Every once in awhile, time just gets away from me. I didn’t realize how long I’d had Atrocitus sitting here when a reader asked me to not skip Atrocitus last week. I was always planning on reviewing him, but somehow he snuck past my sense of urgency. Let’s check him out.
Before I get too deep into this review, I should note that I’m writing it while travelling. Ideally, you wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t tell you, but just in case. I have the figure here making the trek with me, but you might not see the usual synthesis between what I say and what I show in the pictures as a result of my putting the two halves of this review together at separate times.
Atrocitus is a relatively new character, I think he’s probably getting around to being five years old now. He represents the rage/red part of Geoff Johns’ spectrum and although he’s a recent addition, he’s been retconned pretty heavily into the Green Lantern mythos having had encounters with Krona, the Manhunters, Abin Sur, Sinestro, the Black Hand, and Hal Jordan all “before” he first appeared in the second year of Hal’s return.
As I’ve said before, I’m not the biggest fan of Geoff Johns work overall – I liken his comics to Michael Bay movies, lots of flash, but not much substance. That’s kind of Atrocitus in a nutshell. He’s a very difficult character to use because he’s typically only a bad line of dialogue away from coming off as Mystery Men’s Mr. Furious. Worse still, Peter Milligan, a writer I traditionally enjoy, wrote him abysmally in the Red Lantern comic. He was trying to add depth to the character that Geoff Johns never got around to, but it served to only make him a whiny dude that monologue at a corpse for multiple issues. Ugh. As such, I’ve lost most of my initial interest in Atrocitus, but I’m still glad we got him as a figure in the Classics line. Though it is weird that he was in Club Infinite Earths.
It’s common assumption among DC Classics Collectors that Atrocitus was pulled from the Nekron Wave, possibly because a well-selling subscription would allow for him to be given a new buck more appropriate to his size. Bill Benecke, the line’s Project Designer, even talked about Atrocitus being bigger as a selling point of the subscription. Well, good intentions and all that right? The Club Infinite Earths subscription last year went through at roughly 2/3rds of Mattel was targeting. While many of us, myself included, were still happy to get something, one side effect was figures like Atrocitus would be cut off from any new tooling and would again be regulated to the standard buck height, just like he would’ve been at retail.
Some of us got a little loud with our disappointment and proposed some solutions to getting some of Atrocitus’ height back, namely Public Enemy parts. Either someone at Mattel agreed or was thinking along the same lines, because that’s what they did. Atrocitus was given a new set of shins that does add about an eighth of an inch to his height. Inadvertently, though, this set off another controversy. To make the change, they had to sacrifice a sculpted element, the top hem of the boot. When the figure made his debut, a different set of fans were upset at the painted on boots. Sometimes, you just can’t win, right?
It’s up to each of us to decide what would’ve been better. Personally, I’ll take the extra eighth of an inch over the sculpted lines, but I don’t expect everybody to agree with that. I’d understand, it is only an eighth of inch after all. Still, I’m glad they made the change. Continue to Page 2…