Monday, January 16, 2012

Toy Review – DC Universe Classics: Hawk By Mattel

Hawk and Dove are the only two figures I cared about from the final wave of DC Universe Classics.
As much as I enjoyed Blackest Night, I have totally lost interest in Black and White Lanterns, so that Flash was out. I already have a Green Arrow that I’m pretty happy with and I have no particular affinity for Roy Harper, so I’ll pass on those. I might actually buy a Professor Zoom or Reverse Flash or Eobard Thawne or whatever the heck they’re calling him. But I want to see it first. That’s going to have to be one great head sculpt and paint job to get my fifteen bucks.
But I like the characters of Hawk and Dove a lot.

The first time I was ever really aware of the duo was an appearance on Justice League Unlimited where they teamed up with Wonder Woman to stop a conflict in a foreign country. It was one of the first episodes I saw and I was very impressed by the maturity and compactness of the story. I thought for sure it would be a two-parter, but the writer fit a pretty big story into 22 minutes. This is something the creative forces behind JLU would accomplish many times over the course of the show while still maintaining arcs that lasted many episodes or whole seasons.
I sure wish comic book writers could manage that.
Anyway, when next I saw Hawk and Dove they were significantly different. Hawk was an evil magic zombie and Dove was a chick.
Dawn Granger (Dove) was a central part of the massive, all-encompassing Blackest Night story (and had one of the best arcs in my opinion), which ended with Hank Hall resurrected and Deadman as Dove’s love interest. And let me tell you – one sure way to make something cool cooler is to throw Deadman into the mix.
I’ll continue this ramble in tomorrow’s review of Dove.

First Glance: Hawk was originally shown as being more of a pure white than this, but I kind of like the grey. My collection of Stormtroopers that are various hues of yellow suggests white may not be the best color for an action figure.
Sculpt: The core figure is a basic as DCUC gets. No double joints, but still the very good DCUC articulation. The body is a bulkier one, which is appropriate and contrasts nicely with Dove. All of the joints on mine are very solid – tight but no paint sticking.
The head is nice, with a very unique expression and a lot of personality for someone with only about one-third of their face exposed.
The cape thingy is pretty great. It’s not rubber like I thought it would be. It’s a stiffer but still flexible plastic that better represents that vane-like qualities of the comics. I know I just called it a cape, but I’ve never thought of those things as just flowing like fabric. I’ve always felt they would be more rigid. That’s how the toy’s are and it works well.
Design: I’m honestly a little shocked at how good the paint is on this guy. Mattel has done a pretty shit job on a lot of figures lately and I really expected this one to be kind of a mess.
But all of the designs stick within the lines and there is none of that weird splotching that seems to happen when figures have dark and light colors together (like the entirety of the Sinestro Corps). The face is well done, with a different shade of white for the eyes and teeth and the cowl and skin maintaining separate real estate.
Accessories: Hawk comes with Nekron’s torso. It’s worth noting that Mattel decided not to include Nekron’s scythe, which is somewhat akin to producing a Mace Windu without a lightsaber. Fucking idiots.
Packaging: Your standard DCUC blister.
Overall: Amazingly, there isn’t much to complain about with this figure that isn’t Nekron-related. It looks like Hawk, it can be posed like Hawk, and it compliments Dove. Aside from the ridiculous price Mattel pretty much nailed this one. Rocker ankles and double joints are the only improvements I could suggest.
4 out of 5
I hate to sound so shocked that Mattel has produced a very good DC figure, but that’s pretty much where this line has me now.
Until next time, stay creepy
-Phantom

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