and the scales down the sides of the legs look nice highlighted in gold brushing.

I do want to mention that this figure feels to be of very nice quality. All of the paint is clean, the plastic feels strong, and all the joints are tight. The neck articulation is pretty limited, but it is pretty much the same range that DCUC figures have had for the past couple of years. As I said before, I wish there was a wrist-twist on the hook arm too, but past that, he has all of the standard and functional articulation that we have come to know in this line.

Hook Hand Aquaman fans, rejoice! You have been waiting a long time for your version of Arthur, and even though he is coming at the very end of the line, I think most fans will be pleased. He looks great and captures that grittiness that the 1990s attempted to bring to him. At the end of the day, though, DCUC/DCIE has been very kind to Aquaman, and while I feel I got the best figure of my version of Aquaman back in DCUC series 2, so too is this a great version of hooky Arthur. The Morrison JLA has gotten most of the major players at this point (Aztek and Zauriel fans will disagree with me), so it is nice to get another team close to completion. Aquaman is on sale next month at Matty Collector, and Ice will follow him in March.


*Thanks to Toy Guru for sending him along for review and thank you for reading!

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