GREEN LANTERN (2006)
I received a shipment of 45 awesome Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. figures earlier this week and I had planned to post a couple reviews this weekend. I may still get to them tomorrow but today I want to talk about this Green Lantern figure instead. Though that’s not entirely true. What I really want to talk about is the man whose artwork this figure is based on, Darwyn Cooke.
Last night before I went to bed I read online that Darywn Cooke had cancer. This morning I woke up and read that he had passed away. That really sucked.
Darwyn was one of my favorite comic book artists and he was a great writer too. I had seen his artwork a couple of times in single issues of Spider-Man and X-Force but it wasn’t until my friend Dave at Strange Adventures put a copy DC: A New Frontier in my hands a decade ago that I truly appreciated Cooke’s genius. He wrote and drew the out-of-continuity tale set at the end of the Golden Age of comics and it is one of the best comics I’ve ever read. Like Star Wars or Indiana Jones it made me nostalgic for a time I never personally knew. Even when it was brand new it felt classic and timeless. You could tell Darwyn really loved super heroes and he respected the history of the characters.
He had a cartoony style and his drawings looked clean and effortless. I suppose that’s why his style translated into animation so well when New Frontier was adapted into an animated movie. All of DC’s animated movies are direct-to-video but I had the pleasure of seeing a theatrical screening of New Frontier with Darwyn in attendance. That’s because he lived here in Nova Scotia and was a good friend to the guys at Strange Adventures. They even attended his wedding in Las Vegas a few years back. Darwyn was a regular at the shop and its many events like Free Comic Book Day. Even though I was a huge fan of his work I don’t like playing the role of fanboy so I never stood in line for an autograph even though I had many opportunities to do so. But one day he was in the shop just hanging out when I was there shopping. We were the only customers in the store at the time. I bought a hardcover copy of his book Parker: The Hunter and I asked him if he’d mind signing it. He graciously did so and even drew a little sketch on the inside cover. I talked about that and included a picture in this previous post.
I didn’t know the man but some of my good friends knew him well and I know they’re hurting today. So I would just like to pass along my condolences to his friends and family and my friends Dave, Cal, Sean, Ben, Kate, etc.
As for this figure, it was produced by DC Direct in 2006 in the first wave of figures based on Darwyn’s mini series. There were a total of 9 figures released over two waves. In hindsight I should have bought them all but I only picked up three: Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Dr. Fate. Though there is another series of figures based on Darwyn’s art coming out soon and I already have them pre-ordered on BigBadToyStore. Green Lantern was one of the main stars of New Frontier. I never cared for the character before then but it made me like him and opened my mind up enough to try his on-going series that had been relaunched around the same time. I’ve been a Green Lantern collector ever since and he’s now one of my favorite DC characters.
I think the sculptor did a brilliant job of capturing Darwyn’s style. The figure is blocky and angular yet sleek and dynamic. The head sculpt is especially impressive with that smug smirk on his face and windblown hair. Plus I love the retro costume design that looks like an old-timey bathing suit.
For accessories, Green Lantern came with his lantern, an unmasked head, and a New Frontier display base. The base is much bulkier than most which gives the figure the appearance of a mini statue. I appreciate the inclusion of the unmasked face but I prefer the masked one.