DC Crisis on Infinite Earths: Harbinger by DC Direct

We might as well make it a DC weekend. One of the totes I recently grabbed from storage had a heap of DC Direct figures in it, and I pulled a bunch out to use for content in the weeks ahead. I don’t usually buy a lot of these, as I tend to prefer the DCUC stuff, but every now and again I come across them cheap and just can’t resist. With the DCUC style releases being a lot fewer than what they were, I’ve come to the realization that a lot of these characters aren’t going to be released in the DCUC style, and I’m more willing to turn to some of these DC Direct figures as stand ins for my display. Today we’re looking at a figure that really should have turned up in one of those 20 waves of DCUC… It’s Harbinger from a little something called Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Harbinger comes mounted on a rather bland card and basically lets the figure speak for itself. I do really dig the way DC Direct uses the stand as the series title for the package. It’s clever, but it doesn’t save the package from being bland and boring. There’s a little insert in the bottom of the bubble that identifies the figure. Other than that there’s really nothing here to write home about. The back panel of the card is only marginally better. It’s generic to the series, so it shows all the figures available and gives little blurbs about them. Bland packaging doesn’t really bother me, as I’m just going to rip it open anyway, but I’ve always expected better from a collector driven line like DC Direct. This is just cheap, quick and ugly.

I think the sculpting on the figure is ok. The face is good, and I like the way her hair flows out of the back of the helmet. The Monitor armor-inspired outfit is readily familiar and includes a few nice touches, like the sculpted muscles in her stomach. There isn’t a whole lot else to say here, other than overall, the sculpt just looks rather soft. It’s not up there among DC Direct’s best work, and I don’t think it’s any better than a DCUC version would have been, but it’s not particularly bad either. Maybe just a little dated?

At first glance, the paintwork looks pretty good, but it doesn’t really hold up to close inspection. I do like the glossy red used for the helmet and the metallic blue used for her outfit and it meshes well with the silver bits. The flesh tone paint is a bit spotty and there are some dirty spots on her skin that I’ll have to try to touch up with a magic eraser.  The face is a little better, as there’s no slop or bleeding there. The eyes are a little uneven, but nothing too bad. The paint used for her hair looks dirty and feels a little tacky. It’s not coming off, but it is noticeable to the touch. I may try giving it a go with a damp cloth to see if that helps. It may be from being stored in a humid environment for a while. Had I bought this figure on Ebay and not taken it out of the package myself, I would have doubted it was new.

Harbinger has the basic 9-points of articulation that I’ve come to expect from the DC Direct figures. You get ball joints in the neck and shoulders. The arms have hinged elbows and the legs have hinged knees. The hips have angled cuts. Overall, the poseability is not bad, but not great. There’s not a lot of point to the leg articulation, but at least the arms give you some options for posing her.

Harbinger comes with her figure stand, which is pretty necessary for getting her to stand for any period of time.

In the end, Harbinger is solidly average. There’s nothing so wrong with her that cripples the figure, but nothing about her really shines either. My understanding has always been that if you want articulation and a fun toy, you go with DCUC, if you want a superior sculpt for a display piece, you go with DC Direct. But, as I mentioned earlier, I don’t think a DCUC version of Harbinger would look any worse. That having been said, she is scaled appropriately enough with the DCUC line that I have no problem using her to fill this empty slot in that collection, and since they weren’t in the tote I pulled her out of, I’ll probably hunt down The Monitor and Psycho-Pirate for the same purposes. In the meantime, I have a whole pile of figures from Identity Crisis, which I’ll need to get to next month.

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