DC often refers to its most popular characters as "the big three." And not just in editorials and such, but right in the comics, which is a bit weird. Anyway, while Superman and Batman get plenty of action figure representation, the final leg of this long-standing tripod is generally overlooked or ignored. Who's the unloved character that rounds out this trinity? Why, it's Wonder Woman, of course!
Wonder Woman was the very first DC Minimate shown to fans after the license was announced back in 2003, but since the C3 sets failed to catch on, she never materialized - that's why it's nice to get a version here in Series 3.
The figure is looking very nice, despite being a plain block body. Her costume is mostly painted on, though you might have expected her belt to be a separate piece. It's not, but the silver bracelets are - they're just held in place by her hands. Her hair piece is all new: it combines Diana's usual big black hairdo
with a sculpted tiara and red star-shaped earrings. Rather than having her ears be sculpted pieces, they're formed in negative by cutouts in the hair - an impressive bit of design.
Though the rest of the figure's details are just painted on, they look better on Wonder Woman
than they do on many of the female Minimates. Why is that? Maybe because Art Asylum didn't go overboard trying to fool people into thinking the figure has a slender waist and large chest? The lines work with the block, instead of just being printed on top of it. There are thin black lines at the top of her boots, to keep the white trim from blending in with her skin tone. The white stars on her trunks are painted cleanly, and the red star on her headband even gets outlined. Wonder Woman does come with her golden lasso, a permanently coiled piece of plastic that doesn't actually have anywhere to hang from her hip.
Wonder Woman doesn't really have the best enemies to fight,
but DC Direct picked a doozy for this set: Ares, the Greek god of war. This guy would spank Kratos and send him crying home to his dead momma!
Ares' modern look was created by George Perez, one of the masters of intricate detail, and while you might expect that a simplified block figure would streamline all that, you'd be wrong. Ares may only be a few inches tall, but his armor is (nearly) as complex as it is in the comics. To help accomplish this, he has sculpted greaves, a separate skirt, vambraces, shoulder pads and an ankle-length cape. Oh, and the unmistakable helmet, of course, which you can remove to reveal the nearly blank face beneath (he just has those red eyes on a matte black head). The rough texture of his breastplate is just painted on, but it's been done really well.
As the god of war, it falls to Ares to not be unprepared for a fight -
that's why he comes with a sword and a big freakin' axe. Obviously he hasn't played enough D&D to know you get better results with one weapon that deals cutting damage and one that deals smshing damage, not two of the same kind. Snort! Ares uses the 2½" Minimate body, like several of the DC Minimates, but it doesn't look quite as out of place here as it does on, say, Killer Croc. He's quite literally a god - he should be bigger than the average person.
All the Minimates are built from the same basic body,
with only paint details differentiating one character from the next. And, in cases like this, body size. However, they all share the same 14 points of articulation: balljointed head, shoulders and hips, hinged knees and elbows, and swivel wrists, waist and ankles.
The Wonder Woman/Ares set is a good buy. You get the first Minimate offering of a long-overlooked character, and a figure that is just covered in surprising detail. The accessories would go well with many different characters, too. WW will be released again in an upcoming series, but with only minor changes - a different expression on her face - and a different foe to fight. And while the Cheetah may be cool, how can you not love a giant blue Greek god?