Friday, April 27, 2012

Embodying Hank Henshaw Well, The Cyborg Superman Action Figure From DC Direct Is Worthwhile, Not Flawless!

The Good: Great sculpt, Generally good coloring details, Decent balance
The Bad: Odd articulation, Could use more depth and shading on the coloring.
The Basics: The Green Lantern Cyborg Superman action figure is a good figure that fits the DC Direct line well, but could use some improvements.

It is pretty surprising to me that I now find myself sitting down to write a review of a Superman action figure. The truth is, I’m not a Superman fan, so me getting a Superman figure might seem strange. But, the Green Lantern Cyborg Superman figure is not a basic Superman and the truth is, in reading so many Green Lantern books of late, I’ve become quite interested in the character arc of Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman. So, when I discovered the figure of Cyborg Superman on sale on the internet for a song, I figured it was a great time to pick it up. After all, you can’t have too many villains to menace your DC heroes characters!

For those unfamiliar with Cyborg Superman, in The Sinestro Corps War (reviewed here!), he joins forces with Sinestro, the Manhunters, Superman Prime and the Anti-Monitor to try to destroy the Green Lantern Corps. His allegiance to the Sinestro Corps is simple; he is hoping that at the end of the conflict, if he serves Sinestro well, the Anti-Monitor will kill him.

It is Cyborg Superman, armed to the teeth with Sinestro Corps rings, that is the subject of the Green Lantern Cyborg Superman action figure.


The Cyborg Superman figure is fairly well-detailed and is a good sculpt, despite not being the most detail-rich figure ever. The artwork from Green Lantern translates nicely into the Cyborg Superman figure as this Cyborg Superman is muscular, determined-looking and bears all the iconic parts of the Cyborg Superman costume. The mutilated version of Hank Henshaw stands 6 3/4" tall to the top of the figure's head. His skin is visible on the right side of his face and his left fist. The Green Lantern rendition of Cyborg Superman is from DC Direct.

This toy is a very good sculpt; for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Cyborg Superman looks good in all three dimensions. DC Direct did not make the character incredibly detailed, so much of the mechanical elements of the Cyborg Superman figure have thin lines, but not significant molded aspects. The exception to this is on the Cyborg Superman’s face and right hand. The face of Cyborg Superman is more detailed than a Terminator’s face! As for the hand, the molded details include five yellow power rings and a pair of tubes that make it look like they control the thumb. Outside that, the figure is very light on molded details and this had as bottom that could be from virtually any superhero character.

This Cyborg Superman figure is pretty light on the coloring details as well. Cyborg Superman's eyes are simple red orbs and the costume is very clean, with strong contrast between the dominant red and supporting black of the outfit. The silver metal portions of the figure are a gunmetal gray with no real sheen to them. The coolest coloring detail is that the power rings are translucent yellow. The flesh tones on the face and hand are solid, with no depth or shading.


Cyborg Superman, villain of the DC Universe that he is, comes with only his stand. The stand is a disc 3 3/4" in diameter and 1/4” tall. This is translucent green and bears the Green Lantern symbol, which is a little baffling considering Hank Henshaw was in the Sinestro Corps. As it is, though, the one peg this stand has fits perfectly in the hole in the right foot of Cyborg Superman.


The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play. This Cyborg Superman is good for display, but not ideal for all the poses one might want. He has less articulation than most figures, but he looks good with the joints he has. This Cyborg Superman actually has decent balance on his own. He can stand flatfooted in most poses off his stand. On his stand with his foot plugged into the base, he is perfectly stable.

Cyborg Superman comes with twelve points of articulation, most of which are ball and socket joints. Cyborg Superman has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists, torso and head. The elbows, right wrist and knees are all hinge joints. The head is on a ball and socket joint, but oddly does not rotate up and down all that much. The torso and shoulders are also on ball and socket joints, so there is some room for movement with this figure.


Cyborg Superman is part of the DC Direct Green Lantern Series 3 line which was fairly uncommon, largely because it was mostly distributed through comic book shops. Cyborg Superman was, oddly, one of the more common figures from this otherwise very rare assortment. Originally available in the $15 - $20 range, he has settled down to the $15 range and barely held his value there. I suspect as more people read The Sinestro Corps War now that it is in a single volume, this figure will appreciate in value.


Cyborg Superman looks good, but I think DC Direct could have done better at making the figure more vibrant and interesting. As a result, it is closer to average than most fans might like for such an otherwise cool villain.

For other villains from the DC Universe made into action figures by DC Direct, please check out my reviews of:
Justice Wave 3 Poison Ivy figure
Wonder Woman Wave 1 Circe figure
Blackest Night Wave 8 Black Lantern Black Flash


For other toy reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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