This February sees the release of the new set of DC Heroclix figures (called Crisis): Uncle Sam, it has recently been announced, will be among them.
As you know, I adore Uncle Sam; he's the ultimate heartthrob among Personified Nationhoods. Look at those thighs; you could crush Communism with those! It's been great that he's found a unique place of honor among DC's icons (although, of course, he was "inherited" in 1956 from another company, who copied him from the political cartoonists' Uncle Sam). Now he's done the same in Heroclix.
It's also nice to finally have the centerpiece of a Freedom Fighters team. Wizkids has already made a Phantom Lady figure
and a Damage (if you want to count him). Oh, if only this forthcoming set also has the Human Bomb and Black Condor! I can wait patiently for Red Bee, Firebrand, Doll Man, and the rest.
Anyway, back to Sam.
Uncle Sam has Leap/Climb (named as "From Sea to Shining Sea"), which means pretty much nothing can stop him from going wherever he wants to go. Plus, he's got the Transporter ability, which means he can pick up and carry with him one of his teammates in his arms. In those pythonic arms with their Popeyesque forearms. With the sleeves rolled up.
Naturally, he has Leadership (named as "Liberty and Justice For All") to inspire his teammates. And they inspire him to! For each teammate near him who has taken an action token in the fight, he gets +1 to his Close Combat Attacks! This special power is called (drum roll)... "Give Me Your Tired".
But what about when Sam grows to massive size (sigh)? They've thought of that, too, giving Sam a special power ("As Big As My Country") that makes him a Giant, which is gonna make him a fightin' powerhouse, particularly when combined also with Quake ("Lay Low Th' Foes of Freedom") to scatter enemies and Flurry ("Truth and Justice will Prevail") to make sure they stay down.
Sam's a tough old cuss, with Invulnerability ("Through the Perilous Fight"), followed by Toughness ("Safe Thro' the Storm"). In his end dial, he's even got Regeneration ("Ya Can't Get Rid of Freedom") and Support ("Mend Thine Ev'ry Flaw") for his teammates (just like when he healed Phantom Lady of her addictions!).
Oh, and if that weren't enough, he picks up Teleportation ("To the Heartland"), so he can whisk his teammates to safety (just like he does in the comics!).
It's a smart job they've done with Uncle S. He's no Superman, but he's a strong solo fighter, able to take a punch with his damage-reducing powers and quickly shatter the enemy lines with offensive powers like Quake and Flurry. They captured his ability to grow big and to regenerate himself.
But it's in making him a team-player that Wizkids really impresses me. He can carry his teammates into battle with him, inspire them, and rescue them when they need it (Transporter, Leadership, Teleportation, Support). I'm pretty sure that's the JSA Team Ability he has on his dial, so he can share his Defense Value with them as a protector (just as the JSA can protect Uncle Sam). And when his teammates are "tired" (as represented by having action tokens on them) he gets extra strength to pick up the burden while they recover.
Talk about "Big Tent" politics; Uncle Sam is going to be one of the greatest "tentpoles" the game has ever seen.