#1073: Etrigan & Klarion

ETRIGAN & KLARION

BATMAN: ANIMATED (DCC)

klarionetrigan1

For the most part, Batman: The Animated Series stuck to the more…grounded (?) side of the DCU.  Sure, there were some slightly more out there concepts (Man-Bat is in the very first episode, and R’as shows up a few times), but they at least mostly stuck by things with more plausible explanations.  Superman: The Animated Series was really the first to bridge those more out there concepts, so, when Batman came back, I guess the creators were just a little more comfortable with the stranger side of things.  “The Demon Within” doesn’t even try to ease people into it or anything, throwing the viewer right into the thick of things, and just sort of hoping they won’t get too lost in the DCU’s supernatural side.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at that episode’s two focus characters, Etrigan & Klarion.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Etrigan and Klarion collectively are entry 26 in DCC’s Batman: Animated line.  They’re the deluxe item for the latest series of figures, and, along with R’as Al Ghul and Zatanna, make for a rather supernatural-themed series.  Both figures are based on the appearances of the characters in the episode “The Demon Within.”

ETRIGAN

klarionetrigan2There’s no denying that Etrigan’s supposed to be this set’s star figure.  He is the episode’s titular character after all.  Etrigan comes from a pretty nice pedigree, being one of Jack Kirby’s early creations for DC.  He’s never been much more than a fringe character, but he’s always pretty cool.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Like Bane, Etrigan features the mid-torso joint, which I really like, and hope we continue to see on future figures.  I do wish he had rocker joints in his ankles, as it can be a little difficult to keep him standing without having his feet flat.  As far as Etrigan’s sculpt goes, I’m of mixed emotions.  Let’s talk about the good first.  Pretty much everything below the neck s pretty much spot on.  The sizing is good, and I really like the overall proportions of the figure.  The legs could maybe stand to be a little less simplistic, and the feet seem a little goofier here than they were on the show, but those are rather minor issues.  Etrigan’s cape is certainly well sculpted, but as with Phantasm, I’m worried about the integrity of the rubber over time.  Mine is already showing some signs of wear, especially on the one painted spot.  That’s concerning.  What really drags this figure down is the head.  Simply put, it’s just wrong.  It’s too big compared to the rest of the body, it’s too wide, the mouth is too small, the ears are too detached from the sides, his  forehead lacks the always present worry lines, and above all his eyes are at least twice as large as they should be and they’re the wrong klarionetrigan4shape to boot.  Any one of these issues would have been okay on its own.  Heck, all them but the eyes could have looked okay too.  But as it stands, the head isn’t even close.  The problems were present on the prototype, and I’d hoped they would fix them prior to release, but it actually looks like they just got worse on the final figure.  I’m really not sure how there was no one at any step of the process to look at this and say “that ain’t right.”  It wouldn’t be so glaring if it weren’t for the rest of the line being so accurate.  Paint is another area where I’m a little iffy.  The prototype showed him with a more vibrant color scheme, which seemed more closely matched to the episode.  The final product is rather dull by comparison.  I suppose that it could be seen as matching the episode’s darker lighting a little better, but it just seems a little bland.  Etrigan includes three sets of hands (fists, gripping, and open) and a display stand with his design sheet on it (which just further showcases how off the sculpt is).  Given Etrigan only appeared in one episode of the show, it would have been nice to get an extra head with the brand on it, since he spends a fair portion of the episode looking that way.  Perhaps they could put that in with another figure down the line and use it as an opportunity to give us a more accurate sculpt…

KLARION

klarionetrigan3Klarion the Witch Boy is a bit less known than Etrigan, but is also a Jack Kirby creation, who’s been Etrigan-related since his creation.  The show made him a little more mundane than his initial incarnation, but maybe teenager from another dimension was a bit too much for a Batman show.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation, which is pretty impressive for a figure of his stature, especially in this line.  Klarion’s sculpt is far more consistent than Etrigan’s.  By and large, he’s just a lot closer to his design on the show, which is a definite plus.  His sculpt is nice and sharp, and he gets a lot of the smaller details right.  For a more klarionetrigan5minor character like Klarion, accuracy is really key, and DCC’s really got this guy spot on.  Klarion’s paintwork is pretty straight forward, mostly being blacks and whites.  The application is all nice and clean, and the shades are all a pretty good match for what’s on the show.  Klarion includes three sets of hands (same configurations as Etrigan’s), his cat Teekl (who is fully articulation), a display stand, and the branding iron from “Demon Within”….which I somehow managed to leave out of the photos, and now can’t locate.  Sorry guys, Ethan’s a doofus…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

“The Demon Within” is the first episode of The New Batman Adventures I remember watching.  At the time, I didn’t know anything about Etrigan, so it was a pretty great introduction, and it’s one of my favorite episodes of the show to this day.  So, I was pretty pumped when this set was announced and snapped it up as soon as it arrived at Cosmic Comix.  There’s no getting around the inaccuracies on Etrigan.  They really hold the figure back, and I was really let down by the final product.  He’s not awful, and I do really hope DCC does that extra head thing somewhere down the line.  On the plus side, Klarion’s pretty awesome, which is good, since he’s far less likely to get re-released.

#0189: The Demon, Etrigan

THE DEMON, ETRIGAN

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS

Ah, yes, DC Universe Classics. A line I loved and hated. I love most of the figures, but I grew to hate Mattel, the producers of the line, more and more as every series went by. This figure goes back to the happier times, way back in Series 1, before things went to crap.

The character in question is The Demon, Etrigan, a character created by Jack Kirby in 1972. He was originally Sir Jason Blood, a knight in King Arthur’s court, who was bound with the demon by Merlin. Jason became immortal, and had the ability to summon the Demon’s form by reciting “Gone, gone the form of man. Rise the demon, Etrigan!” The character had prominent appearances in Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League, if you want to check those out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Etrigan was released in the first series of DC Universe Classics. I always have found this to be an interesting choice, given the character’s relative obscurity, but I suppose Mattel wanted to show they intended to go pretty obscure with the line. He has 23 points of articulation is is just shy of 7 inches tall. DCUC was usually heavily dependent on the Buck System, but Etrigan actually had an almost entirely unique sculpt. The only thing I believe was ever reused is the upper torso piece, which I believe was later see on some of the Collect-N-Connect figures such as Atom Smasher. Etrigan’s sculpt is a truly impressive piece of work by Mattel’s oft-used sculpting team The Four Horsemen. The skin has some wonderful texture work, and the sleeves and cape are nicely tattered. Etrigan’s lower arms and hands are a bit rubbery, but nowhere near as bad as some later entries in the line. The paint work on Etrigan looks great. All the basic paintwork is clean, no slop or bleed over. He also features several washes, which really help to bring out the details of the sculpt. Etrigan’s only accessory is the left arm of Metamorpho, the C-N-C of series 1. Etrigan doesn’t really have anything that would work as an accessory, and he’s a bit bigger than the typical figure, so it’s understandable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had initially not planned on purchasing Etrigan, or really getting into DCUC at all. The line-up was mostly figures I already had in some form or another, and most of Mattel’s previous DC work had been lackluster at best. DC Direct seemed to be killing it with their more expansive offering of DC figures. But then, Mattel announced the next two series of figures. Specifically, they announced Series 3’s Green Lantern, which quickly caught my attention. So, I gave the first series a second look, and found that several of them were actually quite good. I found Etrigan and two of his compatriots at my local Target and picked them up, effectively creating a monster. Yay.