REVIEW: Kotobukiya DC Comics Justice League SUPERMAN & GREEN LANTERN ARTFX+ Statues
Man of Steel and Emerald Knight Kick Off New 52 Flagship Team...
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Kotobukiya’s 1/7 ARTFX Statues have been a staple for years, with everything from comic book characters to Jedi and Sith, anime beauties and robots, and much more. Then a couple years ago the company unveiled an all new format, the smaller and more affordable (but no less detailed and impressive) 1/10 ARTFX+ Statue. It all started with Star Wars The Clone Wars, but after spreading to the Star Wars films the ARTFX+ trend has now reached DC Comics! And what better introduction than the initial Justice League members of the New 52?
In 2011 DC Comics relaunched their entire line of books with varying degrees of new continuity and character interpretations. Spearheading the initiative was Justice League, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by comics legend Jim Lee. The book began with a gathering of heroes that would form the new “Big 7” - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. In the months leading up to the New 52 you couldn’t go online or walk past a comic book store without seeing the iconic image of the new Justice League in Lee’s glorious art, and that’s exactly what Kotobukiya is bringing to life with the Justice League New 52 ARTFX+ statues. Starting this month with Superman and Green Lantern and continuing throughout the year, the series will bring fans all seven superheroes in their iconic poses from that image, but with Koto’s special flair.
For a new, dynamic series of statues the Justice Leaguers come packaged in pretty eye-catching boxes. They’re clear so you can easily see the figure inside (though certain parts are wrapped in additional protective plastic), especially the head. In the corners of the front panel are logos, DC Comics at the top-right and the individual’s name at the top-left. At the very bottom is the character’s name and Kotobukiya branding. Each side of the box has different things going on, and it’s all cool. Turn once and you’ll get another translucent panel with a side view of the figure along with his unique emblem.
The back panel has a frosted “splash page” look with the Justice League title in front of a character color-specific angular design; this side also has a prominent ARTFX+ logo at the top. The other side panel is a snapshot of the character’s place in the original Jim Lee artwork, again frosted in a color specific to the character (green for GL and blue for Superman). While I open all of my figures and statues, this is one of the rare instances when I can actually envision displaying them in the box; they really look that good.
It’s clear that for the Justice League ARTFX+ statues Kotobukiya attempted to do two things: recreate the Jim Lee art in 3D form while also applying a unique Asian-influenced style. I think they accomplished both in a really powerful way. Superman and Green Lantern stand 7 ½ and 7 ¼ inches respectively. Their poses and costume designs are right out of the original artwork, and further embellished with metallic paint and one of a kind head sculpts.
Each statue has magnets in its feet, perfect for standing on the included “Justice League” logo bases without dealing with holes and pegs; you place the figure on the base where you want him to go. The magnets are strong enough for the figures to stand securely, but don’t try to balance them on your refrigerator.
While they don’t have the most action-packed poses, Hal and Clark here have very good sculpts full of subtle detail. For the New 52 Jim Lee redesigned the classic characters’ costumes, keeping much of the overall look the same while tweaking here and adding elements there. Superman lost his red briefs in favor of a high-tech belt, and similar thematic updates were made to his outfit with armored boots, a pattern of intricate lines across the suit, a raised chest shield, etc. All of these made it onto the ARTFX+ statue, making this one of the most accurate New 52 Superman representations yet. Superman has a powerful physique apparent in his relaxed stance, but is not overly muscled. The aforementioned lines in his costume are deep and well defined, and the new shield, boots, and belt look great. The Kryptonian’s cape is understated but fitting on this presentation, and the character’s face sculpt captures Clark’s intense stare and set jaw.
Green Lantern, a personal favorite of mine, was one of the characters least changed in the New 52. Slight alterations to his uniform included subtle armor elements to the shoulders, a raised chest emblem, and a new collar; otherwise it’s pretty much the same GL we’ve been familiar with for the past several years. The Green Lantern ARTFX+ statue captures the Emerald Warrior from the same League lineup image standing with his two fists clenched, one at his side and the other brandishing the most powerful weapon in the universe. Like Superman Hal has “superhero” muscles but not to a ridiculous degree. The hard sculpted borders of his uniform sections really break up the overall appearance, ensuring that it doesn’t look like a one piece bodysuit with different colors. GL’s shoulders feature those distinctive etching patterns and layers, giving him a slightly beefier look, while the emblem on his chest is raised and defined. On Hal’s right hand is a sculpted Green Lantern ring, and both hands have impressive details on the clenched material of his gloves. Finally, the space cop’s head captures the younger, brasher Hal Jordan with his spiky hair and striking mask.
While there’s plenty to enjoy on the sculpts, it’s the paint that really brings them to life. Koto fully embraced a bright metallic look for these statues, a risky decision that really paid off. Superman is resplendent in a bright silvery blue that’s offset nicely by the metallic red and yellow of his “S” emblem and the red on his boots, belt, cuffs, and collar. Meanwhile, Clark’s cape is a matte red with black emblem on the back. Naturally, Superman has jet black hair and dark eyes. Green Lantern also benefits from a metallic look, though his is a little less splashy. The black sections of his uniform are matte, and the white gloves have a bit of a sheen to them; the green, however, is a deep metallic hue that looks almost like liquid, and it’s especially effective on the statue’s mask. Hal’s eyes are white to match the color on his chest emblem, and his hair is a uniform medium brown.
Lastly, his ring is a solid green color and there’s even a “bleed” of green across his fingers emanating from the ring (though it’s tough to see in the photos).
These Justice League ARTFX+ members straddle the line between statue and figure. They are not articulated, but they’re in a scale that displays really well with action figures rather than just large-scale statues. Each New 52 Justice League member retails for approximately $39.99, which is an excellent price for a 1/10 scale statue with this level of detail and high quality paint job. Any fan of DC Comics (and especially the Justice League and New 52) is going to love these, and over the next few months Kotobukiya will be releasing the rest of the team’s members in the ARTFX+ scale.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of Kotobukiya