With DC Comics' relaunch of their continuity with the "New 52", DC Collectibles has been fast at releasing action figures of the characters from the new Justice League title. So far we've seen several of the heroes, along with the new Parademon. But now we come to the big guy himself: Darkseid. And there is definitely an emphasis on the word BIG. In the New 52, Darkseid is much larger than he was before.
In order to represent his immense size faithfully, DC Collectibles has released Darkseid as a "deluxe" action figure. So join me as I take a closer look at Darkseid and see if he's worthy to crush your Justice League action figures.
Check out hi-res images for this figure in our GALLERY
Ever since the re-brand from DC Direct to DC Collectibles, they've been utilizing a uniform packaging style (save for the Arkham City figures), no doubt so just by glancing at the packaging, you knew where it came from. I know a lot of people really dislike the minimalist style, but I'm actually a fan of minimalism. I think when it comes to marketing and advertising, if you can get the message across with as little as possible, it makes it more efficient and looks cleaner.
So their packaging is mostly a white box with Darkseid displayed in a giant window. The lower right side of the front is made to look like the box is peeling back to allow you to see him, to mimic the new DC Comics logo. Darkseid's name is on the front, letting you know it's based on his look in the New 52.
The back has a thumbnail image of Darkseid with a quick bio, and a couple more thumbnails of some upcoming figures. You also get a really cool photo at the bottom of Darkseid lording over an army of Parademons. The packaging definitely gets the point across, but I can understand if people would want more in the packaging.
Darkseid was sculpted by Phil Ramirez and stands at approximately 13" tall. I wasn't kidding when I said he was huge. Not only is he tall, he's incredibly heavy. No hollow torso here. Just a whole lot of plastic. Despite the redesign, it's immediately recognizable as Darkseid. His skin has a cracked rocky texture all throughout and looks incredible. When doing something like this, it's very easy for the cracks to just look like random impressions, but here it looks natural, and has a realistic texture to it. Even parts of his armor are cracked, which I also love.
His head looks great, with lots of small cracks, and segments of rocky skin sticking out slightly farther than others. His expression is definitely one of anger and malice, but not overly so. It's perfect for just about any pose you can think of for him. One of my favorite parts of the redesign is the fact that Darkseid now wears pants! Don't get me wrong, I love the old design, but no matter how ruthless someone is, it's hard to take them seriously when they're not wearing pants.
Just about everything on the figure looks accurate to the comic, but there is one notable exception. His chest piece. In the comic, Darkseid has an upside down Omega symbol incorporated into his design, right on the chest that frames that big jewel sitting there. For some reason it's not an Omega symbol on the figure. Unless his design recently changed again in the comics, I don't understand why that symbol wasn't incorporated properly into the sculpt. But something cool about the jewel is it does seem to be a separate piece attached to the figure. It's cast in translucent red plastic and sits inside the chest, really adding dimensionality to the design of the figure.
For the most part, Darkseid's paint job is incredibly smooth and clean. He has really great subtle washes applied that help bring out the crackly sculpt, and vibrant colors on his suit. Areas such as his gloves and boots are painted blue, but have two tones that help it not feel monochromatic.
The head looks just as great as the body. His teeth are yellowed with a wash that makes them look pretty horrid, and then a glossy clear coat on top of that. His eyes have a lot of character in them. They're painted red with white detailing where the iris would be. It almost looks as if there's fire swirling right behind his eyes.
The only real paint flaw I could find was a couple of smudges on his back. You can see them in the close-up photo I took. On one side of his upper back, there's a yellow paint smudge, and on the other there's a very noticeable red paint smudge. There are a couple of smaller ones in that general area, but to notice them you really have to inspect it. I'm sure this won't be a widespread problem, but it is something to be aware of.
- Darkseid has a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, single elbows, mid-forearm rotators (where the glove meets the cuff), ball jointed wrists, t-cut hips, single knees, and boot rotators. The neck gets a good range of motion, but just like a dog, he can't look up (Shaun of the Dead reference). His arms allow for a lot of characterization in the poses, and are more or less what you'd see in a Mattel DCUC figure. I was surprised at the wrists being on a ball joint. There's not a whole lot of tilting movement, but it's cool to have the addition. His shoulder pads are also on ball joints. You can see the photo I took of the instruction sheet he came with. They have a little bit of movement to help with posing, which is very cool.
His hip joints allow for balancing, but without them being able to spread apart, you lose a lot of posing options. His legs can bend forward a pretty good ways, but I'm not sure he'd look great sitting in a throne if you were thinking of fashioning one together for him. Given this is a DC Collectibles figure, it's expected to not be the most articulated figure out there, but even still I'd like to see DC Collectibles implementing a more articulated model in the future. I can live without any kind of ab crunch, even a waist cut in this case. However, the lack of ball jointed or hinged hips is really disappointing by today's standards, especially at the price this figure costs. That one addition of articulation would really have been a huge point in this figure's favor, and added so much to the posing.
I understand that's not what DC Collectibles was going for here, and it is nice that you can still pose his arms really well, to pose him commanding his army of Parademons, or grabbing one of the heroes about to tear them apart.
Darkseid comes with no accessories. This really doesn't bother me, considering how massive this figure is, and the fact that Darkseid never really uses any weapons. You could argue that he could have came with a Motherbox or an alternate "Omega Beam" head or something like that, but I'm actually fine with him sans accessories.
I'm a sucker when it comes to big figures. Just seeing something like this these days is awesome, and that alone makes him pretty fun. The fact that it's Darkseid certainly doesn't hurt either. Having him take down your Justice League or having him interact with other figures you may own is something I always love doing when getting a new figure, and it was very fun thinking of photos to take with Darkseid. Of course a lot of the fun factor is lost with the lack of posing, but your mileage may vary depending on how much you care about that sort of thing.
QUALITY CONTROL/THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR -
The only QC issue I could find was the paint smudges I discussed earlier. As for things to watch out for, the shoulder pads are definitely one. They're designed to pop off if too much pressure is applied to them, and they can easily be snapped right back on (like the joints of Transformers figures), but still be careful. I don't know how strong the peg is that holds them into place, and I wouldn't risk breaking them.
Given how widespread the complaints were about the Arkham City Killer Croc figure's arms breaking off, that's something you definitely want to consider when handling this figure. I've had zero problems with mine, but you never know if more deluxe figures put out by DC Collectibles might have similar problems. And while we're on that note, I would like to point out that in order to even begin posing him, you have to "break in" his joints. That is, loosen them from any dried paint or oils that may have gotten stuck in the joints. It's common to need to do this with new figures, but I'll admit I was nervous having to do it on a figure that might have had "Killer Croc Syndrome", so be wary of that.
This is a very good figure. The sculpt is phenomenal, perhaps even flawless, and the design choice of implementing clear red plastic for the jewel in his chest really helps sell the figure as something more than just an action figure. The paint job is near perfect, save for the mysterious paint smudges on his back. I'm sure not every figure will have those paint smudges, but I can only judge the figure based on the one I have. The articulation is really great in the arms and neck, but leaves something to be desired below the waist (did I really just say that?).
The people looking for a massive New 52 Darkseid to be able to put in really dynamic action poses will be sorely disappointed. However, I understand not everybody is an articulation junkie like me, and for those people you're more than likely just looking for a massive New 52 Darkseid to pose on your shelf and look imposing. If that's the case, then this figure is definitely for you. He looks amazing going up against your Justice League figures, and he no doubt stands out on a shelf. At the very least, he should make an interesting conversation starter when people come over and see him.
The only real drawback some may find with this figure is the price. His retail is about $89.95, and that's definitely going to turn a lot of people off. I can't pretend to know what caused this figure to end up costing $90 at retail, but I can tell you that in my opinion, as an adult collector targeted action figure, the quality on this is really astounding. DC Collectibles really put out all the stops making sure this figure was top notch. If you can get past the price tag, then I definitely recommend picking him up to add to your New 52 collection. If not, then I'm sure nobody would begrudge you.
FINAL SCORE: 4 / 5