Mattel’s Multiverse Expands the DC Cinematic Justice League

By bill - March 28, 2016

DCMultiverse-BvS-Series-2The next wave of DC Multiverse action figures from Mattel offers up two more characters from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Batman v Superman has hit theaters, and the second assortment of toys is showing up at retail to support it.  The follow-up wave of BvS Multiverse action figures includes Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, as well as Knightmare Batman, the trenchcoat-clad variant of Ben Affleck’s hero, as seen in Bruce Wayne’s entirely superfluous dream sequence from the movie.  While the relevance of these figures may seem questionable– they shared maybe 5 minutes of screen time between them– Mattel has done a solid job giving them both the toy treatment.

Aquaman did not have a major role in Batman v Superman, but considering he appeared in costume– and was more than a creepy, half-demolished torso– he’s certainly the most likely candidate for an action figure beyond the Big Three of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.  And overall, his figure’s pretty cool.  The sculpt captures Jason Momoa’s movie look effectively, from his flowing hair and beard to the scale-patterned armor on his arms, boots, and shoulder.  There’s a nice bit of detailing on display in the texture of his pants, the straps binding his armor together, and even the small scar that bisects his left eyebrow.  The portrait of Momoa isn’t perfect, and the limited paint apps leave him lacking the heavily shaded eyes the character has sported in most images we’ve seen of him, but he’s close enough to be recognizable all the same.

DC Multiverse BvS Series 2 007

It seems as though this Aquaman figure is too small overall, leaving him just off-scale from the other Multiverse movie figures.  It’s possible this is not the case– we’ve yet to see Aquaman in a group shot with the rest of the Justice League– but the figure stands only a touch taller than Batman and Superman, while Momoa would pretty much tower over his future cast mates.  And while I like the chiseled musculature of the hero’s chest, his arms seem a bit too thin and undefined.  Weirdly, the Aquaman figure does not feature any moving pieces in the torso– neither an ab crunch, nor a waist swivel– although he does retain all the other standard Multiverse/ Movie Masters articulation.

These issues aside, it’s hard to find fault in this figure’s intricate tampo work, which perfectly renders his tribal style tattoos, as well as the similar patterning on his pants.  A black wash on the golden armor would have completed this effect, but even without that extra bit of paint detailing, what we get here is quite good.  Aquaman comes packed with his trident, as well as another piece of the 1:1 scale Grapnel Gun, which is the Collect-N-Connect feature of the movie assortment.

Batman sports a few different outfits throughout Zack Snyder’s film, but the silliest is, without a doubt, the Knightmare costume.  This version features Batman decked out in a sort of post-apocalyptic garb, with a heavy trench coat, fatigue pants, and a scarf and goggles, all worn over his super hero togs.  The end result is a pretty over-the-top appearance… but it’s also hard to deny that he looks kind of awesome.  I’ve been kind of obsessed with this impractical outfit since the first time we saw it months before the film’s release, and Mattel’s toy version is well executed, even if the scene in which it appears turned out to be the movie’s most frivolous.

The Knightmare Batman seems to share a torso with the standard figure, but everything else is all new, adding the layers of hostile weather accents on top of his super hero spandex.  Batman’s duster jacket is made of soft rubber, which hangs well and does little to inhibit the figure’s articulation… although the sculpt around the figure’s hips winds up limiting him to only being able to extend his legs up to about 45 degrees.

DC Multiverse BvS Series 2 021

Even the head of this figure is a unique sculpt, which does away with the grainy texturing of the first Batman’s cowl.  I like the smooth mask a lot more, and the figure’s removable goggles fit over the head in an organic way, which is helped along by the lack of texture to provide resistance.  Most of Knightmare Batman is once again well painted, although he lacks any sort of wash, which would certainly add to his weathered, haggard appearance, and the figure’s eyes are still painted too large (just like the original figure) which leaves his face looking somewhat cartoony.

It should be noted, this Batman does not skimp on accessories.  In addition to the goggles and the Grapnel Collect-N-Connect piece, Batman also includes three batarangs, which he can hold in his right hand.  These pieces are rendered in perfect scale, and are a great addition to both this and the standard Batman’s arsenal.

Mattel will release a total of eight Batman v Superman Multiverse action figures, and as of now six of them have hit retail.  We know one of the two stragglers is Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, while the eighth and final figure remains a mystery, even on the back of the packaging, which has kept the character’s portrait blacked out.  The silhouette is clearly identical to the image of Superman… but for the life of me, I can’t think of any possible variants of the Man of Steel that could join this lineup (especially since a variant with Heat Vision eyes has already been slotted as a Toys R Us exclusive, along with unmasked Batman).  I’m betting the teaser on the box art is just a place holder, and we’ll see a different character join the collection as the final figure.  The Knightmare Flash or the Superman Death Squad soldiers– both seen in Bruce Wayne’s dream– seem like the most likely candidates to me.  A lot of people are clamoring for BvS‘ Doomsday (for reasons that escape me, as he was pretty awful), but I don’t think it would be possible to release an in-scale version of the Kryptonian monster in the standard Multiverse packaging.

While we wait to see who the final figure in this series will be, you can look for Aquaman and Knightmare Batman at Wal-Mart stores now.  They’ve been surfacing nationwide, and should soon start to turn up at Toys R Us, Target, Amazon, and other retailers.  If you loved Batman v Superman, or if you’re just keen to collect some solid and affordable renditions of DC’s cinematic Justice League, both these figures are worthy of your consideration.

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