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White Lantern Batman and Flash

DCD Green Lantern
by Rustin Parr

In 2009 DC Direct and Graphitti Designs teamed up for one of the most aggravating exclusives San Diego Comic Con has ever suffered. In 2010 they attempted to alieve part of that stress by making the figures available at mulitple conventions, sort of "spread the love" type thing. Now, in 2011 they are following that same format and it kicked off at C2E2 in Chicago. Because they have had great success with the Blackest Night theme/brand in the past two years, they pick up the baton from NYCC 2010 and offer us major characters in White Lantern uniforms from Brightest Day - Batman and Flash.

During Blackest Night, the Fastest Man Alive was touched by The Entity and, along with Green Lantern Hal Jordan and others, defeated the being Nekron, who sought to end all life.

Sculpturally these are mighty fine figures, and so they were the first time they were released. Flash is a straight repaint of Blue Lantern Flash from Blackest Night Series 6 and features 15 points of articulation: balljointed head, balljointed shoulders, swivel above the bicep, hinged elbows, swivel forearms, T-Crotch, hinged knees and swivel calves. Not stellar in the industry but quite remarkable for the notoriously limited DC Direct. I really like and appreciate they are including the bicep articulation now, but seeing as this is Flash, the lack of articulated ankles is conspicous. No running poses for you!

Recently returned to our time period, Bruce Wayne is the most logical candidate for the white light who seeks to locate the ultimate Earth Protector. Is the Dark Knight the chosen one or is there another?

Batman comes to us from Justice League of America Series 2, featuring the utility belt from Justice League International Series 1. He's a mighty fine sculpt, but there is something slightly stylistic about him that clashes with look of Flash. I think it's the detailed cape. Bruce has articulation at the neck, shoulders, elbows, forearms, waist, hips, and knees. He looks pretty good until you compare him to the art on the nameplate insert and realize he's fairly off-model.

In the book Batman has the pouch-belt, but this figure has the tube version. And the strangest part is they had to kitbash the figure to get that: the original JLA Batman had the pouch-belt! What's more, there are supposed to three seam-like stripes on his chest, similar to the current costume design. These could have easily been done with paint, but alas, are nowhere to be seen. Another cute touch is his ring, which is painted on rather than sculpted. Since his gloves are silver the ring is a white dot (it's silver on the other figures' white gloves) and actually looks more like a paint error than anything else.

Much as with the NYCC 2010 White Lantern Hal these figures are nothing but repaints. But good repaints they are. The dominant shades are silver and pearlescent white while their chins are simply just the fleshtone of the pastic the head was cast in. They have some subtle pink paint on the lips to help differentiate them and give the illusion of more paint applications that there actually are. For the most part the paint is all clean and crisp, the only real problem being that such light colors are very unforgiving, so every little flaw is highly visible - slight imperfections, splotches from being set down, bleed over lines... it's all magnified by the bright sheen of the white.

Both figures come with one accessory, a clear disk with the White Lantern logo on it as a base. Since is the same mold that's been in use since Green Lantern Series 1, the peg is far to one side so the figures are so off-center it just looks weird. Fortunately they stand well enough on their own that it isn't really a problem. Once again we would have appreciated an accessory of a White Lantern, comic-accurate or not.

Unlike the previous years' exclusives these, do not come in the wrap-around "book" packaging, but on more standard blister cards - with the same background art as the upcoming Brightest Day figures. The back of card features images of only these two figures, with brief bios and line-ups for Series 1 through 3. The blister is quite large, almost the whole area of the card, and the card art is fairly bright as the event title might suggest. An incredibly cool and appreciated touch is that these have "resealable packaging." A very nice things for collectors, however unlike previous iterations, this is only resealable in that the blister is not glued to the card, simply just taped in place on the back via tabs running the length of the bottom, right and left sides. I'll be curious to see if the packaging for the actual line will be like this or if they'll be glued. The "downshot" here is that someone could open one of these, take or break something, and reseal it with out you noticing. So, keep that in mind if you end up being forced to pay scalper prices - check the tape on the back and the contents of the blister.

The exclusivity is denoted by two stickers on the blister - one denoting production run (1,000 figures each) and the other notes the convention in question. I didn't ask how many shows this will be at, but current press material states there will only be 2,000 split between C2E2 and WonderCon. That's a shockingly low number for such high profile characters from a high profile event, but it wouldn't be Graphitti/DCD if supply matched demand. No wonder some booths were selling these for $40 to $60 a piece at the convetion.

All in all these are fine figures and welcome additions to the Corps building collection. Being nothing more than fairly straight repaints there is nothing very exciting about them so you're not missing a whole lot, beyond just the Corps building potential. Being major characters with pretty established fanbases there will no doubt be demand from non-GL fans, so be prepared for a hairy battle. Fortunately though, C2E2 offered no such trouble.

-- 04/16/11

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