WATCHMEN (DC DIRECT)
“Awkward, shy, and unnaturally obsessed with masked vigilantes and ornithology, Dan Drieberg was a surprisingly good fit to inherit the mantle of Nite Owl. He is a talented engineer with a tragic childhood that feeds his needs to help the helpless and fight the good fight. However, the world is not a perfect place and Dan is forced to constantly question his own morality.”
Back in 2009, the world didn’t quite yet hate/love Zack Snyder because of what he’d done with a DC property…or did they? Yes, we got our first taste of Zack Snyder on a DC project with 2009’s Watchmen, which was, as with most Snyder projects, met with mixed emotion. I myself was a fan of it, being on a real Watchmen kick at the time. I still like parts of it, but I’ll admit I can see the flaws peaking through these days (honestly, though, I find that’s somewhat true of the original source material as well). The one definite plus to the film for toy collectors was the chance to finally get some actual figures of the characters from the story, even if they were film based. Today, I’m looking at Nite Owl!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nite Owl was released in Series 1 of DC Direct’s Watchmen line, hitting shelves just before the film’s March 2009 release. This one is specifically Nite Owl II, aka Dan Drieberg, who is the main Nite Owl for the purposes of the story (his mentor Hollis Mason, aka Nite Owl I, would follow in the second series of the line). The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation. He’s not incredibly poseable, but he’s fairly standard for a DCD offering of the time, and was one of the most mobile figures in this first assortment. Nite Owl was an all new sculpt, based on his design from the film. His look was one of the most changed for the movie, shifting from the comic’s more loose-fitting, kind of basic spandex get-up, into something more like the suits seen in the ’90s Batman films. The general appearance notes of the design are the same, and it reads as more or less being the same guy, so I think it actually works out alright. The actual quality of the sculpt is actually pretty darn solid, and I’d again rank him as probably the best in the first series. The proportions are pretty realistic, the smaller detail work, especially on the main body suit, is all really sharp, and what we can see of his face has a passable Patrick Wilson likeness. The articulation is also worked in without breaking things up too badly, so it ends up looking pretty alright overall. The paintwork on this guy is generally pretty good. It’s fairly involved, with all those different shades of brown. The application’s all pretty clean, and I definitely dig the metallic colors. He definitely pops. Nite Owl was packed with a removable crescent blade on his belt (which he can’t hold, and which fell off of mine and went missing while he was in storage), and a display stand that interlocks with the rest of the figures from the line.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I wasn’t quite sold on the movie costumes yet when these figures hit, so I ended up passing Nite Owl initially. By the time the movie hit and I was sold on wanting the figure, he’d sold out most places, so I went a little bit without one. Fortunately, All Time Toys came to my rescue, all the way back in 2009, a decade before I was even sponsored. How kind of them! He’s not got a lot going on, but I dig this figure more than I expected to when I pulled him back out for review. It probably helps that Nite Owl was my favorite part of the movie, so he’s got that going for him.