DC Comics’ toy and statue division DC Direct has been around for 11 years now. Lately, their MO has been to put out figures based on specific artist interpretations of our favorite characters, but it wasn’t always so. The company got its start putting out figures based on WildStorm and Vertigo properties and then moved on the superheros, but there were some definitely missteps along the way and we think it’s time to get some redesigns on our favorite characters, hopefully with an eye towards the artists who made them famous.
10. BIRDS OF PREY
Yeah, we know the Birds aren’t active at the moment, but how rad would it be to have a sexy 3-pack based on the artwork of Ed Benes, Greg Land or Nicola Scott? The answer is “super rad.” Of course, you’d also have to update the costumes and maybe throw a Batgirl costume under Barbra Gordon’s civies as a nod to her history.
Yeah, we’ve got a solid Kid Flash figure already from DCD, but children of the 90s like myself demand a better Impulse figure. First off, he should be based on Humberto Ramos or Ethan Van Sciver art. Second, he shouldn’t fall down all the time, a common problem with this particular figure because his feet aren’t big enough.
8. TOM STRONG
Everyone loves Alan Moore and his America’s Best Comics imprint that is seemingly dead as of now. It started as a WildStorm imprint and then, when DC bought WildStorm, they also bought the ability to make figures of books like Promethea and Tom Strong. Unfortunately, this figure kind of looks like two tree trunks were glued onto an even bigger tree trunk. Nowadays, figures are made so the joints aren’t as obvious and Tom here would greatly benefit from some joint-hiding. And while you’re re-sculpting, throw in a little more Chris Sprouse style into that bad boy.
7. MIDNIGHTER/THE AUTHORITY
No other super team has made quite the ruckus that The Authority has since Warren Ellis spawned them from the pages of WildStorm’s StormWatch back in 1999, yet the same can’t be said of the action figure interpretations of said team. Take Midnighter here for instance, there’s nothing particularly wrong with him, but he could look so much cooler if designed to look like a piece of Bryan Hitch or Frank Quitely art. The same goes for the rest of the existing figures (Apollo, The Engineer and Jenny Sparx). I could see a multi-wave line done on The Authority or even an extended World of WildStorm one.
6. ULTRA BOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
The Legion is another team that sorely deserves some action figure upgrades, though it’s even sadder considering they’ve been around for 51 years. Ultra Boy’s the worst of the bunch, which also includes Colossal Boy, Timberwolf, Ferro Lad, Invisible Kid, Sun Boy, Chameleon Boy, Star Boy and Mordru. Just look at how thin and frail he looks! We’re talking about Jo Nah here folks, the dude with all of Superman’s powers, but he can only use them one at a time. He should look ripped! All will be immediately forgiven once we get our multiple box sets featuring Legions of all three worlds. That should be fairly simple, right?
As a longtime Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis/Kevin Maguire Justice League fan, I was crazy-excited when I heard that DC Direct had plans to create a line based on Maguire’s art that would include G’Nort, the alien dog Green Lantern who’s no good at everything! The problem is that they seemingly used Maguire’s current art style instead of his classic, which resulted in this strange fat-faced, yet regal version of G-money that looks nothing like his comic book appearances. Me and the other G’Nort fan were pretty upset.
It took every ounce of restraint I have to not put Jack Knight at the number one spot on the list because James Robinson’s Starman is one of my all time favorite series’ in the history of comic book series’. Anyway, like many of the early DCD figures, Jack here has very few points of articulation and he’s posed in an awkward manner that’s supposed to showcase his light-up Cosmic Staff!!! So, when re-doing this figure, keep that cool action feature, but just make the figure bigger, bolder and more Tony Harris like and Jack Knight fans will be in heaven (you’ve even got the Starman Omnibi coming out, so it’s kind of timely).
3. SGT. ROCK
Two words: Joe Kubert. Yes the recently released 13-inch Sgt. Rock figure is cool, but we need, no DEMAND, a figure of Easy Company’s leader as Kubert drew him. The legend deserves a legendary figure designed by the legend himself.
Morpheus of the Dreaming may be the most famous Goth this side of Robert Smith and yet he’s still lacking an awesome 6-inch scale figure. Like Sgt. Rock, Vertigo’s Sandman recently got inducted into the 13-inch scale line, but Neil Gaiman’s strange brainchild needs a place on our shelves along with the rest. As you can see, the original had some pretty solid accessories, but it’s time for an update. And since there were so many different artists on Sandman you can just make a box set with various interpretations from artists like Chris Bacchalo, Mike Allred, Kelley Jones and Jill Thompson. Then feel free to make a set of the Dreaming in another set. They would look fantastic next to our Absolute Sandman hardcovers.
You know how I said I had to restrain myself from putting Jack Knight in this spot? Well, I had to put my favorite series of all time on the top of the list. DC Direct did four figures in the Preacher line: Jesse Custer, Tulip, Cassidy the vampire and The Saint Of Killers. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s 66-issue Preacher is a fantastic piece of fiction with killer covers by Glen Fabry and yet you get an action figure of the ultra sexy and dangerous Tulip…in mom jeans. What about the orange dress? Or, you know, NOT MOM JEANS. A full-on new sculpt for all the major players is completely necessary–especially with Dillon’s iconic facial expressions–and throw in penis-headed Herr Starr and ass faced Arse Face for a super-solid line of Vertigo figures.