With Doomsday and the Damian Wayne Robin in my hands, it’s starting to dawn on me that the DC Universe Classics line has finally come to an end – not a hiatus, as I had hoped when Mattel pulled the line from retail, but an end. So there’s no better time to talk about what-ifs.
We all have our favorite characters that never made it into the line. For this installment of Soapbox Sunday, I’ll take a look at my most wanted, and give you my picks for what if we could have one more figure from each of the DC family of characters. Then you can tell me yours.
Batman – Dick Grayson Batman
It’s not just that we just (finally) got Damian as Robin. That’s a big part of it, of course, but when you look at the history of Batman, there haven’t been that many to really put on the suit besides Bruce Wayne. Sure, there was Superman and Alfred as stand-ins when Bruce needed an alibi. There were the odd moments when villains like Hugo Strange and Black Mask impersonated him. But there’s only been a few that were really Batman.
Jean Paul Valley as Azrael and Terry McGinnis as Batman (from Batman Beyond) were two others that fit the bill, and they already have figures in the line. So it leaves Dick Grayson as the odd man out, and Damian Wayne as a Robin without a Batman. I asked Toy Guru when Mattel first showed the Damian figure a few years back when we’d see a Dick Grayson Batman – he must have misunderstood the question because he said we already had a Dick Grayson (as Robin, of course) in the line. I never thought the line would end before we got Dick in the Batsuit.
Superman – Titano the Super-Ape
I felt Superman had been fairly well-represented in DCUC – with Luthor, Bizarro, Toyman, Cyborg Supes, Braniac, and Doomsday in the mix, there weren’t any A-listers that I could recall. Superman’s supporting cast have figures too, aside from the likes of the non-powered buddies like Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and Lois Lane.
But if I could just have one more, I’d want something big to fight, befitting of a hero like Supeman. Enter Titano, the giant gorilla with kryptonite laser beams shooting out of his eyes. This would have been a no brainer to do, with all the giant monkey molds Mattel has gathering dust now between DCUC and Masters of the Universe Classics.
Wonder Woman – Circe
Fans of Diana got a smattering of villains to face off against Wonder Woman. The line had Ares, Cheetah, and Giganta – Circe would make a fine addition to her rogues gallery. I particularly like that she shares Diana’s roots in Greek mythology. And she would make a damn nice looking female figure for the shelf, since we have so few of those.
Green Lantern – Arisia
I love a good Green Lantern story as much as anyone, but if there was one faction that was over-represnted in DCUC, it was the GLC. At the height of the Rainbow Lantern frenzy, DC Collectibles found a way to milk it for years, while Mattel essentially came late to the game and crippled the line at retail. But with a line-up as diverse and numerous as the Corps, there are still some missing figures.
Arisia is a most-wanted for me for a few reasons. She’s got strong ties to a few of the existing figures in the line – Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and Sodam Yat. Her costume is fairly unique among the Lanterns – it’d look great on the shelf breaking up that sea of dark green, while still fitting in. And hey, she’s hot. Umm, the adult version, not the jail-bait that racked Hal Jordan’s conscience (or did it?)
Flash – Heat Wave
In contrast with the Corps, Flash got relatively very little love in the line. I think that’d be different now, with a hit show on TV, but we won’t get to see that in plastic (at least from Mattel). Flash’s rogues gallery is impressive, and there’s many I would have wanted on my shelves alongside Mirror Master and the two Captains (Cold and Boomerang).
Weather Wizard, the Trickster, and the Top come to mind too, but if I can only have one, it’s Heat Wave – solely because if you’ve got Captain Cold on one side of the Flash trying to freeze him, you need Heat Wave on the other trying to fry him.
New Gods – Highfather
Sure, I was lobbying for Granny Goodness for a long time, and while she’s great, if I’m true to my heart of hearts it’s Highfather that the line needs most. Because – Cosmic Odyssey! Early on in the line, I would joke that it wasn’t DC Super Powers that was driving the line – it was Starlin and Mignola’s Cosmic Odyssey. I am a huge fan of that limited series, and with the early figures of Etrigan, detective Batman, Orion and Light Ray, I thought we’d eventually see the rest of the cast.
And yes, they kept coming. If you look at the main roster, we also got Superman, John Stewart, Martian Manhunter, Starfire, Forager, Metron, and Darkseid. We even got Adam Strange, albeit in the wrong suit (curse you modern Adam Strange!) The only one we didn’t get from that comic was Highfather. And if you’re going to pit the New Gods against the might of Darkseid and Apokolips, you need Highfather.
Teen Titans – Miss Martian
The Teen Titans (Young Justice) line was a debacle from the onset, with the exorbitant pricing and subsequent slow death on Mattycollector. While a lot of the characters we got from the main Classics line needed redos (like Kid Flash) and others from the Titans line didn’t fit in stylistically with Classics, we never got a Miss Martian figure. ‘Nuff said.
Justice Society – Vandal Savage
The JSA have had great roster of villains to face, and we got a few of them in the line. Two were Collect and Connect figures – the Ultra Humanite and Solomon Grundy. Others, like Black Adam and Gentleman Ghost made it as single-carded figures.
Vandal Savage could have been either – in his more caveman-like appearances he might have been brutish enough to consider as a C&C. In his more dignified looks he’d be a larger single-carded figure. But to me there’s no doubt – if I had to pick just one of the remaining baddies to face off with the Justice Society, it’d be the immortal Vandal Savage.
Suicide Squad – Doctor Light
With Warner Bros. giving the green light to a Suicide Squad movie and subsequently casing Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, and other megastars to the ensemble, I’d have no doubt that Mattel would have latched onto it had DCUC continued. The line already has many of the principals – Deadshot, the Joker (cough cough), Harley Quinn, Bronze Tiger, and Captain Boomerang come to mind.
With just one more character to choose from the many deserving, though, I’d have to go way back to the old school Squad and go with Doctor Light – primarily because Arthur Light also has ties to so many of the major factions in the DC universe beyond the Squad. He’s gone up against the Titans, Green Lantern, and the JLA. He served as the catalyst for DC’s Identity Crisis a decade ago, although his portrayal as a serial rapist was controversial.
Secret Six – Scandal Savage
I figured I’d end this Top Ten list with a bit of torture for myself. I loved what Gail Simone did with the Secret Six, and when we started getting its characters in the line, with Deadshot, Catman, and Bane, I was hopeful that we’d get the rest of the team(s) in the line. And over time, while the Six kept swapping characters in and out of the line-up, Mattel never made another one.
I’d pay top dollar for a Cheshire, Knockout, Rag Doll, or King Shark from among the many other deserving characters that graced the team, but Scandal Savage was there from the beginning and was the de facto leader, as flawed as she was, for pretty much all of it. It doesn’t hurt that she’s one of Vandal Savage’s offspring, so since I’ve got him on my list, it’d be great to get the family back together, too.
But I suppose this entire list is torture, right? With the line dead and Mattel constantly heralding the end of the Four Horsemen figures for DC, I’ll probably never see a single one of these figures in plastic. Well, I suppose DC Collectibles is constantly improving it’s highly-articulated figures. And maybe it’s time to take up customizing again…
I’ve had my say, so now it’s your turn – who are your top ten for DC Universe Classics? Who’d I get right? Who’d I get wrong? If you could pick just one character from each of your top DC factions, who would they be? Please leave your comments below.