ADVANCE REVIEW: DC Collectibles NYCC Exclusive JOHN STEWART & ATROCITUS
Convention-Exclusive Line Continues with Fan-Favorite Characters...
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At San Diego Comic-Con this year DC Collectibles unveiled an ambitious new line of convention exclusives, the DC Comics Super-Heroes featuring members of the different color Lantern Corps. This was big news for a variety of reasons including the scale (3 ¾ inch), character selection, articulation, scope, and more. A massive Oa playset mock-up at the DC Entertainment booth showed just how “big” this line could get with more than a dozen prototype figures on display! At that convention DC and Graphitti Designs partnered to offer attendees the very first set of Kyle Rayner & Kilowog (read our review HERE). These initial DC Super-Heroes really piqued the interest of Green Lantern fans and 3 ¾ inch figure collectors. Now, that line expands with two new figures at the next major convention: John Stewart & Atrocitus at next week’s New York Comic Con... and we’ve got your first in-depth look at them!
As the Oa display showed us, this line will include quite a few Green Lanterns as well as the major players from the other “rainbow” corps. And while we’ve yet to get the highly-anticipated Hal Jordan, the first few sets promise to fill out the membership of traditional Earth Lanterns. Now that Kyle has been made it’s John’s turn. First appearing way back in late 1971, Stewart was an architect and former U.S. Marine chosen to be Jordan’s back-up when Guy Gardner was out of commission. While he didn’t get along with Hal or Guy at first, John would cement unique relationships with each of them and make for powerful allies. In recent years Stewart has really embodied both the hardened warrior and the “builder” roles, making the tough choices for his corps and always building toward the future. On one of the far ends of the R-O-Y-G-B-I-V spectrum is Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps. Formerly Atros of the planet Ryut, he became Atrocitus when he sought revenge on the Guardians of the Universe after their Manhunter robots wiped out nearly all life in Sector 666. Utilizing blood magic, Atrocitus created the Red Lantern Battery and founded his army on the tenet of justified rage and revenge. A complicated anti-hero, the Red Lantern leader would at times ally himself with the other Corps in order to save the universe.
The NYCC Lanterns come packaged in the exact same style box as their SDCC brethren. It’s mostly white with clean, crisp graphics. The front panel features a big window showing off John and his weapon, plus most of Atrocitus (the right side is obscured by the DC “Reveal” logo peeling away). At the top-left corner is the DC Collectibles logo, and at the bottom-right is the NYCC logo, the names of the figures, and the line. One side of the box has sculptor information for the two (Paul Harding on Atrocitus and Robert Lynders on Stewart), while the other has a close-up photo of the figures.
The back panel sets the scene for the duo with a description of John and his “will-powered weaponry” facing off against the Red Lantern, and there are two small thumbnail images of them. The coolest and most newsworthy thing, though, is the preview of the next two figures: Guy Gardner and Larfleeze with Glomulus!!! Unfortunately there’s no more info than that, but stay tuned to Figures.com and we’ll let you know where and when you can get these guys as soon as we find out.
Finally, note that behind the figure tray in the box is the same Green Lantern Central Battery diorama insert that came with Kyle and Kilowog.
As we saw with the SDCC pack, DC Collectibles has really hit a great stride with these “Super-Heroes” figures. They have great sculpts, good paint jobs, and lots of articulation. Scale was also clearly a concern, and thus far the four figures all stand at different heights from Kyle at 3 ¾ inches, John at 3 7/8, Atrocitus at 4 ¼, and the massive Kilowog at 4 3/8 inches. Their sculpts are excellent (and we know whom to thank with the artists labeled right on the box), and again like the previous duo really show off how far DC is willing to go to make these guys unique. Too often figure lines, especially in 3 ¾ inch, will re-use parts until everyone looks so similar they blur together and become totally boring. If they don’t look the same on the page, they shouldn’t look the same in plastic! Looking at the two humans, it’s easy to tell which character is the former Marine and which is the painter.
John has a much more prominent physique than Kyle, thicker all around and with a much more pronounced torso and barrel chest. On small scale figures it’s sometimes a challenge to represent muscles in the right proportion and while he’s a little top heavy John certainly looks like a beefy military type who hasn’t lost his edge. Moving in closer, you can see that there are sculpted edges wherever two different colors meet on his uniform, and his chest emblem sits in a raised disc. The Green Lantern’s head sculpt has a fierce gaze and pursed lips beneath a properly squared off buzz cut. There’s also the obligatory GL ring sculpted on his finger, a pretty good tiny version.
Another trend in these first few sets is the inclusion of a “monstrous” character along with a human, and here that’s the Red Lantern Atrocitus! Standing nearly as tall as Kilowog, the wielder of rage has more lanky proportions while still maintaining a tough look. And as a Red Lantern he actually has distinct sculpted elements to his uniform like flared boot tops, stiff gauntlets, a “belt” of unconnected elements, shoulder armor, and a high collar around his neck. The red section on Atrocitus’ chest also has its own texture and large raised borders, further emphasizing the different components of the ensemble. Of course, what always sets the former “Inversion” apart from everyone else is his skeletal appearance, here visible on his hands and head. With one clenched in a fist and one open in a claw, the hands have those weird sunken knuckles and talons. Atrocitus’ head looks great: all pitted skin, sunken eyes, weird protrusions, and lipless snarl of rage!
While Kyle and Kilowog presented a unity of green and black, this pair breaks it up a bit. Paint work on these Super-Heroes figures is good for 3 ¾ inch figures; there’s plenty of nuance and clean edges, with a minimum of blurring and errors. John has his traditional black and green uniform, with bright metallic green and a neat sparkly wash on the darker parts. He’s one of the rare Green Lanterns who eschews gloves, so his hands are the same dark flesh tone as his head. Green appears again on his ring and eyes (imbued by his ring energy), while his hair and eyebrows are a darker brown, emblem and eyes white, and parted mouth pink. Atrocitus is overwhelmingly red and black, but with a closer look you’ll see all of the variations. The base of his uniform is a solid matte black, while the red is highly glossy to give it a wet (dare I say “bloody”) appearance. Atrocitus’ hands and head are slightly pinkish to differentiate them from the uniform, and washed with black to bring out the details in the sculpt like the pitted knuckles and the depths of his facial architecture. The only other colors that appear are the egg yolk-like yellow of his eyes and the white of his teeth and chest emblem.
One of the biggest surprises from this new lineup was the incredible articulation packed into these figures. It had been a long time... if ever since small scale DC figures had this much poseability. John Stewart and Atrocitus have the same excellent articulation scheme: ball-jointed necks, ball-jointed shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms at the glove line, ball-jointed torso, ab crunch, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed knees, lower legs at the boot line, and ankles. As you’d expect with all of those joints the figures are very poseable in all sorts of action stances, big gestures, threatening moves, and more. Even better, unlike with the unfortunate issue I had with Kyle these two new figures were completely sturdy and the joints all moved smoothly.
In the initial set Kyle came with an accessory, a green energy gun construct. The back of that box showed that John would have a sniper rifle construct, but upon opening up this new set you’ll find that both figures have accessories! John’s signature weapon, that he’s used quite a bit in the comics, is a very intimidating rifle complete with scope, folded bipod, and a huge amount of sculpted details including wispy energy effects. The piece is about 3 5/8 inches long, appropriately man-sized in 3 ¾ inch scale. And while the rifle is translucent and lighter in color than Kyle’s construct, in person it’s definitely a green hue and actually looks really cool, somehow less “cartoony.” With his above par articulation John can hold and wield the rifle in a variety of poses. Atrocitus, meanwhile, comes with a burst of Red Lantern energy, a corkscrew that fits over his hand. This thing is thick, heavy, and nicely pointed. Translucent and dark red, the drill-like construct is very menacing and can fit decently on both of Atrocitus’ hands. I was also able to pose the Red Lantern balancing the accessory flipped around to represent his napalm-like breath.
Kyle and Kilowog may have set the bar really high, but John and Atrocitus have at least matched them. These DC Super-Heroes are some of the best 3 ¾ inch figures on the market with top notch sculpts, great paint jobs, awesome articulation, and cool accessories. If you’re going to New York Comic Con you MUST stop by the Graphitti Designs booth and pick up this set: two great exclusive figures (plus accessories) for only $25 is a great deal. With the preview for Guy and Larfleeze on the back of this box (and the prototypes on display at SDCC), it’s clear that this line still has a lot to offer, so make sure these sell well and we can collect them all!
All Photography by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of DC Collectibles