After reviewing both Ultraman and Superwoman from the newly released DC Collectibles Crime Syndicate wave, I pretty much knew to expect a really nice figure when I picked up my third figure from the set: Owlman. I was not disappointed, to say the least. Owlman really is just as good as the first two figures I picked up from the set, and his head sculpt, with his super-detailed helmet and creepy, lifeless-like eyes, is just another home run from the DC Collectibles/Gentle Giant partnership.
Owlman looks to share quite a few different parts with his teammate and hated friend Ultraman. Reusing parts on different figures isn’t something that DC Collectibles usually does, but neither is creating super-articulated action figures. So there may be some method to their madness on the business side to help reduce costs. In any case, the reuse totally works. Just as Batman and Superman are of similar size, Ultraman and Owlman are also similarly built, so their sharing a torso, arms, and upper legs works well.
As I mentioned in my reviews of my other two figures from the Crime Syndicate wave, these figures are a huge step up in articulation from the usual DC Collectibles articulation setup. They have the usual ball-jointed neck and shoulders, but these figures also have single-jointed elbows, hinged/swivel wrists, an ab crunch, waist swivel, 360-degree rotating hinged hips, double-jointed knees, and rocker ankles. The rocker ankles on Owlman seem to work better than both Ultraman and Superwoman. That may be because the shape of his feet allow for the peg to sit in properly so the turning “rocker” ankle is allowed full movement.
Sculpt has always been DC Collectibles’ strong suit and these figures are all sculpted supremely well. Head to toe, Owlman is simply a well sculpted, well built superhero figure. When you add in all the little details of his Owlman costume, he really becomes a standout figure. His helmet, cape, Owlman chest symbol, and his belt are all very nice additions to an already impressive figure. His cape is sculpted with individual “feathers” as well, giving him a look that is much more than just a simple cape draped over his shoulders.
Like I said earlier, I really think his head sculpt is the best of the bunch so far. His helmet is really a standout with its individually sculpted sections and armor plating that comes together to resemble the feathers of an owl. At first I was hesitant to accept this new look for Owlman as I had grown to love the Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely version from their Earth 2 graphic novel, but I must admit, this look is starting to win me over. This new helmet almost has a spartan-type feel to it and I kinda dig that.
It’s not just the helmet that makes the head sculpt so dynamic, it’s also the face underneath. Now, although only a little of his actual face is visible, it really stands out to me. Much like Batman, only his mouth and lower jaw are exposed. But, man, that lower face stands out. His lips have a defined stern look to them, and you can even see his nose and nostrils underneath the beak of his helmet. This is the kind of facial detail that a character like Owlman needs. You can’t see much of his actual face, so you need to nail what little is shown to make it stand out, and the sculptor did just that. There are plenty of Batman figures out there that could use this kind of facial detail. Otherwise, you’re left with just a plain-looking cowl over a stoic, nondescript lower jaw and mouth.
Another high point of his head sculpt is the eyes. Man, they are creepy and look to be staring right through you. It didn’t quite come out in the pics, but his eyes are painted with a translucent, shiny finish to make them look like glass on the edge of his goggles. His chest symbol is raised and is very reminiscent of the classic yellow bat oval. His utility belt is also very classic Batman-looking with individual pellets on the belt and joined together in the middle of the belt by another oval owl symbol.
His gloves are also raised at the forearms, and instead of having two or three spikes coming out from the underside of them, they have one big one. It’s shaped like a blade, and you can just picture them being razor sharp as he uses them to slash his enemies to pieces in battle. His actual hands have cloth folds and wrinkles sculpted into them, differentiating them from his base body counterpart, Ultraman.
Now, the articulation improvements from the standard DCC fare is what really turns this figure from good to great. He can be put into many fighting poses and action shots. It’s something that many figures of his Earth 1 opposite, Batman, unfortunately cannot do. Poses of him crouching, kicking, punching, and leaping are all easily attainable with this level of articulation. My one gripe about him is that, once again, just like on Ultraman, his knees are upside down. Also, just like Ultraman’s upside down knees, it doesn’t hinder the articulation or take away too much from the figure, but I just want to point it out that it is there. It’s not a random thing with only my set either. Looking at other figures in the store and pics of them online, they all seem to be like that.
I was asked in the comments in my other Crime Syndicate reviews about scale and how these figures stack up with Marvel Legends or DC Universe Classics. Thing is, these are much bigger than both those lines. DC Direct, now DC Collectibles, has always made figures closer to a 7-inch scaled line, which makes them tower over the closer to 6-inch scaled Legends or Classics. I’m usually a scale Nazi myself, and I usually pass on a lot of stuff if it’s not scaled to my collection, but these guys are just too good to not pick up. They may be bigger than the rest of a 6-inch collection, but figures this good can get a shelf of their own. Now, if you’re already a DC Collectibles collector, the scale will fit in perfectly with the rest of your DCC stuff. Owlman will also make a great bad guy figure for the upcoming Batman from the Greg Capullo designer series to do battle with.
As you can see, the Crime Syndicate “trinity” look great together and make for a very imposing group. I didn’t plan on picking up the entire set of Syndicate figures, but after getting these three, I’m not sure I can resist finishing up the team to display in my collection. If I had to put a grade to these figures, they’d all get A’s. The superior sculpts combined with enough articulation to actually make them playable just puts them over the top. These really are must-haves for any fans of the New 52, Forever Evil storyline, or even DC fans in general.