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Green Arrow

DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

I thought it was boomerangs that keep coming back again, not arrows.

Oliver Queen was an irresponsible thrill-seeker until his time on a desert island forced him to master the bow and arrow. Forever changed, he became the masked vigilante Green Arrow. Over time, Queen became disillusioned with "justice" and secretly hunted down villains, including the man who blew up Star City - Prometheus. Queen was banned from Star City; however, the events of the Blackest Night and Brightest Day brought him back, struggling to protect what remained of his hometown.

Wow, that's the second time a DCU Classics back-of-the-card bio has come in handy! Just like Captain Boomerang, this figure is based on the Brightest Day stories, and just like Captain Boomerang, we initially assumed he was something else. Since nobody read Brightest Day and the whole thing was wiped out of existence less than a month after it ended, this figure initially seemed like was supposed to be the Mike Grell "Longbow Hunters" version.

The main similarity between the two costumes is the hood - Grell was the first guy who didn't try to make Ollie look like Errol Flynn, but rather like a real huntsman. The face under the hood looks the same as the Series 9 version, but it's absolutely a new mold: this one has some stray hair sculpted on the forehead that the other one lacked.

During Brightest Day, a giant forest sprang up in the middle of Star City, and that's where Green Arrow was living. So this suit isn't intended to make him look like a superhero, it's meant to make him look like a guy who lives deep in the woods. He still has the laces on his tunic, and the shoulders are still pointed. His gloves look slightly armored, or perhaps like extra-thick leather - very impressive sculpt work, there. There are even tiny throwing darts on the gloves. He has pouches and a small knife on his belt, which makes sense for a guy who's basically a survivalist now, and bands around his biceps and his right leg.

Unfortunately, despite having all-new hands and all-new arms, he still has the same old articulation. The articulation that was wrong when the first DCU Classics Green Arrow had it 11 series ago. The articulation that could only be more wrong if they'd tried to make it wrong on purpose. We gave Red Arrow a pass on the swivel/hinge wrists because he had a reused body, but there's no excuse for this brand new mold to make the same mistakes. For maximum power while shooting a bow and arrow, you want to keep your hands and forearms aligned. Neither wrist is involved in archery at all, which means that even leaving the joints out entirely would have been more accurate than what we got. What he really needs is a double-hinged right elbow so he can get his hand up near his face, to find an anchor point. For a complete explanation of how an action figure archer should be able to pose, read this.

Green Arrow's only accessory is the same bow the two previous figures have used. It's 5¾" tall (so it would be a 69" bow at full size) and has a molded bow string and a trick arrow permanently attached. If they'd really been making a Longbow Hunters figure that would have been bad (he only used normal arrowheads at that time, no trick arrows), but I'm not sure whether the same is true for Brightest Day. Did he use any trick arrows in that? Again, nobody read it, so who's going to say if this is wrong? Better to put that part of the budget into the new arms and hood than into an accessory with a small change only a few people would notice and even fewer would care about. The arrow's too short, of course, but so are the ones in his new quiver. There are no paint apps on this accessory, so you'll be able to tell it apart from the DCUC9 version at a glance.

Green Arrow comes with a piece of the Series 20 Build-A-Figure, Nekron. This time it's the right arm, which is even less interesting than the left. See, it has the dried-out skin texture, but the wrist band is a simpler design, and doesn't have any chains hanging from it. Still nice to see double elbows, though.

The previous Green Arrow figure may have had a more iconic look, but the costume design on this one is just a lot more interesting. The Horsemen did an excellent job, even if the character in the comics is already wearing something different (inspired by the Smallville design, no less). He needs better articulation and better arrows, but while those are bad flaws, they're not deal-breakers. Just disappointing.

-- 03/22/12

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