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Black-Suited Superman

DC Direct Return of Superman
by Rustin Parr

Why the hell did I get this terrible figure? The costume really, really, really sucks and the proportions are shot to heck. Look at him! Normal legs, normal waist, kinda normal lower torso, then a huge upper torso and shoulders. Sure, I might be exaggerating a bit, but come on, this is not a plausibly or believably proportioned body. Oh, and where's the neck?

Kryptonian Life-suit Following Superman's tragic death, the Eradicator Program transported his body to the Fortress of Solitude, where he was nursed back to health in a rejuvenation pod. Soon, the Man of Steel returned to his role as Earth's defender, garbed in black!

I didn't read the "Return of Superman" stuff, so I'm not really sure, but from what I gather the Eradicator made this black suit for Clark because... black was "in" in the '90s, I guess. The paint is really simple as a result: all black with the silver "S" logo, silver wrist thingies and silver big toes, because those are the ones that need the most protection (assuming the silver denotes metal). There's a nice, subtle dark blue dry brush on the hair to bring out the detai, which is one of the few impressive bits.

For articulation, we're looking at really bad/tight balljointed head, DCD-style balljointed shoulders, upper biceps, elbows, wrists, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles 17 points in total. All are fine, except for the head. The "neck" is too thick to allow much movement, and what's there is severely limited by the long, flowing hair and DCD's general disability to create a lasting good ball-joint for heads.

The sculpt, well, the only really detailed work is on the head. The body is pretty smooth with a fair abundance of musculature. The real problem here is... well, there're lots, actually. For one, the proportions are all out of whack, making this figure look really weird. He's too narrow at the bottom and too wide at the top.

Wanna see us make out? If you're wondering what good proportions are (look at pretty much anything McFarlane does) pull out your DCD modern Superman figure (which, if you don't have, you aren't allowed to collect toys). See how it's wide and beefy all the way through? That is a body that could exist in reality. Black-Suited Supes? No way.

In addition there's the whole thick neck problem previously mentioned, but the really bizarre thing about this figure is the torso, which is turned to the left. I can't really tell if this is a sculptural thing about the torso, or if this is a result of the hips being uneven, but basically, Supes is turned to the left.

Fabio The head sculpt is another problem area. The neat thing is that it generally looks like the modern age Superman figure (not the pissy-face JLA version, the real one) so one might actually believe it's the same "person." Of course this version has a much, much more angular nose and more pronounced cheekbones and chin-cleft, so it doesn't quite work. The hair is well-sculpted but too... voluminous, too wide, plus it is a huge hindrance to the neck articulation.

DAMN YOU, RED! The metallic same red "S" shield base comes with this figure too as with all the rest, so... there you have it. Only about 1/4" thick, the base has a nice heft to it, giving it enough weight to keep the figure from falling over. But still, the red used for Series 3 just ruins the display.

To sum up, this figure lives up to his abbreviated name: BS Superman. Black-Suited Superman is total BS. We know DCD can do better than this but, for some reason, they pulled back on this figure. I'd think it's the lame costume that caused this, but look at Superman; worst costume ever and he's a good figure... Ultimately, unless you're an insane completist that needs this figure for your display, pass this up at every chance!

Did the "Return of Superman" story make any sense? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.


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