REVIEW: Kotobukiya DC Comics Justice League Aquaman ARTFX+ Statue
King Of The Seas Joins Heroic Lineup...
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If you’re a DC Comics fan, especially of the New 52, then you’re most likely following our reviews of Kotobukiya’s great new ARTFX+ statues. These 1/10 figures capture the original core seven members of the 2011 relaunched Justice League (the roster has changed a bit since the book’s debut): Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. As the company’s flagship team for the relaunch with updated and reinterpreted characters, the Leaguers were redesigned by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. The latter’s art is the basis for Kotobukiya’s statue set, with a new hero released every couple of months. Thus far we’ve looked at Superman and Green Lantern (read our review HERE) and Flash (HERE). Today we’re really excited to look at the next Leaguer and the King of the Seven Seas, Aquaman!
Aquaman’s origin story has changed somewhat over the years from his original appearance way back in 1941’s More Fun Comics #73, with the most common and current version depicting him as Arthur Curry, son of an Atlantean royal and a human fisherman. Growing up with his father Arthur learned about loyalty and honor while harnessing his powers, grounding him and establishing his love for the sea and helping others. Aquaman has an interesting suite of powers, only some of which are specifically related to water. He’s super strong, tough, and fast, and an expert fighter with his Atlantean trident. His non-human heritage also grants him incredible swimming speed and the abilities to breathe underwater and survive icy cold and extreme depths, and then of course there’s the whole telepathic communication with sea life thing. Always a man torn between two worlds, the current Aquaman as written by Johns has evolved into a complex and intriguing character, and one fans are incredibly excited to collect in Koto’s ARTFX+ series.
Aquaman is packaged in the same sleek box as the other Justice League members, and these are really well done and perfect for collectors who keep their statues mint in box but like to display them. The Justice League box is a tall, mostly clear package with different decorations on each side. The front panel gives you a good look at Aquaman and his exclusive trident accessory, though the statue is partly wrapped in plastic to protect it even more. In the corners of the front panel are logos, DC Comics at the top-right and the hero’s name at the top-left. At the very bottom is Aquaman’s name and Kotobukiya branding. Turn the box clockwise once to see another clear panel decorated with Arthur’s iconic symbol, recently revealed to be an Atlantean glyph. The back panel has the same frosted Justice League logo poster, this time in orange, and finally the last side features Aquaman’s portrait from Jim Lee’s Justice League lineup artwork.
Aquaman is about the same height as Flash and Green Lantern at 7 ½ inches tall (1/10 scale), though it seems from his pose that if he stood up straight he might be closer to Superman. While most of the Justice Leaguers have pretty stock, iconic superhero poses, Arthur here has a lot of character in his stance... not to mention menace from his wielding of his Atlantean trident! Aquaman stands with his feet spread wide, his back arched, his head cocked forward, and his right hand raised in front of him as he grips his powerful weapon. The trident is the first “accessory” in the Justice League ARTFX+ lineup, and it’s very well done. The head and shaft are packaged separately but attach easily, creating an 11 ¼ trident that slides snugly into Aquaman’s fist. Of course, the undersea hero has magnets in his feet for extra stability on his included Justice League logo base, same as the others before him.
While many superheroes have skintight costumes without a lot of layers of other elements, Aquaman is one guy who isn’t afraid to mix it up. Kotobukiya has done a fantastic job with the sculpt of his unique costume, especially on the overlapping scales of his torso. Each one is individually sculpted and the resulting texture is really nice. Arthur’s “pants” and long gloves follow the traditional skintight look, with accents for musculature, stretching of the fabric over his clenched fists, and wicked fins (the double-pointed fins on the gloves are particularly cool). His belt has a lot of detail, from the “A”-like symbol at the center to the pattern around the waist. Like the other ARTFX+ statues in this line, Aquaman has an excellent head sculpt that’s representative of the comic book character but with a Japanese-inspired style. In this case the King of the Seven Seas has long flowing hair and sideburns and a pensive look to the side.
Orange and green may not be considered the most fashionable, but Aquaman has been pulling it off for years. His New 52 look may have evolved with respect to small elements of his costume, but the colors have remained the same and they’re represented in this statue in living color. Likewise, as with the other Leaguers Aquaman has bright metallic paint that looks awesome. His shirt is a solid metallic orange with a moderate gloss, while his pants and gloves are metallic green that’s so glossy it looks wet. There are really no paint variations in either of those, but that only serves to make him look larger than life and super heroic. Arthur’s belt and trident are bright gold, adding a third color into the mix of his costume. Completely bare headed like Superman, he has fully painted pale blonde hair and eyebrows, a subtly varied skin tone, pink-tinged lips, and blue eyes. The paint job on my Aquaman is perfect.
We’re now more than halfway through the Justice League series, so if you’re a DC fan but have on the fence it’s time to get on board before the initial releases get too hard to find. The quality on these statues is only getting better, and I have to say that with his unique costume, painted and sculpted details, expressive face, and wicked trident, Aquaman may be my favorite thus far. He’s also the last of the $39.99 Leaguers, with the remaining Batman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg at slightly higher price points. Aquaman has gotten a lot more popular since the New 52 began a couple years ago, so if you’re interested don’t wait to get your hands on this great piece.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of Kotobukiya