Watchmen Series 1: Modern Nite Owl by DC Direct

Ok, so I had originally planned on being back yesterday with a look at Modern Nite Owl, but I got a little tripped up for time, (surprisingly enough alcohol wasn’t involved) so Watchmen Week is spilling out into one more day. I was probably going to just take today off anyway, so everything worked out for the best. So let’s press on. The Doomsday Clock is just about up and I really want to put this week to bed…

Here’s our last look at DC Direct’s brilliant Watchmen packaging. Brilliant or not, after a week of the same packaging, I’ve got nothing else to say. Which is good, because I also completely forgot to take a picture of the boxed figure before taking out the trash (this time, alcohol was involved). Nonetheless, if you’re hankering to see one more boxed Watchmen figure, you’ll get your wish at the end of today’s feature.

In the film, Nite Owl’s character design went in a similar direction to Ozymandias. The costume favors some level of realism over dynamic design and in the end you get something pretty simple and serviceable not unlike a modern Batman motif only with owls (What? A guy can dress like a bat, but not an owl?).That’s not a criticism, mind you, the new outfit design worked really well on screen and as it turns out DC Direct crafted it into one great looking figure.

The tiny scale patterned texture on the suit really makes Nite Owl stand out and it’s rather reminiscent of chain mail armor. It’s also easily my favorite thing about this figure. The sculpted striping and reinforced portions of the suit’s design give him a decidedly Art Deco vibe. The cowl is layered on the figure as a separate piece of plastic and meshes with the pliable, soft plastic cape very nicely. The head sculpt is as solid as it gets, with excellent detailing on the hood and what you can see of the face offers an appropriately stoic expression. The impressive sculpt is rounded out with some exceptionally nice paintwork with a two-tone coppery finish that really ties the whole figure together. For a guy in an owl themed suit, this figure turned out pretty majestic looking and even downright artistic.

Nite Owl’s articulation offers the best we can expect from this line. The neck and shoulders are ball jointed, the arms feature hinged elbows and swivels in the wrists. The legs have a standard “T” at the hips and hinges in the knees. It’s also worth noting that his crescent boomerang is removable from the belt (it just pegs in) although DCD didn’t have the foresight to put a peg hole in his palm, so he really can’t hold it all that well. Bummer!

Had DC Direct decided to phone this guy in, Nite Owl could have turned out looking mighty bland. Instead they went above and beyond with some beautiful, detailed texturing in the sculpt, great looking paint, and solid articulation. I think I recall saying the same thing about Dr. Manhattan, but it rings true here as well. He’s certainly one of my favorite figures in the line and that’s saying a lot. If you discount the inconsistent articulation, DCD’s line of Watchmen figures is an all-around fantastic set. They display wonderfully on my shelf and the extra variant figures are a really nice bonus.

And yes, folks, I realize that I did leave one figure out this week: The exclusive variant of The Comedian. Since I already featured the regular version of Comedian a while back, in that incredibly lazy link at the beginning of the week, I didn’t really see the need to revisit the whole figure just for the sake of the younger, unmasked variant head, but just to be complete, I’ll leave you with a shot of that figure in package.

Phew… that was a long week and it’s time for me to hit snooze on the Doomsday Clock and go back to bed. I have a couple more themed weeks planned for December, but next week is just going to be a little bit of everything as I try to clear out some of the things still kicking around on my receivings pile.

I’ll see y’all tomorrow with a little Lego action…

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.

Watchmen Series 1: Ozymandias by DC Direct

Sorry if I popped a gasket yesterday. It was a long day and coming back later to be so disappointed by Silk Spectre II after being rather impressed by her mom… well, it really put a damper on my evening. I’m back, refreshed with a couple pre-emptive belts of Jameson to steady my nerves, and ready to tear open the next figure in DC Direct’s Watchmen line. Today I’m limiting myself to only one, and he doesn’t even have a variant, so hopefully things will go a little more smoothly as we take a look at Ozymandias. I don’t have a hell of a lot to say about this figure, so we should be able to get through today pretty quickly.

Once again, here is a look at the Watchmen packaging. Let’s take a moment together to bask in its beautiful deco, its collector friendly design, and its uncanny ability to stand on the shelf or hang on the peg. It is the alpha and omega of action figure packaging, and I’m about to shred it to pieces to get to my toy inside.

In terms of character design, the film version of Ozymandias, as wonderfully played by Matthew Goode, was quite a departure from the Ozymandias we saw in the panels of the Watchmen funnybooks. While the fanboy in me originally raged against many of these changes, I can certainly see why the designers went with this more modern look to assist with mass audience consumption, so I don’t begrudge them this change at all. What’s here isn’t the most exciting character design, but it’s more practical and probably far better suited to the action figure treatment than his comic garments.

Gone are the primary colors, replaced by a far more subdued, yet still snazzy looking coppery-bronze armor. I was pleasantly surprised the film designers didn’t go more overboard Egyptian on his motif. As it stands all we get is a very subtle Eye of Horus style emblem on his belt. The rest of Ozy’s costume features a basic muscle-sculpted body suit with armor reinforced around the shoulders, gauntlets and boots. He also sports a standard soft, pliable plastic cape. There’s a little shimmer to the paintwork, which helps keep the figure stride the line between being too gaudy.

Ozy’s portrait is pretty solid, if not remarkable. The likeness to Goode is definitely there. The headband and eye mask are both sculpted as well as painted, and while there’s a wee bit of slop around the flesh paint, it’s nothing bad enough to bother me. All in all, this is a competent job on the head, DCD.

Oh, looky here… Ozymandias apparently hit the jackpot while spinning DC Direct’s Wheel of Articulation. He came away with ball joints in the neck and shoulders, hinges in the elbows and knees, swivel cuts in the wrists, and a standard “T” joint at the hips. You won’t get him into any crazy action poses, but there’s enough serviceable articulation here to work with.

Ozy’s redesign wasn’t the most exciting thing to work with, but what’s here is certainly well executed. He’s a good looking figure with decent articulation for this line. As always, the figure stand is a nice bonus even if he can stand fine on his own, but what’s really missing is a little Bubastis figure to put beside him. It wouldn’t have taken up much more plastic than Dr. Manhattan’s legs and a static piece would have been fine. On the other hand, Bubastis didn’t exactly play a large part in the film, so I guess I can understand leaving him out.

And that’s another Watchmen figure in the bag. I should be able to wrap up everything tomorrow with a look at both Classic and Modern Nite Owl.

Watchmen Series 1: Silk Spectre II by DC Direct

Here I am, back as promised, to take a gander at the second lady of The Watchmen: It’s Silk Spectre II (aka Laurie Juspeczyk). Wow, I am torn on this figure. Let’s dig right in and see why…

There’s the packaging. Laurie looks awesome displayed in this wonderful window box, but there’s nothing here different from the other Series 1 figure packaging, so there’s not a lot new to talk about. Moving on…

Silk Spectre represents a great combination of solid sculpt and excellent paintwork for the body, and some passable work for the head. The portrait isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot closer to the lovely Malin Akerman than the original Spectre figure was to Carla Gugino. Still, likeness aside, I don’t think the quality of the sculpt and paint live up to the previous figure. I think the big sticking point for me is that the paint on the eyes just looks rather cartoonish to me. Her long, straight hair is executed pretty well, but renders her head articulation almost useless. What’s here for the portrait certainly isn’t at all bad, but it’s just not amazing.

The body on the other hand is great, and I mean that in more ways than one! Yes, DC Direct captured Spectre’s feminine form quite well, but they also really knocked the outfit right out of the park. The mix of matte yellow and high-gloss black used for her costume is clean and spot-on to the source material. The fine silver paintwork on the zipper is impressive for a figure in this scale and price range, and really ties everything together. All the lines along the components of her outfit are actually sculpted to give the figure a nice layered look and add a lot of credibility to the appearance of her costume. Spectre is sculpted standing with her hands clenched into fists and her posture is ram-rod straight. And that, my friends, leads us to her articulation…

Let’s not mince words: Silk Spectre’s articulation sucks and there’s no reason for it. I could somewhat forgive Rorschach because he had the trench coat, but there’s no reason for Laurie here to have less articulation than her mother. Here’s what you get: A ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivel cuts in the thighs. That’s it! The head and arms are about on par with the rest of the figures, so I won’t complain much about them, but where’s the “T” joint in the hips? Where are the hinges in the knees? What the fuck is the point of the swivels in the thighs??? When you tweak them even one jot and she can’t stand and her feet don’t look natural in any other position. Besides, every other figure in this line is sporting some ability to adopt something of a trademark pose, while Laurie here just stands at attention. Why, DC Direct? What happened here? Did you just spin a giant wheel to randomly decide which figure gets blessed with articulation and which gets cheated? Oh, holy hell, I need a belt of Jameson.

If I had opened Silk Spectre II right after opening Rorschach, I think I would have been a lot less disappointed. But after finding decent enough articulation on Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, and the original Silk Spectre, I really got my hopes up that Rorschach was an exception that was hampered because of his trench coat. The truth is Laurie looks really good on the shelf, flanked by her fellow Watchmen, but there’s just no excuse for DC Direct limiting her articulation as much as they did and that makes her all the more frustrating a figure. Scratch that, she’s not a figure… she’s a semi-articulated statue, and if I’m going to display a statue on my shelf, I’d rather have something a lot more dynamic looking than the way she turned out. Damn you, DCD, you were doing so well and now this!

I’m going to go off and drink heavily collect my thoughts and tomorrow, we’re going to move on to the smarty-pants villain of the piece… Ozymandias.

Watchmen Series 2: Silk Spectre by DC Direct

Wow, it’s Thursday already! The Doomsday Clock is still counting down and I’ve still got a lot of figures to look at this week, so I better get my ass in gear. Today I’m cramming two figures into one day because I really want to get through all of the Watchmen figures by Saturday, so we can move on to other things. Let’s start out with the original Silk Spectre, aka Sally Jupiter, and later today we’ll move on to Silk Spectre II, aka Laurie Juspeczyk. I can’t say as I’ve ever looked at figures based off mom and daughter superheroes before, and I blame that solely on the fact that nobody made decent Incredibles figures. Yeah, I’m still bitter about that. But I digress… let’s go!

Since we’ve already seen DC Direct’s Watchmen packaging and I’ve got to cover two different figures today, let’s not spend a lot of time on the boxes. Suffice it to say, I love everything about the in-package presentation. DC Direct didn’t stand on chronological ceremony and so the original Silk Spectre wasn’t released until Series 2. On the other hand, DC Direct was kind enough to give us Sally Jupiter in her prime and in her superhero garb, as opposed to a figure of her older self in a bathrobe quaffing down tumblers of gin. Good call, DCD! I have a weird affinity for 50’s style superhero and science fiction designs, toss in a pretty lady and this figure really scratches my itch. But before we get into the costume, let’s talk portraits…

The original Silk Spectre was played by Carla Gugino. I honestly don’t see a lot of her in this head sculpt. The mouth is too small and the face isn’t rounded enough. Now, setting likeness aside, this figure still sports a drop dead gorgeous head sculpt. The face is beautiful and it features immaculate, potentially perfect, paint apps, all capped off with a really great vintage style hairdo. I suppose if you have a real attachment to the actress, the lack of likeness may be a sticking point, but I’m just so pleased with how great the head looks, I’m willing to be all sorts of forgiving on this point. Seriously, DCD, bravo on this one, as far as head sculpts go, this one is an absolute homerun and quite possibly one of your best efforts.

The rest of the figure is spot-on right down to her glorious example of 50’s cheesecake costuming. The dress is sculpted with realistic pleating and the skirt bellows up in the back to give a nice glimpse of her tushie. The yellow paint apps on the dress are darkened to make it look like her black undergarments are showing through. It’s a nice effort, but I don’t think it works quite as well as the designers’ hoped. The rest of the figure’s paint looks great. Painted skin tone often shoes up as dirty and smudged when it isn’t executed right, but that clearly isn’t a problem here. They also used a beautiful high-gloss black for the glove over her right arm.

Sally’s stockings and high heeled boots are a mix of sculpting, more high-gloss black paint, and the old mixed-media fishnets that DCD and Mattel like to use on some of their DC ladies. While the fishnets still have the problem of unsightly bunching on the back, the limited use of them here make them work a lot better than on previous efforts like Zatanna or Black Canary. In fact, this is easily the best execution of this stockings approach I’ve seen on a figure yet.

Silky-1 sports solid, albeit not super, articulation. Her neck is ball jointed, which allows for a decent amount of movement for her pretty head. Her arms rotate at the shoulders and are hinged at the elbows. She has a swivel cut in her left wrist, but oddly enough not in the right. Her legs feature a standard “T” in the hips and hinges in the knees. The sculpted skirt inhibits her forward leg movement at the hips pretty badly, but there’s just enough poseability here to give you a limited  variety of display options, but the figure really screams for some swivel cuts in the biceps and thighs. Close… oh, so close. Her articulation allows her to stand perfectly fine on her own, although she does come with the same gantry-style figure stand as the other figures.

In case you haven’t guessed, I am totally digging on this figure. She’s a beautifully crafted effort on DCD’s part, especially since she’s based on a character that doesn’t have a huge amount of screen time compared to the others in the line. One might not expect her vintage looks to hold up in action figure form, but the end result is one sexy piece of pin-up style plastic. Sure, the likeness isn’t there, and I understand that’s going to put off some collectors, but I’m still so very  enamored with the end result, I just don’t care.

I’ll be back later tonight to see how well Sally’s daughter fares with Silk Spectre II.

Watchmen Series 2: Dr. Manhattan by DC Direct

Pardon me for jumping back and forth between the Series 1 and 2 this week, but I’m a little pressed for time today and given his simple character design, Dr. Manhattan seemed like someone that I could get through quicker than the other figures in the line. Manhattan was certainly one of the more challenging elements in bringing Watchmen from comic to film, and I was overall pleased with his on screen portrayal by Billy Crudup, so let’s see how his figure turned out.

Once again, the packaging is awesome. It oozes the presentation direction of the movie, the deco looks amazing and the window displays the figure very well, while also concealing all the extra stuff (i.e. creepy extra set of blue dismembered legs) down at the bottom and out of sight. The downside of Manhattan’s package is that his figure stand is actually secured to the back insert with its own bubble, so you can’t get it off without destroying the cool backdrop. That’s ok, though, figures like Comedian and Rorschach are much more suited to display against the graffiti wall backdrop than Manhattan is, so I don’t count it as a big loss. Remove the tray from the box and you’ll see that you get a second lower half of the figure to provide two different display options. Let’s start with the version of Dr. Manhattan that you get right out of the box…

Yep, he’s a blue guy in his underwear. And the addition of the underwear was a mercy, DCD, because without his modesty garment, this figure would have blinded me for life. But saying he’s just a guy in his underwear really sells the detail in this figure short. He’s incredibly well sculpted right down to all his muscle tone, tendons and veins. Manhattan’s head sculpt is particularly excellent, with the detached, solemn expression that Crudup, or rather the CG model of Crudup, wore most of the time in the film. Granted, there isn’t a ton of paint work on the figure, as he’s molded in his intended blue flesh tone plastic. Still, the pupil-less eyes look great and the emblem on his forehead is crisp and precise.

Rorschach may have been a somewhat articulated statue, but Dr. Manhattan strides the line closer to being a bona fide action figure. He has ball joints in his neck and shoulders, swivel cuts in his hips, and hinges in his elbows and knees. He’s by no means super articulated, but he sports a lot more poseability than poor Rorschach. I’m not one to complain about good articulation, but what’s up with that, DC Direct? It seems like most collectors would have rather articulation cuts be taken in Manhattan rather than Rorschach, but I’m guessing it has a lot to do with the nature of the figure’s design.

Besides better articulation, another nice surprise with Dr. Manhattan is the inclusion of a separate set of legs so you can put him in a levitating pose. To perform the transformation, you simply pull the bottom half of the figure off at the waist and pop in the second set. The replacement legs are completely static, with his toes pointing down. The soles of his feet have slots that work with a clear piece that pegs into the figure stand. He’s a tad wobbly when displayed like this, but otherwise it works well and he looks very cool.

I wasn’t terribly excited about getting Dr. Manhattan, but truth be told, DC Direct went above and beyond on this guy. The sculpt and coloring are great, the articulation is right about what the character needs and the extra set of legs to offer two display options is really cool. With the extra half a figure included, he really feels like he’s in a different assortment from Comedian and Rorschach, but maybe DCD was able to cost it out because Manhattan uses so few paint apps. Either way, he’s a fantastic figure.

Dr. Manhattan was also available as an exclusive variant and once again, I’m going to let the in-package shots suffice because I’m not planning on opening him. There’s no new sculpting here, it’s just the same figure molded in a slightly translucent blue plastic. I know a lot of collectors go nuts over translucent figures, but I’m just not one of them. I see what DC Direct was going for here, and I applaud it, but if this figure hadn’t come to me as part of the collection, I would have been fine without owning it.

I’ll be back tomorrow to check out two generations of Silk Spectres.

Watchmen Series 1: Rorschach by DC Direct

This week, I’m going to do my best to avoid a lot of tangents about the Watchmen movie (and don’t even get me started on my love-hate relationship with Zack Snyder) but since these figures are based off of the movie and not the comic, I’ll have to touch on it now and then. Suffice it to say, I did more than my share of harrumphing about it when it was in production. Like a good stubborn little fanboy, I refused to see it in the theaters, but when I finally sat down with it on Blu-Ray I found myself enjoying it a lot, and my affection for the movie has grown a little more with each subsequent viewing. A big part of my fondness for the film comes from the casting and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach is a fine example of that. He helped to portray a marvelously ambiguous character that evoked love, hate, sympathy and revulsion all in one complex package. DC Direct put out two versions of Rorschach, so let’s check them out, starting with the regular edition.

Rorschach comes in a gorgeous, peg-friendly window box, which DC Direct was once rather fond of employing and truth be told, I’m pretty fond of these as well. The deco is wonderfully designed from all angles and there’s a synopsis on the back as well as shots of the other figures in Series 1 and 2. While I’m not sure that space considerations will allow me to keep all these packages, they are 100 percent collector friendly and with the printed insert, providing a graffiti-stricken wall as a backdrop, they certainly make for a great way to display the figures.

When the sculptors at DC Direct are on their game, they do a fantastic job and that’s mostly the case here. It’s only Rorschach’s mask that feels a little subpar. The paintwork on the mask is fine, but some texturing on the hood would have been nice. As it stands, it looks too smooth, especially when compared to the beautiful texturing and detail on the trench coat.

Yes, the trench coat is downright awesome. The sculptors infused it with every possible little wrinkle and rumple, button and stitche. The flaps of the belt are sculpted in soft, pliable plastic and hang free of the rest of the belt. His collar is worn up and one of his epaulettes is buffed up too! The beautiful sculpt on the trench coat is punctuated by an outstanding paint job and wash that makes it look authentic. You can practically smell the old leather off of it. Even the pin striping on his trousers is immaculate.

As far as articulation goes, well you can never be sure what you’re going to get with DC Direct. In this case we got a semi-articulated statue. The torso and legs are totally static, with one foot placed slightly in front of the other, which makes him almost impossible to stand on his own. Rorschach’s head rotates left and right, but it’s slightly cocked to the side. A ball joint in the neck would have gone a long way. Finally, his arms rotate at the shoulders, swivel at the wrists and have hinges in the elbows. You can get a number of variable poses out of Rorschach, but he’s certainly more statue than action figure.

Rorschach comes with a swappable right hand and his trademark grapple gun. DCD might as well have just cast the gun and hand as one piece, but either way this is definitely my preferred way to display the figure. It still leaves his left hand balled in a fist for punching lowlifes. You also get a gantry-style figure stand with two loose pegs that you can position in three different holes. It’s not so much for customization but to allow DC Direct to use the same stand for all the figures. As indicated above, the stand is pretty essential if you want to keep Rorschach vertical.

Rorschach certainly is a great looking piece. DC Direct delivered a great sculpt and managed to capture the character wonderfully. Of course, a little more articulation would have gone a long way. He’s not only totally static outside his arms and neck; he can’t even stand without being plugged into his base. It makes Rorschach a great looking little statue to display, but he’s hardly an action figure, even by DCD’s limited standards.

But wait… there’s more! Rorschach was available in an exclusive variant edition as well. The variant is the same figure with a unique unmasked head, so everything I’ve been gassing on about holds true from the neck down. I have no plans on opening the variant anytime soon, but you can get a good idea what he’s all about from the in-package shots. He comes with the same stand and the same extra hand and grapple gun as the regular release. The head sculpt, sans mask and hat, is a solid enough likeness, but the paint work is rather bright and cartoonish, which doesn’t sit right on the portrait. I don’t think it’s quite on par with the likeness of Haley that NECA did for their pre-torched Freddy Krueger figure. The unmasked noggin looks a little bigger than the masked and hatted version, and in a perfect world, this head would have been swappable and included as an extra in the regular edition box.

Tomorrow, we’ll press on with the two versions of Dr. Manhattan…


Watchmen Week!

Alan Moore’s Watchmen has had a little resurgence as of late between the “Before Watchmen” books (which are surprisingly better than they have any right to be) and Matty Collector’s from-outta-nowhere “Club Black Freighter” figures, which are slated for next year. I was pretty close to subbing for those figures, but with the “Club Infinite Earth” sub in question at the time, it meant the possibility of paying $10 shipping per Watchmen figure if CIE didn’t go through. Ultimately I declined and as we all know now, CIE went through anyway. Way to cost yourselves a sub, Matty!

But that’s all fine and dandy because a short while ago I happened to pick up a complete set of DC Direct’s Watchmen line (Series 1 & 2, variants and all) for the mighty appetizing price of about six bucks a figure. As much as I’d like to have DCUC styled Watchmen, the DC Direct figures have a charm all of their own and these sure as hell didn’t set me back $25 each.

So, with The Watchmen suddenly somewhat topical again, I decided to devote a week to checking out the DC Direct figures. Of course, the really great thing about Watchmen Week, is it gives me today off because I’m going to start the week with a re-run. If you haven’t checked out my feature on DC Direct’s Comedian  go have a gander and start your Doomsday Clocks ticking. Meanwhile, I’m going to go pop in my Watchmen Blu-Ray, flip through my trade edition of the funnybook and get myself geared up for a week of Watchmen goodness.

I’ll be back tomorrow to check out Rorschach.

Watchmen: The Comedian by DC Direct

As much as I’d love to do another Cyberverse figure today, a promise is a promise, so I thought I’d mix things up just a bit with a random DC entry from off the top shelf of my toy room. You haven’t seen any Watchmen figures reviewed on FigureFan before because it took me a long time to come around and even give that movie a chance. I was actually pretty excited about it when we first heard it was being made, but then the changes started to filter down and I got really soured on it. Fast forward to late last year when someone gave me a copy of the Blu-Ray for Christmas. It sat unopened on my shelf for weeks until finally I had nothing else to do and gave it a go. Turns out I liked it quite a bit, and not soon after I picked up my first Watchman figure from the film.

It’s The Comedian! I’m pretty sure this is the first action figure based on a rapist that I own, although I’ve never been entirely certain what Freddy Kruger got up to with those kids before he murdered them, so maybe not. Ok, this is getting a little dark, so let’s take a look at the package. I don’t own a lot of DC Direct figures, but all the ones I have purchased were carded. Comedian, on the other hand, comes in a nice window box with an extended cardback to let it hang on a peg. The interior tray of the box is printed with a graffitied wall, which makes for a nice backdrop to display the figure against. The back panel of the box shows the other figures available in this two series line.

DC Direct’s figures usually feature excellent sculpts, but I’m extra impressed with the job they did on The Comedian. Besides being a genuinely good likeness to actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan they attention to the little details of his costume and gear is pretty exquisite and the tiny cigar sculpted into his mouth is just the icing on the cake. His shoulder armor is hinged so as not to interfere with the arm articulation and he has two sculpted holsters on his belt to hold his trusty sidearms. The paintwork on my figure is razor sharp to match the sculpt. You have to look really hard to see any signs of bleed or slop.

The Comedian comes with his two automatic pistols, which fit in the aforementioned holsters or in his hands. The sculps and paintwork on these weapons hold up with the rest of the figure. He also comes with a display stand. I’m not really crazy about the stand. It’s just too small for him, but I won’t complain about getting it. Although a shotgun would have been more welcome.

If you’re familiar with DC Direct’s figures than you know not to expect a super articulated figure, but with 13 useful points of articulation, Comedian has much better poseability than I’m used to seeing in these figures. The arms feature ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows and swivel cuts to the wrists; his legs rotate at the hips, are hinged at the knees, and feature swivel cuts just above the boots. There’s no articulation in his torso, but his neck is ball jointed.

Comedian is the only Watchman figure I own and that’s mostly because I just stumbled upon him on clearance, but he’s definitely inspired me to hunt down some of the other figures in the line when I get the chance. DC Direct’s figures seldom disappoint me, but the overal quality on this guy has just blown me away.