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DCD Blackest Night
by Rustin Parr

This figure is what they call a spoiler. After seven years of amassing hundreds of individually bagged and boarded comics separated into almost 10 different boxes, I finally gave up buying individual issues and now only buy trades. It is thus that I am yet criminally behind Blackest Night and indeed was well aware of this figure far before I caught up to the transformation in the book.

Like many people, I liked Green Lantern but never was able to really get into the mythos until Rebirth (or, more accurately, The Sinestro Corps War) so I had very little knowledge of Boodikka beyond this figure; turns out she's a fairly "mainstay" Corps member up until the whole Parallax thing. M.I.A. until rescued by resurrect-o-Hal, Boodikka was part of the "Lost Lanterns" who were thought to have been murdered by Hal during his possession by the Parrallax entity. Thus, having a chip on her shoulder, 'ol Moody Boody cold-shouldered her once-killer-now-savior and, following the loss of several of her fellow "Lost Lanterns," eagerly took the offer to become a new uber Lantern.

Wielding a second a power ring and a direct connection to the central power battery, veteran corpsmen Boodikka of Bellatrix was among the first to be transformed to the new rank of Alpha Lanterns, who police the Green Lantern Corps itself.

Alpha Lanterns are, at least in my experience, an interesting idea but a mediocre execution - they're basically living Power Batteries, but basically seem to follow the old "sentient robots are dangerous" routine and don't retain much of the identity of the Corpsman they're based on. They're supposed to be cyborgs, but just favor the "scary robot" half too much. Oh well, at least they kinda look cool.

Hal-allax cut off her hand back in the day so her entire right arm is a sort of mecha ring-construct sort of thing. For the figure it's cast in translucent green plastic filled with glitter in effort to achieve that "energy" effect in the comics - its success varies on the eye of the beholder. The arm also has little floating pieces of "cooled magma"-type sections of black. They're far more spaced out than in the comics and while I don't really care for the overall look, the arm is a nice counterpoint to the black and green of the rest of the outfit.

Boodikka has nine points of articulation: hinge knees, swivel hips (V-crotch), balljoint shoulders, hinged elbowed and a balljointed head. The sculpt is pretty good and, unlike many recent DCD figures, she's not in some weird subtle half twist or anything, just a good generic pose. The range of motion on the shoulder joints are very good, but the lack of wrist articulation (even though the "gloves" are separate pieces glued on to the forearms) inhibits the number of naturalistic poses. She's supposed to have two rings but they certainly aren't present anywhere on the figure, which is also a detractor towards dynamic posing.

The hair is one of the most notable aspects of the figure, at least to me, and it's a really great two-piece mane blowing in the space wind. Surprisingly, it allows for a decent range of head motion - especially considering its size and that long hair traditionally is the anti-articulant. Because it sweeps back and out she can become back-heavy, but I haven't had too much trouble keeping her standing.

The pink faceplate, meant to remind of us of who she once was (the Bellatrixians being a pale pink-skinned race), is removable, revealing a Manhunter tri-circle lantern energy sucker. Beware the Manhunter tri-circle lantern energy sucker! The detailing and paint here is especially nice, and I'd be tempted just to leave her mask-less if it weren't for the sort of silly '50s robot look of the face.

In addition to becoming a cyborg and (allegedly, based on the bio) donning two power rings, one of the main features of the Alphas' is their own internal power battery. This is a very cool, fun idea and is illustrated strikingly in the comics... but is executed poorly on the figure. On her chest is a raised circle with a sunken silver background featuring a Lantern sculpted in relief off of it, turned to a three-quarters view and cast in the same glitter-infused tranny green as the arm. The affect is underwhelming at best and silly at worst. It looks like a goofy chest emblem and the glitter is just flat out Barbie-style goofiness.

In the books, the Alphas are drawn to essentially have hollow chests with a lantern hovering inside visible through the open portal on the breast. This figure would be immensely more amazing if they had gone that route, similiarly to the upcoming Nekron from Series 5. I'd give up the amazing hair sculpt, the translucent arm, the removable mask, even the articulation if it were a matter of cost. The Alpha Lanterns are cool because they have a Lantern inside of them, not an undersized, mediocre-ly sculpted, glittery icon on their uniform.

In general this is a pretty solid figure, and certainly any new Corps member is a welcome addition, but this figure does suffer greatly from the silly glitter infused in the translucent green plastic. And the poorly executed Lantern leaves me underwhelmed. I am a big team/battle builder so a new character is appreciate, but these flaws will definitely keep her obscured by other figures in the collection.

-- 04/12/10

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