I wanted so badly for this figure to be the perfect Superman because so far, none of the DCUC ones was good enough. You name it: disproportionate head-size to body, long hair, too dark a costume, poor head sculpt and paint, to even too long a cape, every figure had its woes.
So what about the Public Enemies Superman? Well, while he doesn't come close to being perfect, he's a helluva lot better than the standard DCUC Supes. And while he's come under lots of criticism by many, I have to say some of the shortcomings actually turned out to be plus-points for me. 'Different strokes for different folks' is what
So let's check Public Enemies Superman out!
Like: His big ol' blue eyes. Their painted with black pupils with the white neatly done and some dark lines for shading. The overall effect is dramatic and makes the figure pop because his eyes stand out even when you're looking at him form a distance.
Like: The bigger buck used for his body. Superman has always been traditionally bigger than the rest of the super hero population so it's time that he was given his due. The DCUC versions and the DCSH versions are too small by just a tad. Hopefully, Mattel will be able to use this buck to vary the sizes of their future offerings. In that vein, time for a new female buck as well, one that doesn't make every super heroine look like they only eat once every three days.
Like: The lighter blue costume. The DCUC Superman releases suffer from to deep a blue for their costumes, among other things. The Public Enemies version of the Last son of Krypton is spot on. The blue even matches the blue of his eyes! ;)
Like: That he has a thicker 'S'. I really can;t emphasize enough the importance of the correct thickness in his chest emblem. I can tolerate a blue that's slightly off. I can even close one eye to a slightly dopey looking and otherwise expressionless face. But that 'S'? No, sirree. It's what makes Superman recognizable as Superman. It's his symbol. It's what he threw at Non in Superman II. Ok, maybe not for that last reason. But they have to get it right, otherwise it makes him look like a cheap knockoff.
Like: The raised belt. It's a nice improvement from the DCSH figures of yore and helps break the boredom of what would otherwise be a completely painted-on costume. It's a minor detail, but and important one for the overall look of PE Supes.
Like: Great articulation. As with all DC Universe figures, Superman has your standard 23 points or so (depending on how you count) of articulation. Special mention goes to his head, which has perfect up, down, left and right motion that's absent from recent new waves of DCUC.
Like: Skin Tone. Some have said he's too tan. Well, Supes should be tan cuz he wants to be in the sun all the time. And what Kal-El wants, Kal-El gets. Some have also said he looks Puerto Rican or Mexican or whatever. He frickin' looks like Superman with a nice healthy tan. Why would anyone want pasty white, unhealthy looking Man of Steel anyway? ;P
Dislike: Stuck Ab Crunch...that I can't get unstuck and that's still stuck right now! This seriously bothers me. I've no complaints if they joint came loose somehow but as it is, one of my favourite joints on a figure has pretty much been neutered. Sure, he can still arch back to stretch out his torso, but he can't crunch without it slowly shifting back to an upright position. Any solutions to this problem are welcome by the way!
Dislike: Loose knees. Well, they're not hopelessly loose, but they're not as tight as the hip/leg or the ankle joints. Thankfully those are fine and help compensate for the knees when balancing.
Dislike: That it's a Target Exclusive, didn't come to many areas. definitely didn't come to Southeast Asia. Luckily I had friends living in the US who where willing to put up with my shenanigans when I asked for them to look out for the wave. So thanks, Mary! I don't have any problems with Exclusives, just exclusives that aren't available here in Singapore. :P
Aesthetics: 8.5/10 - It's the standard Superman. Red, blue, and yellow. But there's so many things that can go wrong and have done with the standard DCUC issue. PE Superman gets 'em all right, or at least to my liking. ;)
Poseaility: 8/10 - He's great in this respect but really loses points for a stuck ab crunch. His head is excellent but his score could've been better but for the stomach problems. Heh.
Fun: 9/10 - He's Superman and I have five other versions of him, so how much fun could he be?
Well, to my surprise, plenty. It's funny how much more fun a figure can be when you look at it and you simply like what you see. Also, he'll look great next to PE Batman and the rest of the supporting cast from that series. Can anyone say mass brawl???
Value: 7/10 - He cost me around S$30 (US$21.42) after shipping and handling, which is about three-quarters of the price of what specialty stores around here are charging (if they have them at all). In that sense, he's a deal. Also, he comes with Collect and Connect Brimstone's right arm and a spiffy Public Enemies figure stand, both of which I consider bonuses when compared to the standard DCUC version's regular stand and no BAF for the same price (or maybe even more after the price increase).
But still, he comes with no other accessories, as is that practice with Supermen.
Overall: 8.3/10 - The best Superman figure in the DC Universe line yet. He might take a hit for value but he rates very highly in the other categories. Take away a stuck joint that's probably the exception rather than the norm and you have yourself an even bigger winner. My advice? If you're not keen on the CnC Brimstone, find him loose (preferably with the stand), find him limber (need that ab crunch), and find him cheap (or at least reasonably so).