In 2008, DC Direct released a set of four figures based on DC Comics’ thick phonebook-style reprint series Showcase Presents. This action figure wave included Batgirl, Jonah Hex, Hawkman, and the Superman figure pictured below. This version of Superman, sculpted by Karen Palinko, was based on the silver age artwork of Curt Swan, the Superman artist extraordinaire who drew the character for more than three decades. This is one of my favorite Superman figures. Not only is he a great rendition of the Silver Age version of the character, but he also includes additional heads and hands that allow you to reenact some of the crazier transformations Superman has experienced in the stories.
The front of the card includes a snippet of art used on the cover of the first Showcase Presents Superman volume: a recolored version of Action Comics #242, the first appearance of Brainiac. The back shows a photo of the other characters available in the set, as well as a brief text description of each character and the artist on whose work the sculpt is based.
The figure itself stands 6.75″ and includes a peg stand for display. The issue I have with mine is that the knees seem really loose, so you have to hunch him over a bit to prevent him from tipping backwards. Still, he looks great.
The bonus here, as I mentioned, is the extra heads and hands the figure includes. It’s like four figures in one (and I probably should have bought four as much as I like having this on display). This one is the Ant version of Superman from Action Comics #296, where Superman is transformed by Red Kryptonite, giving him an ant head which allows him to communicate with ants.
This version is the lion version of Superman that originally appeared in Action Comics #243 in which Superman is transformed into a lion by a spurned sorceress with a potion made of Kryptonite. I don’t have that comic, unfortunately, but I do have a follow up story with the lion Superman in Superman #165.
One of the weirder ones, this is the Ultra-Superman from the year 100,000 from Action Comics #256.
This is definitely one of the best Superman figures DC Direct ever did, and it’s one of my favorites. Who would have thought that we’d ever have an Ultra-Superman from the year 100,000 figure? It’s kind of a shame, though, that they didn’t give the same treatment to Jimmy Olsen.