DC Direct Green Lantern Series 5
Just in time for the holidays go Lantern style with three Greens and a Blue...
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After taking a long break to focus exclusively on characters from the Blackest Night saga, DC Direct has just recently returned the Green Lantern figure series to its roots. Starting with Series 4 that came out just last month, the line is re-branded “Green Lantern” and focuses on Emerald Warriors as well as members of other Lantern Corps. In an aggressive release schedule, DC Direct is offering yet another wave of figures this month (and just in time for the holidays) with a pretty incredible lineup. Series 5, due in stores TODAY on December 14th, includes Blue Lantern Brother Warth and Green Lanterns Soranik Natu, Guy Gardner, and Sinestro!
Starting with Series 4 and continuing with Series 5, the Green Lantern line figures also go back to the bubble and card packaging used before the Blackest Night era. While somewhat less sturdy than the intervening clamshells, these cards look really nice (and besides, you’re going to want to open them and bust out these figures!). The tall card is decorated with a green-tinted starscape background, and above each figure is the Green Lantern title, the DC logo, the Series notation, and a small thumbnail image showing all of the figures in the current wave. The bubble itself is shaped like the Green Lantern logo which is really cool, and at the bottom is an insert with each figure’s name and a small photo.
Each figure in Series 5 has the same cardback, which repeats the background style of the front. At the top is a very brief tagline for the line (“The Universe is a big place... And there are enough Lanterns in the Corps to police it all!”), while the rest is dominated by a group photo of the figures. Below them on the left is a small group photo of the Series 4 figures in case you missed those.
The figures in the Green Lantern line are generally on the tall side for 6 inch figures, and this series is no different. Each of the four figures are approximately 6 ¾ inches. The character selection is really interesting, and speaks strongly to DC Direct’s commitment to filling out their lineup with key characters in new versions, characters who have never before appeared in plastic, and the occasional non-Green Lantern (Series 4 did this as well with a Red Lantern Guy Gardner and GLs Stel, Arkkis Chummuk, and Power Glow Hal Jordan).
Joining the GLs this time is Blue Lantern Brother Warth, one of the most unique looking rainbow warriors. Elephantine with a vague resemblance to Ganesha, Warth has a distinctive, comfortable outfit and one of a kind looks. Soranik Natu, the Green Lantern daughter of Sinestro (and sometime girlfriend to Kyle Rayner), gets her first action figure in Series 5 that captures the doctor’s serious demeanor and minimalist GL uniform. Everyone’s favorite (at least in his mind) Green Lantern returns for the second time in two Series: Guy Gardner! Out of circulation since Series 2, this Guy returns to his classic uniform with updated details and a head sculpt representing his current look. Finally there’s the figure that was shrouded in mystery until just recently. While DC Direct announced long ago that it would be a Sinestro figure, silhouettes kept the secret that this is the new Green Lantern version of the character first seen at the end of this summer’s War of the Green Lanterns storyline and currently appearing in the New 52!
DC Direct figures are well known for their good looks, and GL Series 5 doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The sculpting is pretty much top-notch across the board. Soranik comes in at “good” due to her relatively plain uniform; essentially a skin-tight bodysuit, it doesn’t have much in the way of sculpted details though she has a very good head sculpt. The others, though, are a different story. Brother Warth has a great rough skin texture and his head is intricately detailed with a broken tusk and skin that’s both creased and loose. Guy Gardner’s uniform, based on the GL robot sentries he first came in contact with, has plenty of distinct parts and textures that are highlighted on this figure. From the “cloth” jacket to the complex belt, boots, and boots there’s a lot going on... and you very well may overlook it all when you get a good look at Gardner’s new mug. This figure’s head sculpt is probably the best Guy ever made, and it perfectly captures his attitude with a smirk and one raised eyebrow. The hair too is very good, accurately representing the GL’s more modern haircut since he ditched the bowl. Finally there’s Sinestro, a worthy addition to the relatively few figures that have been made of him as a Green Lantern. Not your father’s Sinestro, this one has a cool new take on the GL uniform with a bold pattern that features sculpted outlines and a powerful physique. As usual, the former yellow and white ring wearer has a no nonsense expression on his face that conveys the seriousness of his ongoing mission to right (what he perceives are) the universe’s wrongs.
One final important note regarding sculpting: unlike all of the promotional images, and indeed the very photo on the package, the Sinestro figure wears his ring on the correct LEFT hand!
The figures in this Series have paint jobs that compliment their sculpts perfectly. When it comes to colors, the Green Lanterns tend to stick with a pretty strict regimen of green, black, and white. For this trio, DC Direct has gone with a deep metallic green that looks great (even though it’s darker than what you’ll find on a lot of the older figures). Best of all, its shine perfectly offsets the matte black and bright white of their uniforms, and the different styles worn by Guy, Soranik, and Sinestro really make each one unique. For instance, Natu’s “deep V” focuses the eye on her upper body while Sinestro’s nearly complete lack of white somehow makes him seem even more imposing. Brother Warth, on the other hand, dresses in black, white, and a striking metallic blue that’s much closer to previous Blue Lantern Corps member Saint Walker. The animal-like Lantern’s skin is gray with gradations at the extremities and on the head, with a complex tribal trunk tattoo in black, white tusks, and eyes of perfect blue. The facial paint work is excellent on the other figures as well, from the pink skin tone of the father/daughter duo (on Sinestro’s bare hands as well) to Guy’s reddish hair. Look closely for subtle details like Soranik’s cheek tattoo and her purple eyes as well as Sinestro’s solid green eyes.
One area in which DC Direct has improved vastly over the last couple years is articulation. Thankfully gone are the days of their premiere superhero figures with only a handful of joints for awkward posing. Each of these four figures is articulated with a ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders, biceps, elbows (ratcheting on the male figures), wrists, and hips. Brother Warth adds a limited ball-jointed waist and ankles to that mix while the others have knee and calf joints as well. The three GLs are equipped with T-crotch hip joints which are a source of consternation for some collectors, but they get the job done. I found each of these figures to have good poseability with several different key poses from Warth’s serene gestures to Guy’s fierce threats. Different hand sculpts add to the options here, especially Warth’s unique flat left hand and the open, clutching fists shared by all of them.
Soranik gets a special mention here as she’s one of the precious few Lantern figures who can easily be posed charging her ring!
Traditionally light on accessories, the Lantern Warriors here come with their respective Lantern batteries and display bases. If you’ve been collecting DC Direct Lantern figures in the last couple of years you’ll recognize these; they ain’t broke so they’re not fixing them. The Green and Blue Lanterns share the same sculpt with freely swinging handle and clear “lenses,” differing only in the bright metallic paint. The handles are easily removable which is a big help in threading them through the hands of some of the figures. Each base features its respective Lantern’s symbol and color on a clear disc.
Series 5 is quite simply the best set of Lantern-related figures in a long time. There’s so much good stuff here from the inclusion of fan-favorite Soranik to a sweet new Guy, the quiet majesty of Warth, and the sheer awesomeness that is Sinestro. Each makes for a great display piece, and with DC Direct’s new focus on articulation you may find that they’re more poseable than you thought. While Soranik and Brother Warth may be niche figures to a certain degree, expect Guy and Sinestro to fly off the shelves. The only things to watch out for are slight variations in paint applications, so make sure you examine the faces especially. Any and all of these would make perfect gifts for the Lantern lover you know this holiday season; Series 5 hits retail today - on December 14th!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of DC Direct