Blackest Night certainly stands out as the biggest DC storyline of the year, so it makes sense that DC Direct would strike while the iron is hot. They’ve lined up four assortments based on the characters involved in the big event, and the first drops on October 21st. We’ve gotten an advance look at the figures, and it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of bright spots in this dark night.
Let’s start with a quick overview. Your first four are Alpha Lantern Boodikka, Red Lantern Atrocitus, Blue Lantern Saint Walker, and Black Lantern Earth-2 Superman. These are all appropriate choices, and they’re all figures that haven’t been made previously. Sure, there was a regular Earth-2 Superman, but not in this form (new to the story, of course). It also makes sense to get some of the other Corps memberships represented quickly; I have a feeling that there will be many that might skip completism and grab a figure from a Corps for which they feel some affinity.
As a group, the general sculpting looks great. I was bit disappointed in the left hand of both Atrocitus and Superman. Here, sculptor James Shoop went for a claw effect that looks neat, but doesn't lend itself to much in the way of adaptable poseability. Jeremy Bush opted for a more straightforward flavor on Saint Walker, and I think it works. Likewise, that was the approach that Jack Matthews used on Boodikka; he also did a terrific job on the two faces. Actually, facial detail is quite strong across the assortment.
The paint apps on all four figures really pop, particularly due to the metallic effect that DC Direct employs. This goes back to previous Green Lantern assortments, and as a result, it helps to bring some uniformity to the cast. I put some previous released figures with the new group for some perspective.
I really think that this is going to be a big winner for DC Direct. There’s obvious visual appeal, there’s the popularity of the current story, and there’s the fact that it digs deep in support of the universe. Newer characters abound, and Arisia gets represented in the third assortment. If you’re into DC Direct overall, you’re going to want these. If you’re really into Blackest Night, you’ll probably want these. Things may be dark in the DCU, but it looks pretty bright for DCD in the near term.
Unless you’re a Black Lantern and you run into this guy . . .