Sunday, March 18, 2012

Helping To Bring About The End Of The Blackest Night Through Compassion, The Indigo Tribe The Atom Figure Stands Up!

The Good: Good sculpt, Decent Accessory, Good coloring, Good balance
The Bad: Terrible collectible value, Somewhat uninspired subject.
The Basics: Far from the most impressive or recognizable hero – even in Blackest Night - the DC Direct Indigo Tribe The Atom figure is actually, objectively, pretty cool.

Not nearly long enough ago, I upset my amazing wife a little bit. She has been enjoying exploring her artwork and I have been doing all that I can to support her. And yet, despite us promising to be done with things like monthly anniversaries, I keep finding things I know she wants or I think she would like and I bestow gifts upon her. She, loving partner that she is, works very hard to reciprocate but I don’t always have the cheapest tastes. So, when she was going through the current catalogue of DC Direct action figures I had an interest in, I inadvertently upset her when I bought a few on deep sale because I had the money, rather than letting her buy some and have gifts to give me. The one that really seemed to upset her for me picking up was the Blackest Night Indigo Tribe The Atom action figure.

For those unfamiliar with him, the Indigo Tribe The Atom is Professor Ray Palmer as he appeared near the climax of Blackest Night (reviewed here!). Granted an indigo ring and inducted into the largely alien Indigo Tribe that is powered by the energy of compassion, Palmer transforms and helps to push back the forces of Nekron and bring life back to the Universe.

It is The Atom in his altered outfit, shirtless with Lantern-powered tattoos, that is the subject of the DC Direct action figure of the character and it is, objectively, a pretty decent figure. The character may be somewhat unremarkable and the appeal may be exceptionally limited, but the figure looks remarkably good.


The Indigo Tribe The Atom figure is a perfect sculpt of an utterly obscure character. The compassionate version of the obscure scientist man alive stands 6 3/4" tall to the top of the figure's head. The Indigo Tribe The Atom figure is available from DC Direct, though there is a lesser DC Universe version of the figure now on the market as well.

On the sculpt front, this version of the Atom looks exactly as he does in the pages of Blackest Night. For any issues I might have with the artwork, especially making Ray Palmer look ridiculously young, the figure captures what is in the artwork perfectly. Altered by his Indigo Ring and influenced by the designs from the tribal world he ran away to, this version of The Atom is barechested with a necklace, shoulder guard and heavy bracers. He wears layered boots and a giant belt with a rubbery, soft plastic loincloth descending from it. DC Direct molded this version of The Atom immaculately, from the ring on his right fist’s middle finger to the fingernails on each digit, this looks just like the altered version of The Atom. He even has tiny nipples molded on and the ties on his boots are present!

As for coloring, Ray Palmer altered to be the Indigo Tribe Atom looks pretty ridiculous. That, however, is not the fault of the sculptors or toy manufacturers. The red and indigo leggings look somewhat silly, but DC Direct colored this figure perfectly. His jewelry is bronze and looks worn, his accents are colored in and he even has the appropriate tattoos painted on his chest and arms. With tiny indigo eyes with black pupils and thin pink lips, this is an exceptionally colored action figure!


Indigo Tribe The Atom, sudden acolyte of hope in an embattled universe, comes with only two accessories. He has his stand and his Indigo Tribe Power Battery, in the form of a pretty cool staff. The stand is an indigo and white disk with the Indigo Tribe logo. It is 3 3/4" in diameter and 1/4” tall and it has a single peg which plugs into the hole in Indigo Tribe The Atom's right foot. He is completely stable, at least on his base.

The Indigo Tribe The Atom also comes with an Indigo Tribe battery, which is a staff, a very different design for the compassionate warriors. The staff is 7 1/8” long with an indigo-colored orb molded into the top of the staff. The tapered staff fits perfectly into Palmer’s left hand.


The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play and this is good, but not flawless for this figure. On the negative side, the Indigo Tribe Atom has mediocre balance, even when he is flatfooted. Unfortunately, though, because he lacks a hinge joint on the ankle, the Indigo Tribe The Atom figure is annoyingly limited in his posing and cannot even be posed to make terribly outlandish poses without tipping over. On the stand, though, the Indigo Tribe The Atom is a very stable action figure.

The Indigo Tribe The Atom comes with thirteen points of articulation, which is very good, especially for a DC Direct figure. The Indigo Tribe The Atom has joints at the calves, knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists and head. The shoulders are proper ball and socket joints, while the elbows and knees are both hinge joints. The head is on a ball and socket joint, which allows him to look in virtually any direction! The soft plastic loincloth does not inhibit any of the leg movement.


Indigo Tribe The Atom is part of the DC Direct Blackest Night Series 8 line which was fairly common, though it was usually only distributed through comic book shops and specialty stores like FYE. Indigo Tribe The Atom is one of the many heroes in the Blackest Night line, but he seems to be the Justice League hero most fans were utterly unenthusiastic about. The Indigo Tribe The Atom figure is unique to this series and has not appreciated at all in value. In fact, the fact that I could find one for less than ten dollars online (including the shipping) pretty well indicates how hard of a time poor Professor Palmer is having in the marketplace!

This is unlikely to be a good investment figure.


Indigo Tribe The Atom is a very cool figure, even if the subject matter is not likely to thrill collectors or fans as much as most of the other figures in the line. DC Direct made the figure very well, regardless of all other factors!

For other Blackest Night figures, please check out my reviews of:
Wave 7 Arkillo
Wave 6 Blue Lantern The Flash
Wave 6 Star Sapphire Wonder Woman
Wave 5 Nekron
Wave 1 Saint Walker


For other toy reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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