#1608: Green Lantern – Kyle Rayner



Despite getting into comics and such in the ‘90s, my first and favorite Green Lantern was *not* the then current holder of the role, Kyle Rayner.  I was aware of Kyle.  I had figures of Kyle (although, my small child brain hadn’t initially processed that he and Hal were not one and the same).  But I didn’t like him much.  At least not originally.  I’ve acquired an appreciation for him in more recent years, and also acquired a few more figures as well.


Kyle was released in Series 2 of DC Direct’s JLA: Classified line.  The whole assortment was ‘90s-themed, so Kyle in his classic costume was a perfect fit.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  Mobility was never at the forefront on these particular figures, and Kyle’s not really much of an exception.  He’s good for standing there and maybe some slight adjustments to the arms, but not much beyond that.  As with all of the figures in this line, Kyle’s sculpt is based on the style of Ed McGuinness.  I’m not actually sure McGuinness ever drew Kyle in this costume, or even at all, but he does seem to fit MgGuinness’s bolder illustration sensibilities.  I mean, he’s definitely a bit more of a beefcake than Kyle tends to be, but isn’t everyone when illustrated by Ed McGuinness.  He ends up using a lot of the same pieces as the Superman Blue/Red, but does get some unique parts for his head, gloves, and boots.  The head is actually one of my favorites from this subset of figures.  Apart from being perhaps slightly serious in expression for Kyle, it does a solid job of capturing the character, right down to his floppy ‘90s hair, and that goofy crab-mask thing.  Kyle’s paintwork is very clean, and very sharp.  The metallic green is actually a lot better than the sorts of metallic greens that you usually see, being much brighter and thus truer to the comics.  I also dig the slightly pearlescent finish to the white, which contrasts well with the flat black paint on the base body.  Kyle’s only accessory was a JLA: Classified-branded display stand.  A power battery might have been cool, but with the hands both being fists, I guess he couldn’t hold it anyway.


At the time of this figure’s release, I was pretty well invested in DC Universe Classics, so I wasn’t really picking up any DCD figures.  As such, this guy went under my radar.  I’ve not really seen the figure since, but always was interesting in tracking him down at some point.  I ended up finding him loose at House of Fun this past November.  He’s a rather stylized figure, and certainly requires you to like this particular group of figures.  For me, I quite like him, and I’m happy to add another Kyle figure to my collection.

#0619: Superman – Red




Hey, do you remember back about two weeks, when I took a look at Superman Blue? That weird changeup to Superman to help keep him “hip?” Yeah, well, umm, long story short, he got split into two separate beings, and the second one was today’s focus, Superman Red. See, cuz it’s clever, cuz Superman is usually just one guy, who wears red AND blue, but now he’s two guys who each only wear one color. Isn’t that smart? But, of course, they also had slightly different personalities. Can you guess what was Superman Red’s defining trait? If you guessed the incredibly obvious answer of hot-headedness, you win a special no-prize! Good for you! Now, onto the figure!


SupermanRed2Superman Red was released in the third series of DC Direct’s JLA: Classified line. He directly followed Blue in Series 2. While 2 had a more defined “looks of the 90s” theme to it, Series 3 was a little bit more free-form. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. Like just about every other McGuinness-styled figure, the articulation is mostly pointless, and he’s really only good for a basic standing pose. Superman Red is, completely unsurprisingly, a head to toe repaint of Series 2’s Superman Blue. Seeing as they’re essentially just palate swaps of each other in the comics, you can’t exactly blame DC Direct for just using the same mold. I guess they could have given this one a more emotive face (like Mattel did when they released these two) but it’s hardly a requirement. The head still feels too big for the body, and the arms are still too stubby, but it’s not a terrible sculpt. The paint is the real difference here, though even then it’s pretty much the same, but with red swapped in for blue. The paint does feel a little sharper this time around, and the white details are more properly aligned. Like his blue counterpart, Superman Red’s single accessory is a black display stand with the JLA: Classified logo in blue. Would have been cool to get it in red, just for the heck of it, but I guess they wanted it to be the same as the rest of the line.


Like Superman Blue, Superman Red was from the assortment of figures I picked up during an action figure sale at Cosmic Comix. He was $3. That was most of my reasoning for getting him. Well, that and I was getting Superman Blue. Having both seemed like a good idea. I think Blue is my favorite of the pair, but I like both, and I certainly don’t regret buying them.


#0607: Superman – Blue




The 90s were weird. Like, for everyone. Marvel had their whole shoulder pads and pouches thing going on, which is one of those things we’d all like to forget now. DC was getting in on the weirdness too, and few characters got hit as much as Superman. First he died and got replaced with four “x-treme” takes on the mythos. Then he came back, but he was different and he had a mullet. Then he lost the mullet, but the sun also got blotted out, preventing him access to his solar-based powers. The only logical solution was to convert his powers to electricity. That’s just obvious. Anyway, the result was Superman Blue, a radical departure from the Superman we all knew and loved. He didn’t really stick around for long, but he had a rather distinctive design, which did build up a rather decent fan following, resulting in a few action figures over the years. Let’s take a look at the most recent version!


SupermanBlue2Superman Blue was released as part of the second series of DC Direct’s JLA: Classified line. All of the figures in the series were based on looks from the 90s, so Superman fit in pretty well. The figure stands roughly 6 ½ inches tall and features 13 points of articulation. Due to the nature of the sculpt and how the articulation was implemented, most of the articulation is ultimately pointless, and the figure’s only real pose is a basic standing one. The JLA: Classified line worked as a companion line to the four assortments of Ed McGuinness-styled Superman/Batman figures produced not long before. So, Superman Blue is presented here in Ed McGuinness’s style, though I’m not sure that McGuinness ever actually drew Superman Blue. Admittedly, it’s a style that works pretty well for the design, so I can’t really complain. Most of the McG-styled figures made use of a lot of the same pieces, and Superman Blue is no exception. He gets a brand new head, but from the neck down he’s a straight re-use of the basic McG body first used for Captain Atom. It’s not a terrible body, but it’s not without its flaws either. It’s definitely well-defined, and in keeping with a lot of McG’s illustrations, but the arms are definitely way too stubby. The head is a pretty decent sculpt; it matches up pretty well with the regular McG Superman, but it’s got a slightly more smug expression, which at the very least adds some variety. The character’s spiky electric hair is quite nicely conveyed, and the head-band-thingy is appropriately sharp and clean. The only real issue is that the head is just a tad too big for the body. The paintwork is alright; the blue and white are appropriately bold, and the figure definitely stands out. However, the application of the white areas is a little uneven, and the elements on the arms and legs which should mirror each other end up not doing so. The figure’s one accessory is a small black display stand with the JLA: Classified logo printed in blue.


Superman Blue was another piece of the large selection of figures I bought on sale from my local comicbook store. He’s not my favorite design of all time, but at $3, I figured he was worth it. The figure is overall pretty decent, and while it’s not perfect, it does add a certain degree of “pop” to the shelf.