THE COMEDIAN & NITE OWL
“Secretly the vigilante known as THE COMEDIAN, EDWARD BLAKE continued to work for the government after his crimefighting career, performing various classified and unpleasant tasks. When the highly dangerous killer is himself killed, his old colleagues NITE OWL and RORSCHACH are driven to investigate.”
Sometimes, I like to remember back when I didn’t totally hate everything Zack Snyder touched. His adaptation of Watchmen was just as divisive as anything else he’s done, but I was actually on his side of that one. Anyway, a whole eight years after its release, the film’s gotten a set of Minimates. I’m taking a look at the first pair, The Comedian and Nite Owl, today!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The Comedian and Nite Owl are one of the “shared” pairs of figures for Watchmen Minimates. They were available both in the specialty four pack and as a two pack in the Toys R Us-exclusive assortment. Obviously, mine are the TRU versions, but there aren’t any real differences between the actual figures.
Though he may be dead at the story’s start, the Comedian is perhaps Watchmen‘s most central figure. He was originally supposed be the Charlton Comics character “Peace Maker,” before DC forced the change. Shame, since it would have been perhaps the only noteworthy thing ever attached to the character. Oh well. Comedian’s look was largely unchanged when going from book to movie, so this guy will work pretty well as either version of the character. The figure stands roughly 2 1/4 inches tall and has the standard 14 points of articulation. In addition to the standard base body, Comedian has add-ons for his hair, shoulder pads/suspenders/belt, and the holsters. The holsters are the same basic pieces that have been in service since the Avengers Black Widow ‘mate, but the other two pieces are new to this figure. The new pieces are generally pretty solid additions. They could possibly have been a little sharper in terms of detail, but the work here is still pretty great. In terms of paint, Comedian is pretty decent overall. The best work is on the detail lines. The face capture’s not only Jeffery Dean Morgan’s likeness, but also his cocky Comedian personality, which is pretty cool. This is obviously a slightly older Comedian, though he does seem to be using any hint of his facial scar. I guess it was pretty downplayed in the movie. The base paintwork is a little sloppier than the line work, but still fairly decent. The biggest issue with the paint is actually something that was beyond DST’s control. He lacks Comedian’s signature smiley face button, due to rights issues associated with that particular image. DST has opted to drop the button entirely, rather than giving us just the blank yellow circle that other companies have gone with. I think I might like it better when it’s just not there; less distracting. Comedian is packed with a pair of silver handguns and a clear display stand. It’s a shame he didn’t get a few more weapons, and possibly an extra head and hair piece for a younger look, but what’s included is fair.
Nite Owl is my favorite character out of the main Crimebusters in Watchmen (though, it’s actually his predecessor Hollis Mason that is my overall favorite character in the story), and it’s actually Patrick Wilson’s portrayal of him in the movie that helped me form that opinion. I find his book counterpart to be a little bland, but Wilson added a nice sort of lost everyman aspect to him that was endearing. Nite Owl was originally intended to be the Ted Kord version of Blue Beetle, another favorite character of mine. The movie design for Nite Owl was one of the more drastic changes, largely due to the simplicity of the original design; that sort of thing doesn’t tend to work so well on a large screen. Like Comedian, Nite Owl is built on the standard ‘mate body, with add-ons for his mask and cape. Both pieces are new to this figure, and are likely to stay unique to him, since I can’t really see them being of much use for any other characters. They’re both pretty decent pieces, though, like with Comedian, I think the details could stand to be a little sharper. The paint work on Nite Owl is pretty great. The work is all pretty sharp, and unlike Comedian, he’s not missing any essential details. The mask is removable, and reveals a fully detailed Dan Drieber head, glasses and all. I can’t say it’s a fantastic likeness of Patrick Wilson, but it doesn’t look unlike him. I guess he’s just got one of those faces that doesn’t translate well to the style. In addition to the usual display stand, Dan includes a spare hair piece for unmasked display. I think the piece is a little too suave for Dan, to be honest, especially if this is meant to be a “present” day Dan; it should be a little longer and more comb-over-y. It’s not awful, though. I do wish he included an extra mask with the goggles up, since he has that look several times during the movie.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The Watchmen Minimates snuck up on me. At the time of the movie’s release, I was all over the idea of Watchmen ‘mates (in fact, I even made a custom set for myself, albeit a comic based one), but by the time they actually happened, I had largely moved past Watchmen. When the boxed set hit, I wasn’t sure about getting the ‘mates at all. But, I was out on my birthday, and I stopped at Toys R Us, and they had a full set, so I went for it. Getting the ‘mates even got me to sit down and watch the movie again for the first time in several years, and I enjoyed that quite a bit. This is my favorite pair of the ‘mates, and while there are certainly improvement that could be made, I’m very happy with them both.