Once DC Direct recognized the superior qualities of Art Asylum's Minimates, you'd think they would waste no time in bringing the things to shelves. After all, too long had we suffered without good pocket-sized versions of the DC heroes. But no, it was not to be. DCD pushed the release date for the first series back, then pushed it back again once that date had passed. Finally, they ended up releasing the first three series within weeks of one another. Oh well - the important thing is they're here now.
The sets in Series 3 all feature one hero and one villain - perfect for causing strife as soon as you open them. And unlike Marvel Minimates, which all had a "theme" of one sort or another, DC's offerings come from all over the place.
Green Arrow is a hero who's been around since the Golden Age. Shipwrecked, millionaire layabout Oliver Queen clung to life by clinging to the only buoyant object apparently on the boat:
a prop replica bow that had been left there by a film crew. Drifting to an uncharted desert isle, Ollie had to train himself to use the bow or face a slow, lingering death. His time on the island invigorated the formerly lacadasical playboy, and he found his way back to society after using his newfound archery skills to break up a pirate ring that was operating from his island.
Minimate Ollie is wearing his most recognizable costume - the Silver Age verison, more or less. It's not his original "dandy Robin Hood" look, but it's not quite his later "hooded huntsman" garb, either. It falls somewhere in the middle. His tunic is actually a separate piece, primarily because that was the only way to get the pointy little shoulders. Doesn't hurt that his quiver is a molded part of it, too.
His feathered cap and his hair are a single molded piece, but it's a bit weird: why have ears, and so much neck skin on it? They could have just painted hair on the head and made the hat a piece by itself.
The black outlining on his beard is too dark - it really stands out. Obviously they needed something there, or else the yellow would have just blended into his skin, but black? A nice brown would have worked better.
Ollie gets a surprising number of accessories, especially for a Minimate. Not even counting the costume bits, he has his bow and three trick arrows: the handcuff arrow, the boxing glove arow (a true classic) and something that looks like a drill bit or a pine cone. Yeah. He can hold the bow and arrows in either hand, or you can plug one of the arrows into the notch on the side of the bow. Fun!
The best thing about the truly excellent Identity Crisis series (and one of the reasons that it so pissed off the fanboys) was the way it redeemed a bunch of old nobodies and made people care about them again. Dr. Light had been a joke since the Silver Age. No one had thought about Sue Dibny in years. And yet suddenly, they were on everyone's lips -
or at least on everyone's message boards. Of course, there was one character who was already popular, but he still got a major boost.
Deathstroke was originally introduced as a foe for the Teen Titans, which meant that most of the time, he was just a guy who liked to beat up kids. He landed his own series, Deathstroke the Terminator, in the '90s, when the Punisher made violent, gun-toting antiheroes kewl. He'd mostly been forgotten since that series ended, but IC brought him back in a big way, when he single-handedly (and single-eyedly, too) kicked the entire Justice League's ass in about 30 seconds. Pretty damn cool. Of course, they regrouped and got their revenge, but it kickstarted a rivalry between Deathstroke and Green Arrow that's still going.
The Minimate styling has really captured Deathstroke well.
His costume is orange and two shades of blue, and the chain mail that covers his abdomen is painted on. He has a separate chest piece in order to accommodate his silver bandolier. His utility belt looks familiar, and so does the holster on his left leg. His large, folded boots are single pieces - why didn't either of the Captains America have these? Deathstroke's mask can be removed to reveal old Slade Wilson beneath, and he's even got a replacement piece to show off his white hair.
This guy is an assassin and a mercenary,
so you know he needs some weapons. He's got a pistol and the same rifle that originally came with Punisher. He has the same bo staff as C3 Minimate Robin, and a sword that fits in his bandolier. Of course, the handguard seems to be pointing the wrong way, but who's counting? This one Minimate set has eighet accessories, and that's pretty impressve.
Green Arrow never really had any memorable villains (until recently), so giving him Deathstroke was a good idea. This is a guy who went from pampered playboy to finely honed killing machine through sheer force of will, so he deserves something more than drug dealers and renegade hunters to fight. On his side of the equation, Deathstroke finally gets to face a real grown-up, which can only help his hardass reputation. This is a really good set, and should be one of the first DC Minimates you hunt down.