I’m still making my way through Green Lantern Classics reviews and today I’m looking at the two Black Lanterns from the first wave: Black Hand & Abin Sur. Well, it’s not really a figure of Abin Sur, but I have to call him that in the title so folks can find the review on Google. Don’t worry, I’ll explain it all after the jump.
If you’ve been under a rock, Mattel has jumped into the Blackest Night fray with two waves of Green Lantern Classics and DC Universe Classics Wave 17 featuring the deputy lanterns from the new Corps. We’re currently in the beginning of this Green Lantern gauntlet and DC Classics collectors are going to see their collections get very modern and very Green Lantern for the first half of the year.
The thing is, even though I enjoyed Blackest Night (except that quick and out ending), I haven’t been feeling as much excitement for these figures as usual. I’ve always said I was an “all-in” fan – that no corner of the DCU should be overlooked outright, but I find myself really challenged when faced with rank & file Yellow Lanterns, fabricated Red Lanterns, and zombie Black Lanterns. Particularly, Black Lanterns that we haven’t gotten living versions of yet… because the first figure up for review isn’t Abin Sur.
Abin Sur, as every comic book fan should know, is the dying alien that gave Hal Jordan a Green Lantern ring. Amon Sur is his wayward son. He’s not the nicest guy. He grew up hating Green Lanterns because he felt his Dad loved being a GL more than him. So he turned into a criminal and fought Kyle & Hal. His life choices led to him becoming a Yellow Lantern (Abin’s head on a SC body and boom, Amon Sur figure) and, ultimately, to his death. During Blackest Night, both Amon & Abin were resurrected. And, hey, both fought Hal Jordan because the other GLs were busy. But the father & son pair didn’t look the same and somewhere along the line, someone at Mattel got confuzzled.
Truthfully, this nameswap really isn’t a big deal. There’s really no more clamor for one figure over the other and the figure ended up being a nice depiction of Amon Sur, but this goes down as one of those weird little Mattelisms. For the rest of the review, I’m calling him Amon though.
Amon’s mostly new, but he does reuse Deadman’s legs and shares a few parts with Mattel’s latest attempt at Sinestro. He has an appropriately creepy and accurate head sculpt. I was also really impressed by the hands. His left hand is sculpted to be grasping and is almost reaching for you. The left hand, while a simple fist, still has some decayed flesh detail and you can make out the Black Lantern symbol on the ring. That’s pretty cool.
His arms are new as is his torso, though it’s a bit weird. The front is sculpted somewhat similar to Deadman’s with some muscle striations stretched across his chest, but the back is relatively smooth and features a sculpted collar. Kinda odd. Anyway, the overall sculpt is nice and since Amon wasn’t terribly decayed (he was incinerated when he died, so not sure how that works anyway) the buck doesn’t look that off for a zombie character, particularly with the Deadman legs and the unique torso helping to pull off the look.
The articulation is a mixed bag. I was excited when Mattel announced the increased articulation. I do think the double joints are uglier than the standard joints, but the range they add is impressive enough that I’ll take the good with the bad. The double elbows on the arms are fantastic here, as are the wrists. They’re much more expressive. I’m not sure what Mattel is doing with the articulation going forward, but all Lanterns should have a ball wrist on their ring hand. Amon is capable of some poses I wish all my other lantern figures could do.
What’s a little frustrating is that the double knees had to be scrapped for the Deadman legs. I like the legs for their sculpt, but it just makes the figure feel a little off. He has this great articulation on his arms, but his legs, with the single knees and removed rocker ankles, just feel inadequate to me (even though I’m normally fine with ’em).
Last but not least is the paint. There are a couple scratches and the white/black lines are wobbly here and there, but I ended up with a relatively clean Amon. I love the black and white contrast, the symbol is sharp, and I’m really happy with the metallic paint used on the armbands. I’m not sure why they went for silver on the leg bands and white everywhere else, but it’s not that jarring. The eyes and teeth are well painted and help the head sculpt give off that scary cryptkeeper vibe. Continue to Black Hand…