Like many of DC Comics‘ most iconic characters, The Spectre received his first story during the Golden Age of comics way back in 1940 in More Fun Comics #55. The Spectre was a hero that one could not help but root for, a slain police officer who returns as the Wrath (or the Voice) of God to seek vengeance for injustice. The Spectre was even popular enough to gain admission into the Justice Society of America. Over the years he’s had several reinterpretations, a retcon or two, and has even possessed Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.
For DC Universe Classics Wave 12, there are two variants of The Spectre. The first is the subject of this review–the standard Spectre. There’s also a glow in the dark variant, which doesn’t seem as much like a variant since I’ve seen it more than the standard version at retail. Other than the glow in the dark plastic skin there are no differences between the two versions.
Packaging: The Spectre comes in the revamped Wave 12 DC Universe Classics blister card highlighting DC Comics’ 75th Anniversary. The new art features a showcase of various DC characters including familiar ones like Superman, Batman, and The Flash, and also offers up a preview of up and coming figures like Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) from Wave 13 and the recently announced Zatana & Ultra Humanite from Wave 14
Design & Sculpt: The Spectre is composed primarily of the “male slender” body. There is minimal unique tooling due to the character’s very simple design. New parts include the face, hood, gloves, collar, and cape. He does get spread-open right and left hands. Also, while his booties appear to be similar to Deadman’s ruby slippers, they seem to be unique as well. I really like the way the cape nicely drapes off the back of his shoulders, however the way the hood and collar are sculpted, they partially inhibits the head articulation.
Plastic & Paint: The Spectre has fairly simple paint applications for a DCUC figure, but they still come out looking nice. My only complaint is that his chest, lower abdomen, and upper thighs are molded in a very glossy plastic, while his shoulders, biceps, forearms, and lower legs have more of a matte finish. The only part of his costume that actually looks like its been painted are his shorts. Finally, there is a very subtle wash accentuating the sculpt of the musculature which complements the figure nicely. The Spectre has a fairly pliable cape, so you won’t have much difficulty with getting him out of the package or posing him.
Articulation: James Corrigan has the standard DCUC articulation: swivel head, ball jointed shoulders, hinges at the elbows, knees, ankles and abdomen, swivels at the biceps, wrists, lower thighs and waist, and H-hinges at the hips.
Accessories: Wave 12’s Collect & Connect figure is Darkseid, a larger version than the one released in the DC Superheroes Line. The Spectre comes with Darkseid’s right arm which also includes his Killing Glove, which is interchangeable with his regular gloved hand.
Quality Control: You’ve got to hand it to Mattel, QC used to be an ongoing issue with DCUC, and fortunately for the last several waves they seem to have stepped it up quite a bit. Other than my complaint about the matte vs. glossy painted parts. I have no problems with this figure.
Overall: Unless you’re a newcomer, twelve waves into DC Universe Classics, you better have come to terms with the re-use of the same bodies over and over. Every wave seems to have that really boring figure, Wave 9 had The Guardian, and Wave 8 had Commander Steel, and while by all rights The Spectre should fall into that category, he somehow manages to remain interesting enough to save him from that stigma, despite the fact that we’ve seen this sculpt so many times before. He may not be this wave’s strongest figure, but he also has some redeeming qualities that come both from his actual toy and his character, meaning that no matter how plain the toy might be, the strength in the character’s cool factor saves him.