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DCClassics.Com Review:
Lex Luthor (Orange Lantern)

Anti-Monitor Week rolls on with a review of Lex Luthor during his brief stint as an Orange Lantern Deputy. Normally, I wouldn’t be too excited for this particular figure. Two things though: orange is one of my favorite colors. And I love translucent figures. Now, if only I enjoyed crazy, armored up Lex Luthor…

My first introduction to Lex Luthor was more or less the Super Friends version, but he never really appealed to me in those days. Well, in some ways, he has never appealed to me. I like the idea of Lex Luthor, but it has always seemed to me that Superman is better showcased when he’s fighting Darkseids, Doomsdays, & Brainiacs. Luthor always remains unbeatable in a way – a mental invincibility against Superman, perhaps – and I’ve never liked it.

I did come to appreciate him as a corporate villain only to be disappointed by his rise to the Presidency and the subsequent implosion of his character (perhaps the DCnU Lex Luthor will do away with most of that unfortunate turn of events). Anyway, Luthor has been a bit more interesting in the last year after temporarily receiving an orange ring as Larfleeze’s “deputy” during Blackest Night.

Lex Luthor getting an orange ring was pretty interesting, but was also ultimately futile. Instead of focusing on the task at hand – defeating Nekron, Luthor was first out to kill Superman and later to steal the rings of the other deputies. He successfully robs Scarecrow of his before he’s restrained by Wonder Woman & Flash. It was pretty interesting and fun until Wonder Woman’s lasso had him reveal he secretly wanted to be Superman. I thought that was pretty stupid. He might want the power or the adoration, but he’d never want to be Superman outright. I should thank my lucky stars that he didn’t talk about real estate though. Ugh.

Luthor is largely a “retool” of his original DCSH figure. While I prefer my Luthor in a business suit, I do have a soft spot for his battlesuit from the mid-80s. It might be important to note that the DCSH figure caused a bit of controversy back in the day. He was originally shown with a classic/rounded armor while the final figure ended up with the boxy armor seen in the picture above. So, when it came to do this figure, he needed a few new pieces to get back to that rounded armor – essentially a new loincloth, chest, and shoulder armor. These all look great, but I’m honestly waiting to see them in proper green & purple. We’re one new chest piece (with his ‘L’ symbol) from getting a proper Battlesuit Lex for Classics now. I still want my business suit Luthor, but I wouldn’t mine a proper Battlesuit Lex one bit.

Luthor’s sculpt is rounded out with the head from the Gotham City 5pk and a new right hand featuring the orange lantern ring.

Hmm, well there’s not much to say about the paint, huh? Luthor is almost entirely cast in orange translucent plastic. Mattel wisely avoided any washes, so that he could look like the big orange-flavored gummy bear that he is. I do wonder why he’s clear though. I get that his armor’s a construct, but shouldn’t there be a naked Luthor in there? Not that I want to see a naked Luthor, far from it.

The paint work is basically restricted to the head and it’s done well. Luthor essentially becomes the best painted figure in the wave by default. Continue to Page 2…

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33 comments to DCClassics.Com Review:
Lex Luthor (Orange Lantern)

  • Nicholai

    I am so with you in the desire for a business suit Lex. I like the power armor and even the Silver Age duds from the 5-pack, but I really need a Lex in a suit to stand with a Superman. Though I’d also like a Lois and Jimmy for a Superman display!

    • I would love to get some supporting cast into the line. As varied and far reaching as it has been, I just don’t think any line can be great without some supporting cast.

      The sad thing is they just have to do a handful of non-superhero supporting cast and we’d probably all be happy.

      • Rich

        DC Direct has made the following non-super-powered non-villain non-secret-identity-in-civilian-clothes ‘supporting cast’ figures:
        Oberon (Poor guy might count as an accessory)
        Lois Lane (2/3 Lois figures have been in spandex and capes, however)
        James Gordon
        Alfred Pennyworth
        Perry White
        Jimmy Olsen
        Norman McKay (another who might count as an accessory)

        For ‘Secret Identity’ (not unmasked), they fare even worse:
        Clark Kent
        Billy Batson
        Damian Wayne (in his white jumpsuit – yes, I’m stretching to get to 3)

        Since we already have our requisite Clark Kent, we may see a Lois in DCUC one day, but I wouldn’t count on very much more than that.

        Just as a parting question for discussion, along the lines of ‘why no business suit for Lex?’: Who has given us the weaker “Bruce Wayne” attempt – Mattel or DC Direct?

        • I can’t argue on Bruce. I’d love to finally get him in a tux.

          I also wish the suit body weren’t so lean. Sometime the suit guys look as out of place with the main line as the DCUC figures would around MOTUC figures.

        • Brainlock

          Mattel has given us Clark Kent in DCSH 2pk, but seeing as how that’s impossible to find, anymore, we really only have the Question to work with, don’t we?

          Wait, w5 Riddle in jacket (aka green CK+new head).

          So, you can take the time to hunt down the preferred suit body of choice, repaint and head swap and you have your Lex/Clark/Bruce/Alfred/Gordon/etc.
          Meanwhile, I’ve got an extra Black Canary and Zatanna. headswap, remove fishnets (oh, YES!), repaint and voila! Lois Lane! or Lana/Talia/Vicki/etc.

          But that’s just me.

          btw, DCD Orange Lex’s lantern is the same as DCD Larfleeze: **WITH** HANDLE!

          • I like to customize my extra MOTU’s into new characters, but I’m not much for making the characters the companies should make. Heh. Though, you’re right – one suit body dyed black and the armored Luthor head popped on top and I have what I want… Come to think of it, I think I actually have an extra Clark Kent body laying around somewhere. I used it the head to cast a stein head for my Firestorm.

  • clark

    I assume that they used translucent plastic so you can create a glowing effect when the light source is behind him. That said, I definitely understand why you’re scratching your head about it, because when he doesn’t look like he’s glowing he just looks like a floating head on a light construct.

    Nevertheless, I love translucent plastic, and am very tempted to get this guy just because of that.

  • da man

    I think a matty collector box set with civilian clothes versions would be great to see since a retail box set would likely not sell very well. Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Billy Batson, Business Suit Luthor (maybe even a new Amanda Waller exclusive) and a few others than can be done with minimal tooling and just some new head sculpts. I really hope we see Larfleeze and Atrocitus in the next year and announced at SDCC. I think they should have been squeezed into this series over Flash or one of the Hals, but I would also welcome them in another wave soon. Ebay is waaaay to expensive for Lar right now.

    • Is Lar a big seller? DCD should reissue him.

      I’d love to get a handful of secret ID or civilian figures. The sad thing is that Mattel only needs to do a handful and most everyone would be happy. Though I am sad when I see collectors who wouldn’t want a Gordon or a Lois.

    • Brainlock

      I’ve long requested a Gotham or Mrtropolis themed boxset from DCUC.
      Gotham: QC Bruce, QC Dick, Jim Gordon, Barb Gordon/Oracle, and the fifth spot be either Joker/Penguin/Selina/Black Mask or ALFRED. (Bullock?)

      Metropolis: QC Clark, Lois, Jimmy, Perry, Lex (suit). Lois could even have a variant as Lana!

      Honestly, I’ve got Scott Evil standing in for Jimmy until we get one.
      and crap. I just realized: in “suits” we also have Jack Knight. Not exactly a “suit”, but ‘civilian attire’ of jacket, pants, and shoes are close enough. I bought an extra to custom Jimmy before I realized he was taller than expected!

  • theflicker

    “Neither Luthor nor the inevitable Larfleeze will be able to clutch his Lantern, so the toy versions need their handles.”

    If they give him proper articulation, then I don’t see why Larfleeze wouldn’t be able to clutch his lantern.

    • DCD’s Larfleeze has ball elbows, bicep swivels, hing elbows and swivel wrists – basically what a DCUC one would have… and he still really can’t do it.

      To clutch something like that, a real person would have bring their shoulders in, closer together, and that’s something that very few figures can do (and when ML tried to add, it looked paticularly awful).

  • He-Mullet

    Did you check his crotch? I don’t trust Mattel and Translucent plastic…

    Maybe it was a “yellow impurity” that ruined the green translucent plastic…

  • kingflame81

    I’m all for getting this guy too! And while I initially didn’t care for the translucent look, it’s grown on me.

  • I kind of dig this figure, but I doubt I will get him, he is in my “if I have extra money” list. Still he is cool, but I wonder if memory serves the DC Direct version was translucent as well, so was the Heroclix verson (but those were translucent in many ways so that fits). Just wondering where that idea might be coming from, it’s still a cool effect though.

    • I think it’s logical to make it clear since it’s a construct – the early Mattel photos had the lantern clear, but it was later changed to normal colors since it’s not a constrcut.

  • Braystreet

    It’s the cheapest way to imitate glowing,I suspect, I mean, the implication is never that the constructs of the other Lanterns are translucent (unless the artist is feeling particularly lucky) They’re supposed to be solid colors, cloudy in some cases, but just glowing and solid colored, but I can’t think of ever getting a construct that wasn’t somewhat translucent.

    Lex Luthor made his battle suit out of constructs, presumably over his actual Orange Lantern uniform, so it glowed with orange might.

    Thanks for the great review, this is the one I was looking forward to most because this is the one figure I wanted from the wave. I loves me some Lex Luthor.

  • Lee in MI

    Great review but kinda unfair that the one time Mattel gets something like this minor detail right (My god, am I defending Mattel O_o ) you bashed em a little. We all know they need to be bashed but not over the lantern handle…it’s screen accurate.

    In regards to civilian characters, I think short of Mattel offering a DCUCs subscription, we may never see many of these guys.

    • dayraven

      dude, it’s accurate in the comic because it’s a 2D medium… the figure has to make some differences, because it’s a 3D medium, and a handle for the damned lantern (or maybe a clear base so the lantern can “hover” next to him) would be perfectly in order. your defense makes sense only so long as you really don’t think about it.

    • I don’t think it’s unfair. I fell all over myself with qualifiers and laid the blame on the comics. More just my lament that they went the extra mile on something where I wish they didn’t, in contrast to the other times they can’t/don’t.

      Besides that’s not nearly as mean as saying “the one time Mattel gets something… right” 😀 😉

      And yeah, Toy Guru talks big about the Chief or Will Magnus, but it’s highly doubtful we’ll ever see them (and they’re more obscure than Gordon or Lois).

  • Lee in MI

    Dayraven…come on man! Make up your mind?!?!? Either it’s comic accurate or it’s not. It’s that simple. Your argument is garbage because as soon as they start taking creative license and making changes that aren’t comic accurate, they get bashed for that. In this case, they actually follow the source material and they still can’t win?!?! 0_o Damned if they do, damned if they don’t!

    The lantern is fine. My Lex is cradling his right now. I could see if he actually couldn’t physically hold the dang thing, then the absence of a handle or modified arm would be questioned for sure. But this figure CAN hold the lantern in his arm and looks fine.

    I think some of you guys send mixed signals as to what you wanna see. You either want it comic accurate or filled with a bunch of design changes based on the artists’ interpretation. Changes like that only lead to more artistic license changes until the figure you actually get is a hodge podge of different aesthetic design vocabularies.

  • Derrick

    Just skimmed my copy of “Agent Orange”. Thought I’d point a couple of things out.

    1: The artist who covered our introduction to Larfleeze was actually Philip Tan, not Ethan Van Sciver.
    2: While he does clutch his lantern close to him, Larfleeze’s lantern DOES, in fact, have a handle.

    Feel free to check my work.

    • Van Sciver is credited as his visual creator, that’s why I go with him over Tan or Reis who also provided early art. And while Tan may have drawn the handle (my hero!), the “classic” cover of him clutching his lantern doesn’t nor do many subsequent covers or the Orange Lantern promotional shot.

      You’re absolutely right about Tan covering the intro though and he, like many who will follow, will just draw the handle and make it comic accurate as well.

  • Lee in MI

    Well maybe we can petition Mattel to make Larfreeze with both lanterns since Noisy is right…eventually (and actually) both versions can be considered comic accurate in the greater sense of the term.

  • GaryG

    Hey BrainLock—I did a Lois using the very figures you mentioned above. Why, oh why can’t Mattel do the same? (Wish I could post the picture here) I also did a business suit Bruce Wayne using the Movie Masters Two Face and Christian Bale head. I just added Professor X legs to boost the height. Also repainted a Brainiac to give him pants. (Grundy want new pants, too!) Did a Sinestro head swap with Maash to create a height correct Sinestro. I repainted the McDonald’s Bat-Mite to be more comic accurate and (finally) did a Head swap on Superman using the DC Direct New Krypton head that looks like Chris Reeves. If I can do these simple things, why can’t Matel see them as well. Most just required already existing parts and new paint apps. (Okay, a couple were non-DCUC, but not the point.) Cheap, cheap, cheap and most of the overhead is already paid for.

    • Brainlock

      yeah, i had ML9 Xavier standing in for Lex for the LONGEST time, myself!
      (tried black suit X1 Xavier first, but his knees are meant to be too loose to stand.)

      Now, I just have the Gotham 5pk/SuperFriends Lex in there.
      (and a Terminator for Metallo, and M.Bison standing in for Zod! LOL)