#3174: Parallax

PARALLAX

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE TOYS)

“As a Green Lantern, Hal Jordan served the Guardians of the Universe and saved all of existence from great peril countless times. But, when Hal was unable to save him hometown, Coast City, from obliteration because he was off-world, he was shattered. He flew straight to Oa, the Guardian’s home planet, and asked for their help to resurrect Coast City. When the Guardians refused, Hal absorbed the energy of Oa’s Central Power Battery, along with Parallax, a yellow entity made of living fear that was imprisoned within the battery for millennia. Parallax then drove Hal mad and fueled him to decimate the entire Green Lantern Corps!”

Hey, did you guys like seeing me tear into McFarlane for a bit yesterday?  Well, I guess I’m gonna do it again.  I swear, I keep meaning to be done with McFarlane DC, but, you know, then I keep not being…done…with..McFarlane DC.  Look, I just get weak sometimes.  Anyway, recently, McFarlane has been slightly breaking away from the heavy Batman-focus, and there’s been some Green Lantern stuff coming through, which certainly appeals to me.  Amongst those GL-related releases is today’s focus, Parallax, a character of whom my opinions are almost as conflicted as those of McFarlane’s handling of the DC license.  Let’s see how this goes.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Parallax is another “Platinum Edition” figure in McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  As I noted yesterday, exactly what “Platinum Edition” means varies from figure to figure, but in the case of Parallax, it means that he’s a Walmart-exclusive, alongside fellow ’90s-themed “Platinum Edition” release Azrael Batman.  This is Parallax’s first figure under McFarlane, and in fact the first Hal Jordan Parallax figure we’ve gotten since DCD’s old Rebirth release.  That’s quite a gap in figures there.  Sure is fun that it’s a Walmart exclusive.  That certainly won’t be a frustrating turn of events for most people.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  On the topic of sizing, McFarlane’s difficulties with consistent scaling across their figures kicks in here, as Hal stands 1/4 inch taller than yesterday’s Martian Manhunter, which is definitely off, as J’onn has consistently been depicted as one of the tallest DC heroes, and Hal is usually middle of the pack.  The sculpt for Parallax is an all-new one, and…well, it’s got its ups and its downs.  First and foremost, the box specifically cites this figure as being from “Emerald Twilight,” and it’s just not.  Heck, not even the illustration on the back of the box is from “Emerald Twilight.”  It’s actually from the Convergence crossover series, some two decades later.  The figure proper is a decent enough sculpt from a technical stand point, aside from some slight oddities this the back of the head having a slightly odd shape.  Beyond that, the issues largely stem from a multitude of inaccuracies.  The hair’s short and spiky, rather than the more classically parted hair that Hal usually has.  The arms don’t have the stripes running down the sides, instead having the shoulders come to a point, the way they do on Hal’s classic costume.  The torso, specifically the circle on the chest, is three dimensional, and the surrounding elements are totally different in their shaping than what’s shown on the page.  The tops of the boots are also totally different in their shaping, and there are a ton of extra details on the boots that aren’t there either.  Why all the differences?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Todd’s gotta Todd, maybe?  It’s been a recurring issue with the DC line, but on this one in particular, it sticks out because he’s specifically called out as being based on a specific story.  Parallax’s color work is also notably off.  The most glaring issue is the total lack of the white steaks on his temples, but his hair is also generally too dark, with almost no brown at all.  There’s a slight hint of grey, but it’s far too subtle, and also almost entirely at the back of the head.  The greens are also rather drab, and generally too light.  Beyond that, the application is at least clean, and I do quite like how the clear green hands look.  Parallax is packed with a collector card, two energy effects for the hands, a power battery, and a display stand.  The accessories are at least pretty cool, so he’s got that going for him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I’ve always had my issues with the story that spawned him, I also have this odd soft spot for Parallax, going back to the Total Justice figure being my only way to get a Hal Jordan figure back when I was a kid.  I loved that figure, and it’s resulted in me really growing to like the Parallax design.  I had the DCD figure back when it was new, but it was always a rather fragile figure, which isn’t very fun.  I had hoped Mattel might get to him during DC Universe Classics, but they never did.  Then the pictures of this guy surfaced, and I realized he was really my best bet at getting a halfway decent Parallax.  I wasn’t looking forward to the difficulties of getting a Walmart-exclusive, but as luck would have it, someone traded one into All Time, making getting one super easy.  Ultimately, my feelings on this figure, much like the actual character, and the overall toyline he’s part of, are very conflicted.  He’s not a bad figure from a technical standpoint, but there’s a lot of issues in terms of accuracy, with lots of changes seemingly being made purely for the sake of change.  It’s an issue I’ve run into before with the line, and I’m sure it’ll crop up again, but you just keep getting this sense that Todd thinks his designs are just better, and, well, he’s wrong, and it gets in the way of figures being as good as they could be, which is a real shame.

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

#3080: Kilowog

KILOWOG

GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH (DC DIRECT)

“The alien Kilowog was recruited into the Green Lantern Corps as a protector of the planet Bolovax Vik, and was killed by his former friend and ally Hal Jordan. Recently ressurected, Kilowog will play a key role in the re-formation of the Green Lantern Corps. The Kilowog action figure features multiple points of articulation and includes a display base.”

Despite the fact that the Green Lantern Corps is made up of a very, very, very large percentage of non-human members, it’s tricky for any of the non-human members to really hold the focus for too long.  I guess it’s inherently easier for humans to relate to humans.  Over the years, a few of the alien Lanterns have caught on a bit more than others, and, perhaps the most successful of the bunch is Kilowog, a character prominent not only in the comics, but also in most other media involving the Lanterns.  That also means his fair share of toy coverage, starting way back during the Rebirth tie-in days, back in 2005.  I’ll be taking a look at that particular figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kilowog was released in the first series of DC Direct’s Green Lantern: Rebirth line.  This figure was Kilowog’s very first foray into the world of action figures, shortly followed by his JLU figure later that same year.  As with all of the figures in the set, he was designed to specifically tie-in with the “Rebirth” comic event, and as such he was sporting his updated design from the comics.  This brought him closer in-line with his animated appearances in the Justice League cartoon, which had served to revitalize the character for a larger audience.  So, it was certainly a sensible direction to take the character.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  His range of motion isn’t particularly amazing, but for a DC Direct offering, especially of the era, he’s not bad.  They were experimenting with a little extra articulation on this line in particular, so he’s got wrist and ankle joints, which were hardly standard at the time.  Kilowog sported an all-new sculpt, and it was one that would remain unique to this figure.  It’s a pretty darn good one, truth be told.  It’s a nice, hefty figure, befitting his larger stature nicely.  The face has a really solid level of detail, especially on the texturing.  It really adds a lot to the overall appearance, and helps the sculpt hold up even 17 years after the fact.  Kilowog’s paint work is pretty solid.  The metallic green and pearlescent white for the outfit really lend it that proper alien feel, and the skin tone, with its slight accenting, works very nicely.  Kilowog is packed with his power battery, which is a really sizable, as well as a Lantern symbol display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kilowog is a figure I wanted from this series, even before it was released.  He was at the top of the list.  And then the series hit, and, much like last week’s Barda, he wound up being very hard to get ahold of.  I always hoped I might find one, but a reasonably priced one never presented itself to me.  When DC Universe Classics came along, I shifted my focus over to that one, but this one was always the one that got away.  Remember how I got that Barda figure?  Well, as it turns out, that collection had two of my personal DCD grails, because this guy was there, too.  I was actually pretty enthused, and, as with Barda, I was able to get him for a really good deal.  He’s a solid figure, and one that holds up really nicely, even all these years later.

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

#3021: Batman Earth -32 & Green Lantern Hal Jordan

BATMAN EARTH -32 & GREEN LANTERN HAL JORDAN

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Hal Jordan’s life was changed twice by crashing aircraft. The first time was when he witnessed the death of his father, pilot Martin Jordan. The second was when, as an adult and trained pilot himself, he was summoned to the crashed wreckage of a spaceship belonging to Abin Sur. Abin explained that he was a member of the Green Lantern Corps, an organization of beings from across the cosmos, armed with power rings fueled by the green energy of all the willpower in the universe. Upon his death, Abin entrusted his ring and duties as the Green Lantern of Earth’s space sector to Hal Jordan.

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.”

Hoo boy, it sure has been a lot of Marvel-centric Hasbro reviews around here lately.  I’m gonna be honest, that’s burning me out ever so slightly, so I’m voting to mix things up just a tad this week.  Don’t get too excited, though, because that doesn’t mean it’s all butterflies and rainbows.  No, in fact, I’m jumping over to the McFarlane side of things.  Oh boy, won’t that be fun and thrilling?  Well, this one’s at least half not-Batman.  So, there’s that, right?  Sure.  Without further ado, here’s some Green Lantern stuff, with a bit of Batman mixed in!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Batman of Earth -32 and Green Lantern Hal Jordan are the second DC Multiverse two-pack of 2021, hitting retail last fall.  They’re based on Dark Knights Metal, and follows up on the Superman vs Devastator and Flash vs Red Death packs previously released from the same cross-over.  Dawnbreaker is identical to his single release from 2020, for better or for worse, while Hal is a new release to this pack.

GREEN LANTERN HAL JORDAN

We’ve gotten one of Earth’s other Green Lanterns from McFarlane already (twice over, in fact, since there were both Comic and Animated versions of John produced), we hadn’t yet gotten Hal Jordan.  Instead, he’s exclusively available in a two-pack with a figure that you inevitably already bought when it was released as a single, over a year before the two-pack was released.  But I’m not bitter about that or anything.  The figure whose release scheme I’m not at all bitter about stands 7 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  From the neck down, this figure’s sculpt is the same as the John Stewart figure.  I was less than enthused by the sculpt when it was used for John.  I’m still not incredibly enthused by it here.  It’s still over-designed, which is a real bummer when it comes to a GL design.  As I brought up the last time I discussed the mold, it was clearly designed with both uses in mind from the start, so there are elements of both costume designs worked it.  The John costume elements are a bit less of an issue on Hal’s costume, generally, so it works a *little* bit better, but it’s still really cluttered.  The one new piece to the sculpt is the head, which is admittedly a much better offering than the one we got for John.  It’s actually kind of a decent rendition of Hal, and probably one of McFarlane’s best human heads, so that’s certainly an accomplishment.  Hal’s paint work is alright; the colors match those used for John, which is at least consistent, I suppose.  I still think the green is maybe a bit too dark, but at least there’s more of it to sort of offset that this time.  At least the application is pretty clean.  Hal is packed with two construct pieces, a boxing glove and a jetpack, as well as a large construct stand meant for both Hal and Dawnbreaker.  After the kind of uninspired minigun piece from John, it’s actually really refreshing to get the boxing glove construct, which not only actually clips over his whole hand, but also is just appropriately true to the character.  The jetpack isn’t quite as much his speed, but it’s still a little more inventive, as is the larger display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I do like GL-related stuff, and had generally found the early McFarlane stuff lacking in that regard.  The John Stewart really let me down, I won’t lie.  And, while I liked Dawnbreaker decently the first time around, I’m also not super enthused about having to buy him a second time around to get Hal.  I mean, Hal’s a decent figure and all, and certainly a better figure than John, but saddling him with a complete re-pack just generally sucks.  Additionally, as nice as he his, he’s at best a lateral move from the DC Essentials figure, much like Superman and Nightwing were.  Honestly, I kind of wish Hal and John were reversed in terms of quality, because I don’t really *need* another decent Hal figure, but I’m still waiting on an okay John.  Well, at least Hal’s a nice figure.

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

#2908: Green Lantern – John Stewart

GREEN LANTERN — JOHN STEWART

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“John Stewart is a former U.S. Marine who uses his military training and discipline to protect Earth, and the rest of Space Sector 2814, as a member of the intergalactic peacekeeping force known as the Green Lantern Corps. As Green Lantern, John wields a power ring, which creates a protective shield around him, allows him to fly, and generates hard-light energy constructs in the form of anything he imagines. Fueled by willpower, Green Lantern’s power ring is one of the mightiest weapons in the universe!”

On the topic of McFarlane not always *just* doing Batman, here’s a bit more in that category.  I’m classically a pretty big Green Lantern fan, and there’s no denying that Todd’s been rather stingy on the GL love.  To date, there’s been a Green Lantern Batman (which only half counts), and two different versions of John Stewart.  I don’t really want to delve into the monstrosity that was the animated-style version, so I guess I’ll look at the other one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern John Stewart was 2021 release for the DC Multiverse standard line.  Again, there’s the whole distribution thing, which means he showed up early some places, but just showed up rather recently others.  Yay, that’s fun.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  John’s articulation scheme is again pretty much the same as the other DC McFarlane stuff, but I did find the range of motion on him to be a fair bit more restricted, and also more prone to breaking up the flow of the sculpt.  John’s sculpt was unique to him to start, but most of it’s already planned for a re-use on the upcoming Hal Jordan.  Effectively, this means they kind of designed it with the two uses in mind, so you can sort of see how the details are loosely meant to work for their two differing costume designs.  In simplest terms, that means that no matter which of the two you’re looking at, they’re really over designed, especially for GLs.  There’s just so many unnecessary details just really muddying up the cleanness of the GL design.  It’s especially notable on John, since he’s wearing his more modern, even further streamlined costume.  They didn’t even add extra lines to his costume during the New 52, you guys.  Even New 52 standards knew not to mess up the John Stewart design.  And yet, here we are, with way too much going on.  Todd really does remind me of the old adage “if less is more, think of how much more more could be.”  All the excess detail might be easier to get away with if the actual body sculpt worked, but it’s got kind of wonky proportions, with the arms in particular just being far too long.  I’m also really not digging that the right hand is doing a trigger finger grip; how do you not give a GL a fist for their ring hand?  Topping it all off is the unique head sculpt that’s supposed to be pulling the heavy weight on selling this figure as John Stewart.  Trouble is, it doesn’t really look like John.  It looks like a generic black guy.  They don’t all look the same, I can assure you.  I felt kind of the same way about Mezco’s version of John as well, so maybe there’s just some confusion about his defining facial features.  John’s paint work is alright.  It’s nothing to write home about, and I find myself wishing the greens were a bit brighter, or possibly even metallic.  Just something to make it pop more would be good.  John’s accessories include a construct armor piece for the torso, a construct minigun, a display stand, and a collector’s card.  The minigun isn’t the worst thing ever, but it does really feel a little less joyful and fun than the usual constructs.  I also don’t really like that’s only held, and doesn’t clip on in any way, nor do I like that we missed out on getting a lantern, or maybe some extra hands.  It’s not an awful selection, but it’s not particularly thrilling either.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The general lack of GL focus in the McFarlane output hasn’t really thrilled me.  I wanted to be excited by this guy, but the prototype shots did nothing for me, and seeing him in person didn’t do a lot either.  A loose one wound up coming in at the same time as the Flash figure I reviewed yesterday, so I decided that was the time to give him a try.  He’s…well, he’s really not great.  I want to like him, but I guess I’ve been a little bit spoiled by earlier, better John Stewart figures.  If I’m entirely honest, I pretty much went the whole review just wanting this figure to be the DCUC one, and he’s not, and he’s never gonna be.

#2714: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

FIRST APPEARANCE (DC DIRECT)

“Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, first shined his emerald light in 1940’s All-American Comics #16.”

1940 proved to be a rather jam-packed year for super hero comics.  After the immense success of Superman and Batman in the two years prior, DC (then National Comics Publications) launched more of their own additions to the genre, but were also joined by a good number of competitors.  One who was perhaps less competitor than the others was All-American Publications, whose characters had frequent crossovers with National’s, and who were themselves absorbed into what would become DC before the end of the Golden Age.  Among All-American’s most prominent heroes was the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott, who arrived in July of 1940 in the 16th issue of All-American’s self-titled periodical.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern was released in the second series of DC Direct’s First Appearance line, which hit not too long after the first.  Like Jay, prior to the release of this figure, Alan’s only prior figure was the slightly less artist-specific one from the JSA line.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  After the stripped down articulation approach they gave to the non-Batman figures in Series 1, DCD was nice enough to change things up ever so slightly for the second round, and actually gave Alan here swivels for his wrists, which is certainly nice to have for a character like GL.  His posing is still somewhat limited, of course, but you can get a respectable range out of him.  The figure’s sculpt is based on Marty Nodell’s interior illustrations for the character.  Nodell’s work was somewhat fluid in it’s exact depiction of the character, so this sculpt tries to get the key most elements of his illustrations, worked into a cleaner overall design.  It’s quite a nice looking sculpt, and probably one of the best to come out of this line-up (really, only Hawkman rivals it).  These figures were mostly pretty light on detailing, but in keeping with Nodell’s tendency to put a lot of smaller detailing into his art, there’s actually quite a bit going on in this figure’s sculpt as well. The pants in particular have some really nice work on the folds and creases, and the billowy shirt even manages to look pretty decent.  The head’s also got a little more character to it than most of the other sculpts in the line, with more detailing in the face and hair, and even the actual band that held his mask in place (consistent in the earliest depictions of the character).  In an effort to keep with the cloth goods set-up for the line, Alan’s cape is a cloth piece.  It’s not one of the line’s finest elements, being rather bulky and a little cumbersome.  It’s got a wire to aid in posing, which is cool, but it has some trouble staying in place, and the yellow band across the front that’s supposed to be the chain is really goofy looking.  Like most of the other figures in the set, Alan’s paint work is bright, clean, and colorful.  There’s some very sharp work on the logo, as well as on the face, especially the eyes.  Alan is packed with the usual stand and reprint of his first appearance, but also gets his actual Lantern power batter as well, which is quite a nice piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had a somewhat sentimental attachment to Alan Scott, largely due to dressing up as him for Halloween when I was 7, but this was the first Alan Scott figure I actually owned.  I got it from my parents for Christmas the year it was released, and even happened to have it with me when I met Marty Nodell at Baltimore Comic Con the following year, although I didn’t have the forethought to actually get him to sign it, which probably would have been a good idea.  He’s a really cool figure, and probably the best of the First Appearance figures.  I don’t like the cape a ton, but that’s ultimately pretty minor.

#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.

#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.

#2562: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC HEROES UNITE (SPIN MASTER)

2020’s been rough on everyone, and the toy industry’s no exception.  While bigger companies with established product lines, such as Hasbro and…uh, Hasbro’s it, I guess, have been able to more or less keep going, smaller companies have been having slightly more trouble.  At the start of the year, Spin Master was one of two companies to pick up the license for DC figures, with a focus more on the kid-friendly side.  They got out their initial product before the shut down, but things have been rather scarce since.  Fortunately, they seem to finally be getting more product out there, and I’ve managed to fine enough of it to justify doing a whole week of reviews.  So, I guess that’s just what I’ll do.  I’m kicking things off with (spoiler) my favorite of the recent additions, Green Lantern!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern is part of the second assortment of Spin Master’s DC Heroes Unite line, which is their more Justice League-oriented line.  For their first GL, Spin Master’s gone for John Stewart, a pretty smart idea, since he’s really become the most marketable of the bunch these days, and is a nice way of getting some more diversity into the line right from the get-go.  He’s in his cartoon-inspired costume, which is again a smart choice because a) it’s his most recognizable and b) it’s his best looking one.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  His body looks to be an all-new sculpt, something that I’ve kind of got to commend Spin Master on.  A lot of the bodies they’ve put out have been basic enough that I could see some justification for re-use, but they’ve actually been trying to keep the heavy hitters unique.  John’s build is definitely the bulkiest on the standard build characters I’ve looked at so far.  On one hand, it’s weird that he’s larger than Superman, but on the other hand, he’s been pretty consistently shown as roughly this build, so I think it really works.  The head’s the most unique piece, and it goes for a slightly younger looking John than we tend to see, but one that never the less still sports that usual look of determination, so it’s very on-brand for the character.  The paint work on John is pretty basic, but it’s clean, it’s bright, and it’s eye-catching, so it works well for me.  The only issue I have with it is that they’ve made John a lefty by painting the ring on his left hand.  Come on, guys!  All of the accessories so far for these lines have been blind-boxed, but for this round, it looks like most of the new figures don’t actually have randomly packed ones.  John in particular seems to only have the one color set.  He’s got his lantern, a fist, and a gun construct, all in green.  A translucent green would have been cool, but this still works for me.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a big GL fan, so I was really looking forward to one being added to this line.  He wasn’t the first of the new set I found, but I spotted him on the included pamphlet, and was on board immediately.  Fortunately, Max was able to help me score one, so I didn’t have to wait long.  He’s really fun.  Pretty simple and straight forward, but also just fun, and probably my favorite from this line so far.

#2392: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC PRIMAL AGE (FUNKO)

Funko, holders of the licenses to everything you care about, have a tendency to slide from style to style, for anything that’s not Pops, anyway.  From 2018 to mid-2019, that style was Masters of the Universe knock-offs.  They did a bunch of horror icons and the Thundercats under the Savage World imprint, before moving DC into the style with their Primal Age line.  Me being me, I of course have the Green Lantern figure, and I’m gonna take a look at him today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern was part of the first basic assortment of the DC: Primal Age line, which was initially exclusive to Target, before showing up through a few other retailers.  So far, Primal Age has been the only of these Masters-inspired lines to get more than one series, so I guess Target backing them right out of the gate probably helped with that.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Continuing the trend of the figures I’ve looked at from these line’s so far, GL is an all-new sculpt, rather than falling back on the usual heavy re-use of such a style of figure.  Of the two lines I’ve looked at, he falls more into the horror line’s style, being a more complete re-imagining of the character design through this new lens.  The standard GL elements are all there, but rather than a sleek super hero costume, it’s more battle-ready armor.  He’s got a breast plate instead of the green unitard thing, and a chain with a lantern charm on it instead of a logo.  Of course, he’s still just strait up got a domino mask, which does ruin the immersion ever so slightly, but what else are you going to do?  Though the chest armor is not removable in the usual Masters fashion, there’s a shoulder pad and leg piece that are, and it kind of recalls Man-at-Arms in its stylings.  The paintwork on this guy is pretty basic, but it does the job it needs to.  He has the usual colors for a GL, and that works pretty well.  He’s packed with an axe, mace, and shield, which are all molded in translucent green, so as to look like constructs, which is a pretty cool touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Something I’ve recently discovered about myself is that I actually don’t like the vintage Masters aesthetic all that much, so I really haven’t been pulled in by these take-offs of the style.  This guy almost got me, especially when they got really cheap, but I never did get one.  Max, on the other hand, did, and he decided that it ultimately wasn’t a figure he *needed* and since I’m the resident GL fan, he passed it onto me.  It doesn’t really change my opinion on this style of figure, but this guy’s pretty cool on his own.

#2349: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC ESSENTIALS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

So I totally neglected to review anything green for St Patrick’s Day….for like seven years running.  Look, it’s not one of the one’s I really mention.  In fact, I’m only bringing any of this up because I happen to actually be writing today’s review *on* St Patrick’s Day, and, well, it’s Green Lantern, who’s…well, green.  Also, writing this particular intro spares you all from having to read another “I’m a glutton for punishment because I keep buying toys from lines that have wronged me before” intro.  Aren’t you happy to have missed that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern is figure 19 in the DC Essentials line-up, heading off his assortment, which hit right after the New Year.  Like Nightwing, he was one of the earlier figures to be shown off, but it took a while for him to be slotted into the line-up.  For this assortment, he was paired off with a Sinestro figure, which makes sense.  GL is seen here sporting the same basic look he’s kept since after Green Lantern: Rebirth, though this one does take something of a more modern bend.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He gets a new head, hands, and shins, and the rest is…well, the rest is the basic Essentials body, for better or for worse.  Okay, it’s kinda for worse, if I’m honest…but I’ll get to that.  The new parts aren’t bad on their own.  In particular, the head is quite a nice piece, and I like it more than DC Collectibles’ last attempt at Hal.  I like that this one’s got some personality to it.  The problem I have with it is how poorly it fits the body it’s sitting on.  It’s a little too small, and it definitely sits too high on the neck.  It shouldn’t be this hard, guys; you’ve had 18 previous figures to get this scaling of the parts down.  At least the hands are a nice combo, though as with all of these figures, I wish he had a few more to choose from.  The shins just give his boots actual raised edges, which, hey, at least they didn’t screw up something this simple.  GL’s paintwork is…fine.  Like, it does what it’s supposed to, but it also raises some pre-existing issues with the sculpt.  The way the split works on the forearms for the gloves just really exaggerates how bad those overly-long arms look.  Seriously, how have they not fixed those?  How do you leave something that glaring uncorrected on every figure in the line?  You be DCC, I guess.  Hal includes no accessories because, I mean, there’s no easy accessories you can give to Green Lantern, right?  What could you possibly include with a Green Lantern figure?  Do any items that might be “essential” for a Green LANTERN figure come to mind?  No?  Well, not for DCC, anyway.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ll admit, this was moment of weakness on my part.  I’ve gotten prior Essentials figures, and I know what’s up there.  But I was at my comic store, and there was this new Green Lantern figure that I didn’t have, and….well, I kinda caved.  I then got home, opened him up and kinda regretted it a bit.  It’s really those damned arms.  I’ve hated them since the start, and they just feel like they’re even worse here.  It’s not helping that the last Essentials figure I picked up actually fixed the issue, making its return even more frustrating because they CLEARLY KNOW IT’S A PROBLEM!  Ultimately, the figure’s not the worst thing ever.  Honestly there’s a lot of him that’s genuinely good, but it’s all hidden behind the albatross that’s hung around the line’s neck since the very beginning.