#2023: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC: THE NEW 52 (DC COLLECTIBLES)

DC’s “New 52” relaunch sure does seem like a distant memory these days, doesn’t it?  Their big relaunch to end relaunches happened several relaunches ago, and, for the most part, it’s kind of old hat.  I mean, yeah, they aimed for big sweeping changes, but they kind of missed.  One of the books least affected by the changes was Green Lantern, which was still pretty big at the time.  Nevertheless, lead GL Hal Jordan got a minor redesign courtesy of Jim Lee, in order to better match the rest of the Justice League.  And, of course, that came with a new figure, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Green Lantern was one of the first seven figures in the New 52 line, when DC Collectibles was set on getting all of the main Justice League members out in their new uniforms.  He was subsequently re-released in the Justice League 7-pack that followed, and saw an evergreen release as part of the DC Essentials line…well, the first incarnation of it, anyway.  This figure is the original release, but the figures within the package are virtually identical between the three releases.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  This was fairly standard for the launch figures, which were really just carrying forward the stylings of the later DC Direct figures.  Compared to more recent offerings, he’s a little archaic, and, honestly, compared to contemporary lines, they were archaic, too, but they were hardly a surprise given who was producing them.  The main focus was definitely on the sculpts, and GL’s sculpt is actually pretty decent.  He, and all of the early figures, really, was based on Jim Lee’s design for the character.  GL’s look was really just a slight tweaking of his post “Rebirth” design that he’d had for almost a decade by this point, with some extra armor plating here and there, because Jim Lee was all about that armor plating for this round of designs.  The sculpt actually does quite a respectable job of capturing Lee’s style in three dimensions.  While I was a little iffy about the tweaks to the design on the comics page, it actually translates pretty nicely into an action figure.  The details are crisp and sharp, and I especially like the seams on the gloves, even if perhaps a hardlight costume shouldn’t have such things.  Like a lot of DC Direct figures and early DCC figures, there’s a bit of pre-posing going on, but in this figure’s case, he’s just got the heroic stance that all of the League was sporting in the promo shots for the New 52.  It also impedes the articulation’s use a lot less than some of DCD’s figures, so that’s a plus in my book.  GL’s paintwork is pretty solid.  The metallic colors for the green and white are a nice look, and while there’s a little bit of bleedover on the face, for the most part, he’s pretty clean.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, The New 52 being the thing that kind of got me off of DC for a while, I wasn’t exactly breaking down the door to pick these guys up when they were coming out.  Even with my usually forgiving fandom for GL, I skipped this guy when he was released, as well as the few times he was re-released.  Why get him now?  It’s quite simple: Cosmic Comix had one in a package that was worse for wear, and he was marked down to $5.  For that price, he was worth it to me.  He’s actually not a bad figure, truth be told, though I can’t really say he stands out compared to the other GLs I’ve got in my collection.  Still, he was worth what I paid for him.

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#0858: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN

DC ICONS (DCC)

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After the success of Barry Allen as the second iteration of the Flash, DC got to work on re-imagining as many of their old superheroes as they could. In the years since super hero comics had faded away, the magic and mysticism had fallen out of favor. When the heroes returned, science fiction was all the rage, so, when the new Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, debuted in 1959, his origin was tailored to fit that new sci-fi mold. It was a pretty successful idea, so successful, in fact, that years later, the original Green Lantern’s powers were re-tooled to be more in line with his successor’s. Anyway, I’m a pretty big fan of the second incarnation of GL, and I was happy to see him added to DC Collectibles’ new DC Icons line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GLIcon2Green Lantern is a deluxe figure in the DC Icons line, released to coincide with the release of Series 2. He’s #09 in the line, placing him just after Series 2 chronologically. He was designed by Ivan Reis and sculpted by Sam Greenwell and Erick Sosa. GL’s based on his appearance during the “Dark Days” storyline, which is a fancy way of saying he’s a New 52 figure. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation. Like Barry, he’s a bit taller than Mr. Miracle, but I find he doesn’t scale as well with other lines (such as ML) due to his head being slightly smaller than Barry’s. Also like Barry, he has lateral movement on his shins, which is much appreciated. He’s also got cut joints at the tops of his gloves, which are a bit redundant, but serve a purpose I’ll get to in a sec. Structurally, Hal is fairly similar to Barry (and by extension, the rest of the line). Despite being a New 52 design, this sculpt doesn’t feel over burdened with unnecessary details. The extra lines that are there feel well placed, and make the figure as a whole very appealing to look at. The head is a pretty sharp piece of work too, though perhaps not as sharp as the rest of the sculpt. Like the Flash, I feel the face is lacking a bit in expression, but it’s not quite as bad here. Hal’s paint is very nicely done; the greens are all a nice metallic shade, and the whites of the gloves have a nice white finish. The application is a little thick on the face, but not terribly so, and there’s a bit of chipping at the wrist joints. Aside from those issues, it’s pretty solid, though. Now, so far I haven’t outlined anything that’s all that different from a normal release. Why’s this guy a deluxe figure? Accessories, that’s why. He comes with hands in fists and gripping positions, a power batter, a giant green construct fist, and a full set of construct armor, made up of a helmet/wingpack, shoulder pads, two big gun hands, thigh armor, and big stompy boots. This is how you adequately showcase Green Lantern’s powers! The extra joints on the figure’s forearms are there to allow for them to be swapped for the construct gun-hands, which is a pretty good way of handling things. However, the giant fist is still a slip over piece, which is a bit of an issue, since Hal’s right forearm has some trouble staying in place. Had the fist been handled the same way as the gun-hands this wouldn’t have been a problem.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I’ve gotten away from it in recent years (in no small part due to DC doing a whole lot of sucking), at my core, I’m a huge Green Lantern geek. So, I was pretty thrilled to hear he’d be in this line. I was a little less thrilled when I found out he was a New 52 figure, but, I gotta be honest, in hand, I don’t care all that much. This is a really awesome Green Lantern, regardless of which incarnation he is. Undoubtedly the coolest figure I’ve picked up from this line. I am content to have this as my default GL. Of course, if they wanted to do a Neal Adams version of Hal later on, I certainly wouldn’t say no…

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#0798: Mister Miracle

MISTER MIRACLE

DC ICONS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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Jack Kirby is a pretty pivotal figure in comics, having had a hand in the creation of a huge portion of the Marvel Universe. He didn’t just work at Marvel; he also spent a fair bit of time working for Marvel’s main competition, DC. He didn’t have the same impact at DC that he did at Marvel, but he did create the Fourth World, which picked up a pretty substantial cult following. One of my personal favorite characters from the Fourth World has always been Scott Free, aka Mister Miracle. Scott (or Scot, as he’s known now. Extra “t”s are so last century) has made a fairly recent return to the DC Universe, and his new look just got a figure, courtesy of DC Collectibles’ newest line, DC Icons.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MrMiracle2Mister Miracle is figure 04 in the first series of DC Icons. He’s the lone New 52-based figure in the first series, which is fair, I suppose. The main purpose of the Icons line was to serve as a competitor for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, so articulation is a key point. Mister Miracle delivers pretty well on this, sporting 27 points of articulation. Like a couple of the animated figures, he would really benefit from some sort of lateral movement on his legs, but you can still get a pretty decent range out of him. What he doesn’t deliver on so much is height. He stands about 5 ¾ inches tall, which makes him a good half an inch shorter than the average Marvel Legend and almost a full inch shorter than prior DCC figures. For what it’s worth, he’s in roughly the same scale as S.H. FiguArts figures. But he, and the rest of the line, are still a lot smaller than expected. Moving past that, he has a totally unique sculpt, which is pretty well executed. The proportions of the body are actually pretty good, and most of the articulation is worked in pretty well. Design-wise, he’s based on Miracle’s look from Earth 2, which is a slight tweaking of his original Kirby design. I think the original is still a stronger look, but this isn’t a bad look. The costume details are mostly etched in, which has MrMiracle3the result of making him look a lot sharper. The cape is a separate, but permanently attached piece, made from a softer materials. The sculpt is okay, but, the cape is a little oddly shaped. That being said, it works for what it is. The paint work on the figure is nicely handled overall. The etched in lines of the costume make for cleaner paintwork, and help to make the details pop a bit more. The colors are all done in a really cool metallic sheen, which really makes him look pretty sweet. For accessories, Mister Miracle includes two sets of hands (fists and open), a pair of hoverdiscs for his feet, and what I believe is a Mother Box.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Mister Miracle from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix. He was actually the only of the four first series figures left. I was somewhat intrigued by the concept of Icons, and I’ve always liked Mister Miracle, so I thought this guy would be a good starting point. The issues of scale are a little frustrating, especially for people who were hoping to place these figures with their prior DCC figures. That being said, Miracle is a really fun figure, and he shows a great improvement in terms of quality for a DCC product. Plus, as more of these figures are released, the scale thing will become less of an issue.

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#0778: Supergirl

SUPERGIRL

DC NEW 52

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Ah, the DC New 52, how I’ve missed thee. Well, okay, no. No, I haven’t. In part because it’s still kinda here, but also because of that whole “generally not very good” thing. When the whole ordeal started, I did give more than a few titles a try. Among them was Supergirl, which, while not terrible, wasn’t particularly exciting either, so I dropped it after issue 2. But hey, even if the series wasn’t the greatest, I can still enjoy associated action figures, right? Right! So, yeah, let’s look at this here Supergirl figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SupergirlNu2Supergirl was released as part of the main DC New 52 line from DC Collectibles. She was released in 2014, as a solo release, but the back of the package shows off fellow 2014 figures Batgirl and Orion. The figure stands just shy of 7 inches tall and has 19 points of articulation. Supergirl is a slightly older release from DCC, and they’ve made some leaps and bounds since then, so she’s slightly outmoded. The articulation is a little bit difficult to make use of, so you won’t get much besides a basic standing pose. It’s there, she can do some stuff with her arms, but that’s really it. Supergirl has her own unique sculpt. She is, obviously based on her basic New 52 design. Supergirl’s look is one of the less offensive New 52 looks. Since she’s had so many different looks over the years, another one isn’t all that out of place. The boots with the knees cut out are a little weird, but that’s the only real complaint I can come up with. In general, the sculpt is pretty well handled. The proportions are pretty decently balanced; the legs are a little on the long side, and the waist is a bit thin, but the overall flow of the proportions works. The head is a fairly attractive piece, and I’m kinda getting a bit of an Uma Thurman vibe from her. Also, not something I usually touch on, but the cape on this figure is quite nice. It sits well on her shoulders, and the flow of the material is really nice; to too straight, not too windblown. The paintwork on this figure is pretty decently handled. The colors are generally pretty vibrant, which looks nice, and I really love the metallic colors on the symbol and the boots. The face seems maybe a little over made-up, but not horribly so. Supergirl isn’t the most accessorized figure, but she does have a shard of Kryptonite, which she can hold, though she probably shouldn’t. Cuz, you know, Kryptonite.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I don’t really care for the New 52, the book this figure is based on didn’t grab me, and I’m just alright on the costume design. Why do I have this figure? Well, my local comic book store strikes again. I had a 40% off coupon, and I saw this figure and figured, why not? She’s not the most exciting figure, but she’s a pretty solid addition to the collection.

#0583: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC COMICS DESIGNER SERIES (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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Ah, yes the New 52. I didn’t really care for it. But, that’s okay, because it’s gone now! And it’s been replaced by something….more or less identical. Well, fair enough. One of the things that will not be carrying forward into the Non-52, however, is Nightwing. Of course, that’s actually not changing any of the continuity, since Dick Grayson ditched the identity following his unmasking in Forever Evil. So, the figure I’m reviewing today is essentially irrelevant. Oh well. Hardly the first time I’ve looked at such a figure here!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

NightwingCapullo2Nightwing was released as part of the first series of the DC Comics Designer Series. Like Tuesday’s Zero Year Batman, this figure is based on the work of Greg Capullo, who has been the primary artist on the main Batman series since the New 52 began. The figure is roughly 6 ½ inches tall and has 31 points of articulation. The figure features an all-new sculpt, though, as far as the body construction goes, he’s rather similar to Batman. The musculature is similar, as is the overall articulation scheme (Nightwing does manage to get some additional movement in the wrist area). The detailing on the body is simpler than Batman, which is befitting of Nightwing. Also, his uniform features more folds and wrinkles, effectively conveying that it is a spandex leotard, and not a carefully tailored suit of body armor. The head sculpt is a little on the mixed side. From some angles, it looks great. From others, not so much. The technical details of the piece are all very nice. He’s got some great texture work on his hair, and his facial features are cleanly defined. But, he’s also got these huge ears, which can look rather out of place, and they aren’t helped by the fact that the hair slopes inward as it goes down, emphasizing the issue. Nightwing’s paintwork is quite well-handled. The colors are nice and bold and everything is where it should be. I’m not the biggest fan of the red, but it’s true to the design, so I can’t really fault the figure there. The black of the body and of the armored parts are broken up through use of matte and glossy finishes, which look really great. Nightwing is not amazingly accessorized, but he does include his signature escrima sticks, which fit nicely in his hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nightwing was the other half of the Amazon purchase that got me Zero Year Batman. I saw this figure several times in a few different stores and passed on him every time. So, what changed? Two things: I had a gift card and the figure got marked down about $10. That was enough for me to finally get the figure. Is he the greatest version of the character ever? That’s hard to say. It really depends on what you think of the New 52 Nightwing costume. Like I said in the paint section, I don’t care for the red accents and would much prefer blue. Still, even with that I do think the figure is a pretty decent take on the character.

#0581: Batman – Zero Year

BATMAN – ZERO YEAR

DC COMICS DESIGNER SERIES (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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When DC’s The New 52 began, I gave it a try. I picked up quite a few titles in that first month. I stuck with a very small handful of them, but after a few cancellations and creative team changes, I quickly found myself reading absolutely no DC Comics for quite a stretch of time. Whenever a discussion of the New 52’s quality begins, people will inevitably bring up the fact that the Batman titles have stayed pretty good. I gotta be honest, I like Batman, but I’ve never been a faithful reader of the comics. That being said, I love me some cool toys, and Batman sure does have a knack of having some wonderful toys. So, let’s look at this Batman figure, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BatmanZero2Batman is from the 3rd Series of the DC Comics Designer Series, which is the second series of the line to be based on the work of DC artist Greg Capullo. The figure is based on Batman’s design from Zero Year, which was the New 52 retelling of Batman’s early career. This a more modernized take on Batman’s first appearance costume from the original Detective Comics #27. It’s close to the original design, but the original’s black shorts have been ditched (cuz DC thinks they’re lame), and some textured bits of black padding have been added to the arms and legs. The figure stands roughly 6 ½ inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. The figure has what appears to be a completely unique sculpt. With a Batman variant, you sort of assume that some parts might be re-used, but he doesn’t look to have any pieces in common with the regular Capullo Batman. It’s a pretty strong sculpt. The proportions are all pretty great, the articulation is worked in pretty smoothly, and the details are all well-defined. The head is a little flat when viewed from the side, but nothing too bad, and it looks pretty fantastic head-on or in three-quarter view. The only real issues seem to be mostly related to the “add-on” parts. The belt seems like it’s meant to be fragmented, as permanent part of the costume, but it stands out from the figure. When double-checking whether it was supposed to look like that, I discovered that the shape of it is actually quite off. The two yellow pouches should be closer to the center and the buckle should be bigger. It seems odd that these were changed, but they were. The holster could also stand to be a little closer to the body, though that’s minor, and the cape, well, I’m not sure about the cape. It’s not terrible, but it flares out in weird ways, and it’s split in the middle for some reason I’m not sure of. Batman’s paintwork is pretty decent all-around. It’s nothing super exciting or anything, but the colors are all good and there isn’t any bleed over or slop to speak of. The figure includes a gun (I’m gonna assume it’s a grappling gun of some sort), an alternate hand for said gun, and two teeny, tiny, little batarangs, which look kind of silly in his hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I avoided DCC at first after they did their whole re-branding thing, mostly due to the fact that I’d moved away from DCD not long before that, and the New 52 designs certainly weren’t going to draw me back in. When this figure was solicited, I thought he looked kind of cool, but I ultimately didn’t pick him up. Then, I broke into DCC’s New 52 stuff with Orion, who I quite liked. That made me take another look at some of the other DCC stuff.  I had an Amazon Gift Card from my parents, so I decided to use it on this guy and the Capullo Nightwing. While I certainly don’t see this being my default Batman, it’s a really fun version of the character, and it’s probably one of the best that DCD/DCC has produced!

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#0507: Orion

ORION

DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 (DC COLLECTIBLES)

Orion52a

What’s this? A New 52 review? On The Figure in Question? Is that right? Can we think of any more questions? We can? Should we stop? Yes. Yes we should.

Shocking as it may be, I have bought, and am now reviewing, a DC New 52 action figure. Of my own volition. Nobody’s pointing a gun at me or holding my family hostage or anything. Of course, it’s still me. Did I buy a Batman or a Superman or something? Of course not, that would be dumb. I bought Orion. If you don’t know who the heck Orion is, then that’s probably about right. But I know who he is, and that’s what really counts here. (If you really want to know: Orion is one of the New Gods, a group of characters created in the 70s by comics great Jack Kirby, after he left Marvel to work at DC. Orion is the son of the generally more known Darkseid.) So, let’s see how this guy turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Orion52bOrion is part of DC Collectibles’ expansive (and apparently soon to end) DC Comics – The New 52 line. He was released in August of 2014. According to the back of the box, his fellow figures are Super Girl and Batgirl, but I think Orion was sort of meant to be a solo release. The figure is just shy of 7 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation (plus a flip up visor!). Articulation hasn’t been one of DCC’s strong suits in the past, but it’s actually pretty good here. The only key joints I’d say are missing would be some sort of hinge joint at the hips (a la DCUC) and some ankle joints, but the figure is serviceable without them. Orion is, as one would expect, based upon his appearance in DC’s New 52 line of comics. More specifically, he’s based on Cliff Chiang’s work with the character in Wonder Woman, which is where the majority of his New 52 appearances have occurred. His design has been changed a fair bit from his classic look. Admittedly, aside from the helmet, Orion’s classic look was a teeny bit on the bland side, so a re-design isn’t a terrible thing. The more conventional spandex and underwear on the outside look has been replaced with a look that has bit of a pulpy space biker look to it. It’s, and I can’t believe I’m saying this about a New 52 design, a pretty solid look. It isn’t needlessly detailed; there aren’t any odd bits and bobs sticking off of him; he doesn’t have lots of random etchings everywhere; it just looks good. The figure’s sculpt does a very nice job of translating this design into three dimensions. The proportions are all pretty good, and the whole sculpt is incredibly detailed. The rough texturing of the jacket and boots up against the smoother texture on the pants adds a great bit of dimension and realism to the figure, and they’ve managed to actually make the helmet look pretty good, which has always been a n issue with Orion figures in the past. The flip up visor is a little on the bulky side, but not too bad. I definitely like him more with the visor down, but the underlying face is a well done interpretation of Orion’s angry visage. Orion’s paint work is pretty good, but not great. It’s certainly not bad, but a few of the lines on his coat are out of place, and there’s a strip of up-painted plastic along the top of the left side of his collar. Also, the figure’s skin is really pale, especially when compared to the prototype pictures. On the plus side, the differing sheens on the various parts of the costume are a really cool touch, and do show that DCC is putting some thought into the figures. Orion includes his trusty Astro-Harness. It’s a bit awkwardly designed, and he kind of has to ride it like a Segway, which is a bit goofy looking. In addition, it can be a bit difficult to get the handles in and out of the hands. I actually broke one if the handles off the harness trying to remove it, so be careful. It’s a key piece for the character, so I’m glad it’s included.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, why did I get this New 52 figure months after it was released? It’s my comicbook store’s fault. I had a coupon for 40% off of one item in the store, and I used it on this guy. I’ve actually been contemplating getting this figure since before it was released. I’ve always liked Orion, and even though I haven’t read his recent appearances, I thought this was a pretty cool design. 40% off was enough to get me to cave. I’m glad I got him. He’s a very nice figure. And now he’s making me reconsider some of the other New 52 figures. Crap…

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