LEGION OF SUPER HEROES (DC DIRECT)
In the early days of the Legion of Superheroes, one of their by-laws for new recruits was that there could be no duplication of powers. Today’s focus, Jo Nah of the planet Rimbor (who also got his powers after being swallowed by a space whale, in a reference to the biblical Jonah), aka Ultra Boy, got by on the technicality that, while his powers technically duplicated powers already covered by other members of the team (super strength, speed, flight, flash vision, and pentra-vision), he could only use one of them at a time, which is at least a different gimmick, I guess? Of course, let’s not get into how they still managed to keep Superboy, Supergirl, and Mon-El on the team at the same time or anything….honestly, there was probably more than a little bit of prejudice and personal bias going into exactly when those by-laws came into effect; early Legionnaires were all kind of bastard people. They got better. Sort of. Anyway, I was talking about Ultra Boy, so I should probably continue that, and not keep discussing how genuinely awful the Legionnaires are as people. Even though they really are.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Ultra Boy was released in Series 3 of DC Direct’s Legion of Superheroes line, which marked when the line starting spreading a little more into the depths of the team. Not terribly, so, of course, since it’s not like Ultra Boy is that crazy obscure, but he’s the sort of character that doesn’t tend to get picked for the more paired down team line-ups for, like, guest spots and other media appearances. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation. Ultra Boy has quite a few parts in common with the Brainiac 5 figure, as by this point DC Direct had decided to institute more of a base body for this line. The torso and legs are the same, as is the right hand. The head and belt pieces were all-new, and the arms were a set designed to be a tighter fit than those used on Brainy and Mon-El, and were shared between this guy and Star Boy in this particular series. All in all, I still think the base body works pretty well, and it certainly looks good here. The new head is also one of my favorites, as it really seems to capture the ’60s Ultra Boy appearance, and just feels a little more unique than some of the others in the set. Ultra Boy’s paint work is nicely applied, very clean, and very bold. As with Brainy, he’s entirely painted, with no molded colors showing through. It does aid in him looking clean, but there was always more potential for scuffing on this line of figures. Fortunately, my Ultra Boy’s not so bad. Ultra Boy was not packed with any accessories.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Fair warning: I’m going to be getting into some more post-Jess discussion here.
Ultra Boy is a figure that I always wanted when he was new, but who is actually one of my more recent acquisitions, because he just doesn’t show up nearly as often as the rest of the figures in this set, for whatever reason. I actually quite vividly remember the exact day I got him, though perhaps not for the most happiest of reasons. This figure came into All Time Toys, along with a whole ton of other DC Direct figures, on June 19th of last year. It was the Friday before Father’s day, almost exactly a year from when I’m writing this review. I know this because while I was at work that day, I got a call from Jess, who had just recently had a small surgical procedure done, and had just been told she would need to be moved into observation at the hospital. She spent the next three days in the hospital, and I spent them right next to her, missing out on my family’s small plans for Father’s Day. We didn’t know it was cancer yet, and wouldn’t find out for another two weeks, but it was the first indication that things were more serious than we realized. So, I suppose, looking back, a year removed now, with Jess having been gone for 13 days by my time, this figure carries a rather odd weight, as the very last figure I purchased before my world changed. It’s quite a bit of weight to place on one item, but my life in the last two weeks has seen me placing a lot of weight on seemingly small things. And, I imagine, that’s where I’ll be for a little while longer. And maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world. As it stands, Ultra Boy’s at least a nice figure, so maybe not a bad choice for one that remains a token of how things were.