There’s been a few exceptional variants of Superman yet few have had the staying power or resonated as strongly as Red Son Superman. It’s a fascinating concept, taking the wholesome Kansas bred superhero and make him a hero of The Iron Curtain at the peak of the Cold War.
Since McFarlane Toys is content to make DC Multiverse a Batman/Superman variants line it makes sense for Red Son Superman to make the cut within the first few years. Let’s see if this Russian patriot delivers.
Packaging: We’re a year in with the line and the packaging hasn’t evolved much from the beginning.
I wasn’t expecting any major changes just yet although this isn’t the most inspired setup especially with so many different Batman and Superman figures on the shelves at one time.
Likeness: Most of this figure is reused from the Action Comics #1000 Superman figure. That means those random elements like the lining and angled sleeves carry over.
I really like the head sculpt, which does an excellent job of looking similar to the earlier Superman with the strong jawline, piercing eyes and hairline while giving him a harsher, less approachable demeanor. It’s Superman no doubt, but a Superman who’s seen some stuff.
His logo of course is different and his cape isn’t as massive either as it’s positioned more like a triangle without spreading beyond his legs.
Scale: The line is on the seven-inch scale and Red Son Superman is right in scale with previously released figures. The Superman body is nice and beefy making for a nice and imposing Man of Steel.
Paint: So far McFarlane Toys has been pretty consistent with the paint work. Compared to the Action Comics Superman, the skin tone on Red Son Superman is an improvement with some darker wash around the cheeks and a more realistic flesh color.
The subtle black line to separate his lips is really nicely done at this scale as well.
I also really like the blue highlights in the hair that are a call back to the classic comic book coloring style. The color choices are solid as well with a deep dark navy blue and a muted red for the cape, logo and belt buckle.
The paintjob isn’t perfect though. There’s some random black marks on the face and the sickle logo has some red running off onto the main costume. It’s close, but there’s still room for improvement.
Articulation: Red Son Superman has 22 articulation points. McFarlane figures have the necessary points, but the range is somewhat limited for very expressive poses. His neck range still won’t move up enough for a convincing flying pose.
Since he’s a reuse of the Action Comics Superman he lacks the double-jointed elbows of subsequent figures.
I do appreciate that the joints are tight although the ankle joint does make it tricky in finding the sweet standing spot.
DC McFarlane Red Son Superman has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Like the initial Superman figure, Red Son comes with an alternate set of fists and a flight stand.
This is underwhelming considering some of the bulk of other figures in the line. Maybe the addition of a Russian flag would have provided some extra value.
He does come a Red Son #1 cover trading card. It’s a little something and I guess it serves the purpose of a bio on the packaging.
Worth it? McFarlane Toys kept the line at the $20 price point. That’s good as collectors won’t have to adjust their spending habits to get in with the basic version of the Multiverse line.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Red Son is a very solid addition to McFarlane Toys’ Batman Superman line. With a few more articulation tweaks this line could become the definitive 7-inch scale figures of the Batman and Superman families.