When it comes to DC Universe, I’m still a young Padawan, so unless a character has appeared in one of the vehicles of the DC Animated Universe or has a DCU Classics figure, chances are I’ve never heard of ‘em. I don’t feel too badly, though, since Mattel is rolling out some really obscure characters that are making even long-time fans scratch their heads and consulting Wikipedia to find out who the heck they are.
When Wave 12 was announced, there was only one character who was a must have, and that was Copperhead. He appeared in the episode ‘Injustice For All’ of Justice League along with Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, The Shade, Star Sapphire, the Ultra-Humanite, and Lex Luthor as the Injustice Gang. Copperhead appeared in further episodes of Justice League Unlimited and has even made an appearance in the new animated series, Batman: The Brave and The Bold.
Mysterious and menacing, the man only as Copperhead first emerged in Gotham City, carrying out a series of incredible thefts. When confronted, his poison fangs and constrictor coils were enough to defeat most opponents. Copperhead increased his powers by striking a deal with the demonic Neron, becoming a truly monstrous man/snake hybrid. In this horrific new form, he took on more lethal assignments as a super-assassin. His ghastly power and inhuman abilities make him one of the world’s most frightening villains.
Design & Sculpt: Let’s just get this out of the way; Copperhead is a dude wearing a snake suit. If you can get past that you just might be able to enjoy this figure. Despite the “absurdity” of the character, the Four Horsemen did a great job with him. His reptilian scales are executed really well, and although we’ve seen the 4H’s scale mail work before with Deathstroke and Aquama (who lends a couple parts to Copperhead), we’ve got a scaled figure comprised of mostly new parts.
The head looks great and really has to sell the figure. It actually consists of two separate pieces; his face and his snake head. Most DCUC figures don’t have much in a way of expression, something they seem to be more comfortable giving figures lately. Copperhead looks like he is either laughing maniacally or just sat on a bicycle with no seat. Either way, its a pretty interesting look, though, the way his face is angled in contrast to his mask, its very hard to get him to look where you want him to while posing him.
The biggest disappointment with Copperhead is his lack of tail. To me at least it’s the equivalent of not giving Superman his cape. It’s a part of his visual aesthetic and it is sorely missed, a tail really would have completed the figure.
Plastic & Paint: Copperhead has a nice glossy finish that really gives him that “slimy” snake look. In reality, anyone who has ever held a snake knows they’re not slimy at all. Although the paint apps for his costume are fairly simple, they really do give the figure a nice finished look. Copperhead’s face however is a different story, results certainly do vary here.
One aspect of Copperhead that seems to be a bit polarizing is the “bib” that is supposed to represent the ventral or “belly” scales of a snake. I think it looks fine as is, even if it does look like an ascot, or like he’s about to have dinner at Red Lobster, but some argue that it would have looked better sculpted onto the torso as it kind of sticks out.
Articulation: Standard DCUC articulation: ball joints at the shoulders and hips, hinge joints at the elbows, knees, ankles and abdomen, and swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, and calves. Wave 12 saw a little improvement over the previous waves with the ball jointed neck; Copperhead has a decent range of movement in that department, but not quite back to normal.
Accessories: Wave 12’s Collect & Connect figure is Darkseid. Copperhead comes complete with Darkseid’s head and lower torso piece. Copperhead also includes the Collectable pin featuring vintage artwork.
Quality Control: Those who have been collecting DCUC since the beginning will remember the rampant QC issues, splotchy paint jobs, double limbs, etc. Copperhead seems to continue the trend of higher quality figures.
Overall: Copperhead may be a C-list villain, but his facial expression, vibrant colors, and scales make him stick out on the shelf. Mattel could have easily skimped here and merely painted him and skipped the scales entirely. Given the unique tooling, it raises Copperhead above mediocrity, but the lack of tail or any accessories knocks the figure back down a few pegs. Still, he’s should be a welcome addition to any die-hard fan’s collection.