After a few entries of pretty much saying the same thing (“cool cape, cool S, cool blue paint), it’s about time we threw in a non-conventional Superman figure just to shake things up. And here we go! Smallville’s very own Clark Kent!
As an avid fan of Superman, it’s no surprise that I would find myself drawn to a TV show about a young Clark Kent in high school. Over the years, the show has diverged quite drastically from their original “high school Superman” pitch and even from the original Superman canon. Needless to say this has caused quite controversy among Superman fans, but I have come to believe that as long as you just finally accept that Smallville is much like an Elseworlds tale, then everything is a little more tolerable.
Regardless of the show and its mishaps in story telling, it definitely did a great job in finding actors that FIT their part and Tom Welling is a prime example as the teenage Clark Kent (despite the actor’s age of 29-30 something.)
SCULPT: A few years back, DC Direct had already released a Clark Kent, Lana Lang, and Lex Luthor figure. Both LL’s suffered great sculptural travesties, the major one being not looking remotely like their real-life inspirations. Lana looked like a cat, and Lex (without the Smallville box) was just your typical blad guy. Because these two looked absolutely horrific, the Clark Kent figure actually managed to look alright. I remember looking at it and thinking, dang this is spot on.
Fast forward a few years, and now holding the Clark Kent of the new series, I realized that first Clark Kent was a travesty as well, looking more like a mix between Bob Sagat and dinosaur if anything else.
So to cut to the chase, this version of Clark Kent is INCREDIBLE. You look at it and you know who it is. You don’t need the box to tell you. It’s Tom Welling and there are no questions asked. That weird pout that he does as a former model is also somehow captured in this plastic version of himself.
The other very impressive aspect of this figure is the sculpting of his clothes. First off, there’s always been the question of cheesiness of having Smallville’s Clark Kent wear a red jacket with a blue shirt, foreshadowing his future days in a red cape and blue tights. Like why would he have the preference for these colors now and wear them every single day and what makes you think that when he does become Superman, he’s gonna think “oh you know, I used to wear this red jacket blue shirt combo every second of the day that I really liked. let me see if I can create a tights equivalent.”
I’ll tell ya right now though. Despite what people say, I love this red jacket blue shirt combo. Really do. I’m a sap for “foreshadowing” elements. Teaser lines, Easter eggs. Always gets me.
Anyway, the jacket and especially his JEANS have incredible sculpting attention. The jacket is given the detail of folds and even the zipper is sculpted in. They even sculpted the folds of his shirt wear his chest and abdominal area are separated. GEEZ. Such attention to detail! The jeans however, look SO real. It’s the folds from the knee down that just blow me away. It’s exactly the way real jeans would look hanging down, and gathering around the shoes, and just makes this figure look more realistic than ever. I mean it’s details like this that make you remember DC Direct is targeting a more mature audience. I mean, what kid cares about folds.
Sculpting-wise, this figure is amazing. If you took away all the joints, I would almost think this was a maquette and not a toy.
PAINT: In general this figure has a great paint job. The blue picked out for the jeans isn’t just any regular blue but the dark blue you would see on jeans. In fact, paint lines are relatively clean for the figure’s body. The part you want to be careful about however is the head. I went through quite a bit of them shop to shop because a couple of them did not have a smooth paint of coat on his face, thus making him look like he had some weird looking stubble.
But by far, the main challenge was the EYES and EYEBROW. Look carefully if you’re gonna buy one. There are quite a few cross eyed ones or the paint isn’t even fitting on the eye. Same goes with the eyebrows. Some are not clean and some aren’t even complete! I currently have 3 of this figure because obsessive compulsive me just couldn’t decide which figure had the worst or best face paint job. Take a few points off because of that little tidbit.
ARTICULATION/PLAY VALUE: Knowing that this figure is targeted toward older fans, sometimes I wonder why they bother with articulation, especially if it takes away from sculpt. Fortunately in this case, the joints sculpted in don’t really affect the entire figure. The knee and elbow joints are pretty subtle, as well as the T-crotch and his wrists can twist back and forth. And considering Clark Kent of Smallville, as of now, still does not, and may not, ever fly, you don’t really need him to be in a flying pose. The neck is not a ball joint but turns back and forth in 360 degree. This is one of the few rare cases where I think a ball joint in the neck may not necessarily have taken away from sculpt, and furthermore, makes for more poses. I mean, the way Clark is sculpted here, it seems the only pose you can go for is standing and looking strong. Would be nice then, if his head could look upwards or downwards or whatevers to accentuate that noble looking pose. Furthermore, knowing that poses for this Clark is limited to just standing, i’m not quite sure why it was necessary for ball joints in his shoulders. A simple joint of his arms going forward and backward is enough. I think being able to make him “flap” doesn’t really add anything of value. And most of all, I think this addition definitely took away from sculpt. Superman needs strong looking shoulders. The ball joints make his arms look like they’re not REALLY connected to the body and his shoulders just look a little off.
All in all, still an excellent figure in terms of looks. Call it 4 out 5 perfectly painted eyebrows.