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DC Essentials Wave 2 (Superman, Aquaman, Black Manta & Brainiac) Figures Review & Images


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DC Collectibles continues its new line of highly articulated 7” DC Essentials comic based action figures with a second wave of figures that include Superman, Aquaman, Black Manta and Brainiac.

The figures incorporate the same style of window-box packaging as the first wave. Each box is color coded and numbered to match the included figure. Superman, number 5 in the series, has a blue box. Brainiac is number 6 with a green box; Aquaman is number 7 with a orange box; and Black Manta is number 8 with a black box. The back of the packaging features another image of the figure, a bio for the DC Essentials line and a look at the other figures in the wave. It also tells us the figures were sculpted by Paul Harding.


Two of the four figures in this wave, Aquaman and Black Manta feature accessories while the other two do not. Aquaman comes with a trident made of gold plastic, and Black Manta comes with two swords and a bladed weapon made from a metallic silver plastic. Aquaman’s trident is shorter than the figure, and Black Manta’s weapons fit in the non-removable backpack included with the figure.


For the figures themselves, they all use the same basic muscular body as the figures in the first wave with some minor differences. Brainiac and Black Manta have the same type of boots while Superman’s are unique and Aquaman isn’t wearing any.


Black Manta has a metallic silver wrist gauntlet sculpted on the right wrist and two rubber-like hoses attached from the helmet which runs to the backpack. While the paint applications on these figures are pretty basic, I like the glossy black used on Manta along with the red on the eyes and neck. The helmet is a good size with some nice sculpting detail on it with line work. Black Manta has two grip hands.


Aquaman has chainmail sculpted on his shirt along with a metallic gold belt with an ‘A’ on it. I also like the metallic orange used on the shirt and the green on the pants with gloves matching nicely. The gloves are sculpted so the backs stick out at the top in a point, and he also has the fins sculpted on the back of his lower legs. He has a metallic gold color that is sculpted not just painted. The head sculpt on this figure is pretty solid overall but probably my least favorite of the four figures in the wave. Aquaman has a closed fist for the right hand and a grip for the left.


Brainiac has nice sculpting detail on the head with pinkish circles on the top of his head. Except for the boots, all other aspects of the outfit are painted on and the figure features two closed fists.


Superman has the best head sculpt of the four figures and one of the best I have seen on a Superman figure in some time. He has black hair with the iconic curl. The figure features the outfit from Action Comics #1000 with the red trunks. The one minor error on the figure is that they forgot to paint the belt loops red. Also, I don’t like the darker red used on the ankle joints which is noticeably different from the glossy red used on the rest of the boots. The cape on Superman which is made of a rubber-like material is a good length and hangs well on the figure. Superman has a closed fist for the right hand and an open hand for the left.


Articulation is solid on all four figures including thigh swivels, double-jointed knees and elbows. I especially like how far back you can get Superman’s head back for flight poses. Black Manta has the least head movement due to the large helmet.


All four figures are roughly the same height although Black Manta might be a bit taller due to the helmet. The figures are not in scale with other 6” lines like DC Icons, Marvel Legends and DC Multiverse but do match up nicely with all the older DC-based figures that DC Collectibles made before they did DC Icons.


At the end of the day, while the figures aren’t perfect, I am enjoying them overall and think if you want a highly articulated DC Comic based line these are worth checking out. Look for the second wave to start hitting comic and specialty shops this week. You can pre-order these figure now from Megalopolis Toys.

These figures were provided by DC Collectibles free of charge for purposes of review.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think Flash and Aquaman should be more buff than Superman or Batman.

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This is legitimately the first Superman figure that I’ve seen in a long time, that really has me wanting it. Probably not since the initial New 52 Supes. And that’s mostly because every version of him in figure form that I’ve seen since, have all had horrendous head and face sculpts. They’ve all looked more like a flesh tone Frankenstein’s monster to me, than Superman. This is really the best I’ve seen, in what feels like forever.


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I'm going to throw myself out here with this:  I LOVE Black Manta...I really do...but I am forever wishing that someone would ditch that helmet and give him a Devil Ray look in the comics.  I always thought it was more sinister and cooler looking.  The Aquaman animated movie fig came close but I still hold my JL Devil Ray as my definitive Black Manta.  I just need it in 6 in form....

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^ I’d be interested in seeing a figure version of that look, myself... But, I’ll always be a sucker for the classic helmet look and style.

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The classic will always be classic...and honestly if I hadn't seen Devil Ray, the Aquaman Animated movies, and that Deluxe Mattel one (I forget the series)...I'd be fine.  But I KNOW there is other better looks for the helmet so now I'm spoiled lol.  The movie Aquaman Manta really ups the sinister aspect.  Give this dude some armor, and a more menacing profile.  I love what DC has been doing with Manta lately and really upping his danger factor/menace.  His look needs to match that.


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