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Green Arrow

DCD Justice
by yo go re

When DC was creating their Silver Age superteam, the Justice League, they drafted almost all the available heroes. But for some reason, they overlooked one guy: Green Arrow. He wasn't a founding member, but he was the first new recruit, which has to count for something, right?

Fighting alongside the Green Lantern, Green Arrow this Robin Hood-like hero uses his eagle eye and trick arrows to champion the rights of the poor and underprivileged.

Green Arrow was originally a Batman rip-off. A millionaire playboy who ran his own company, Oliver Queen used themed crime-fighting gear branded to his personal gimmick: an Arrowplane, an Arrowcar, an Arrowcave, an Arrowsignal... he even had a teen sidekick and a clown-themed enemy. How original! Of course, there were differences, as well. Green Arrow wasn't motivated by guilt or obsession, but by the simple desire to help people. And the playboy lifestyle that Bruce had to fake, Ollie came by naturally. Basically, Batman inspired Green Arrow's superhero life, while Oliver Queen inspired Bruce Wayne's personal life.

It wasn't until the Silver Age that GA moved out from under the shadow of the Bat. He lost his fortune, picked up some cuckoo lefty ideals and started championing the downtrodden. The stories were less about supervillains and more about drug dealers and corrupt politicians. He also got a new costume that made him look even more like Robin Hood, hard as that may be to believe.

Green Arrow is looking really nice, here. DCD released a figure of this particular costume a few times before, but it should come as no surprise that this one looks better. A fellow by the name of Michael Locasio handled the sculpt, definitely not Warlord and while that name isn't as familiar as some of the other DCD regulars, he still did an impressive job. GA's costume has a lot of wrinkles, but managed to avoid that "garbage bag" look a lot of figures suffer from. Anyone care to explain how that tiny, tiny mask is supposed to conceal his identity, especially when he's sporting the world's goofiest beard on his chin? There's at least one change to the figure from Alex Ross's original art, but in this case it's a good thing - if you look at his Green Arrow poster, you'll notice that Ollie's wearing one of his arm guards backwards, rendering it useless. Locasio even remembered the little G belt buckle, which means that we're only one Kevin Costner head away from repainting this as a Prince of Thieves figure.

So far no Green Arrow figure has been able to get into a proper archery pose, but this one comes closest, thanks to plentiful articulation - it's only poor design that keeps him from shooting properly. The figure has a peg neck, balljointed shoulders, peg biceps (at the top of the arm guards), hinged elbows, forearm swivels, pegged hips, pin knees and swivels at the top of the boots.

When firing an arrow, the left arm (GA is right-handed, so we'll be discussing everything in those terms) should be straight out. The bow should be parallel to the body, and threfore perpendicular to the outstretched arm. The arm should be straight - you're not holding the bow out away from you just so you can draw back further, but because having your forearm, upper arm, shoulder and collarbone all in a nice, straight line makes for a nice, strong pillar there is so much wrong with this of muscle and bone to brace the force against. GA's balljointed shoulders don't allow him to raise the bow high enough unless you swivel everything out of alignment, which would look better if DCD used ML/DCSH-style biceps instead of straight swivels. Of course, if you do that, the slight flex sculpted into his wrist has the bow pointing down, not out at any target.

In order to reliably aim an arrow, you need an anchor point. You need to draw the arrow back to the same spot every time, which is why you see archers touch the back of the arrow to their lip or cheek. When drawn, a straight line should run through the arrow and the right forearm, or else you're lacking power. Of course, an action figure can't achieve that pose, unless it has double elbow joints, like Marvel Legends. Of course, the fact that you can bend Ollie's elbows even this much (or at all) is a victory on an Alex Ross figure. The fingers on his right hand are sculpted properly, which is nice - the bowstring rests in the bend of the first knuckle, not the second.

So, say you fudge around with the joints and you get a halfway decent pose out of the figure; you're not clear yet. GA comes with a composite bow that's sculpted as if it's already been drawn - the limbs are already bent back. The string is black elastic, so it can be tucked into his fingers to complete the look. So, we're all set now, right? Oh, you! Always joking. We need an arrow! Thankfully, the figure comes with a 2½" arrow that looks really nice. The shaft is brown, the fletching is green, and the diamond-shaped arrowhead is silver. It really is a nice-looking arrow. Unfortunately, it isn't quite problem free.

d'oh! First of all, it's nocked wrong. The nock runs perpendicular to the head, when it really needs to be parallel. Plus, there's no index fletch - on an arrow with three fletchings, the "main" one should be perpendicular to the bow, and face away from the body. Otherwise, when you fire, the fletch will hit the bow and throw off the shot. The mold parting line on this accessory is closer to where a real nock should be than the sculpted nock - not good.

But really, since this is just an accessory, uh, little problem once it's pinched inbetween the figure's fingers, no one will notice, right? Problems done? Not yet. If you get GA in anything even resembling a decent pose, the arrow is too short. Like, embarrassingly short. We're talking up to an inch, here. Unless you've got your figure standing like a complete gomer, you cannot have the arrow both held in the right hand and resting on the bow, which means that if he actually tried to shoot it, odds are good it'd end up getting embedded in his left hand. Which would make any further archery most unlikely.

nice design Honestly, both the bow and the arrow seem to be scaled for a 6" figure, which means that the typical "DCD Alex Ross gigantism" (Ollie stands 7¼" tall) really hurts the overall look. And it isn't just this one arrow: the figure has a removable quiver on his back, and while the arrows in it are molded in place, comparing the loose arrow ''Sorry, Beardy, I prefer LONGbow hunters.'' shows that they'd all be the same length if they came out. Oh well, at least they're not all snapping off like the New Frontier GA's arrows did.

So, Green Arrow has some real flaws, ones that are just the fault of DC Direct sticking to its usual standards, but this is still the best GA figure they've made. It would be better if it wasn't so blatantly oversized, but again, that's a chronic problem. He does look good next to the other Alex Ross figures, so if that's all you're collecting, you won't notice anything. Shame about the undersized arrow, though - Black Canary must be bummed.


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