#2399: Green Arrow

GREEN ARROW

TOTAL JUSTICE (KENNER)

“Expertly trained in archery and martial arts, young Connor Hawke now fights as the Green Arrow, taking the place of father, Oliver Queen, who died in battle after a lifetime of crimefighting. Armed with his enhanced action/reaction Fractal Techgear mega longbow, the new Green Arrow slings fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere!”

Over the years, there have been a few attempts to capture the lightning that was Kenner’s Super Powers line in a bottle.  The first was a pretty blatant knock off from Toy Biz, under the heading DC Super Heroes.  The second, Total Justice, came after the return of the license to Kenner themselves. As much as Super Powers was a rather timeless collection of evergreen looks, Total Justice is a hardcore product of its time.  One such product was the character line-up.  While there were lots of consistent names, many of the characters presented were new versions.  That includes today’s figure, the Green Arrow of the ’90s, Connor Hawke, the long-lost son of Oliver Queen, who’s now so lost that he doesn’t even exist.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Arrow was release in the third and final series of the Total Justice line, alongside Black Lightning, Parallax, and Huntress.  Truly, it was the line’s most exciting line-up for collectors, but I guess it’s not hard to see why the line didn’t have much traction after this.  The figure stands a little over 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The Total Justice line was privy to all manner of pre-posing, and Green Arrow was no exception.  In fact, Green Arrow is probably one of the most prominent examples, because, though he might have articulation, there’s pretty much only one single pose this guy’s ever going to be in.  At least in his case, it’s actually a pretty sensible one, since he’s holding his bow, arrow drawn, as if he’s aiming at some baddy.  Heck, he’s one of the few Green Arrow figures out there that can actually do this pose, so more power to Kenner on that.  Generally speaking, his sculpt is just one of the nicer ones to come out of the line.  The proportions aren’t quite as whack, the detailing is pretty crisp, and the expression on his face isn’t nearly as “x-treme” as a lot of the others from the line.  He’s just a solid recreation of the design of the character as seen in the comics at the time.  In terms of paint, the figure definitely takes some slight liberties, giving us a color palette that’s far more primary than what Connor tended to sport in the comics, and ultimately giving him a color scheme that looks more like his dad’s first costume.  It hits okay in a broad strokes sort of sense, but it definitely feels ever so slightly off, and is even missing some paint for certain sculpted details, most notably the straps on his chest.  Fortunately, Connor’s mold would get a re-use in Hasbro’s JLA line, where he wound up with a more comic-accurate color scheme, which had all the proper details painted.  The only slight downside to this later release is that his skin-tone got noticeably lightened, reflecting the tendency of colorists in the comics to forget Connor’s mixed heritage from time to time.  Both releases of the figure had the bow and arrow piece included.  The JLA release also got a display stand, while the TJ release got some of that sweet fractal armor that all the kids were clamoring for.  It’s pretty hellishly goofy, but it wasn’t as wonky as some of the other figures from the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got the JLA release of this figure first, and it actually kick-started my JLA collection.  See, when Hasbro released the JLA figures, they offered them up both as singles and as two larger boxed sets (available only through specialty stores).  The mall that my grandmother used to take me to had a KB Toys and a comic book store called Another Universe right across from each other, and I usually hit up both to find something I wanted when we’d visit.  On this particular visit, I spotted the JLA set that included Green Arrow, but I really just wanted him.  The very helpful guy behind the counter told us he had just seen the single Green Arrow at the KB, so we ran over, but alas, none to be found.  Since he’d been so helpful, my grandmother decided to just buy me the whole boxed set, thereby taking my JLA collection from 0 to 5, and getting me this dude.  He’s been with me since, and I finally got his Total Justice counterpart last fall from a trip to the country’s largest antique mall.  I still like my JLA figure the most, of course, but they’re both cool in their own right.

4 responses

  1. I only ever had a couple of Total Justice figures. I collected a ton of DC figures back then, but Total Justice really lost me. The Man of Steel line frustrated me to no end (to the point where I ended up cutting off Black Suit Superman’s wrist/hand and regluing it back to a more normal position, but Total Justice was a bridge too far. I think I had a couple, but it was mostly ignored by me. What was Kenner going through back then?! Seriously. They loved “preposed positions” which they had sort of mastered in the late 80s, with elbows slightly bent to give you both a normal and “action” pose with less articulation. Certainly better than totally straight armed Star Wars figures… But then the 90s hit and they were like, screw slightly bent elbows, let’s twist the guys into human pretzels and then cut in some articulation that will be absolutely useless because the figure can only pose one way!

    I’d rather a figure have a more stoic straight arm look than the tangled mess. Part of the reason I skipped McFarlane’s new Spawn KS, because his chest is preposed to the side. Why bother including any articulation if he’s pretty much only meant to be posed one way.

    • Yeah, Man of Steel dabbled a little bit in preposing, but Legends of Batman and Total Justice really leaned into it. Definitely that McFarlane influence starting to kick in there. I recall DC Direct also got into the “let’s prepose and make the articulation useless” trend right before the switch over to DC Collectibles.

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