Last week, DC Comics and Marvel released the full solicitations for their April releases. This is one of my favorite times of the month, as I love getting a look at all the cool stuff that I’m going to be anxiously awaiting for the next few months. Sometimes anticipating a purchase almost as good as the actual purchase, don’t you think? And my two favorite things about skimming through both companies’ solicits are checking out the upcoming paperback and hardcover collections (especially since Marvel and DC are both kicking a ton of ass with those lately), and the latest offerings from DC Direct.
This month’s offering from DC Direct include the first wave of figures based on the upcoming Green Lantern storyline, “Blackest Knight.” (The figures are advance-solicited for release on September 30th, actually.) a second wave will follow soon after. The figures look great, as is usual for DC Direct. I’m looking forward to reading the story, because it sounds like it will be a pretty good one, but I’m not too interested in getting any of the figures. Since 2005, we’ve seen three waves in a Green Lantern themed series, plus a few random figures in other series. That’s not counting the aforementioned “Blackest Night” figures. I understand that Green Lantern is one of DC’s most successful properties, and the “Blackest Night” story is expected to be DC’s tentpole storyline for the year, but that’s still a lot of figures for a four-year period. (Of course, it’s still nothing compared to how many Batman and Superman figures are cranked out on a regular basis. Just how many Superman/Batman waves do we need? The series hasn’t been relevant since Supergirl debuted.)
I don’t want to turn this into another anti-Hal Jordan rant, because that’s not really my point here. It’s just that the GL’s are hogging a lot of DC Direct’s attention, and there are more than a few characters from the DCU that I’d love to see. I’m sure a lot of you have a list of characters you’d like to see immortalized in plastic too, and since I’m sure DC Direct keeps an eye on ye olde blog, let’s see if we can influence them to take a crack at some of our want-lists. Here’s my top five must-have choices, feel free to add your own lists in the comments section.
1. Starman: DC’s already released a Jack Knight figure, but it was one of their very first figures. Frankly, it kind of sucked. It was woefully under-articulated, had a bland design, and was sculpted in an action pose that made it almost impossible to stand up in a way that won’t knock it over with just the slightest bump. Starman was arguably the best superhero comic of the Nineties, and the character deserves to get a top-notch action figure. DC might be hesitant to produce a Jack Knight figure due to the fact that he faded out of the spotlight when his series ended in 2001. But with the new series of Ominbus hardcovers collecting the entire series, you can bet that demand for Starman merchandise is higher than it’s been in years. Ideally, the figure would come with removable goggles (just like the old figure), his trademark cosmic rod and the smaller gravity rod Knight used in the first couple of issues of his series. To round out the series I’d like to see an elderly Ted Knight, sharply dressed in the suit he wore when he battled Dr. Phosphorus; the slimmer, heroic Solomon Grundy who befriended the Knights; and of course, the dapper protector of Opal City and Jack Knight’s quasi-mentor, the Shade.
2. Final Crisis: I’m a little surprised that DC hasn’t already whipped out a Final Crisis line yet, but it seems inevitable they’ll get around to it at some point. Libra is an obvious choice, given his role as one of the principle baddies. Dude killed J’onn J’onzz and blew up Lois Lane, so I’d say he’s earned his own action figure. Darkseid is a must as well, since the series is all about him conquering Earth. Plus, he’s got a pretty sweet new costume. As for the good guys, Barry Allen’s return has been one of the biggest events in the series, so he’s a lock. And the new Mr. Miracle looks to be a major player in the series finale, so he’d be a nice choice for a figure, too.
3. Trinity: Lots and lots of potential for a toy line with this series, since Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley have managed to squeeze in seemingly every character in the DCU. I know this will probably never happen, but I envision three waves in this series, with each one featuring a member of the Trilogy and their counterpart in the Dark Trilogy:
Series 1: Superman; Konvikt; JSI Hawkman; Sun-Chained-In-Ink
Series 2: Batman; Enigma; Tomorrow Woman; Primat
Series 3: Wonder Woman; Morgaine Le Fey; Kronas; Gangbuster
4. JLA: This title is a no-brainer for DC Direct to adapt. Grant Morrison and Howard Porter reimagined the Justice League for modern audiences, and even served as the inspiration for the Justice League animated series. I’m surprised DC hasn’t got around to it by now, but maybe when they’re done with the Justice League International line, this one will be up next. It would be a perfect opportunity to spotlight a few characters that haven’t been produced yet, like Aztek, Connor Hawke, and Prometheus; and since we’ll need an A-list name to round out the mix, a middle-aged Batman decked out in black from “Rock of Ages” would kick ass.
5. Secret Six: Gail Simone’s monthly supervillain team-up series has wowed critics and fans alike, so why shouldn’t they get their own action figure line? This one’s easy to pick out a lineup for, as you simply need to represent the group’s core members : Deadshot, Catman, Scandal Savage, and Ragdoll.
What say you, gentle readers? What figures would you like to see from DC Direct?