DC Direct Blackest Night BLACK LANTERN FIRESTORM
Even death can't put out this fire...
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While DC Comics' Blackest Night may be behind us, DC Direct's line of figures from that epic event continue to roll out, much to the delight of fans everywhere. Highlighting both the main characters and the more obscure (but cool looking) background heroes and villains, the Blackest Night figure line is one of the most popular in recent history. Recently released was Series 4, just in time for Free Comic Book Day. I was lucky enough to grab the figure I was looking forward to the most, Black Lantern Firestorm!
Firestorm was one character that really interested me in the Blackest Night event. I've always like the "Nuclear Man" with his cool powers (can basically do anything) and interesting origin (a nuclear accident fused two individuals into one superhero). The death of Firestorm's main component Ronnie Raymond in Identity Crisis was a pretty big shock, and many felt it was just a matter of time until the hero returned from beyond the grave. No one expected that to be in the form of a Black Lantern, though! In the closing issue of the series, Ronnie is resurrected by the White light and appears in the new Brightest Day series, though sneak peeks have shown that we haven't seen the last of Black Lantern Firestorm...
Black Lantern Firestorm comes packaged in the standard Blackest Night clamshell, a tall presentation that really shows off the figure. Behind him is an insert with the Black Lantern symbol over a green background, while the name of the series appears at the top. Directly in front of the figure is the symbol of his given Corps (in this case Black) and his name.
The back of the insert shows all of the figures in the current wave (Black Lantern Wonder Woman, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, and Black Hand) above brief bios of each of them. At the bottom are listings of the various Blackest Night series. Once you've opened up the package you can remove the insert which folds open to reveal product images of Blackest Night series 2, 3, and 5!
Firestorm's basic costume looked the same since its creation way back in 1978. Taking its cue from the nuclear fever of the time, the superhero wore a jumpsuit in all bright red and yellow dominated by cool atomic symbols offset on the left breast and the back. The costume extended up Ronnie's neck and around his face, while his hair transformed into flame. As everyone knows, when a Black Lantern ring resurrects a dead character, he appears as an evil version with undead traits and a black and white costume featuring the Black Lantern Corps symbol (inverted triangle under five vertical lines).
The reanimated Firestorm wears a monochrome costume with Black Lantern symbols on his chest and back. The boots, puffy sleeves, and gloves are all still there, but the lower body has a new "A" shaped design along with what looks like a belt buckle (but no belt). The costume on the Black Lantern Firestorm is very smooth, with subtle sculpting elements. Firestorm was never a hugely muscled character, and this representation is appropriately lithe. The different "materials" of the suit have very different textures, with the main body smooth except for borders and seams, and the cloth-like sleeves full of creases and ridges. All of the designs on the costume are raised with really sharp edges, and the forearms have crisp cuts in the bands. There's even a Black Lantern ring sculpted on Firestorm’s left hand. The logos on the figure's chest and back are sculpted in relief as well, with the triangle and radiating lines raised from the rest of the body.
Most impressive, of course, is the figure's head sculpt. Where once rested Ronnie's smiling face is now a grimacing skull, and where once wavy flames reached upward now a chaotic blast of necrotic energy expands.
The Black Lantern Firestorm figure has a very good paint job. The main parts of the costume are solid colors in black and white, and show no paint errors or slop. The edges are very clean, and the starkness of the white and bright silver really stands out from the black. Heading toward the top of the figure, there are three tendrils of energy floating upwards from Firestorm's right shoulder, done in translucent blue plastic. Dead Ronnie’s face is a dingy bone color, and his teeth a shocking yellow. The "hair" of the figure is also translucent plastic, with painted blue details that really bring it to life. Best of all is the blue energy erupting from Firestorm's eyes, and the unbroken circuit of electricity arcing through the emptiness of his dead mouth.
Black Lantern Firestorm is articulated decently, about on par with other DC Direct figures. He has joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, T-crotch, cut joints right above the knees, and knees. Firestorm has good upper body poseability, and the joints above the knees really help with stability. The figure's sculpt has a built-in lean to it that lends itself to specific poses, and if you go along with it you can get some really dynamic positioning that looks great. Posing is made even easier with the included display base – the usual disc-like stand featuring the character's Lantern Corps symbol.
For me, Black Lantern Firestorm is definitely a home run. It's a character that appeals to me, and the figure is really impressive. Fans of Ronnie will definitely want to pick up this guy, as well as collectors of Black Lanterns and the characters of Blackest Night in general. Whatever you collect, Firestorm will look great with your other figures, even if he does scare them away...
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin