REVIEW: DC Collectibles SDCC13 Exclusive DC Comics Super-Heroes 4-Pack
3 ¾ Inch Collection Grows With Lanterns Of Four Colors...
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One year ago, DC Collectibles began a revolutionary new line of 3 ¾ inch figures, a scale in which the company did not often dabble in the past. The first release was an SDCC exclusive Green Lantern two-pack, with the promise of more exclusive Lantern-related products to follow. Cut to Comic-Con 2013 and we’ve now got the fourth exclusive set AND a series of 3 ¾ inch releases based on the Injustice video game! If you’re a loyal DC, Green Lantern, and 3 ¾ inch fan like me it’s certainly a time to celebrate. Following after Kyle Rayner & Kilowog, John Stewart & Atrocitus, and Guy Gardner & Larfleeze, San Diego Comic-Con 2013 brought us the exclusive DC Comics Super-Heroes 4-Pack of Sinestro, Arkillo, Black Hand, and Dex-Starr!
While the previous two-pack releases came in small boxes (the same size as the Injustice packs), this 4-pack grows exponentially with a wider and beefier version. The overall look is similar, with a lot of white background and crisp graphics. It came with a sleeve around the box, showing off some additional information not on the actual package inside it. The front panel features a large window that shows off the three full size figures plus Dex in the corner and a little peek at the accessories on the left. In front of the figures on the right side is all of the pack’s info and a listing of the characters in front of a green DC “peel” effect. The sides of the outer sleeve show close up photos of the figures and credit their sculptors: Robert Lynders for Sinestro and Dex-Starr, Phil Ramirez for Arkillo and Black Hand. The back panel of the sleeve has a group shot of the foursome on a white background and an exciting description at the top.
Remove the sleeve and you’ll find more photos of the figures themselves, including a really cool shot on the back with them in front of the Oa playset DC displayed at Comic-Con last year. Unlike the previous exclusives this box does not show the next upcoming figures are going to be, but hopefully there are more on the way. Finally, like the previous ones there’s a Green Lantern Central Battery cardboard insert behind the figures.
So what do we think about the collection of characters in this set? It’s interesting that the packaging advertises them as “the universe’s most fearsome foursome... together at last.” While it’s true that all four of these characters have at least at one time or another been considered villains, only one or two of them can be considered truly evil. Sinestro is one of the most complex and interesting characters in the DC universe, a being entirely focused on order and willing to do anything to achieve it. With that impossible goal in mind he betrayed his oath to the Green Lantern Corps in the past, leading him to create his own Corps of yellow-branded followers of fear. Later he would return to the familiar green right before the New 52, and it’s that appearance that’s celebrated here making him the fifth Green Lantern in this series. One of Sinestro’s first recruits when he made his own Corps was Arkillo, an evil analogue to the GL Kilowog. A brutal alien with more intelligence than his appearance would suggest, Arkillo served Sinestro faithfully before struggling under Mongul and then taking control of the fear mongers. At times he has aided the forces of good, but never for very long. Black Hand, born William Hand of Earth, is a monster pure and simple. His creepy obsession with dead bodies notwithstanding, Hand used an alien device created by Atrocitus to collect Green Lantern energy for nefarious purposes. Years later Black Hand would die and come back as an avatar of the Black Lantern Corps, giving him massive power.
Finally, poor little Dex-Starr was a stray cat named Dexter taken in by a kindly woman in New York. After she was murdered the poor kitty was lost and abused, and when he was thrown off a bridge he attracted the attention of a Red Lantern ring passing by. Dex thus became a Corps member of rage and has since visited brutal vengeance on bullies across the universe.
As anyone who has bought one of these Super-Heroes or Injustice packs knows well by now, DC Collectibles has really hit upon a great combination of aesthetics and function in these 3 ¾ inch figures. The sculpting (here by Lynders and Ramirez) is excellent, with each figure really capturing the essence of the character. I’ll briefly mention Dex-Starr, who is really more of an accessory in this scale with his tiny size. But even he has a nicely detailed sculpt with textured fur, a smooth costume with raised edges on the color borders, and of course the Red Lantern ring prominent on his tail. Black Hand stands about 3 3/8 inches tall, and has a very gruesome sculpt capturing the desiccated flesh of his bare right arm and face. The rest of the figure is covered in his Black Lantern costume, a two-tone bodysuit decorated with studs on the left wrist and the prominent symbol on his chest. The costume extends to a cowl over his head and a huge cape billowing down to the ground behind him.
DC hasn’t been afraid to tackle larger characters in this scale, and the mighty Arkillo clocks in at a massive 4 ½ inches, the tallest Super-Hero to date! The brute has a huge physique and all of the unique Sinestro Corps uniform elements like the banded and dotted wrists, prominently outlined collar section, and outer waist segments. Of course, his alien hands and head are exposed with all of the reptilian character from the comics; his huge open mouth is the cherry on top of a great sculpt. Finally, Sinestro is probably my favorite of the bunch. Standing at a stately 4 inches tall the once and future Green Lantern is slender with a sleek GL uniform with lots of lines and segments. His head is really perfectly captured with its tall shape, arched eyebrows, distinctive hair, and a spot on facial expression!
Paint work has always been good on the Super-Heroes figures, and it hasn’t let up with this new group. All of the Lantern uniforms represented thus far include some black sections contrasting with a lighter or brighter color. For all of the ROYGBIV Lanterns their primary hue is bright and shiny with really nice looking metallic paint, and that’s exactly how Arkillo, Dex-Starr, and Sinestro appear here. Each one also has lots of additional paint details like his respective Lantern Corps symbol, ring, natural skin/fur color, and more. Dex’s fur is a deep blue with details like the teeth and flesh inside his mouth as well as his yellow/green eyes. Arkillo has an elephant-like gray hide, white teeth and tusks, a dark red mouth interior, and intense yellow eyes, and the unique Sinestro Corps uniform includes the addition of silver at the waist. That team’s namesake wears the black and bright metallic green this time around, along with white appearing in the chest symbol. His skin tone is a dark pink, and notably the same one used on the most recent 6 inch scale Sinestro figure from DC Collectibles. His hair is jet black, and they colored his eyes with the same green as on his uniform (interestingly contrasting with the yellow on the prototype displayed on the packaging). Black Hand’s uniform is black and dark blue, with harsh rusty-looking metal at the top of the head, chest, and hand. The villain’s horrible flesh is sickly pale with splashes of darker putrescence, and his eyes are as black as his ring.
As I’ve noted above and in previous articles, these Super-Heroes figures have excellent articulation that’s been missing in DC figures of this scale for quite some time. Most figures come with the same scheme: ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms at the glove line or wrist, ball-jointed torso, ab crunch, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed knees, lower legs at the boot line, and ankles. Some of the thinner legs are a little fiddly, but balance is good and you can achieve a lot of good Lantern action poses. Little Dex-Starr even has great articulation, with individually jointed legs and even a waist!
As if these figures weren’t solid enough with character selection, sculpt, paint, and articulation, DC Collectibles is even packing along accessories with them! Each set released thus far has included at least one weapon or energy effect, and this new four-pack has two. Previous Green Lanterns have come with energy guns or in the case of Guy a baseball bat; Sinestro blows them all away with a massive translucent green light construct sword! Meanwhile, you can equip Black Hand with a translucent purple energy skull effect, reminiscent of the skull of Bruce Wayne the villain carried around with him during Blackest Night.
I make no secret that I’m the perfect audience for this series, being a lifelong Green Lantern fan and collector of 3 ¾ inch figures. I hope that all of my brethren in those respects were able to purchase this set at Comic-Con, because it really is a fantastic collection of figures that add to the already solid lineup put out by DC Collectibles. With these new four we’ve not got five Green Lanterns, one Sinestro Corps member, one Orange (plus Glomulus), two Red, and one Black. That’s a pretty excellent collection assembled in just one year, and here’s hoping that DC continues with all of the figures they showed off last year with the Oa playset including Hal Jordan, more colors like Blue, and female characters. The four-pack was available at the Graphitti Designs booth for $50, and is now popping up on the secondary market. If you’re a DC/Green Lantern fan or collector of 3 ¾ inch superheroes and you find a good deal then grab it; if you’re patient you can watch Graphitti’s website or visit them at upcoming conventions and see if they have any more to sell. Good luck, and hopefully this time next year we’ll be talking about a whole new set of excellent Lantern figures from DC Collectibles!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of DC Collectibles