It’s safe to say DC Universe Classics is my favorite toy line of the moment–and for the foreseeable future. Some have hailed it as Super Powers redux, and with its excellent renditions of the SP-era Lex Luthor and Brainiac, it’s hard to argue with that logic. But DCUC is more than a nostalgia line; with Lightray, Black Lightning, and Amazo already on the way, it’s clear Mattel and the Four Horsemen are committed to a very diverse mix of characters. And with Lobo as the SDCC exclusive, it would seem the sky is the limit.
However, there are a few characters I’m pretty certain we won’t see–but I’d like to, anyway. In the list below, I run down five characters I’d like to see in DCUC and why. Before anyone gets worked up, I should clarify that I wouldn’t want to see these until after all the A-listers and most of the B-listers have been produced. They’d be best sold as exclusives, since they’ll have absolutely no household recognition and even very little fan recognition.
(Thanks to ToyOtter for the use of images from his excellent website, the Super Powers Archive. Also, most of the “Who he is” text was swiped from the characters’ Wikipedia entries.)
Background: The third wave of Super Powers figures included three characters who had never appeared in a comic book. One of these was the rather unimaginatively named Samurai, though he had an edge on the other two because he’d appeared fairly frequently as a member of the Justice League in the 1970s Super Friends cartoon. I’m not sure why someone as obscure as Samurai got an action figure in Super Powers when there were plenty of existing DC characters to choose from, but I suppose his appearances on the kid-targeted Super Friends make him a decent pick for a toy line.
Who he is: Toshio Eto was a history professor. One day, Eto was struck by a beam of light sent by the New Gods of New Genesis, who were trying to create more superheroes to defend the world from Darkseid. Although Eto briefly ran wild with his new powers, the New Gods explained their intent to him and he vowed to become a superhero.
Why I’d like to see him in DCUC: Since he has never officially been introduced in the comics, Samurai is ripe for an innovative, unique Four Horsemen re-interpretation. The Horsemen went wild with their redesigns on the 2002 He-Man line, and I can only imagine what they could do with someone like Samurai, who is obscure enough to allow the Horsemen to do whatever they want with him. I can see this is as a great exclusive–something that will appeal to collectors and fans of Super Powers, but one more casual fans of the DCU can pass up.
Suggestions for a DCUC redesign: If their work on MOTU is any indication, the Horsemen like to take small, odd details on the original toy and amp them up. In the case of Samurai, I think the strangest trait is his weird sword; I can see the Horsemen developing it into a huge, sweeping serrated monstrosity. Other than that, though, there’s really not a lot to work with here.