Posts Tagged ‘Black Lightning


Toy Stories: Ring-slingers, Kryptonians, and Public Enemies

Next week, Erin and I will be winging our way to Las Vegas to spend Mardi Gras week away from the lunacy of New Orleans. (She likes it more than I do.) So I thought maybe I should get around to showing you guys the Infinite Heroes action figures she got me at Christmas before we went. I think that’s fair…

"Fear me!" "Love me!" "Fear me!" "Love me!"

It seemed natural to pair up Sinestro and Star Sapphire. With all the different colored Lanterns running around in Blackest Night, these were the two preexisting “other Lanterns” that Geoff Johns included in the mix. I’m a little disappointed that Mattel didn’t put Sinestro in his current, far superior costume, but the classic costume is okay. Both of these are fairly standard figures for the now-finished Crisis wave of Infinite Heroes. Neither is sporting the new body sculpt that the 70th Anniversary figures that we’re getting this year have. But they’re decent enough figures, and I’m always impressed when they can paint a tiny little ring on someone’s finger.

"Wait, how does THIS schmuck get to wear the 'S' while I still have a hole in my costume?"

Power Girl and Superboy-Prime (I know he was calling himself Superman-Prime when he wore this costume, but he’ll never earn that name) are paired off since they’re both Kryptonians, of a sort, from alternate universes. PG is one of my favorite DC characters, and star of one of their best comics right now. The figure does her justice, even if she does need the stand to stay on her feet like every other Infinite Heroes female. Prime is just a repainted Superman figure. Nothing to say about the sculpt, but the paint job looks good, and I’m glad they didn’t subject us to the mullet.

Animated Coolness

These two three-packs actually didn’t come from Erin, but from her mother. Thanks! I looked all over southern Louisiana, but came up short looking for the action figures that accompanied last fall’s Superman/Batman: Public Enemies direct-to-DVD movie. There’s another six-pack out there, which I would like to get as it includes such characters as Major Force and Gorilla Grodd, but the pack also includes duplicates of Superman and Batman. If you’re going to duplicate a character in the same line, is it too much to ask that you at least do a variant? After all, this is the movie in which those two disguised themselves as Captain Marvel and Hawkman. Those would have been great figures. But I digress.

These six figures are all movie versions of characters I already have in the standard DCU edition, so I thought it would be interesting to compare.

"Okay, so I'll stop that metor from hitting Africa and you put on the suit and glasses and show up at the Daily Planet this week..."

Let’s compare the Supermen first. The original Superman figure is on the left, the animated figure (as it will be in all these pictures) is on the right. At first, I didn’t really see much difference, then I realized the Public Enemies figures are sporting the new body types. In the male figures, the big differences are at the hip and shoulders, both of which are now ball joints which allow for greater posabilty. This I like. What I’m not as happy about is that the torso is a bit skinnier now. If you look at the two, you’ll see that the first Superman has more of the classic barrel chest. This goes for all the male figures in this line, except (for obvious reasons) Lex Luthor.

"What's that, Lex? Didn't hear you. Suffering from a little rocket envy there? Heh. That's okay, you can say it..."

The sculpts of the two Lexington Q. Luthor figures is almost identical, except for the center chest-emblem. Oh, and the big honkin’ rockets on the shoulder of the Lex on the left. Other than that, the onyl difference is in the paint job. Visually, I much prefer the Public Enemies figure — much more colorful, vibrant paint job. But I wouldn’t say that in front of the guy on the left.

"Wasn't I already in this article once?"

Fortunately, Erin gave me the “classic” Power Girl just in time to compare her to her Public Enemies counterpart. Unlike the male figures, it doesn’t seem the females got any change in sculpt for the new series. But they’d already made a small change a while back, making the legs thicker and sturdier. Still not enough to stand up without a base, though. Again, just in terms of the vibrancy of the colors, I think I prefer the animated figure. Probably has something to do with trying to imitate the animation.

"Oh, so you were still on Earth at the end of the movie, huh? Well lemme tell you what happened in the COMICS..."

The new Captain Atom really shows how the change to the leg sculpt will help pose these figures. You can spread the legs wider and make them a bit more stable with this sculpt. In terms of color, it’s hard to pick a favorite. The DCU Cap has more of a silver color, but PE Cap has kind of this blue steel thing going on that also looks really good.

"So neither of us is Dick Grayson? Man, this is awkward..."

Batman is the only hero to come out of Public Enemies with a darker figure than his DCU look. Again, he’s sporting the new sculp, and if you look closely, you see that the shape of the utility belt and the bat-symbol on his chest are a little different. The cape sculpt, I believe, is identical between the two figures.

"So do you think we have any 'electricity'? Huh? Heh? Do ya? Heh, heh..."

"So do you think we have any 'electricity' together? Huh? Heh? Do ya?"

Last but certainly not least, we end up with Black Lightning, the role for which Levar Burton must have cashed the smallest paycheck of his career. Seriously, why would you cast such a great actor and only give him one line in the movie? Sheesh. Anyway, PE Lightning has the new sculpt, and a very different costume from his comic book counterpart. And again, I prefer the Public Enemies look. I just think it’s a better costume, and I think Black Lightning looks better with hair. Just sayin’.


Toy Stories: Batman and Friends

It’s that time again! I’ve managed to scrounge up a few more DC Universe Infinite Heroes action figures, and I wanted to share them with you guys. I’m getting a bit frustrated in looking for more, though. I know they’re out there, I follow the action figure sites frequently, but they don’t appear to be getting to the stores in the New Orleans area. I’ve got to find more somehow. Anyway, first up are a few I picked up with Erin during her visit last month:

Black Lightning and Batman

Black Lightning and Batman

Erin got this dynamic duo for me herself. For those of you who don’t follow comics, Black Lightning here is Batman‘s sometimes-teammate, both in the Outsiders and in the more prominent Justice League of America. Jefferson Pierce is a cool character, and a particular idol of mine because he’s a teacher. If I could tell you the number of times I’ve wished I could sent electric shocks through some of the — ahem. But I digress. These two figures use the basic IH body, with the addition of a cape, belt, ears, and pointy glove-thingies to Batman. It looks like Black Lightning’s head sculpt is slightly different as well, which is a nice touch, as it looks much more like he would in the comics than he would with a basic head sculpt. This figure is cool, and it really makes me hope they find a way to do the Milestone heroes in this scale, if for no other reason than so I can reenact the scene where Jeff wants to know why everyone keeps asking if he’s related to Static.

The Spectre and Doctor Fate

Here we have the recent incarnations of two of DC’s Golden Age heroes, the Spectre and Dr. Fate. The Spectre is the Spirit of God’s Wrath on Earth, but needs a human soul to bond with to keep from getting too out of control. The ghostly Van Dyck on the Spectre’s face tells me that this is former Gotham City Police Department Detective Crispus Allen, the Spectre’s current host, who was bonded with the spirit following his murder by a crooked cop. The rather ornate collar on Dr. Fate, whose helmet channels the power of Nabu, one of the gods of Order, tells me that this is actually the good Doctor’s second-most-recent mantle-bearer, Hector Hall. The current Dr. Fate, Kent Nelson (nephew of the original Dr. Fate) has a more streamlined look.

The Joker: Clown Prince of Crime

Finally, there’s the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker. This is one of the few figures that uses virtually nothing from the “basic” body, but it looks pretty good. The vest/coat/flower combination is sculpted well, and the pants look good. I like the rather pointy chin the sculptor whipped up for him too. He’s also one of the few figures in this line to come with an accessory, his cane. The only thing I don’t really care for are the little “devil points” his hair curl up into. A little too on-the-nose, if you ask me. 

All five of these characters have had different looks over the years, either with someone else wearing the costume or with the same person just changing clothes. This brings me to an interesting point: I rather like variant action figures, provided the variants make sense. I’d gleefully get the original Black Lightning costume, the Hal Jordan version of the Spectre, or any of the half-dozen costumes Batman has worn over the years — or even (perhaps especially) any of the dozens that have shown up in various alternate reality stories. But I want these figures authentic to the comic, or TV show, or movie. Back during the Batman: The Animated Series years, they released about a quatrillion Batman figures wearing the stupidest costumes — white, camo, neon orange, etc. I want something, for lack of a better term, that’s “real.”

Of course, when you’ve got several versions of the same character in the same case, chances are good that they’ll run into each other at some point, and when that happens… well…

June 2023

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