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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Beast Kingdom Puts Superman Back In Black

San Diego Comic Con is just under a week away, and with it a literal landslide of awesome exclusives fans will be clamoring to get their hands on. Beast Kingdom will be one of the many retailers setting up shop next week, and they're bringing a trio of fantastic figures along that fans of the DC Extended Universe are sure to get excited over!

And today, we're going to be taking a look at the fist of these three pieces with the Beast Kingdom DAH-0013SP Justice League Superman Special Color figure - which puts the Man Of Steel in his iconic black and silver suit like you've never seen him before!

The Special Color Superman figure is crafted in 1/9th scale and stands about 7.2" tall. He features a stunning likeness to actor Henry Cavill, who has been portraying the Last Son Of Krypton since Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel first hit the big screen back in the summer of 2013. The facial expression is stern and determined, featuring some very nice sculpted details throughout. Striking brown eyes set on fighting for truth, justice and the American way dominate the head sculpt, which also features slick black hair, pursed lips and even Cavill's unmistakable chin dimple. It's a very accurate take on the latest big screen incarnation of Superman, and we'd dare to say it's one of the very best likenesses of Henry Cavill that we've ever seen crafted in plastic.

Moving on down the figure, we come to the sleek monochromatic costume. It's one that we've seen variations on within the DC Extended Universe before - most notably during a rather dark dream sequence in Man Of Steel and in a deleted scene meant for Zack Snyder's Justice League. However, this particular outfit has been crafted specifically in homage to the classic 1992 story, The Death Of Superman.

From the writing team of Dan Jurgens, Roger Stern, Louise Simonson, Jerry Ordway and Karl Kesel, the DC Comics event lasted from December 1992 until October 1993. It would see Superman squaring off against an intergalactic monster known as Doomsday, who would eventually kill the Man Of Steel in combat. The book shocked the world, but would eventually see Superman rise once more, this time dressed in a new black and silver costume that would go down in history as one of the hero's most well known and beloved looks throughout his 80 year history.

The suit would aid in Superman's recovery following his brawl with the villainous Doomsday, assisting his cells in the collection of solar energy. This would in turn allow Superman's numerous powers - from flight to heat vision, and everything in between, to return at a quicker rate after rising from the dead once more. This particular suit would go on to feature outside of the comics, making appearances in everything from the Superman: Doomsday animated movie in 2007, to the fan-favorite Justice League Unlimited animated series that ran from 2001 until 2004.

The version created by Beast Kingdom for this San Diego Comic Con exclusive figure is quite exquisite to behold. It features classic colors that include a very nice matte black making up the majority of the outfit. Breaking up the darkness, Beast Kingdom has also incorporated some very nice luminous silvery lines throughout. These extra applications really make this Superman figure pop, especially when it comes to that truly striking House Of El emblem adorning his chest.

The paint applications spread throughout are all beautifully done. The matte black is evenly applied, and features some very nice subtle dry brushing that aids in helping some of the extra sculpted details throughout the body really stand out. As for the silver line work, it's expertly done! The lines are crisp and clean, with no issues regarding bleeds, smears or smudges to speak of - and trust us, we looked! The artisans at Beast Kingdom have really taken their time with this one, and the end result is downright impressive to see in person.

The overall sculpt of the figure is also top notch. As we mentioned above, there is some very nice sculpted detail present throughout the body of this figure. These include impressive pectorals, cut abdominals and rippling muscles that are crafted to look more real world than comic booky. This, of course, is appropriate given that this new figure is based on the latest live-action incarnation of Superman. And the overall transition from screen to sculpt is very well executed.

Also present with this figure is Superman's iconic cape, and Beast Kingdom has strayed away from the softer rubber of most releases of this caliber and opted for a very special fabric piece. It's soft, billowy and even features a wire within that allows fans the option of custom posing. It's one of the standout points that make up this action figure, and does it ever look nice when photographed!

The cape is firmly attached to the shoulders of the figure and, given that it's made up of soft fabric, it doesn't hinder the overall articulation in any way. It's a really nice extra touch for an already very impressive action figure, and we can't thank Beast Kingdom enough for going the extra mile in crafting this iconic piece of DC history.

As if the sculpt wasn't already impressive enough, Beast Kingdom has also loaded up this Superman exclusive with articulation. The black clad Man Of Steel features 24 moveable points, offering numerous posing options for fans and collectors alike. Fans will be able to locate movement almost everywhere on this piece including the head, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, arms, wrists, midsection, waist, thighs, legs, knees, feet and toes. Given that this is a high quality Comic Con exclusive, fans should not be surprised to learn that the joints are nice and tight. They can be manipulated easily, and hold nice and strong even after repeated usage.

The overall strength of the joints is something more that fans should appreciate about this piece, as it looks to offer a long shelf life without having to worry about joints loosening over time.

Now, we will admit that, while this is a very striking and well crafted piece to have in person, it is not without its flaw. While we really do love this figure, we were a little surprised to discover that the appendages, including some of the larger moveable parts, did have the tendency to break off. Now, given that all these pieces are mounted on ball joints, they do snap back into place easily.

It's just a little inconvenient to have pieces snapping off when moving the figure around.

Still, this is a very strong figure, and this little flaw is really nothing that should allow fans and collectors to convince themselves otherwise.

Moving on past the figure itself, Beast Kingdom has also included a number of additional accessories with this all-new Black Suit Superman. Alongside the figure, they've also included three sets of interchangeable hands. They're nicely painted, and match the skin tone of the figure nicely. Aside from the regular set of holding hands that come attached to the figure straight out of the box, fans will also get a set of fists, and a pair of open hands as well. All of these are well painted, and can attach and detach to the action figure easily.

Along with those six interchangeable hands, Beast Kingdom has also included a very nice display stand and a clear articulated arm. The stand is black, and features the logo for Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. This is a very interesting aspect of the figure as initial promotional images for the piece released earlier last month showed the Black Suit Superman with a Justice League display stand. We've no idea why our display stand is different than the one featured in those promotional images, but we're really not going to gripe about it.

It is, after all, just a display stand, right?

As mentioned, Beast Kingdom has also included a clear articulated arm that will allow for added stability when posing and displaying. It's a really nice little extra to include with the figure, and even allows for fans to mimic some flight poses as seen on screen. The joint is ratcheted and holds nice and tight despite repeated use, and is a really nice quality overall.

All these extra accessories come encased in a plastic baggie within the box, and everything comes to you in a dual layer plastic tray. This tray is, in turn, slipped into some very beautiful packaging. All black in color, it's rather simplistic with an embossed House Of El emblem that is silver in color and, like the figure it represents, really pops against the all-black of the packaging.

Adding to the fact that this is a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, and not the regular Beast Kingdom Superman figure, the company has also plastered a few special stickers on the box declaring this piece a limited edition only available at the convention.

We also must take this moment to thank Beast Kingdom for really putting some thought into the overall packaging design. It's collector friendly in every sense, and gives fans the option to return the Man Of Steel back to his little cardboard and plastic dwelling with ease once your done saving Metropolis from the forces of evil. Everything stashes away very nicely once it has been removed, and it really makes us wish that more companies would follow in the footsteps of Beast Kingdom and elect for such sensible packaging.

But, like we've said before, you can't have everything!

So, to sum things up, we were very, VERY impressed with the overall execution of this San Diego Comic Con exclusive Superman figure. The sculpt is strong, the paint and line work are absolutely flawless, and the articulation is both plentiful and strong! Beast Kingdom has done a standout job with this first San Diego Comic Con exclusive, and we're sure that many fans will be eager and happy to purchase him through the Beast Kingdom booth beginning next week.

This is easily one of the strongest Superman figures that we've ever had the privilege to look at.

In fact, we'd go so far as to declare it the best one to date!

This is an action figure truly worthy of Superman's 80 year legacy.

+ Strong Sculpt
+ Nice Level Of Detail
+ Expertly Applied Paint Applications
+ Plenty Of Articulation
+ Strong Sense Of Balance
+ Strong Joints
+ Appropriate Accessories
+ Aesthetically Pleasing

- Joints Tend To Pop Off Rather Easily
- Comic Con Exclusive Limits Number Available

Overall: "Beast Kingdom has crafted a Superman so striking it's sure to have you praying for that fabled Snyder Cut of Justice League."

The Beast Kingdom DAH-0013SP Justice League Superman Special Color figure will be available for purchase through the Beast Kingdom booth at San Diego Comic Con beginning Thursday, July 19th, while supplies last!

San Diego Comic Con is being held from July 19th - 22nd.

Special thanks to the fine folks over at Beast Kingdom for sending the sample used in this review! And to Katie Passfield for taking the pictures used in this review!

Until next time, Infinite Earths fans!
Please let us know what you thought of this review!

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