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Black Lantern Superman

DCD Blackest Night
by yo go re

Superman's dead? Time to get out the armbands and the polybags.

Nekron is revealed as the power behind the resurrection of the fallen heroes, creating sleeper agents to be later called forth in service in the War of Light. The Lord of the Unliving seemingly reanimates Batman as a Black Lantern, creating emotional tethers between Nekron and the resurrected. With the connection in place, more Black Lantern rings are forged, taking over many of the Earth's greatest heroes... including Superman.

You notice how that bio doesn't really tell you anything specific about Superman? It recaps the last couple issues of Blackest Night, but you could replace the final word of that paragraph with pretty much any other hero and it would be just as valid. Donna Troy, Animal Man, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman... lots of people. Why's it so generic? Because Black Lantern Superman didn't do anything of note.

Supes was sculpted by Jean St.Jean, so you already know the sculpt is going to be pretty good no matter what: anybody who made their name working for McFarlane Toys back when that still mattered is going to deliver a quality figure. The body is mostly smooth, leaving the costume elements to be handled by the paint, but the stuff on his chest - the S-shield and the silver bands going over the shoulders - are fully sculpted. That's nice.

Unfortunately, there is one flaw with the sculpt, and it's a rather annoying one. Clark is standing up perfectly straight - perhaps even leaning back a few millimeters. Normally that might be okay, but the added weight of his cape makes him fall over backwards. This is a figure you have to use the display base for. He does have enough joints that you can get him to stand (there are swivels below the knee, so you can turn his feet far enough to the side to keep him upright), but then neither the sculpt nor the painted costume details line up correctly. Of course, the line running up his left leg already doesn't line up with the line on the torso, though since it's not a sculpted element, it may vary from figure to figure.

Another oddity is a function of the sculpt and paint working together. The figure's face is great, but because of his pallid gray flesh, he looks surprisingly young. Like Superboy playing dress-up. St.Jean should have "aged" the sculpt a bit more, to counteract the effect, but would anybody even have guessed it was going to happen? In pink, this would look fine.

Despite the aforementioned paint problems, Black Lantern Superman's costume is pretty good. All the "Black Lanterned" heroes got snazzy new costumes, and beyond the usual black and silver, Kal gets a grey section that runs up his trunk and down the outside of his arms. I'm not sure what the point of the grey bit is: it doesn't really show up very clearly under normal light, and it's not a reference to anything on any of his previous costumes. He has two silver bands on each wrist, and the silver crotch triangle goes down to the shins instead of stopping at the thigh.

Black Lantern Superman has no accessories, other than the base you'll need to hold him upright. We already mentioned his shin-swivels, but he also has hinged knees, T-crotch, swivel wrists, hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders and a balljointed neck. The range of motion on the neck isn't the greatest, so don't expect him to be looking up as he flies.

This figure isn't the first time Superman's worn a black and silver costume while he was dead, but this version's much cooler: it may not have silver toe-caps, but it does have a cape and doesn't have a mullet. The pose should have had him leaning forward more, so he could stand up by himself, but Kal-El as a Black Lantern is a very cool creation.

-- 05/15/11

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