In theory, DC Direct should be able to produce a line of DC Universe figures that would blow it's competitors out of the water. Access to the entire DC Universe and the above-retail price point that allows unique sculpts could be quite an arsenal, but the potential for DCD to deliver a consistent plastic DCU has long been squandered, and so the best to be hoped for from the company is decent Modern Age product that can be worked in to a wider collection of the solid classics Mattel is producing. BLACKEST NIGHT is certainly a cash cow for DC Comics and DC Direct is capitalising on this with pretty good results, and of course the odd heartbreaker thrown in. Wave Three is now out, and here's the rundown:
Larfleeze, alongside Atrocitus and Kry'b from previous waves, is an example of everything DCD can do right. A fantastic, unique sculpt not tied down by common bucks, and an unusual, new alien character with whom scale isn't as major factor. A beautiful headsculpt that captures the King of Greed perfectly, with groovy elongated arms and the requisite orange lantern. The Glomulus pack-in is icing on the already delicious cake - and Glomulus is even articulated! Magic stuff.
As AFB's #1 Aqua-fan (yeah, I know AFB is me, but we've had fights about this one, trust me) I was only going to consider the Black Lantern Aquaman figure if I knew that Blackest Night was the vehicle to his return to the land of the living. Now that the BRIGHTEST DAY teasers suggest strongly this is the case, I'm happy to have this on the Aqua-shelf as a "phase" Arthur went through. Great sculpt here - the face is truly horrid and the legs are bowed in. Very nice zombie - er, Black Lantern work.
Star Sapphire is a rehash of DCD's most recent release in the Green Lantern series, so I'm passing on it, but - ooh..... her purple sections are transparent and glittery! What the heck? This figure isn't setting the world on fire, but as a member of the seemingly inevitable DCD Rainbow Lantern Corps she'll do fine. For some reason this version is quite easy to stand, where as the GL version is topple city. Go figure.
Oh, I mentioned DCD's standard dose of heart-wrenching calamity? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you Arisia, long neglected in plastic Green Lantern Corps member, and the uber-disappointing trainwreck of the wave. Apart from the unsurprising fact that scale-wise she'll stand too tall against many previous DCD GL releases, the quality on this figure is lacking. It looks like orange-ish coloured plastic has been used here instead of paint, and that impacts on the feel and quality of the finished product. Nice to have, but instead of finally having one of my grails in my hand, I'm left hoping DCUC gets to Arisia soon. Far from surprising, but painful just the same.
Still, DCD's BLACKEST NIGHT efforts are giving us some great sculpts of some significant Modern Age characters that will work in a GL display for years to come, and I'm grateful for that. I'm not going the Black Lanterns in a big way, but there's some goodies to be cherry picked here. It's just a shame to have to cherry pick from something that should be such a better big picture.
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