After the debacle of DC Direct’s first attempt at a Justice Society of America line (mini Atoms anyone?), I took the attitude that if we needed an Alex Ross-inspired series to get the JSA back on the shelves, then it had to be. The main things that many of us were worried about we saw the advanced shots of these were the face sculpts of the older gents (wrinkle city) and the scale looked huge, perhaps even bigger than the Justice series.
To get those two things out of the the way, yep, Flash and Green Lantern are wrinkly. I’ve read various statements about how overstated this is, and my reaction is somewhere in the middle. They’re represented older than I’d personally like to see, but they aren’t horribly wizened as I’ve read in a few places. Alan’s cheeks look a bit sunken, or perhaps it’s his almost buzz-cut style hair that makes his face look a bit thin, but that bugs me more than the wrinkles. Jay’s eyes are a bit bugged or his eyebrows are over painted, either way they stand out a bit more than I’d like.
As for the scale, they are Justice-sized. Have to give credit that at least DCD didn’t create a third scale, which is what we feared, and if you want to create a DCD Ross-verse these stand quite nicely with the Justice figures. If there’s anything commendable about these sculpts, it’s that they’re not as bulky as the Justice figures were. Jay and Alan have bodies that are more realistic for their age, not overly muscled, and Starman and Sandman are more normal body types than some of the stocky Justice figures.
Starman is made of what looks like a translucent material with glitter stirred through it to make the star effect, and it works nicely, better than what they would have looked like had they been painted on I think. To make this figure and not make a bearded Thom Kallor extra head would have been a crime, and thankfully this is included, and has to be one of easily swappable extra heads DCD has done, so thumbs up for that. He looks great in both versions.
Sandman has turned about much better than I feared. As I said, while these share the Justice scale they don’t have the same bulk and so Sandy actually works out quite well. It’s a great sculpt, and his trench coat is especially well done. He comes with an extra left hand – one regular, one which shoots Sandman gas (I don’t know what it’s called…). Only complaint: a removable mask / extra head would have been great here. Being a mad Legion fan Starman is the pick of the bunch from a character selection perspective, but from a figure and sculpt perspective Sandman is definitely the highlight.
When I pop these on my MA JSA shelf, it’s Jay that really stands out as being too tall, but of course this is a mishmash of old and new DCD figures, customs and a few DCUC (I had to replace that terrible DCD Mr Terrific with the wonderful DCUC version) so they’re all over the place anyway. Starman and Sandman work for me, but Jay and Alan are a shame – 1/2 an inch shorter and better face sculpts and these really could be winners. Instead, JSA fans have to hope that DCD will commit to this line long enough to get at least the core roster, if not the whole team. I’m not a scale-ist, but those that are won’t find these a match with anything JSA they’ve had before, and therein lies DCD’s ongoing arrogance, expecting fans to start new lines, new scales, new styles that last only for a short while, instead of building one consistent universe – thus the appeal of DCUC.
Until next time!