With so many of the Justice League action figures left to release, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed when the third figure in the series turned out to be Aquaman. I think it is pretty well known that Aquaman in the past has been seen as the butt of a very not-so-private inside joke. He’s the character that to me has been revamped numerous times throughout the last 20-25 years or so. In order to up his “badass” image, they gave him a beard, then replaced his hand with a retractable hook, and then for awhile they even got rid of his trademark orange, scaly wet suit top and he looked like an extra out of Gladiator. So he went from the smiley, fish-talking guy we knew from the Super Friends to an almost Wolverine/Spartacus type look.
Right before DC’s New 52 universe took place, Aquaman had been dead for awhile. But like all great comic book characters, being dead is only temporary and he came back to life during the Blackest Night storyline, once again sporting a more classic look. When the New 52 came out, Jim Lee streamlined his classic look into the Aquaman we know today. So how does the figure live up to this classic DC legend?
As I have mentioned in previous reviews, DC Collectibles has standardized their packaging. So the packaging that we see with this Aquaman figure is similar to the packaging we see on the Batman: Arkham City series. It keeps the same features as the other packaging – it is great for both the Mint-On-Card collectors and those who like to display their figures outside of the box.
As I have noted before on the Green Lantern and Batman box, the color scheme on the box seems to emulate the main color of the character. In this case, the packaging has shades of orange incorporated into it to coordinate with Aquaman’s orange top.
On the right of the package we find a pretty kickass silhouette of Aquaman. As always, Batman seems to be sneaking into the background of everyone’s silhouette shot. He’s made his way into the Green Lantern’s shot as well. My only negative for the packaging is how easy it can be damaged. On this side, we see some shipping damage, which could have happened from the warehouse to the retailer or from the retailer to me. Either way, it subtracts from the packaging and from the overall score.
The left side features the prototype production figure. As with both Batman and Green Lantern before him, Aquaman is also sculpted by Jack Mathews. While I have found some glaring differences in the past between the prototype figure and the final retail figure, Aquaman holds up pretty well with the prototype shot. The only difference that I have found is that the chain appears to be connected to the end of his trident rather than right under the prongs. Otherwise, DC Collectibles did a decent job of delivering a figure pretty close to the prototype.
On the back we have a headshot of Aquaman, a quick little bio-blurb, and the headshots of the next two upcoming figures, the Flash, and one of Darkseid’s Parademons (both to be featured in future reviews).
I wasn’t expecting much (that is to say, I was expecting the norm) and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The sculpting on this figure is a lot better than the previous figures. Looking at a close-up of this figures head, you see the detail in the hair of the figure as if he is standing underwater. The detail on the face makes it look like he has been through some rough times. To finish off the look we have some retro side burns and some peach fuzz on his chin and face.
The paint application is just as good. Aquaman’s scaled suit looks like I imagine it would, an orange metallic with a satin finish. This works well with the matte green of his gloves and pants.
To note, one thing that this figure does well is show off the new modern look of Aquaman. Like Batman and Superman, gone are the trunks over the costume look which plagued most of the DC characters. If for only that reason, I applaud the more modern look of the New 52. I’m not sure they had to change the whole universe to get here, but I’ll let that slide until the next continuum (and costume) shift.
Aquaman has the standard articulation of this figure line, which of course is close to nothing at all. He has around 13 points of articulation which results in limited poses. As this has been labeled a “collector” figure, this will most likely go up on a display shelf in a single pose and forgotten about. Since this figure has the same exact articulation, it will get the same score as the others. I have noticed more articulation on DC Collectibles figures in the past and hope that in the future they will decide to add wrist, ankle and waist articulation to their figures.
We finally get some accesories in this series, but of course, there had to be a catch. Aquaman comes with his signature trident, which is great, but then DC Collectibles has (semi) permanently attached it to Aquaman’s belt via a gold metallic chain link. So even if this figure never wanted to carry the trident, it will always be dragging somewhere behind him. I really don’t see the reasoning or motivation for this. But we finally got an accessory in this series so I find it hard to complain…too much.
Aquaman also has some blue coral necklaces around his neck. Unable to be removed of course. He will be forevermore rocking this oceanic ode to fashion…
While I really enjoyed the Batman and Green Lantern action figures put out by DC Collectibles, I really feel like they stepped up their game a little when they produced this Aquaman action figure. I really didn’t think I would have too much to say, but the more I write about this figure, the more I like him. I have already decided to like his rebooted character. This figure is a welcome addition to my New 52 display.
The New 52 Aquaman Figure is available now at most online toy retailers and in Local Comic Book shops in your area.