Vault Review: DC Direct’s
Brightest Day Deadman

With DC’s new universe looming above us, they toy companies are still playing catch-up with the last big event.  No, not Flashpoint.  I’m talking about Brightest Day.   Even though Mattel hasn’t quite caught up, DC Direct is pumping out figures like Deadman before they become obsolete.

There’s not much you can do to a character who’s been dead for his entire superhero career.  But Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi through Boston Brand a curve ball when they brought him back to life at the end of Brightest Day.  I’m not always a fan of these two writers, but I have to admit that was definitely a great idea.  But nothing in life, or death, is free.  Boston was now the bearer of the white lantern and ring, and charged with finding the true champion of the white lantern’s powers.

One of the more interesting things to me about this story is the White Lantern Entity.  Not powered by emotion like the other corps, the white lantern is fueled by life itself.  This comes through in the story throughout the Entity’s mission.  The Entity is the cause of many of the events in Brightest Day in order to discover the new white avatar and protect all life on Earth.  But the Entity shows little concern for the individuals it uses and their feelings in the matter.  At the end of the day the Entity may be good, but the methods it uses are definitely on the dickish side.

If DC Direct is good at one thing, it’s making a figure look great.  I don’t really mind Mattel’s buck body system, but it sure is a nice change of pace when you can buy an entire wave and they all have different body sculpts.  One of the interesting things about this sculpt is that his collar is part of the torso, while his white neck/chest is a separate piece.  This is a great way of using the natural lines of the character’s design to break up the sculpt, and I really appreciate how well it works.

Since this is the White Lantern Deadman, his right fist is sculpted with the ring.  But unlike most of the rainbow lantern characters we’ve gotten from DC Direct, Deadman’s ring has no sculpted design on it.    This is a bit disappointing because I’ve seen them do it before, so I know it’s possible.  But it’s also not a deal breaker, just an annoyance.

This figure comes with two heads.  One is his classic Deadman look, while the other is of Boston’s human appearance.  I’m actually a fan of alternate heads and this is a great way selling this character again with more than just a ring hand.  The only thing that concerns me is the clear plastic used for his neck peg.  Deadman’s head don’t exactly pop on and off easily.  You have to put a little force behind your tugging and clear plastic doesn’t have a great reputation of being sturdy.  I haven’t had any problems yet, but I doubt I’ll be switching his heads much in the future.

DC Direct may be known for their excellent sculpts, but the other side of that is their notoriously limited articulation.  That’s why I was so surprised to discover Deadman actually has a decent range of motion.  His head is a ball joint with good flexibility, while his shoulders are the classic swivel/hinge.  He’s got swivel biceps, wrists, hips, and boot cuts.  His elbows and knees are hinge joints.  Although I wouldn’t mind seeing a waist and better hip joints, this figure’s still has better articulation than I’m used to seeing from DCD.  Continue to page 2…

15 thoughts on “Vault Review: DC Direct’s
Brightest Day Deadman

  1. I thought about getting this figure, he is neato. Can the Heads of the DC Direct one be put on the DCUC Body? I like the DCD Deadman visage better than Screaming Mattel…

    1. I’m not sure. They’re about the same size, but it really just depends on how big the peg is on the Classics figure. I’ve never popped any DC Classics heads off, so I’m not sure what’s under there.

  2. I like the mask in the second picture–is that photoshopped, or homemade? He looks neat, but I have the old DCD and the Kingdom Come ones, but much as I like Deadman, I don’t think I need another.

    1. It’s an included accessory! The white lantern was the main reason I bought him, but being able to put him on the shelf with his unmasked head and mask really helped.

      (And yeah, I’m too swamped with toys to review all my own figures… isn’t that sad??)

      1. I’ve got the original DCD and now DCUC versions, passed on Ross/KC version, so I didn’t order this one. Is the White Lantern and alt.head *really* worth it?

        I mean, I only bought the HotDCU Creeper because I thought we’d never see him again after BTAS, but there he is in w17! I dunno….

        1. If you’re a big fan of Deadman, then it’s definitely worth it. Otherwise you’re probably ok with the ones you own.

  3. Oh crap! Now I want one. Agree about the articulation issue, and that’s where DCUC will always have the advantage until DC Direct matches up to them. But I do like this figure better than his DCUC counter-part. Real nice. Both heads come w/the figure right?

    1. Yup, he comes with both heads, the mask, the white lantern, and the base.

      I don’t know if DCD will ever match the Classics articulation. Deadman here is probably the closest we’ve seen in a long time to having more than five or six POA.

  4. I know this may seem weird but is anyone else getting a LOSH Karate Kid vibe from the unmasked head??

    1. Huh, I never noticed but yeah there’s a Silver Age Karate Kid look to his face.

  5. He gets several accessories while DCUC Rainbow Wave Hal gets nothing. Nicely done Mattel…

    1. Lol, I know. It’s sad when Matty won’t even give an accessory to one of its most overproduced figures.

  6. Excellent review, Vault! Informative and very, very funny. I loved the floating heads discussing the clear plastic peg, as well as the running white lantern gag. Looking forward to your next review.

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