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First Look – DC Universe Classics Series 14 Green Lantern

See, I was going to do these DCUC 14 First Looks in order of their numbering on the back of the package. I really was. Then for some reason, I took pictures of Alan Scott instead of his kid, so papa is coming first. Just keeping you on your toes. Right. Anyway, this charter member, and perhaps recognized leader of the Justice Society of America finally makes his debut in the DC Universe Classics line and it is ALWAYS good to get more JSA members. More, more, I say! Simply put, he is going to be a requirement for any respectable DC action figure shelf.

Alan Scott, close-up

I make no bones about it: I love the JSA. I love that team more than any other big DC team (though the JLI is probably tied or right there. 4th Worlders too.) and I love all of its incarnations. Golden Age? Love it? Bronze Age? Love it? Modern? Love it. Something that is a strong constant with all of them? Alan Scott. The original Green Lantern set the bar. While Alan is not a Corps GL like Hal, or even his daughter Jade, he is the prototype and standard for courage, honor and overall superheromanship (not a word) for any Green Lantern worth his salt that came after. Scratch that, for any SUPERHERO worth his salt that came after. When you are a prevailing influence on a guy like Batman, and a father figure for literally hundreds of legacy heroes throughout the DC Universe you certainly have something about you. And that is just the thing, for me, Alan Scott has always had an air of “being above it all” to him. Not in a superiority complex kind of way, but in a “when you ask yourself if a superhero can be better, you look to Alan Scott as the example” kind of way. Alan embodies everything that it is to be a hero, a real hero. From that perspective, even guys like Superman (the big blue boyscout) must count Alan Scott in their company. He has endured as a shining green light since 1940 and there ain’t no way that is changing anytime soon. Alan Scott is just going to make your toy shelf better.

That being said, if you have been following this line at all in the past six months or so, you know that there has been some heated debate about the mouth sculpt given to Alan. I know, such a very small part, a seemingly teensy-weensy detail can impact a heck of a lot. The “dynamic” open mouth/gritting teeth/sneering sculpt choices are always hot buttons of contention and their success can vary wildly in terms of character and execution. Sometimes, with a guy like Captain Cold, an evil little sneer can be a good thing – it adds to his character. Same thing with the Joker, his sinister open-mothed laughing expression adds personality to a character where it is appropriate. The choice to do the open-moth/kinda yelling expression with Scott here doesn’t stack up the same way though I am afraid. I am not a big fan of capturing a character in a “moment” in an action figure, especially if it is not something a character is known for. As mentioned before, the Joker is known for smiling big and twisted, and a guy like Kalibak is known for big frowns exposing his snaggle tooth. However, when I think of Alan Scott, I think stately. Calm, cool, dignified and rock solid. Quiet and strong to me means no mouth agape. I see what the Four Horsemen were going for here, adding a dynamic look, and every character has some moment in time when they get mad or upset or fierce; however, when capturing a figure I want the true personality of the character to come out in the face and be able to be used in a variety of situations. I just think there was a rare miss in this case.

I am reminded of waaaay back at SDCC or NYCC or the Chicago WW of 2007 when the original Ronnie Raymond Firstorm figure was debuted and he had an intense screaming expression. While well done, this was really not something that captured the essence of the character and fans moved to have it changed. Well, voices were able to be heard early on enough that the 4H went back to the drawing board and gave us a much more iconic look to Firestorm. That is the feeling I get from this, except, unfortunately, there was not time to drive change. I will go out on a limb as well say that Mattel got the figure through production in accurate translation too, eg – I don’t think there was a flaw in that stage that exacerbated the look, it is simply a product of going from a 2:1 prototype to a mass-production figure with an odd expression.

In profile

That is just my personal opinion on the matter, of course, and on the shelf, I am not all that bothered by it, it is just made larger in these pictures. Remember, these are relatively small action figures so from a couple of feet away, your eyes even out. Also, I am not mentioning this as a slam or spat of discontent, just that I want these characters captured with their true essence. 99.99% of the time, they do and Jersey Boys knock them out of the park. I might be asking way too much in wanting 100%, but I am going to do so anyway.

Ring
Fwooooooooosh!

Aside from mouth though, the rest of this figure is very, very nice. As I mentioned in my Kamandi Look, all of the series 14 figures that I have gotten are very well built and are made of nice, strong plastic. I especially like the soft material that the cape is made from – Matty, pleasepleaseplease make capes like this! I love the flexibility but also the form of them still being made of plastic. Alan also has a new torso and arms that are nicely done and will have reuse opportunities in the future for those characters that are not wearing the skin-tights. His boots are also new to accomodate the yellow braiding, but I don’t know of anyone else off the top of my head that would take advantage of that, I am very thankful that they went all out with sculpting the yellow portions and not just painting them. He also has a new, thick belt that not only captures the look but also adds some height to the overall figure. I think that is very appropriate as I have always thought of Alan as being one of the taller heroes out there – it just adds to his presence and stature. Oh, and the sculpt of his ring is AWESOME! I love that they put the care into sculpting the different shape of Alan’s ring to look like the old-timey lantern. Very well done.

Alan's Accessories
Old-Timey Lantern = AWESOME

Like Kamandi, AS has made good in the accessory department: he comes with his standard button, Humanite leg and his lantern. I LOVE his lantern. Love it. It is unique (and rightly so) from the other Lanterns that we have gotten and it is very inticate and detailed. It looks like a real lantern. I am also much more satisfied with the paint color they have used here (comparted to the lighter shade of green in the past) and it is just shiny enough to look like polished green metal. Cool.

Height Comparisons

Just as I ended the Kamandi look with a Kirby want list, so too will I respond in kind with a similar demand on the JSA: gimme, gimme, gimme. There are so many fantastic characters still out there from all ages, and without going into the obvious ones like Jay Garrick and GA Superman. Johnny Thunder and Thunderbolt! GA Mr. Terrific! Ma Hunkle! The Star-Spangled Kid! Sandman! Damage! Rick Hourman and Pieter Dr. Mid-Nite! Mr. America! My two personal favorites: Liberty Belle and Cyclone! C’mon Matty, we still have lots of JSA work to do. I am very pleased to have Alan Scott join my collection and aside from my quibble with the sculpt choice on his mouth, he is a very strong, very well made action figure. Be on the look out for him, and the rest of the series 14, at your Wal-Marts soon.

*As always, thanks to the Toy Guru Crew for making this possible and stay tuned – more DCUC 14 coming soon!

Building a better JSA

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3 thoughts on “First Look – DC Universe Classics Series 14 Green Lantern

  1. Yeah, the headsculpt is not perfection. I have to say it looks best at the 3/4 view, though.

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