Everybody loves to see Batman and Superman team up. The characters are so different that the way they play off each other is great. And while it's nice that they're friends and all, what people really want is to see them fight.
No hero personifies truth, justice and the American way like Superman! As his fellow JLA member and longtime friend, the Man of Steel is Batman's most trusted ally.
By all logic, Superman should be able to break Batman in half without a second thought, but Bats invariably wins their confrontations. Why? Because, like the Bad Kung-Fu Master, he cheats like a mofo! When Bruce Wayne went to Metropolis in the best-selling "Hush" storyline, Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee took the opportunity to include a Batman/Superman throwdown. For their "Hush" action figures, DC Direct took the opportunity of the battle to put another Superman on the shelves.
Now, this isn't a plain vanilla Superman, and it does involve some spoilers, so sorry, but there's no way to avoid that in this review.
The reason that the two heroes fought this time
was that Poison Ivy had taken control of Supes' mind, with a little help from some Kryptonite lipstick. Reflecting that, Tim Bruckner's Super-sculpt has a bit of ivy draped around the neck, and a few sprigs on his right forearm. Just like the Ivy figure, the sculpt on these is very nice, and the paint apps are perfect.
Since Clark has been brawling with Bruce, his cape is in tatters - it's being blown to the side, but the end is frayed and there's a big hole in it. The outside is bright red, but the inside is painted a bit darker to suggest shadows. That's pretty cool.
While that's nice, the body sculpt isn't too impressive. Superman is surprisingly skinny here, and doesn't really look much like the way Jim Lee drew him. If Riddler is "one of" the weakest figures, guess who comes in behind him. The figure's just under 7" tall and moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles, typical of a DCD figure.
Even the face looks wrong. It's so angular you could cut yourself on his cheekbones, and the jawline just out too far to the sides. Sure, for a certain angle it looks like Lee's art, but mostly, it just looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The spitcurl is a separate piece that sticks out from his head, which is nice, but that alone can't save it. The paint job is good, with black-rimmed orange eyes - Supes is using his heat vision.
Superman's one redeeming quality is his base. Yes, he has the same Bat-logo base as the rest of the Hush figures, but his gets a bit of an embellishment: there's rubble strewn on the base, making it pretty much useless for regular footpegs. But that's okay, because it's really there so Superman can fly. The figure includes a 6 1/2" metal rod that plugs into the stones and into Superman's back, making him hover slightly off the ground. It's a nice effect, and helps give the figure a few more cool points.
Nice cape, nice hair, good paint and a cool base don't outweigh a mediocre sculpt and average articulation. Of course, since the proposed Jim Lee Superman line has been cancelled (to be replaced with an Ed McGuinness Superman/Batman "Public Enemies" line), this is the only place you'll be getting Jim Lee's vision of the man from Krypton. If that's worth it to you, then go for it. If you want a good Superman figure, get the earlier version. Though that one doesn't have the floaty feature that this one does, it's better in every other way.
Are you sad to see the Jim Lee Superman line disappear? What would you have put in it? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.