SUPER POWERS (KENNER)
“The Man of Steel – Powers: Super-strength, super-vision (x-ray vision, telescopic vision, heat vision, microscopic vision), invulnerability, flight, super-speed, super-breath, super-senses, super-voice, super-intellect – Weaknesses: Green Kryptonite can kill Superman, Red “K” affects him in bizarre ways, Gold “K” takes away hi powers. Superman’s invulnerability does not protect him against magic. Superman loses his powers in a solar system with a red sun.”
I gotta be honest, I’m a little bit shocked by how few Super Powers figures I’ve looked at on the site. I mean, I only have so many of them, so they can’t get reviewed all the time. Anyway, as I’ve mentioned a few times before (I think, anyway), it’s one of my very favorite lines of action figures, and it gets my vote for THE definitive DC-based toyline. In particular, it provides perhaps the best figures available of a number of DC top-tier characters, including the Man of Steel himself, Superman!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Superman was released in Series 1 of Kenner’s Super Powers line. Like the rest of the line, he’s based on Superman’s entry in the 1982 DC Style Guide (drawn by the consistently fantastic Jose Garcia-Lopez), which is really just the same look Supes had been sporting for almost 50 years at that point, and would go on to sport for another 30. Stylistically, of course, he’s very much a Bronze Age Superman, but that’s something only the most dedicated of fans is really going to care about. The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation. Superman’s sculpt is definitely top notch; while he’s a little wider than the Garcia-Lopez Superman seen on the packaging, he’s no less well rendered. Like the rest of the line, he is, of course, a completely unique sculpt (and also like so many in this line, this sculpt would be slightly tweaked and re-used for Toy Biz’s DC Super Heroes line). The head has a nice, friendly but strong look about it, which is really just perfect for Superman, and his musculature is actually pretty well balanced. The arms are a little weird, with the preposing and the somewhat unnaturally upright fists, but they don’t look awful. The cape is a separate, cloth piece. It’s done the same way as all of the other capes in this line were done: flat fabric with a little plastic clip impeded in the collar. It’s a kind of a dated look, since it’s not how such things are rendered anymore, but it’s not bad, and I particularly dig the S-emblem on the back of it. In terms of paint, Superman is bright and colorful, and pretty clean. My personal figure has a little wear on a few spots, but he’s generally held up pretty well. As with all Super Powers figures, Superman has an action feature, dubbed the “Power Action Punch.” When you squeeze his legs together, his arms rotate in opposing directions. It’s not as clever as some others, but it’s still pretty fun.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My first Super Powers Superman was actually not a Super Powers Superman at all, but rather the Toy Biz copy, which I fished out of a loose toy bin at Universal Comics when I was about 5 or 6. At the time, I didn’t quite know the difference between the two yet. A few years later, this guy was part of a large lot of Super Powers figures that I got for Christmas, and I at that point recognized the difference between the two, so this guy was added to my collection. He didn’t have his cape, so he actually has the Toy Biz one (which was pretty much the same). I quite like this guy, and as I noted in the intro, he’s one of my favorite Supermen.