Sunday, June 14, 2009

JSA Series One: Could’a Been, Should’a Been……

Picture 015After 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.

Picture 018To 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.

Picture 020As 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.

Picture 026Starman 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.

Picture 024 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.

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this blog entry to be in the running for the June AFB Comment of the Month Contest.

Until next time!


Saranga said...

So I haven't seen these in the flesh but from your pictures I think Jay and Alan look great. I like that they've made them older, I get a little sick of seeing identikit figures merely painted differently.

Tom Freak said...

I have to say that they look way better than I expected, I even like the older look, because, c'mon, lets face it, this guys are ancient! Also I think is great because images of older heroes give depth to the story of the DC Universe. So I'm cool with the fossil versions.

Starman and Sandman look great. Since Sandman is character I really like would probably be my pick of this wave.

The only thing is Jay's helmet. It looks like it doesn't really fit in his head, and makes him look weird. Like his head is bigger than it should be, don't you think?

It can be removed or is it glued on?

fishmilkshake said...

I'm glad there's some kind of continuation of the 'Justice' format as that's the main line I've been getting. Aside from the generic 'closed-fist' posing (well they are should that be 'clenching'?) they look great and I'll take them over a 'roid rage' series (sorry that should have been McGuiness series) any day.

Anonymous said...

I could say that I like them but what's with the scale issue that DC direct has? I love JSA I never miss a book or a JLA Monthy but c'mon Jay owns by Batman and Son BATS completedly, for the scuplt I really like the work on this figures Sandman being the best of the bunch

Anyways I hope as Andy say the compleete the whole team, but with DC direct you never now

Anonymous said...

They look great

TOY GUY said...

Now I'm getting itchy fingers about getting me them thare figures!

Westy said...

I'd consider using Starman as Black Noir if I were going to do a The Boys inspired line of customs.

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