#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.

#1029: Green Arrow

GREEN ARROW

DC ICONS (DCC)

GreenArrowLBH1

Green Arrow can be a tricky character to handle. He sort of walks that fine line between being an intriguing modern day take on Robin Hood and just being Batman with a bow and arrows. If I’m honest, I think he works best when he’s sort of a mix of the two, as odd as that may seem. He’s a character that I used to really like, but as of late his characterization has kind of stuck with grim and depressed, which doesn’t tend to be my thing. But, I can still enjoy older interpretations of the character, which translates to more than a few action figures in my collection.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GreenArrowLBH2Green Arrow was released in the first series of DC Icons, as figure 03. Like all of the early figures in the line, Ollie was designed by Ivan Reis, based on Mike Grell’s illustrations of Green Arrow from The Longbow Hunters. It’s a good choice because, while it isn’t a straight classic Green Arrow, it’s from a rather definitive point in the character’s history, and it also has the hood, for those more familiar with more modern takes on the character. The figure is a little over 6 inches tall (making him thus far the tallest figure I’ve looked at) and he has 29 points of articulation. Green Arrow has a sculpt that is technically unique to him, but is aesthetically very similar to the likes of Green Lantern, Flash, and Mister Miracle. Arrow’s is more unique than most in the line, though, since he’s wearing a lot of looser fit clothing. The general quality of the sculpt is quite good, though there are a few issues that hold him back a bit. His limbs definitely feel a bit on the skinny side, especially the arms, which are doubly small, since he’s supposed to be wearing something with flowing sleeves. Also, like the other figures I’ve looked at from the line, his facial expression feels a bit bland. In general, his face feels a bit smooth, which is especially out of place given that Grell’s Ollie from Longbow Hunters is supposed to be a good ways into his career. Still, the overall look is pretty good, and he definitely feels like a Green Arrow figure. The paintwork on Ollie is nice and clean. In fact, despite it’s somewhat subdued qualities, I think it might be my favorite of the Icons figures I have. The paint on the hair/beard is particularly good, with a slight metallic sheen to it, which helps make it look like actual hair.  Ollie is packed with a bow, hands in both fist and gripping poses, two single arrows, and two pairs of arrows to fill the quiver.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I kept meaning to pick up Green Arrow. I really did. He was actually the figure I wanted the most from the first series. Of course, when the first series arrived at my comic book store, this guy was the first to sell out, so I didn’t get him and I just never got around to ordering him. I ended up getting this guy from my parents as a birthday present this year. He’s not perfect (a common issue with the Icons figures), but he’s certainly fun, and I’m happy to have him.

#0512: Green Arrow

GREEN ARROW

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS

GreenArrowDCUC1

In a lot of ways, Mattel’s DC Universe Classics was really the true successor to ToyBiz’s run on Marvel Legends. Now, before you grab the pitchforks and the torches, hear me out. Both lines were the hottest action figure line around at the time of release, both offered a surprisingly expansive look at their respective universes, and both were renowned for their representations of obscure characters. They’ve also both begun to show their age, and they were both a pain in the butt to collect. And of course, they both have their fanbases, who don’t tend to like being compared to each other. If I go missing, you know where to look. In the moment, I think I enjoyed collecting DCUC a bit more, just because I gained more of a mastery of tracking stuff down online, which made getting the figures I wanted a whole lot easier. So, why not have a look at one of my favorite figures from that line, Green Arrow.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GreenArrowDCUC2Green Arrow saw release in the 9th Series of DC Universe Classics. He served as the “anchor figure” of the series. With shows such as Arrow on the air, Green Arrow being an anchor figure nowadays wouldn’t be a huge shock, but at the time, it was actually a pretty bold move. However, given the presence of another 11 series of the line after this one, it’s safe to say it paid off okay. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. He gets an extra two points of articulation compared to others in the line thanks to some hinge joints at the wrist, in addition to the usual swivel joints. It’s a nice addition, although it would have been nice if they’d made it standard to the line. Green Arrow is based on Oliver Queen’s Bronze Age (read: 70s-80s) appearance. It’s easily the character’s most distinctive look, and it’s one he’s returned to many times over the years. Also of note, it’s the look he had in the DC Super Powers line in the 80s, which was what Mattel was working to recreate.  DCUC generally operated on the buck system, but characters such as Green Arrow tend to need more unique pieces than others, resulting in him being more new than re-use. The waist, upper legs, and shoulders are re-used from the medium sized buck, but I believe everything else on the figure is new. Ollie ended up with one of the best sculpts DCUC had to offer in that regard. All of the little details of the costume are sculpted, and they are done with the necessary precision. They are also spot on to design from the comics, right down to those weird draw string things on the front of his costume. The pointed shoulders of his costume also help to mask the slightly large shoulders that were an issue with the line, and the rest of the pieces being new meant that Ollie ended up with a build that was appropriate to him. The figure’s hands are both sculpted to work well with the accessories, and they really turned out great. The head sculpt really makes this figure, perfectly capturing the Neal Adams Green Arrow of the 70s. He’s got just the right “charming rogue” look, which sells the character really well. In addition, they’ve managed to render his hat in three dimensions without it looking the slightest bit silly, which is really great. Where the figure ends up falling down just a bit is the paintwork. The paint certainly isn’t bad. In fact, the colors are well chosen, and it’s overall pretty clean. However, there’s a little bit of slop and bleed over. The worst thing on my figure is the airbrushing, particularly on the face. What was clearly meant to be a little bit of color on his cheeks ended up looking rather ridiculous, almost to a clownish level. The figure included his signature bow, a few different arrows, and a clear blue display stand. The bow ends up being another point of contention. There’s an arrow molded to it, meaning not only can the other arrows included not be used at all, but he also can’t draw the bow back any further, and he looks silly when just holding the bow one handed. Why Mattel decided to handle it this way (and to continue to handle it so on all the archers that followed) is baffling.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Amazingly enough, Green Arrow is one of the DCUC figures I ended up finding at retail with no real issues. I stumbled across him (as well as Black Canary) at my local Target and happily purchased him. Issues with the bow aside, this was one of the best figures that DCUC had to offer, and he still holds up, even while the rest of the line begins to look dated. It’s a shame that Mattel couldn’t keep up the effort they put into this figure.