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Blue Lantern Flash

DCD Blackest Night
by yo go re

Six years ago, we talked about how nice it was that Barry Allen had actually managed to remain dead. So much for that, huh?

The Guardian Ganthet duplicates the unique power of Hal Jordan's power ring deputizing new members into each corps of color to spread the power of the unified light spectrum. The Flash, Barry Alan, is chosen to wield the power of the blue ring and given the task to spread the message of hope to all.

So far there's been no real benefit to Barry's resurrection. Of course, it took a while for Hal's rebirth to turn into the Sinestro Corps War, so we're willing to wait a bit. Still, it's obvious that Barry is Johns' pet character even more than Green Lantern was: while everyone just passively glossed over all the monstrous things Hal did, the other characters actively praise Barry and how special he is. For instance, his role in Blackest Night: when the Rainbow Raiders needed to be assembled, Barry became a temporary Blue Lantern.

The figure was sculpted by Jean St.Jean, and Barry is looking good! Unlike some other companies we could name, DC Direct doesn't rely on a handful of generic bodies, so their Flash actually has an anatomy that looks appropriate. He's muscular, yes, but skinny. Ever see a picture of a marathon runner? You know what they don't have? Giant muscles in their chest, back and shoulders. St.Jean doesn't repeat Mattel's mistakes (the same ones Mattel itself will be repeating in the future), giving us a Flash who actually looks like the Flash should. His winged boots have seams down the front and back, and angled treads on the soles - a feature lifted from Wally West's Flash uniform. And yes, he's wearing his Blue Lantern Ring on his right hand.

The face is excellent, as well. It's thin and angular, just like the body it's attached to, and he actually has just a little bit of an expression - the brow is wrinkled slightly, so he's either frustrated, confused, determined, or angry. The eyes may be slightly too high on the head, but that might also be just an illusion created by the shape of his mask and the length of his jawline.

Blue Lantern Flash is slightly more articulated than the standard DCD figure, with a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, T-crotch, hinged knees, and swivel boots. And can we just take this opportunity to point out how stupid it is that DCD calls this figure "Blue Lantern The Flash?" Seriously: Blue Lantern The Flash. Yes, he's the Flash, but he's still just "Flash." Say "Blue Lantern The Flash" out loud, and tell us you don't sound like a fool.

The costume design is a nice melding of the Flash and Green Lantern uniforms (because, after all, the Blue Lantern suit is basically just the GL suit with curved lines instead of straight). Most of the blue is metallic, but his lightning-bolt belt is just a plain blue, matching the Blue Lantern portion of his chest symbol. We're left to wonder, though, why the white bolt is off-center; is it meant to be, or was it applied wrong?

Barry comes with a Blue Lantern Battery, which is wrong for a couple reasons. For one thing, the BL battery doesn't look like this: it's a different shape. This is just a redeco of the standard GL battery. Second, the Color-Coded Cavalry didn't get batteries: they were all deputized for 24 hours, so they weren't given a way to recharge when that time was up. Since he's got two fists, there's no way for him to hold it, anyway.

The figure also includes the usual translucent disc base, with the Blue Lantern logo - it's the stylistic opposite of the Yellow Lantern symbol, with arms growing from the top that come down to the bottom and look like a hug. Aww!

The biggest problem with Barry Allen becoming a Blue Lantern is pretty straightforward: they're the Corps of hope, right? What about Barry really says "hope?" The ring told him he had the ability to instill great hope when it chose him, but how? Why? Under what criteria does Barry Allen inspire any hope in anyone? The hope that they, too, can come back from the dead for no reason? By all rights, shouldn't the ring have gone to, say, Superman? The hero everyone else looks up to for inspiration? The only thing in Barry's favor was that Geoff Johns was the one writing the story, and that he loves the character. However ill-conceived the notion of Flash as a Blue Lantern is, the figure is done well, and he looks really cool. Sometimes that's all you need.

-- 01/19/11

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