#2658: Hawkman

HAWKMAN

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Hawkman’s wings enable him to fly and his belt enables him to defy gravity.  He uses weapons of the past from the museum he curates, matched with futuristic weapons, and criminology from his home planet, Thanagar.”

Oh man, I haven’t written a review about Hawkman since #0029.  Not only is that from the site’s first month, but it was also the review where I instituted my old randomized list I used to pull from.  Man, I used to talk about that thing all the time!  What a crazy trip down memory lane.  Well, it’s fitting that I’m doing this whole trip down memory lane, because I’m also doing that in a greater sense with the contents of today’s review.  Yes, I’m taking a look at another Super Powers figure today, specifically the aforementioned Hawkman.  Like last week’s GL, he was a character left out of Mego’s treatment for DC Superheroes, and was therefore making his debut in action figure form courtesy of this line.  And I’m looking at that figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hawkman was released in the first series of Super Powers in 1984.  As I touched on in my GL review, the line-up for that first series was very much inspired by Challenge of the Super Friends, and Hawkman’s inclusion here really goes along with that, given he was probably the most obscure character in the first assortment.  He’s the tallest figure in the original line-up, at 4 3/4 inches tall, and he’s got 8 workable points of articulation (the wings technically have two joints each, but on each of them one of those joints is explicitly tied into the action feature).  In addition to height, Katar also was just generally bigger in size than the rest of the Justice Leaguers from the first set.  It’s pretty fitting, since he tended to be drawn as a little bit bigger, and it helped to sell him as a little more alien.  It also gave a nice variety of height and build to the male members of the Justice League right out of the gate.  Super Powers‘ handling of uniqueness of build has always been one of my favorite aspects of the line, and it’s ultimately why I feel it holds up as the quintessential DC line, even in light of lines with deeper character selections.  The detail work on Hawkman is really pretty great, with the best work being on his mask and wings, both of which get some great texture work.  His wings are also large enough to not look too dinky, while also being small enough that he doesn’t have major issues with stability, which is something later Hawkman figures would struggle with.  The paint work on Hawkman was, like the rest of the line, very clean, very bold, and very bright, all of which are good things.  Mine’s taken a little bit of beating on the front of the nose, and has a little bit of discoloration on the torso, but has for the most part held up well.  Hawkman was packed with his mace, and also featured “Power Action Flight Wings.”  When you squeeze his legs, his wings flap.  Not a bad feature at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hawkman’s one of the earliest when it comes to my Super Powers collecting.  I got him for Christmas, I want to say in 2000, which would have made him I think my third or fourth Super Powers figure.  It was the year prior to GL and Manhunter, I know that for sure.  I had my Total Justice Hawkman at the time, and he wasn’t really doing it for me as a classic Hawkman, so my Dad found a small little lot of figures, which included him, and gave him to me that year.  He’s a good one.  Kind of an odd one for me to have so early on in retrospect, but a good one nevertheless, and certainly high on the list for the character’s figures.

#2655: Batman Earth -32

BATMAN EARTH -32

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

In DC’s Dark Multiverse, on Earth -32, the green light of will has twisted an angry Bruce Wayne into something very dark and sinister. After the murder of his parents in Crime Alley, young Bruce is gifted with a Green Lantern ring, which allows him to fly and to generate deadly hard-light energy constructs. With no Alfred Pennyworth to guide him, he soon swallows his fear and pain and lets the void that remains corrupt him and the ring, unleashing a wave of darkness across his world, and now ours, as The Dawnbreaker.”

There’s no denying that McFarlane’s DC output for the last year has been rather Batman-centric.  So Batman centric that the storyline they’ve been most faithfully focusing on has been “Dark Knights: Metal”, a story that focusses in on “what if all of the non-Batman characters were also Batman?”  One of the Batman-ed characters is Green Lantern, and, to be honest, the Green Lantern/Batman mash-up isn’t actually a new concept.  It’s something DC’s been flirting with for a while in differing capacities, and this is just the most recent version, I guess.  It could be worse, really.  Anyway, it got a toy, and Green Lantern and action figure are two things that are rather up my alley, so here I am.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman of Earth -32 is part of the first proper “Dark Knights: Metal”-themed assortment of DC Multiverse figures.  Where it falls in the actually numbering scheme is something that’s lost on me, but I do know it hit right at the end of 2020, for what it’s worth.  This and The Grim Knight are the lighter packed figures in the line-up, at just one of each per case.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 39 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is similar to the Superman and Nightwing figures.  It’s definitely more restricted on the neck, torso, and hips.  The neck’s due to the costume design, which is understandable, but the torso and hips is just down to poor implementation.  For the most part, though, it’s a decent layout.  The sculpt is an all-new piece, based on  Jason Fabok’s art from the cover of Batman The Dawnbreaker #1, which is certainly the most distinctive piece of art for the character.  It also has the unintended bonus of making him fit in pretty well with the DC Essentials figures from DC Collectibles, since those are based on Fabok’s artwork too.  Of course, it being a McFarlane product, there’s a certain level of McFarlane-izing going on.  In this figure’s case it means he’s a little bit lankier than the illustration, and falls into the same territory as a lot of McFarlane’s DC figures of adding a lot of piping and other smaller costume details that aren’t present in the source material.  It makes him a little busier than the comics design.  It’s not as bad here as on more simplified designs like Superman and Nightwing, but I still do wonder why they feel the need to keep busying everything up.  Also, for some reason, the GL-logo is different from every piece of artwork I was able to find of the character.  It’s missing the circle around the actual lantern.  I don’t dislike it, but it’s another case of change for the sake of change.  One area that they got down pretty spot-on is the head sculpt.  It’s got the lopsided sneer that the character frequently sports, which is a rather distinctive appearance.  Dawnbreaker’s paint work is fairly decent.  It’s an interesting mix of differing greens.  There are some nice differences in sheen, and I definitely dig the metallic greens.  Dawnbreaker includes a construct shaped like some eldritch abomination bat/octopus thing, a flight stand, and a collector’s card.  The construct’s a lot of fun, but I do wish it were a little more secure on the figure’s arm.  Still, it’s a cool visual, as is using the flight stand to allow him to hover off the ground.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My initial experience with McFarlane’s DC figures wasn’t super impressive or confidence inspiring, so I haven’t really been following them since.  However, I knew I’d have a hard time saying no to this figure when it was shown off, and sure enough, when I saw it in person, I was game.  It’s a design that feels really up McFarlane’s alley, and they did a pretty decent job of capturing it in toy form.  There are some definite flaws, but in general, this figure works out better than previous offeringsm and I’m much happier this time.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2652: Batman

BATMAN

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

The initial assortment of DC C3 Construction hit in the summer of 2004, and they were really focused on actually selling it as a line of construction sets that also included some Minimates.  In their second year in 2005, they tried that again, albeit with a smaller assortment this time.  Following that assortment, they kind of gave up even trying to pretend about what they were doing, and transitioned the line to a much more compact, lower price point selection of “Mini Flyers”, small vehicles that were a very thin excuse to put out the Minimates effectively on their own, only, you know, not.  Even through this end, they stuck to their heavy focus on Batman characters, including variants of the main man himself.  I’m looking at one of those variants today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was released in April 2005 in the very originally named “Batman Mini Flyer” set, one of the six Mini Flyer sets that made up the final assortment of the DC C3 Construction line.  By this point, they were only packing a single Minimate with each set, so as to keep the price down, so Batman was all by his lonesome.  He was a comic-based figure, specifically drawn from his ’70s era appearances, as denoted by his predominately blue color scheme.  He’s built on the standard ‘mate body with C3 feet.  Still no standard peg holes for the heads, so he’s got a solid noggin piece.  He’s got add-ons for his mask, cape, belt, and gloves.  The mask, cape, and belt are the same ones used on the Dark Knight Batman included with the larger Batmobile set, but the gloves are new pieces for…reasons?  There were four standard Batmen in the C3 line, and every one of them used a different set of glove pieces, and I couldn’t for the life of me begin to tell you why.  These ones do at least put the arm spikes on the back of the gloves, where they’re supposed to be but tend not to be.  So, that makes them cool, I guess.  Also, these parts are not rubbery like last week’s Robin, so that’s another marked improvement.  Batman’s paint was generally pretty basic, and definitely not as involved as Robin.  Given the classic inspiration, that’s somewhat sensible, but not doing the shading on the front of the mask does feel like a missed opportunity.  I do like the slightly different expression on the face under the mask, though; it’s a nice change-up from the usual neutral expressions.  This Batman didn’t get any accessories, but there was the Mini Flyer, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Mini Flyer’s are really where this line lost me, so I missed out on picking all of them but one when they were at retail.  Batman wasn’t that one, but he was a figure I was always interested to have.  Thankfully for me, he came in with the larger Minimate collection that showed up at All Time last year, and here we are.  Ultimately, I think DCD’s later classic Batman was slightly better, but this one’s still got his own charm to him.

#2651: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Green Lantern’s power ring that can create, temporarily, any object he desires with his willpower. The ring also is used as an offensive weapon. The ring protects him form mortal harm as well: he cannot be killed. The ring enables him to fly and survive in space, or even at the bottom of the ocean. The ring is powerless against the color yellow. The ring must be recharged every 24 hours at his power battery.”

Oh man, are you prepped to get psyched?  I sure hope so, because I certainly am.  Why is that?  Remember how Super Powers is my favorite DC toy line?  And how Green Lantern’s my favorite DC character?  Well, put those two things together, and, boom, you get the subject of today’s review.  Pretty slick, right?  No?  Admittedly, it may just be me.  But, hey, it’s my site, so we’re gonna just roll with it.  After being so cruelly overlooked by Mego when they were giving most of the DC heavy hitters their first action figures, Hal Jordan, aka the second Green Lantern, was finally given his toy due in 1984, when Kenner launched their own run on the DC brand, with the figure I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern was part of the first series of Kenner’s Super Powers line.  The line was certainly drawing from Challenge of the Super Friends, whose prominent use of GL I’m sure did him a lot of favors when it came to being included in this line-up.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Hal’s design, like the rest of these early figures, was based on Jose Garcia-Lopez’s illustration of the character in the 1982 DC Style Guide.  This had Hal in his slightly updated GL uniform, which featured the additional green detailing on the shoulders.  It became something of a defining trait for the character’s design, helping to make this figure look rather timeless.  Hal’s sculpt is a very nice one, perhaps one of the nicest to come out of the line.  It’s very clean, and appropriately sleek for GL.  The build on the figure had him slightly more svelte than the likes of Superman or Batman, which definitely seems right for Hal, and I quite like how the various parts of the uniform are actually raised elements, rather than just being painted in place as most later figures would handle things.  I will say, in regards to the head sculpt, Hal’s chin does seem a bit more pronounced here than it usually is, but overall, the head does seem right for the character.  That mask is really spot on.  Hal’s paint work is pretty simple, but appropriately clean and striking.  Mine has a touch of wear on his nose, but is otherwise pretty good.  GL was packed with his lantern power battery, which my figure actually has.  Pretty sweet! He also gets an action feature, the “Power Action Ring Thrust.”  Gotta love that name.  Essentially, you squeeze his legs, and the right arm raises. Pretty appropriate for the character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In the dark days of the ’90s, Hal Jordan had been replaced by Kyle Rayner, and was therefore not really getting much toy coverage.  This was at cross purposes with my desire to own a Hal Jordan figure, thanks to becoming familiar with the character through Super Friends re-runs on Cartoon Network.  After my dad introduced me to the wonderful Super Power Archives, Hal became the first Super Powers figure I actively wanted to own.  He wasn’t the first one I *got*, but was fairly early on.  I specifically requested him for Christmas one year, and came down Christmas morning to find both him and Martian Manhunter propped up on the Christmas Village waiting for me.  He didn’t have the Power Battery originally, but I was able to get him one of those too, eventually.  He’s definitely my favorite figure in this line, and probably my favorite Green Lantern figure period.

#2645: Robin

ROBIN

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

In 2004, Marvel Minimates entered their second year, making them by far the most successful Minimates offering up to that point.  Not that it took much, of course.  That same year, the brand attempted to expand…in a fashion, anyway.  Since Marvel’s cavalcade of super heroes proved successful, there was an attempt to get DC in the game as well.  Due to how the DC license was split up at the time, there was no space for a straight forward DC Minimates release at quite that time, but through a bit of loophole abuse, Art Asylum was able to partner with Play Along, who held the license for DC-based construction sets.  Dubbed “C3” (for “Create, Construct, Customize”), the sets each included at least one Minimate as a pack-in figure.  The first round was Batman-heavy, and included multiple versions of the Caped Crusader, as well as his trusty sidekick, Robin, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robin was included in the “Mini Batmobile” set, one of the first 7 sets released in the DC C3 Construction line in the summer of 2004.  There was also a Batman included in the set, but I’m just focusing on Robin this time.  Robin was one of the comic-based figures, and was specifically based on the Tim Drake incarnation of the character.  This was noteworthy for being the only Minimate version of Tim ever to be produced.  The figure was based on the standard ‘mate body, with the new C3 feet, of course, so he stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  While he’s got the C3 feet, he’s still without a hair piece with a peg, showcasing the slow evolution of the line.  He gets a new hair piece, cape, belt, and gloves.  They were pretty decent pieces overall, but for whatever reason, the add-ons for this guy are really rubbery.  This is the biggest issue when it comes to the hair, which has a lot of trouble staying properly in place, as it’s not rigid enough to actually clip on.  It still looks okay, but it’s not ideal for play.  The gloves are definitely the nicest pieces, though, and have some pretty sharp detail work.  The paint work is pretty solid.  It showcased a bit more detailing than earlier Marvel efforts, with the mask and boots in particular having quite a bit of creative lighting to them.  The face and musculature remain fairly basic at this point, but it allowed him to remain at least somewhat consistent with the animation-based figures from the same set.  Though Robin was effectively an accessory himself, he nevertheless did get an extra of his own, namely Tim’s signature bo staff.  It’s another soft plastic piece, but it still looks pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these guys were shown off, the Mini Batmobile was the one I most wanted, and was subsequently the first one I got.  As with many of my early ‘mates, I lost most of the parts to both the Batmobile itself and the two figures it included.  Batmen are a dime a dozen, but this was the only modern era Robin, so I’d been looking for a replacement for a little while.  Thankfully, when All Time got in that large collection of Minimates last year, I was able to snag a replacement Robin.  He’s definitely one of the coolest C3 offerings, and honestly holds up pretty well, even after all this time.

#2644: Martian Manhunter

MARTIAN MANHUNTER

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“The Martian Manhunter has a truly awesome array of powers. Beside being practically invulnerable, he has the power of super-breath, flight, invisibility, super-vision, and super-strength. He also has the ability to walk through walls, as well as the power to transform himself into any creature and acquire that creature’s powers and abilities.  The Martian Manhunter cannot survive in a vacuum, and cannot use any of his other powers when he is invisible. Most important, however is his vulnerability to fire, which can weaken and eventually destroy him.  On Mars, the Martian Manhunter’s real name is J’Onn J’Onzz. On Earth, he sometimes adopts the civilian identity of Detective John Jones.”

I’m quite a big fan of the Kenner’s Super Powers, and it’s no secret around these parts that it gets my vote for quintessential DC toy line.  Speaking of quintessential, if there’s a member of the Justice League who gets my vote for quintessential, it would be J’Onn J’Onzz, better known as the Martian Manhunter, who received his very first action figure as part of the Super Powers.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Martian Manhunter was released in 1985, the second year of Super Powers.  He was one of four members of the Justice League to be added to the line that year.  He’s based on Jose Garcia-Lopez’s illustration of the character from the DC Style Guide, just like the rest of the line, which means he depicts J’Onn just after they’d started adding in a few more of his more Martian aspects.  It means it wasn’t *quite* as classic a design as some of the others in the line-up, but it also made him slightly more distinctive, and ultimately became the more common design for the character.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt was an entirely new affair, well-matched to the style of the rest of the line.  It gives Manhunter the proper presence for the character, with a build that’s not quite as bulked up as the line’s version of Superman, but which still casts an imposing silhouette.  His arms aren’t as preposed as the first year figures were, which looks a little better in the basic standing pose.  Manhunter’s head sculpt is the part that is the most modernized portion of the figure, with Manhunter’s much more prominent brow.   His expression has a nice, friendly, if still alien feel about it, which really feels perfect for the character.  Like other figures in the line, Manhunter’s cape is a separate cloth piece.  It’s got the extra bit of collar, which helps to hide the plastic clip a bit better than other figures, making it a slightly more convincing piece.  Martian Manhunter’s paint work is pretty simple, but it’s bright, colorful, and pretty clean, at least apart from the bit of wear and tear that my figure’s taken.  As with all Super Powers figures, Martian Manhunter got his own action feature, dubbed “Power Action Martian Punch”.  When you squeeze his legs, his arms swing back and forth.  Or at least they should, but they actually don’t on mine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Martian Manhunter is on the earlier side of my Super Powers collecting, when I went through a string of getting them as Christmas presents from my parents.  I want to say he was the fourth or fifth figure I got from the line?  It would have been when I was around 7 or 8.  He was the same year as Green Lantern, so he did sort of pale in comparison just a touch at the time.  He didn’t have his cape originally, but I got one for him later down the line.  He’s a really cool figure, and definitely a fantastic starting point for the character.

#2639: Cyborg

CYBORG

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Half robot, Vic Stone is a high-tech genius and valued member of Robin’s Teen Titans team. Cyborg not only designs and engineers T-vehicles and excels at video games, he’s also a great cook–specializing in spaghetti and burgers!”

At the beginning of the entire decade of time that made up the year 2020, the DC Comics license passed from Mattel into the hands of both Spin Master and McFarlane Toys.  Spin Master’s been sticking more to the “toys” side of things, and have generally wound up resonating far more with me, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t attempted to give McFarlane’s more “collector” oriented line its fair shot as well.  One of the problems I’ve been having with the McFarlane stuff is how Batman-centric its been, so I’ve been trying to keep my eye out for cool not-Batman stuff.  The most recent assortment of figures has a little bit of that, including today’s focus figure, Cyborg!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cyborg is part of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  As far as wave/series/assortment, I’d honestly be hard-pressed to tell you, because there hasn’t really been any clear delineation, and releases have been hitting all over the place.  He’s not from Series 1, and that’s the best I can hone in on.  So far, the DC Multiverse stuff has all been drawn from specific source material, and in the case of Cyborg, he’s based on the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon.  He’s the first figure based on the show, and so far the only one to be solicited.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  With the McFarlane stuff, there’s been a bit of an issue on the articulation front; there are plenty of points of movement, but range isn’t always the best.  Cyborg improves a bit over the prior Multiverse figures I’ve had, but I did find the arms to still be rather restricted, especially at the elbows.  Also, while the shoulders have decent range, they’re a little bit on the loose side for my figure.  They can hold poses fine right now, but I’m a bit concerned about the long-term integrity of the joints.  Cyborg’s sculpt is an all-new affair, and compared to the animated sculpts of the first assortment, it’s actually a marked improvement.  I don’t know if it’s just the change in style between the shows, but they’ve managed to get a much closer recreation of Cyborg’s cartoon design than any of the other three animated figures.  It’s still not really in scale with anything (though he does look okay with some of the larger Bandai figures), as has been a recurring issue with the McFarlane stuff, but internally, it’s at least got solid proportions and does an okay job replicating the design.  I quite like the way they’ve handled the blue sections of the cybernetics, being white plastic with the detailing sculpted in, and then a clear blue plastic shell over top.  It works very well, and solves a problem that other animated Cyborgs have never quite gotten down.  In terms of paint, he’s pretty basic.  There are a few errant marks on the white sections, but for the most part it look okay.  It’s appropriately bright, and refrains from McFarlane’s tendency to go a little murkier, so it’s not bad.  Cyborg is packed with an extra hand in sonic cannon configuration, plus one of the small black disc stands, and a card.  The cannon piece is definitely the coolest part, and swaps out for the hand without much trouble.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve not really been picking up any of the McFarlane figures, because I really just wasn’t that impressed by the three I had already gotten.  I did like the look of this guy when his prototype was shown off, but was planning to refrain from getting him largely because I honestly don’t trust Todd and company to actually get the whole team line-up out.  At most I’m expecting to get a Robin and *maybe* a Beast Boy, but I can’t see anything beyond that, which does make the prospect of this figure weird to say the least.  I wound up getting this one from Cheyenne and her parents, and it’s honestly a pretty strong figure, and one I’m pretty glad I ultimately got.  Hopefully, I’m proved wrong on the team line-up, but for now, he does look pretty nice with my Bandai Speedy figure.

#2637: Samurai

SAMURAI

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Japanese history professor Toshio Eto was teaching class one day when suddenly a mystical bolt of energy hit him. The bolt of energy had been sent from emissaries of the New Gods who were in need of super heroes. The strange energy enveloped Eto and released the latent energy in his body, transforming him into the Samurai. Using his newfound powers of the hurricane and wielding an energy sword, the Samurai mistakenly caused havoc until the transformation was explained to him and he decided to be a force for good.”

You know, I really haven’t reviewed enough Super Powers figures on this site.  I mean, at this point, I’m essentially only reviewing them once a year, which means it would take me almost 40 years to actually get through them all.  That’s not a great metric for me.  I should probably work on that.  Fortunately, I’m getting some help on that front, with a new one to kick-start things a little bit.  Super Powers started with a focus on DC’s core characters, but as the line continued it shifted its focus, and by its final year, it was largely made up of rather minor characters, and in fact a good number of characters not even from the comics originally.  Though not a total fabrication for the line, Samurai began his life outside of the comics medium, as one of four heroes created for Challenge of the Super Friends in order to diversify the Justice League’s line-up.  Ultimately, he and the rest of these new heroes fell into some pretty heavy stereotyping, but hey, it was the ’70s.  Samurai was the only of these characters to be carried over into Super Powers, but it’s worth noting that both El Dorado and Black Vulcan would have joined him had the line continued (El Dorado even made it to the prototype stage).

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Samurai was released in 1987, as part of the third and final assortment of Kenner’s Super Powers.  He was Samurai’s first figure, and would remain his only figure for a good three decades.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  Samurai had one more joint than most figures in the line, with movement at his waist.  It’s largely just there to facilitate the figure’s action feature, but it’s still possible to use it as a point of articulation as well, so hey, extra movement.  Samurai’s sculpt is actually not bad.  He had the benefit of only really having one source to draw from in terms of design, and he ultimately does an okay job of capturing that design in three dimensions.  It’s not the greatest design, admittedly, but I guess it could have been worse.  It’s also worth noting that they didn’t feel the need to redesign him the way they did a handful of characters from later in the line, so, again, this works out pretty well.  Samurai’s design relies on some cloth goods for his vest piece.  It’s a piece very commonly missing from the figure, and it’s worth noting that the one sported by my figure is, in fact, a reproduction.  It’s not a bad repro, though, all things considered, and regardless of repro or original, the cloth piece works well for this part of the figure.  Makes him very difficult to get complete, but cool nevertheless.  Samurai’s paint work is pretty basic stuff.  Not a ton of crazy work going on, but the face is pretty sharp, and the colors are bright.  I can definitely get behind it.  Samurai was originally packed with a small sword, which, like the vest, is very commonly missing from the figure.  As you can see, my figure does not have it.  Some day.  In addition to the sword, he also had an action feature, “Gale Force Spin.”  When you squeezed his right arm, his lower torso would spin.  And mine still works, even.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of the four added characters from Super Friends, Samurai has always kind of been my least favorite, which makes the fact that he was the only one to get a figure here a little sad.  That, coupled with his rarity, has meant I’ve never really rushed out to get this guy.  However, my dad, who has been getting me Super Powers figures as Christmas gifts since I was 7, got me this guy as a Christmas gift this year, albeit an ever so slightly late one, thanks to the mess that is the current state of the United States Postal Service.  Hey, at least I managed to get him before the new year.  That was a miracle in and of itself.  Samurai isn’t the most impressive character, but the figure is kind of fun, and is a major step forward with my Super Powers collection.  Just 7 more to go!

#2602: Batman – Gotham By Gaslight

BATMAN — GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT

ELSEWORLDS (DC DIRECT)

“As a young Bruce Wayne takes up the mantle of the Bat, a series of slayings mirroring the work of Jack the Ripper begins.”

DC’s Elseworlds line allowed them to tell stories that fell outside of the confines of a normal universe story, which opened the playing field to all sorts of crazy concepts.  It also lent itself pretty well to lots of “let’s mash up this DC thing with another established thing” scenarios.  This actually goes back to the very first Elseworlds tale, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, which is “what if Batman was Victorian era and fought Jack the Ripper?”  It’s not high concept, but it’s certainly fun.  It’s also some of Mike Mignola’s earlier work, and has some pretty impressive design work.  The story’s Victorian Batman design is quite distinctive, which makes it ripe for making action figures, as DC Direct did in 2007.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gotham By Gaslight Batman was released in the second series of DC Direct’s Elseworlds line.  He was one of two Batmen included, the other being the Red Son version of the character, which is another quite distinctive, if perhaps slightly thematically similar version of the Batman design.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  The articulation’s not a lot, but it was about what you’d expect from DCD at the time.  It’s good for some slight tweaks to his posture, but that’s really it.  It’s certainly better than nothing.  The sculpt was an all-new piece, and it was definitely DCD at their best.  They really had a lot of fun with the artist-specific work in this line, and in the case of this Batman, they’ve done a pretty spot on job of capturing that early Mignola art style.  He doesn’t quite have the extreme hallmarks of later Mignola stuff, but there’s still enough to make it recognizable.  I really like how they’ve translated the texturing of Mignola’s work into something three dimensional, and I also quite enjoy how they’ve managed to keep him rather dynamic while also keeping a fairly neutral pose.  The flow of that cape is just beautiful.  The only thing I’m not too keen on are the ears, which always point a bit inward on mine.  It’s an unfortunate side effect of how small they have to be and how they were packaged in the box, I suppose.  The paint work does a nice job of replicating the way Mignola’s work is illustrated in the book, with a subdued palette and a decent job of outlining the features on the face.  There’s also some great accenting on the belt, as well as some impressive work on the mud stains on his boots and cape.  All in all, a very well rendered paint scheme.  The only slight let down to this guy are the accessories.  All he gets is a stand.  Its not much to go on, and felt quite light given the price these things were going for relative to everything else at the time.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this guy back when he was brand new, courtesy of my usual comics haunt, Cosmic Comix.  He was the first of the Elseworlds line I grabbed, mostly because I wanted a Mignola Batman figure, and I wasn’t picky about which particular design it was.  I hadn’t even read the comic at the time (I have since).  He’s certainly a nice looking figure, even if he’s maybe not so exciting to actually play with.

#2595: Commissioner Gordon

COMMISSIONER GORDON

BATMAN: DARK VICTORY (DC DIRECT)

“A epic tale of mystery and suspense that takes Batman deep into the underworld of gotham City!

James Gordon leads a police force besieged by a calculating murderer, and Batman is the only one that he can trust.”

As a follow-up to their wildly popular Long Halloween storyline, writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale sequelized the story with another mini-series, Dark Victory.  While it doesn’t have quite the same notoriety or staying power as The Long Halloween, Dark Victory is still quite critically renowned, and gave us some more time in the world the Loeb and Sale had built.  Much like the creators of the story, to follow-up on their Long Halloween toy line, DC Direct followed up with a Dark Victory line, which they used to help flesh out the cast a bit.  Jim Gordon is a major player in both stories, and was finally granted a figure via this second line of figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Commissioner Gordon is one of the four new figures offered up in DCD’s Dark Victory line in 2006 (the fifth figure was a re-release of Batman from the prior line).  While Gordon spends most of Dark Victory (and The Long Halloween, for that matter) in his standard suit/tie/trench coat combo, this figure opts to mix things up a bit and go for a slightly the more toy-etic design of Gordon’s tactical gear seen late in the story.  They had just done a trench-coated Gordon in Hush, and this is a pretty decent design in its own right, so it’s not a bad choice by any stretch.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  Not a ton of movement, but certainly not a bad selection for a DCD figure of this era.  He’s actually one of the most posable figures in the Sale lines, so that’s not bad for a Gordon figure.  His sculpt’s all new, and also probably one of the best we got in these two assortments.  It manages to get Sale’s interpretation of Gordon down pretty much pat, and doesn’t really suffer from any of the oddities that the other sculpts did in order to get that Sale look down.  It also does a great job of just making Gordon look like an average guy, as he should.  The detail work is pretty impressive, even in areas where you might not expect it.  His clothes have a solid amount of texturing, which breathes some real life into this design, and really helps to make it work in three dimensions.  There’s a bit of pre-posing to this guy, but it’s ultimately fairly minor.  He’s in a bit of an idle stance sort of pose, which works well for this design.  Gordon’s paint work is pretty basic for the most part.  It’s not a ton of color, but that’s right for Jim.  They opted to go with opaque lenses on the glasses, which works very well.  There are also no eyes beneath them, but that’s not terribly surprising.  Gordon is packed with a pistol, a flashlight, and a display stand (which is the same as the one that came with Two-Face).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve read my Long Halloween reviews, then you kind of know the song and dance on this one.  I hadn’t read the story when this figure came out, and subsequently didn’t have quite the same appreciation for Gordon that I do after reading the stories.  He actually came into All Time a few months before the other three, but I passed on him at the time because I didn’t know when I’d be able to get the others.  When they came in, he was still at the store, so I picked them all up in one fell swoop.  I’m glad I went back for him, because, much like Gordon in the story, this guy’s probably my favorite of the set.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.