Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created a character that would forever capture the imagination of many and change the course of history. In 1938 Superman made his debut in Action Comics #1 for DC Comics and became the model for all the superheroes that followed suit. His appearance has been modified over the years but the basis of his costume has consistently remained the same making him one of the most recognizable characters of all time. DC Comics has paired off with Dark Horse Comics to bring forth vintage-looking statuettes with Classic DC Heroes: Superman.
Dark Horse Comics, under the Dark Horse Deluxe line, has recreated “syroco” figures developed back in the 1930s. These figurines are named after the company that originally produced them, and the wood-like resin material from which they were made at the time. Syroco figurines were used as advertising premiums featuring famous comic strip characters. Now Dark Horse Syroco statuettes recreate this old fashioned look with these known characters sculpted in the original style. These statuettes are different from the polished statues of today. Instead they feature a rougher surface texture, visible seam lines, and other slightly “distressed” aspects, such as the method of paint application. In other words, they have this primitive appearance yet exude a necessary charm.
Superman is a great subject matter considering that his debut in 1938 closely corresponds when Syroco statues were created. He dons his familiar red and blue costume complete with cape. The pose is of him breaking the chains that are across his chest. His S-shield is far different from the one people are used to seeing these days. Back then it was a red S on a black background inside of an upside triangle. There’s a yellow border around the whole emblem to create the whole look. His red trunks have black shadows on the front to give it some texture. More than anything this is the classic Fleischer Superman look from the 1940s cartoon.
Speaking of texture, that’s what is shown all over this statue. It really looks like a wood carving with all the line work seen. The paint application is subdued with muddied colours shown. I really like the whole distressed look because it really adds so much character to this statue. Plus, the base on which Superman stands on is a flat disk with his name hand carved on the edge. It really looks like it was created in the 1930s rather than 2007.
The 5” statuette comes packaged in a wonderful, full-colour litho-printed tin box. Also included is a small booklet about the character and a vintage-style pinback button of the character. The tin box itself is also a work of art making the whole piece much more unique and special.
I was surprised to see Classic DC Heroes: Superman from Dark Horse. At first I didn’t understand why Dark Horse was creating statues of DC Comics characters until I understood the whole Syroco aspect. This is not a statue that will appeal to everyone. In fact I can see many people who will look at this and think looks cheaply made. What people forget is that it’s capturing a certain style of the 1930s and 1940s that was both popular and limited in terms of resources. Personally, I really love this vintage look and I do mean vintage with this weathered look. It just adds to the character’s history and legacy.
Sculpted by: Yoe! Studio
Released: June 2007
Order of Release: #1
Edition Size: 2,000
***This is part of my 2012 Funny Pages Write-Off. Let your inner geekdom out. You have until the end of July.
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Amount Paid (US$): 40.00
Age Range of Child: Kids to Teens