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DCD The Authority
by yo go re

Close your books and get out a sheet of paper - it's time for a pop quiz. Name this superhero: sporting special powers such as flight, strength, speed, and heat vision, this hero is powered by earth's yellow sun.


Apollo! Endowed with the power of flight and other amazing abilities, the Authority's mightiest member stands ready to turn his incredible strength and speed to taking care of the team's business of safeguarding the Earth from menaces from every corner of reality... no matter what the cost.

The Authority made a name for itself by not being afraid to portray, among other things, realistic consequences of violence. If you're fighting a superhero, you're not going home with a few scrapes and bruises; you're likely to have limbs torn off and your head kicked in. At the end of the day, Superman wouldn't scold Lex Luthor - he'd fly him up to the top of the troposphere and let go.

At the same time the book was becoming popular with fans, it was becoming unpopular with the higher-ups at DC. Maybe it was the gung-ho attitude. Maybe it was that the characters had a sex life. Maybe it was just that Paul Levitz (publisher of DC Comics) was an angry little weasel. Whatever the reason, the book got treated like the company's redheaded stepchild. All the stranger, then, that we've just gotten Authority figures.

Apollo looks a bit different than I would have hoped. As designed by artist Bryan Hitch, Apollo was a thick, muscular superman, but also one of the most beautiful people on the planet. While the figure does have some muscle definition, he's quite a bit leaner than expected. His face looks fine head-on or in profile, but the ¾ view looks awful.

Fortunately, the costume is dead-on, with its details carved into the figure. It's a very simple outfit - a white bodysuit with a large yellow triangle over the upper torso. There aren't even any breaks for boots or gloves, suggesting that he wiggles into it though the neck-hole. He has no trunks, no belt, no nothing. Since he's a pastiche of Superman, his symbol is a triangle; it's just a white triangle with a yellow circle in the center representing the sun, but the intention is clear. Still, the figure really should be more muscular. Apollo needs to be huge, not just big. He needs to be Captain America or Thor, not Hawkeye or Black Knight. His shoulder-length silver-white hair is well done however, falling naturally.

Apollo's pose is very straightforward and stoic, which I suppose works - after all, you don't need to keep yourself in a state of cat-like readiness if you're faster than thought and almost nothing can hurt you. He's got his fists clenched, ready to take all comers. Standing 6½" tall, he's articulated at the neck, balljointed shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. It's pretty standard for DC Direct, but it's also pretty disappointing.

All four Authority action figures were designed by Bryan Hitch, but there's really no evidence of his style visible in the final product. Whoever sculpted these toys (completely uncredited, of course) managed to completely genericize them, which means two things: 1) they lack any sort of personality, and B) they'll blend right in with the rest of your DC Direct figures. That second one may sound like an insult against DCD, but it's not - it just means they have a specific look, and figures from differing titles can integrate. Apollo could be a lot better, but the odds that there will ever be another one are slim. With that in mind, we can call this one "good enough."

-- 08/27/02

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