We’re still a little backed up so instead of our usual two-at-a-time reviews, we’re attempting a rare three-at-a-time DCUC11 review to catch up. We’re pretty sure we can pull it off. We’re trained professionals (bwa-ha-ha-ha) and we’ve been working hard and ordering in all weekend.*
* – If working hard means playing video games and being glued to the internet for Gallery 1988 MOTU pictures, then we were definitely working very, very hard.
We’re kicking things off in a big way with the three Green Lanterns from Wave Eleven: John Stewart, Katma Tui, and the big guy himself, the Collect & Connect Kilowog!
DCUC11 seemed to ‘invade’ a few different ways between Christmas and New Years. My set came from BBTS when it was available on Dec 23rd. Vault’s and Rant’s were ordered from MattyCollector on the same day. And while we were being tortured by UPS and their suspension of ground services during the holidays, we all found them at Wal-Mart too! Sadly, we had to pass on those sets and wait until early last week for the sets we ordered to finally arrive. It was especially fun for Vault and Rant as our UPS hub (where their toys set for a week) and one of the Wal-Marts are about three-quarters of a mile apart giving new meaning to the term “so close, yet so far”. Sorry, guys I had to rub it in. At least mine were stranded in Minnesota over the long holiday break! Okay enough screwing around, we’ve got three figures to do…
John Stewart is the Green Lantern that gets crapped on a lot. He first appeared in the early 70s as a backup to Hal Jordan. As a backup, his life is pretty uneventful. But when he’s thrust into the spotlight, all the stuff writers can’t do with Hal they do with him. Over the years, John Stewart has been married, widowed, lost his ring, accused of murder, tortured by foreign governments, got his ring back, fallen in with terrorists, responsible for a planet’s destruction, become a Guardian of the Universe and got his wife back, lost his job and became a widow (again), became a Darkstar, was paralyzed from the waist down, got his legs back, got his ring back, and been in and out of the Justice League a few times during his whole life. Did you get all that? John was also featured prominently in the JLU cartoon as the main Green Lantern in the mid-00s, but that hasn’t translated to much face time in the comics. Even in the mega-event Blackest Night, John Stewart hasn’t really had a chance to do anything yet. Sadly, he’s a major Green Lantern with very little screen time in the biggest GL crossover ever. I hold out hope that he’ll get his moment to shine before Blackest Night ends early next century.
Oh yeah, you’re here about the figure, right? John Stewart is an example of the buck system at its finest. He has a new head, new forearms, and a new ring hand on the standard body. Between the paint and the sculpt, the head is excellent. It’s one of my favorites out of the entire line. The new ring hand and forearms capture his GL costume details easily. The ring is a lantern shaped version instead of Hal’s round ring and the gauntlets look great in metallic green. I kinda wish all the GLs were all done in a metallic color scheme, but it’s not to be. The other handful of green paint apps and the symbol are all clean and it makes what would normally be a simple figure very striking.
John Stewart included two ring constructs, a military gun and a giant fist. I was impressed by these accessories because they fit over the hands snugly and stay on for the most part. I love the energy bursting out of them where they attach too. The detail on both pieces is great, and the best part, since the line is about interchangeable parts, Hal can finally have his giant fist that he’s been lacking! John Stewart is fully articulated except for his blocked/swivel head which is currently ‘standard’ for the line.
Katma Tui hails from the mid-60s. She’s from the same planet as Sinestro, so her own people sorta hated her, but that’s not the worst of it. She’s the aforementioned wife of John Stewart, so she’s been on a life and death roller coaster for the last twenty years. She most recently appeared as a Black Lantern in Blackest Night. Sad day, right?
The best thing about the Katma Tui figure is readily apparent when you pull her out of the packaging. Her legs and arms are made of a sturdier plastic than previous females. None of the ones we received had bent or warped legs whatsoever. We hope this is a trend that Mattel will continue with all future figures. Katma features a new head and ring hand. Her head sculpt is a great classic representation of the character. Her paint applications aren’t as good as John Stewart’s, but they are crisp on the head and main torso. The lines on the shoulders and boots are a little fuzzy, but not terrible.
Katma also includes two ring constructs, a sword and shield. These are both nice pieces and fit snugly around her fists as John’s do, but that means they’re only reusable on other Green Lantern women. Hopefully, we’ll be getting plenty more of those though. Katma is fully articulated except for the blocked/swivel neck.
Collect & Connect Kilowog
Kilowog is the “newest” Green Lantern in the wave, clocking in at only twenty-three years old. Still, Kilowog too has seen his fair share of life changes. He’s lost his entire race (twice), been dead himself once, been used as angry golem, and been an unpowered mechanic for the Justice League. We bet he’s happy just to be alive and to be a Green Lantern again. If you’ve heard the word Poozer and aren’t sure where it comes from, this is your man. Poozer is Kilowog’s trademark pet name for his rookies. The most important thing about Kilowog is that he’s the big and tough (but lovable) drill sergeant of the Green Lantern Corps.
‘Wog is built around the Brimstone body. He features a unique head, hands (he’s only got four fingers to Brimstone’s five), and a different upper torso (not that we’ve had a chance to get the rest of Brimstone and compare). The detailing on this figure is excellent despite the massive reuse. The hands (with the giant ring) are great, the neck detailing is well-crafted, and the head is perfect – a vast improvement over DCD’s attempt a few years back. The paint on Kilowog is similarly impressive right down to the high gloss used around his nose and lips. It adds real dimension to his face sculpt.
The collect and connect should be the centerpiece of every wave and Kilowog doesn’t disappoint in that regard. He is a bit too big. To be appropriately scale he should be a shade under eight inches (the figure clocks in at nine inches). We’re not complaining though. The big guy looks great and making him this big certainly doesn’t take away from the figure.
Kilowog has the standard articulation, but in a bigger size leaving some parts a little blocked. The head articulation is excellent (with some tilt) and all the joints work well. The only thing missing is the thigh cut. It’s a pretty significant loss since the bulkier legs and feet can make it difficult for him to get both feet flat on the ground. Hopefully, future C&Cs won’t have articulation removed. If Kilowog had those thigh cuts he’d be a four-star figure for sure.
Overall, DCUC11 is one of the best waves yet and that’s do in no small part to the Green Lantern contingent. All three of these figures should sell very well with the hype Green Lantern is receiving in the comics. John Stewart can be buoyed by his JLU appearances which the DCUC version aimed to mimic. Katma Tui is another welcome female character that fills out your GL shelves. And Kilowog is just a giant chunk of awesome. He’s one articulation point away from setting the standard for what a C&C should be. He’s easily my new favorite of the eleven and half C&C’s so far.
For more DC Classics Reviews, check out our DC Classics Collector’s Guide.