The DCUC train just keeps chugging along – can you believe we are to series SEVENTEEN now? I remember sitting at the Mattel Panel at SDCC 2007 when they made the announcement for DCUC. At the time, I was just hoping that the line would last long enough to get me Blue Beetle figure. I am happy to say that did happen, and it was all the way back in series seven. Crazy. In 2011 DCUC series are taking on a bit of theme to them, something that has never been done before. Series 17, 18 and the newly-unveiled 19 all have a specific story line or team attached to (most of) the characters. Well, since the Green Lantern movie hits cinemas across the galaxy next weekend, the timing of the Green Lantern/Blackest Night DCUC 17 wave is hitting at the exact right time. We have the skinny on all of the figures, including the Anti-Monitor Collect and Connect that make up what might be the most talked about, controversial, and forum-dividing wave yet.
To say that there has be heated discussion about this wave on the internet is a bit of an understatement. Even with Green Lantern and the Blackest Night and Brightest Day story lines fresh in everyone’s minds, there seems to be very few collectors out there that are not completely polarized about this wave. Love it or hate it, Mattel has taken advantage of the Green Lantern blitz and has brought some of the most recognizable DC characters into the fray by giving us this “Deputy Lantern” series. I know there has been talk about how people would have rather gotten the Lantern “leaders” instead of characters that wore these costumes for a VERY limited amount of time. I can support that, I think Larfleeze is one of the best DC characters created in a long time, but I hope that Matty will get to them eventually too. I do definitely see the strategy of putting these big guns out there though, it makes for some serious cross-selling in the mass market aisles. Let’s face it, a lot more parents are going to recognize the Flash over Saint Walker. We will see how it all pans out, but I think this wave will be just as successful as any other previous waves. Plus, they really are some well-constructed figures and a few of them are very eye-catching.
Star Sapphire: Wonder Woman (Upper and Lower Torso)
Wonder Woman makes use of a lot of new parts, something I was not expecting when I first saw the figure. She is not as big as her DCUC 4 counterpart but she is much taller than the Carol Ferris Star Sapphire figure, which makes sense. She has a mid-torso floating rib joint instead of the standard ab crunch. Aesthetically, it looks good, but there is not a ton of function to be had. I think she is a great looking figure from the waist up, I think I would have preferred some more muscular legs though. Oh, and I love her lantern. Finally a comic-accurate Sapphire lantern.
Sinestro Corps: Scarecrow (Right Leg)
Dr. Crane is tied with Dr. Palmer as my favorite figure in the series. I really dig him from head to toe. The head sculpt is very scary and much more in line with how I picture the Scarecrow than the old DCSH figure. He has double knee and double elbow joints that give him a great deal of posability, but they do make his arms and legs seem lanky. But that works just fine here as this is the Scarecrow after all and he is supposed to be that way. His coat is make of a nice flexible plastic so it does not inhibit movement. Overall, this is a solid A figure and I will break my normal 1 version of each character on the shelf rule and place him with his Sin Corps brethren.
Blue Lantern: The Flash (Left Arm)
This Flash figure is about the most basic figure in the assortment, as he is primarily just a repaint of the DCUC 7 figure, but he is actually one of the most striking figures in the assortment. Blue looks good on Barry and the blue they selected goes great with the contrasting black and metallic details. He is very well painted and his joints are nice and tight so getting running poses is no problem. His lantern chest logo is definitely the most interesting of all of them and I give credit to Mattel for ensuring that all of the logos in this wave are nice and crisp with no bleed or blur. Also, I think the actual lantern sculpt looks the best in blue and I am glad to have it, I wish Mattel would have gone against canon and given us an indigo, black and white lantern too, but that isn’t anything we can hold against them. I want a Saint Walker badly now…
Indigo Lantern: The Atom (Right Arm)
You know, when the Sword of the Atom costume debuted, I thought it was ridiculous. When it was dug up again for Ray’s Indigo deputy phase, I thought it weird at first, but it really makes perfect sense. The Indigo Lanterns are tribe more than a corps, and the SotA costume fits that look to a tee. It also makes for a really cool action figure. I don’t know what it is exactly, but you can get this figure into a lot of really neat poses for action scenes. Nothing I would call “compassionate” (then again, I am not sure what a compassionate pose looks like), but the articulation and the Indigo staff work really well together. Like all of the high profile corps members, I would like to get Indigo-1 and Munk someday because I think they would all look great together on the shelf. A+ for the Atom.
Orange Lantern: Lex Luthor (Left Leg)
Making Lex Luthor an Orange Lantern is a bit of inspired genius. I mean, Scarecrow was obvious for the Fear team, but Lex is perfect for the Avarice Brigade. I am sucker for translucent figures when they are done right so Lex’s armor in the orange looks great. I like the new pieces added to the old sculpt and I am positive we will get a Super Powers Lex at some point in the line. I don’t love the head sculpt for this figure though, on any other version of Lex I can think of, it would be great, but I wanted a little more possessive “crazy” in his eyes. I have seen some head swaps with the DC Direct version of the figure and it looks really, really good – so that is an option if you want something a bit more dynamic. His latntern does not have a handle, which I guess is correct, but I would really like an orange lantern with a handle. Ahem. Larfleeze, Mattel. NAO!!! MineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMineMine…
Black Lantern: Hal Jordan (Head and Lower Torso)
You knew that Hal Jordan would see a spin in this series (even at the expense of a Red Lantern Mera figure) so we get a double dip with the black and white variants. Of the two, I strongly prefer the Black, the costume is contrasting and the thin white line accents are crispy clean. I know the head sculpt has been debated, but I think it looks great for a Black Lantern. He could have been a little more pasty of complexion, but that is a minor thing.
White Lantern: Hal Jordan (Head and Lower Torso)
The White version of Hal certainly looks pissed. I have to admit that I have barely made it into Brightest Day at this point. I have all the books and they are ready to be read, I just have not set aside the time yet. The silver in the costume is very striking and I actually like how it contrasts with the white. At first I thought they would run together, but it really works. I would have liked to have see a white and black lantern included with each of these Hal figures, but it was not to be, I guess. Oh, and at this point, we have a lot of Hal figures!
Collect and Connect: The Anti-Monitor
For the C&C of the wave we get the Anti-Monitor in his costume that is relevant to the story line. From an action figure standpoint, he looks really, really cool. He is smaller than most would expect him to be to be true, but he looks really nice. I like the silver body and the metallic blue accents. The painting in the eyes and mouth are some of the very best applications by Mattel so far – they look really awesome. He does have a cloth cape which is always a downer for me, but it is serviceable her. I hope that Mattel can find a way to give us plastic capes for C&C figures that require it, I think I will be displaying my Anti-Monitor without it. I kinda wish they would have rolled the dice and given us a Brother Warth figure for the C&C, but maybe he is still possible and maybe, just maybe, we can get a larger Anti-Monitor in his classic look. Hmmm…
Overall, I started out with very little interest in this series. I have always understood why Mattel wanted to do it, it makes perfect marketing sense, and they have assured us that we will see those Lantern Leaders at some point. I have to admit though, most of the figures are so well done and have an interesting look to them that I dig the figures quite a bit. Atom and Scarecrow are by far my favorites, but Lex, the Flash and the Hals come in close. I like Wonder Woman, but she is just not as dynamic as the rest. This series is hitting the online shops now and I expect them to hit retail very soon.
*Thanks once again to Toy Guru and the gang for making this colorful First Look possible. Stay tuned for this week as we keep the GL theme going for our First Looks, just in time for the brand new movie.