The Good: Cool sculpt, Good articulation, Neat accessories, Fine balance
The Bad: Utterly worthless alternate head, Collectible value
The Basics: The Deadman action figure from Brightest Day is all right, but has some silly flaws and is not the ideal Deadman Brightest Day action figure!
Note To DC Direct: I respect how ballsy it is to begin an action figure like when you do not know how well the comic book series it is in support of will do. After all, the Blackest Night Saga was a huge commercial success that spawned eight series of exceptionally popular action figures as well as a limited edition boxed set. So, committing to the Brightest Day Saga with three lines of action figures of, frankly, obscure characters was a risk that was pretty ballsy. I respect that. Even so, it seems you could have hedged your bets a bit better by creating some figures that were unique or truly impressive in the Brightest Day Saga. Chief among them would be a White Lantern Deadman or Boston Brand action figure. Why the Brightest Day Deadman is this particular action figure remains something of a mystery to me. Also, because I’m flattering myself with the idea that someone from DC Direct might actually be reading this: Justice League: Generation Lost action figures, please!!!!!!
For those unfamiliar with him, Deadman is the alter ego of Boston Brand, who is the primary hero of the main story of Brightest Day (Volume 1 is reviewed here!). Spending most of his time in the Saga as a White Lantern, the resurrected Boston Brand still bears a White ring of power and he is on a quest to find who will be the White Lantern.
It is the fleshed out version of Boston Brand in his daredevil costume and mask that is the subject of the DC Direct figure!
The Deadman figure is exceptionally well-detailed, in both the sculpt and the coloring, though the coloring is very basic. This figure is essentially a muscular daredevil with a white mask with its mouth sewn up, dressed in a circus outfit that also includes a White Ring of power. The Deadman figure is 6 7/8" tall from his feet to the top of his bald head. The Deadman figure with the white ring is available only from DC Direct.
This toy is an incredible sculpt, especially for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Deadman looks good in all three dimensions. This version of Deadman is muscled and has his chest exposed. The facial sculpt includes a real sense of tension, as if Boston Brand is beneath the mask, straining to speak.
Deadman's costume features strong monotone colors: this is a very dark red with brighter red for the gloves and boots. The white-gray of the figure’s chest and face work for the character, which is how it gets away with the monotones for the flesh. The white ring on Deadman’s right hand is appropriately white!
Deadman, resurrected hero, comes with a number of accessories, including his stand, a white lantern, the alternate Boston Brand head, and the mask as an accessory. The stand is a white disk with the White Lantern logo. It is 3 3/4" in diameter and 1/4” tall and it has a peg that plugs into the hole in Deadman’s right foot to keep the figure perfectly stable.
The white lantern is a white version of the usual Lantern accessory with the handle. Pearlescent white and clear, the handle detaches occasionally from the lantern itself, and it fits nicely in Deadman’s left hand.
The mask accessory is molded to be held by the figure’s left hand as well. Molded to look like the mask is being held and it is limp, the mask accessory has a back that is specially molded for a specific pose for the accessory. The mask accessory seems designed for use in conjunction with the Boston Brand head.
The Boston Brand head is an unmasked, human male head. With blue eyes with black pupils, a pair of pink lips and brown and black hair, the alternate head is perfectly rendered in both sculpt and coloring. The Deadman head pops off and the alternate head easily may be popped onto the figure. This figure looks utterly ridiculous in that form. DC Direct should have made the figure with a chest section that was removable instead of just the head. As it is, the human colored head on the white body looks silly.
The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play and the Deadman figure works well for both. He has amazing balance on or off his stand, though he works best flatfooted when off his stand.
Deadman comes with fifteen points of articulation, which is pretty awesome, even by today's standards. Deadman has articulation at the shins, knees, groin socket, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists and head. The shoulders are proper ball and socket joints. The head is on a ball joint, which allows the hero to nod up and down as well as look left to right!
The Deadman is part of the DC Direct Brightest Day Series 1 line which was fairly common and seemed to be populated by less popular characters from the DC Universe. Because Deadman is an obscure character in an obscure story, I suspect this figure will not appreciate, largely because a year after its release, I was able to buy one in an auction, uncontested, for only a dollar!
Despite loving Boston Brand and the Brightest Day story, I wanted just a little bit more out of the Deadman figure, though it is a pretty wonderful toy!
For other DC Direct figures, please check out my reviews of:
Blackest Night Wave 5 Black Lantern Deadman
Justice The Joker
Green Lantern Wave 3 Cyborg Superman
For other toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.