My excitement for DC Direct’s output to kick off 2010 was tempered just a tad this week with the latest solicitations (Sept. 2009). Not to say that the product is bad, necessarily (I’m actually quite excited that DC Direct is doing a third series of “Women of the DC Universe” mini-busts), but it’s hard to muster up enthusiasm the months where they unveil what amounts to repainted action figures.
Take the Batman: Mad Love Collector Set. Now I don’t doubt for a moment that there’s an audience for this item, but it’s “been there, done that” for me since I got Joker and Harley Quinn the first time around.
It’s mostly the not-lacking-for-colons “JLA Classified: Classic: Series 2:” set of four figures that caught my attention for not all the right reasons. For one thing, the lineup of Aquaman, Superman Blue and Kyle Rayner certainly underscores the fact that DC Direct has confoundedly ignored an incredible opportunity to do a wave or two of Justice League figures based off Grant Morrison’s classic run on JLA. I was almost dumbstruck when I realized that, for all the Aquaman figures produced over the last 10 years, this is only the first time they covered his bearded/hooked design. Though, to be fair, this figure is anything but a simple repaint despite DC Direct using the Ed McGuinness template for the umpteenth time. I have plenty of the EM2-based figures in my own collection, but getting that Aquaman and Superman Blue (of which I have Mattel’s far superior version anyway) for the first time ever from DC Direct based off that distinctive style is sort of a letdown.
Though what’s downright puzzling is the inclusion of Batgirl Cassandra Cain. At what point has she EVER been in a Justice League story, much less illustrated by McGuinness? Why they went with her over — oh, I don’t know — Green Arrow Connor Hawke (still inexplicably untouched by DCD), Aztec, Zauriel, Prometheus or Tomorrow Woman, just for starters, I’ll never know. Going through Morrison & Co.’s seminal Justice League output, I would’ve gone through over a hundred heroes and villains before even considering a Batman character outside Bruce Wayne himself.
What say ye all collectors? Did DC Direct push the right buttons with this lineup (all of this actually dropping in February 2010, not next September), or do retailers have their latest batch or peg-warmers?