Watchmen Series 2: Classic Nite Owl by DC Direct

One of the things I sometimes regret not collecting was that line of DC Origins two-packs by DC Direct. The idea of getting a classic and modern version of the same character in one package really appeals to the inner historian in me. That’s kind of like what we have here with the Classic and Modern versions of Nite Owl. Granted some of the appeal is lost by the fact that Classic Nite Owl was created for the very same funnybook as Modern Nite Owl, so there’s no real history there, but I still think having both as figures is kind of neat.

Hopefully, I’ve established my love for the Watchmen packaging by now. Classic Nite Owl comes in the same peg-friendly window box that we’ve been seeing all week. His stand is not secured to the back insert, so that gives you one more undamaged backdrop display for your figures. Otherwise, there’s nothing new to be said.

So here’s my dilemma with Classic Nite Owl. On the one hand, I am not a big fan of his costume design. On the other hand, this figure represents an especially nicely sculpted and faithful reproduction of that design. So, let me get my personal feelings on the aesthetics out of the way. I get that this is supposed to be a vintage costume, but even with my love of retro Sci-Fi and Superheroes, this get-up just doesn’t work for me. It’s hard to take him seriously in those goofy yellow shorts, and his tunic just reminds me of a polo shirt. I do, however, like the owl-styled aviation cap, and the boots and gauntlets are fine. He even has one of his crescent boomerangs tucked into his belt. I get that the art designers were going for a certain cheese factor with the older characters, but so many of the other costumes look good, I just think Classic Nite Owl looks out of place.

Now, with all that having been said, the execution of the figure is top notch. The sculpted detail on his tunic is fantastic. You can see every last stitch, and I love the way the “fabric” bunches and pulls in all the right places. The head sculpt is also great, and again you can see all the little stitches in the flight helmet and the eye mask is sculpted, rather than just painted on. The figure sports a pretty basic color scheme, with the tunic, eye mask, and cap all grey and with yellow fringe and matching yellow shorts. The boots and gauntlets feature matte paint to give them a sweet, burnished leather look, and the flesh tone is all clean and free of splotches. From design to figure, there’s really nothing to complain about here at all.

Spinning DC Direct’s Wheel of Articulation, we find that Classic Nite Owl hit the jackpot. His neck isn’t ball jointed, but that’s because high belted collar. The head does, however, turn side to side. His arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, hinges in the shoulders, and swivels in both the biceps and the forearms. His legs feature a standard “T” in the hips and hinges in the knees. The sculpting on the tunic inhibits the shoulder articulation a bit, but still… not bad.

And that’s Classic Nite Owl. If you dig the costume, you’ll get a lot more mileage out of this figure than I do. But even with my lackluster feelings toward the character design, I still can’t deny this is one of the better efforts in the line, he’s close to the original Silk Spectre in terms of the amount of love DCD seemed to pour into him. You get a great sculpt, solid paint work, and decent articulation for the line.

I’ll check back later on tonight to wrap things up with Modern Nite Owl.

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