#1209: The Flash

THE FLASH

JUSTICE (DC DIRECT)

flashjust1

A quick glance around the internet tells me that this may be a slightly controversial opinion, but I really love the work of Alex Ross.  Marvels and Kingdom Come are obviously the standouts, but in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, his work was the best source of classic DC Comics material out there, which was something of a godsend for me, a classic comics fan born into the wrong era. In that regard, his 12-issue maxi-series Justice, which was effectively Challenge of the Superfriends on an even more epic scale, was right up my alley.  The fact that it got a whole line of figures courtesy of DC Direct?  Icing on the cake.  Today, I’ll be looking at my first figure from the line, Barry Allen, aka the Flash!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

flashjust2The Flash was released in the first series of Justice figures from DCD.  This was only the second Barry Allen Flash we’d gotten from them, and the first time he’d been released solo.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  Not a ton of movement, but it was an incredible step up from the prior Kingdom Come figures, which had what can be described as “minimal” movement at best.  He’s based, of course, on Alex Ross’s depiction of Barry from not just Justice, but also the tabloid-sized specials DC put in the early ‘00s.  It’s really just Barry’s classic costume styled as if it were made from real fabrics and worn by a real person, but that’s a pretty good look.  The sculpt on this guy was handled by DCD’s main sculptor at the time, Tim Bruckner, and it’s not a bad stab at this particular design.  The main issues I would cite with this figure come from its desire to be two different things simultaneously.  They wanted him to be in a sort of a running pose (something no Flash figure they’d released up to that point was capable of pulling off), but also be able to stand up relatively straight, like the rest of the line.  The end result is a figure with a rather static and stiff upper half, and a lower half that looks to be mid-lunge.  With a bit of careful posing, you can get him to look fine (which is more than can be said for some of DCD’s later output), but he always seems ever so slightly off.  On the plus side, there’s a lot of fun detail work on the sculpt.  The costume sports plenty of wrinkles and stretched fabric, to make it more convincing that he’s not just sporting body paint, and there’s even a seam running down the front, showing how he gets the costume on and off.  The boots are heavily wrinkled and very obviously a different material than the rest of the costume, and there’s even the appropriate treading on the soles.  The head is some pretty solid work as well; the face under the mask displays Barry’s goofy charm pretty well, and the mask has a seam running across the forehead, much like Adam West’s Batman Cowl.  The paintwork on Flash is pretty good, but I have one small complaint: they used gold in place of yellow.  It’s not an uncommon practice, and this is far from the first Flash to do so, but when companies do this, they almost always use this dark and rather dull gold.  In the case of the Flash, this robs him of some of his costume’s boldness and clash, and on this particular figure, it has the unintended effect of sort of reversing the dynamic of his costume and making the red the lighter color in most lighting.  A more vibrant gold would have looked a bit better.  Apart from that, the application is all pretty clean, and I do really like the slightly pearlescent red they’ve gone with.  Barry’s only accessory was a rather large and unruly display stand, which was the same one included with every figure in this line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite getting most of my DC Direct figures from Cosmic Comix, I actually got Flash from a Suncoast.  I think CCX had sold out of Flash by the time I got there, so I ended up finding him while on a mall outing with my Grandmother and my cousins.  I think he may have even been on sale.  I was quite excited to get him, since I didn’t yet have a Barry Allen in this scale.  He remained my go-to Flash figure until he was eventually supplanted by the Darwyn Cooke-styled Flash from New Frontier.  He’s not a perfect figure, but he’s a pretty solid one, and he definitely brings back some fond memories.

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#0036: Green Lantern – Armored

GREEN LANTERN – ARMORED

JUSTICE (DC DIRECT)

Today’s review is a piece of my quite large Green Lantern collection.  I’m a huge Green Lantern fan, so I have a tendency to buy figures based solely on the fact that they’re Green Lantern.  That’s kinda the case with today’s figure, based on Green Lantern’s armored appearance in Justice.  For those of you who don’t know, Justice was a 12 issue Maxi-Series released by DC Comics a few years ago.  It featured art by Alex Ross and was effectively a more modern day take on Challenge of the Superfriends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Armored GL was released in the sixth series of DC Direct’s Justice line.  He stands just shy of 7 inches tall, and has 15 points of articulation.  Like I said above, he’s based on Green Lantern’s armored appearance from towards the end of the series, when the Justice League has their final showdown with the Legion of Doom.  It’s a neat design, and also very unique, which helps to break up some of the monotony of some of the other Green Lanterns.  The figure is an all new sculpt, which isn’t surprising given there was little room for reuse.  The body is pretty well done, though like many other DC Direct figures of the same time period, he has a slight pre-posed nature to him that doesn’t really work too well with the articulation given.  Granted, it’s nowhere near as bad here as it was on some others, so it doesn’t bother me too much.  There aren’t really any facial features to depict, but the faceplate looks cool.  Also, a really cool touch on the head is the face on the back of it.  In the comic, GL’s suit was actually Metal Men member Iron wrapping himself around GL for protection, so Iron’s face is shown in the back.  It’s a cool feature and adds a lot to the figure, almost making it a two-in-one figure!  The paint on the figure is solid, with little slop or bleed over.  GL’s only accessory was a stand, which is somewhere in a large box of stands from other DC Direct figures.  It was identical to the stand that was included with every other figure in the line.  It looked fine if you only had one figure on display, but any more and it just becomes overly large and cumbersome.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Armored GL from my local comic store Cosmic Comix during the store’s annual year end sale.  He was one of about 15 DC direct figures that I bought for 45% off of their original price (which brought his price to about $8.50).  I had held off on the figure before, but for that price it was definitely worth it.  He’s a fairly fun figure and I was glad to add him to my collection!