We Need a Hero: DC Superheroes Collectable Minifigures 71026 [Review]

We seem to be settling into a pattern in the way that Collectable minifigures are being issued during the year: two licensed series and a generic ‘Series x’ collection. Last year, we saw the first series for the year containing figures from the LEGO Movie: The Second Part, and then finally, series 19. I am uncertain as to when we can expect to see series 20 this year. Or what we might see in the other licensed series (if the pattern of the last couple of years continues). I worry that we might be headed towards the same franchising that we see in the cinematic multiplexes today: Disney 3, Harry Potter/Wizarding World 2, Simpsons 3, LEGO Movie 2 and so forth. Or there might be another theme coming our way… we can only hope.

This time we have a new series of Figures based on DC Heroes and villains, from across the last 80 years. This series features 16 figures, with three complete sets and a few spares available in a box. Fellow LEGO® ambassador, @cheepjokes has shared his minifigures with me. As such, I have not had the opportunity to confirm the distribution of figures within the box myself… but let’s take a look at who’s inside.

How many references to the new DC Superhero Minifigures can I find in my comic collection?

To start, I will admit to have paid more attention to DC Comics than Marvel over the years. I was introduced to the world of the Justice league, and the Dark Knight returns in the late 1980’s, by a fellow resident at the University Residential Hall I was staying in. I subsequently seem to have found myself with a few more comics than I possibly should… As such, many of these characters were familiar to me, in some way or another, but not all. The good news is that I have printed examples of many of the characters depicted in the set. For one, I visited my local comic shop ( a Big Shoutout here to Comics R Us, in Windsor, Victoria), while for some of the others, I had to resort to looking through Comixology for an example of the character at work. One in particular was difficult to identify, particularly in the costume presented in mining form. Can you guess which one?

Something New

One thing that this series has, which has not been seen before, is a new piece designed to provide dynamic flying effects for our figures: Element 65578 -Bar, Angled with Stud on Top (according to Rebrickable). In conjunction with the hollow stud of an offset plate, this element is designed to attach to the sole of a Minifigures foot, or the hole on the back of the minifigure leg, to support the figure slightly off the ground. The stud on this part has a hole in as well, allowing the parts to stack, allowing our characters to appear suitably heroic, or at least quite busy.

As such, the figures come with a couple of extra elements compared with previous collectable minifigures. In many markets, this series has seen a price rise, although the RRP of $5.99 has been consistent for the last few series currently available in the LEGO Online store in Australia (individual retailers might vary).

Sound off

Characters in this series of Minifigures come from all over the DC Multiverse. Now, one of the challenges with following comic books in recent years has been the need to reboot the continuity from time to time, because of too many plot holes, inconsistencies or a need to remove the complacency of a world where all enemies have been defeated, love is requited and there is a strong risk of living happily ever after.

As such, the points of origin for some of these characters is no longer the world in which they belong. They may or may not have the same set of team affiliations that they once had: as such inconsistencies and inaccuracies are quite possible.

As has been my tendency over the last few series, I shall also put the figures under UV Light, to look out for any evidence of parts that fluoresce. Who knows, there might be a game changer here…

Mister Miracle

Mr Miracle in Infinite Crisis

Mister Miracle’s alter ego is Scott Free, son of Highfather, ruler of New Genesis. Scott escaped to Earth from the world of Apokolips, and adopted the identity of Mister Miracle from a professional Escape Artist. He first Appeared in 1971’s Mister Miracle #1

Mister Miracle comes with a bright green cape. Interestingly, his red torso fluoresces under UV, but his head doesn’t. He features dual moulded legs. In keeping with his reputation as an escape artist, he comes with a chain, and set of handcuffs. The Bright Green elements, as well as the red on his legs and Torso fluoresce under UV.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman makes her Debut in All Star Comics #8, 1942. Source: Comixology

Wonder Woman first appeared in the Golden Age of Comics, in All-Star Comics,#8 from January 1942. It is in the costume she used I these original appearances, with a skirt, that she is depicted here. She also has printed wristbands on her arms well as a golden lasso. The eagle on her chest is clearly printed, with no sign of the stylisation that would appear in later years.

Only her dual moulded boots fluoresce under UV light.

Aquaman

Aquaman debuts his new look. Source: Comixology

Arthur Curry, King of Atlantis, first appeared in Adventure Comics #229, October 1956. The version depicted here dates from January 1995 (Aquaman Volume 5 #5). In this run, Aquaman has lost his heft hand, replaced here with a golden hook.

The minifigure features a new hook design as the left hand, and a printed, silver arm on the right. His legs are dual printed, bright green and black, with the bright green fluorescing. On the fringes of the legs, there is a printed scale pattern. Aquaman comes with a spring yellowish green fish as an accessory. This is the first time this mould has been seen in this colour.

Fun fact: under UV light, Aquaman resembles Jason Mamoa, who played him in the recent Warner brothers Justice League and Aquaman movies.

Star Girl

Star Girl, as seen in Infinite Crisis

Courtney Whitmore made her debut as the second Star Spangled Kid in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.s #0, August 1999. On receiving the Star Man Staff from Jack Knight (Starman V2 #80), she adopted the identity of Stargirl.

Again, we have dual molded legs. and printed arms. No aspect of the minifigure fluoresces, however, the top of her staff does. The head of the staff is Speckled Tranparent Orange, listed as a new colour this year, and this element represents its debut.

Sinestro

Source: Comixology

Thaal Sinestro was originally one of the strongest members of the Green Lantern Corps. He was exiled after it was learned he was setting up a dictatorship. He returned, wielding a yellow power ring. Over the years, he has been a member of the Injustice League and the Secret Society of Super Villains. He first appeared in 1961, in Green Lantern #6, and this original constume is the one presented with this minifigure.

The minifigure features a purple head, arm printing and dual moulded legs. He also comes with a yellow lantern. His power ring is represented by a printed transparent yellow tile, with his power ring emblem printed on it.

Cheetah

Cheetah, as seen on the cover of Wonder Woman #6. Source: Comixology

First Appearing in in Wonder Woman #6 back in 1943, Cheetah was an alias of debutante, Pricilla Rich. While the character has evolved over the years, through the DC Multiverse, it is this version that the minifigure best resembles.

The Cheetah minifigure has a cowl, with moulded ears, and printed spots front/top and back of the cowl; front and back of the torso, on the arms, and front and sides of the legs. She has a rubbery tail, also printed on both sides Cheetah comes with a green sack, printed with a ‘$’.

Superman

No more Undies on the Outside. Superman, as he appeared on the cover of Superman #1 in 2011
Source: Comixology

Superman, sent from the dying Planet Krypton to Earth is one of the oldest Super Heroes in the DC Pantheon. Superman has sported a variety of looks over the year, but perhaps most famous is the ‘Undies on the outside’ look. When the DC Continuity was rebooted in 2011, as the New 52, many traditional costumes got a bit of a reboot as well, with Superman now dressed in blue, with a broad red belt. He has additional shading on his torso, to emphasis his musculature.

Superman comes with a printed tile, representing the Daily Planet newspaper, where Clark Kent works, and a soft red cape. I found the cape can be easy to ‘flick up,’ where it will stay, giving the figure a ‘floating in the air’ appearance. This effect is well highlighted with the new angled bar with stud included throughout the range.

Green Lantern/Simon Baz

Simon Baz made his debut in the 2012 Free Comic Book Day New 52 Special edition. A Lebanese American from Detroit, Simon takes on the role of Green Lantern, looking after Earth after Hal Jordan. Its as if large chunk of the 80’s and 90’s, with alternate GLs did not exist!

Like Sinestro, He comes with a power lantern from which to charge his ring, which is a printed 1×1 round tile, with the Green Lantern logo printed on it. He has dual moulded black and medium nougat arms, as well as black and bright green legs. The bright green of the legs fluoresces under UV light, as do the trans fluoro green elements.

Cyborg

Cyborg: Part of the Titans Lineup in ‘A Lonely Place of Dying’

Created originally as a character for the Teen Titans, Victor Stone made his debut as Cyborg in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980). Following the new 52 reboot, he was a founding member of the Justice League.

Most of the figure is flat silver, although the arms seem to be dual moulded, with printing as well. His head is also predominantly flat silver, so he maintains his cybernetic look, even with his hair pice off. He comes with two purple chains.

Batman

I don’t have a copy of Detective Comics #27 in my collection, but this page appeared in #30 – reprinted in ‘The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told’ 1988 DC Comics Inc.

Not just any old Batman. This is Batman as he was back in the 1930s, when he first appeared in Detective Comics 27. The bat symbol on his chest has a different form to that we have come to recognise over the years. the cowl is also a new mould, with longer, and more swept back ears. This Batman comes with a blue batarang, and string with bar elements.

When the cowl is removed, we see a pair of goggles, rather than the traditional headband around his forehead. Unfortunately, the printing on the head comes across quite pale: a similar problem to that often seen with the Mercy figure from OverWatch.

Huntress

Huntress has had a number of identities since she was first created as Helena Wayne – Daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle in 1977. Subsequently, she received a reboot in 1989, as Helena Bertinelli: daughter of a mob family, wreaking vengeance in Gotham. And then she was re-rebooted as Helena Wayne as part of the New 52. (who had arrived from earth 2 – while Helea Bertinelli also co-existed. The costume she is wearing here is from the new 52 continuity.

She features dual moulded and printed black and violet legs, a dual printed head, and printed shoulders. She comes accessorised with a purple belt, as well as a crossbow.

Metamorpho

Metamorpho’s origin story is retold in 52 #6

Rex Mason was an adventurer who discovered the Orb of Ra , and became the Shape Shifting Element Man in the Brave and the Bold #57 in 1965. He subsequently became part of the Justice League – Europe in the 80’s/Metamorpho – the Element man – is a shape changer. and in this figure, we see him enlarging the size of his left first, for maximum punch.

Metamorpho has printed arms and legs. His left leg is trans clear, and printed; his right is dark tan, and also printed to look like mud.

Joker

The Joker dispenses Sweet Death in the form of fairy floss in the Dark Knight Returns.

The Joker has been Batman’s Nemesis for 80 years – first appearing in Batman #1, in 1940. This version, with a light purple shirt under his white suit is the one seen in Frank Millers seminal graphic Novel, the Dark Knight Returns.. Carrying a stick of fairy floss, as well as a playing card, there is no doubt that this is a Joker who means business. This is the first time we have seen his hair in bright yellowish green.

Bumblebee

Bumblebee is probably the most obscure of the characters featured in this series- at least to me. I had no references to her in my collection at home, and had to scour samples of Titans pages from Comixology! She first appeared in 1976, as a member of the Teen Titans. She has also been part of Doom Patrol in recent years.

With plain black legs, a printed yellow torso, as well as wrist bands printed on her arms, she has a double sided head print, a pair of fairy wings, as well as two electrical blasts.

Flash (Jay Garrick)

Jay Garrick was the Original Flash, first appearing in 1940. One from the Golden Age of Super Heroes, Jay has been part of Justice Society of America and the All Star Squadron. In recent years has been a mentor to Barry Allen and Wally West.

Jay’s Minifigure features dual moulded blue and red legs, with gold printing on the sides. He comes with a neck bracket, allowing some lightning bolts to be attached to his back. His helmet is a well realised sculpt, also dual color moulded (Silver and gold).

Batmite

Bat Mite meets Batgirl , Batman 144, 1951 reprinted in ‘Batman in the Sixties’ 1999 DC Comics.

First appearing in Detective comics 267 in 1959, Bat-Mite is a mischievous imp, who has come from the 5th Dimension, to taunt Batman with his unending love.

He features triple moulded child legs:stripes in Blue as well as light bluish grey. His torso looks like it is a bit of ‘homemade’ cosplay. As a massive Batman Fan, BatMite has a copy of Detective Comics #27, depicting the first ever appearance of Batman, in his hand. One of the ears on his cowl is upright, and the right one bent down wards. Removing the cowl, we find ourselves with a face that is wearing large glasses, with Bat-Logo Frames!

In conclusion

What a great mixture of figures. There are a few here that are a little obscure, as well as new variants not previously seen in LEGO form. Personally, I am reluctant to pick a favourite, as there are so many that I love. Mister Miracle certainly captures the spirit of the character, especially with his blocky printing, while the original Batman certainly has the gritty feel of the early comics: not something Superheroes in LEGO form tend to convey. I was surprised to see how few elements fluoresced under Ultraviolet light, particularly given the effects seen in the previous few series.

Overall, I really like this series, although if you are not a fan of DC Heroes, I can see this might leave you feeling a bit ‘Meh.’ That said, the new ‘posting bar’ is an interesting piece, and I can see it being put to all sorts of uses in the near future by MOC builders, especially in the setting of Superhero dioramas.

Does this series make it possible for a potential Star Wars or Marvel series? I think it is unlikely. As Hasbro currently has the license for producing action figures/collectible figures for the Star Wars Characters, it is unlikely to happen. This is a good part of the reason that the Star Wars Battle Packs have a mysterious, often off canon, construction in the set – to ensure that it remains a construction toy – which is the licence that LEGO® currently have.

But in the meantime, who is your favourite? If you have been following the rambling Brick during the last couple of series of minifigures, you might well expect a competition to be announced soon. I am waiting for some pieces to fall into place, then I am pretty sure there will be a building contest announced shortly, with some great prizes courtesy of the LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement Team.

Until next time,

Play Well.

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