Sunday, May 27, 2012

One Severe Defect Makes The Blackest Night Black Lantern Deadman VERY Hard To Recommend!

The Good: Cool sculpt, Good use of the stand
The Bad: Terrible articulation, No balance/poseability off the stand, Collectible value
The Basics: As excited as I was by the Black Lantern Deadman action figure, the execution of this Blackest Night figure is a real letdown!

I can think of few minor-character Blackest Night action figures I was more excited about picking up than the Black Lantern Deadman. As a fan of the Brightest Day Saga that followed Blackest Night, I grew to really love the character of Boston Brand. So, getting the undead, malevolent form of him seemed like a great idea as I am hoping that DC Direct someday gets around to making a White Lantern Boston Brand/Deadman figure.

For those unfamiliar with him, Black Lantern Deadman is the Black Ring tainted version of Boston Brand, seen very briefly in Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Volume 1 (reviewed here!). Quickly put down, he offers the heroes some clues as to what the Black Lanterns are actually doing and made of.

It is the skeletal remains of Boston Brand in his Black Lantern costume that is the subject of the DC Direct figure!


The Black Lantern Deadman figure is exceptionally well-detailed, in both the sculpt and the coloring. This figure is essentially a skeleton that is dressed in a superhero outfit that has been altered by the Black Ring. The Black Lantern Deadman figure is 7 3/4" tall from the tip of his pointed toes to the top of the extended collar. The Black Lantern Deadman figure is available only from DC Direct.

This toy is an incredible sculpt, especially for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Black Lantern Deadman looks good in all three dimensions. DC Direct made the chest cavity of the skeletal Black Lantern Deadman look realistic by giving it exceptional depth between each rib. The costume looks like a demented acrobat’s outfit, which it is supposed to, and the figure is molded as a skeleton with bracelets for the arms, exposed chest and head. The DC Direct molding of the Black Lantern Deadman actually manages to make the eyes look malicious and create the grin in a way that makes the figure look vicious!

Black Lantern Deadman's costume features strong monotone colors: this is a very sharp black and silver contrasting figure. The mottling on the bones makes them look both aged and accurate and that is an incredible detail. This is one of the best-colored figures in the line! Even the black ring on the right middle finger of the figure is appropriately colored!


Black Lantern Deadman, completely dead villain who floats, comes with only one accessory, his stand. The stand is a black and white disk with the Black Lantern logo. It is 3 3/4" in diameter and 1/4” tall and it features a 5” tall wire stand that plugs into the hole in Black Lantern Deadman's back. This gives him the appearance of levitating with his feet about 1/4" off the base.


The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play and the Black Lantern Deadman is the ultimate extension of that. Utterly unable to stand because of how the toes are molded facing down, this figure must be displayed on his stand or he completely falls over.

Black Lantern Deadman comes with only five points of articulation, which is completely lame, even by today's standards. Black Lantern Deadman has articulation at the shoulders, wrists and head. The shoulders are proper ball and socket joints. The head is on a ball joint, which allows the villain to nod up and down as well as look left to right!

What loses this figure my recommendation is in the legs. Both thighs have a seam right above the knees that looks just like a point of articulation. It is, however, not. Trying to turn the leg at this point will tear off your Black Lantern Deadman’s leg and I have news for you, DC Direct’s customer service sucks; they do not have a customer service department to deal with people! That means, if you twist off your Black Lantern Deadman’s leg and you bought the figure on eBay or through, you’re pretty much screwed. No one will help you.


The Black Lantern Deadman is part of the DC Direct Blackest Night Series 5 line which was fairly common and seemed to be populated by characters fans were not immediately drawn to. The Black Lantern Deadman is one of the least-recognizable characters in the wave. Given that the Black Lantern Batman and the villain Nekron were in the Series 5 line, Black Lantern Deadman is largely being overlooked. Because the Black Lantern Deadman is an obscure character in an obscure corner of the story, I suspect this figure will not appreciate, save among fans of the DC Direct figures who take their figures out. Then, invariably, there will be a rush on the market as more and more people accidentally snap their legs off the figure, desperately try to get some satisfaction from DC Direct and are informed that they basically have to suck it up and buy another.

When that happens, the price on these will appreciate. Otherwise, it is likely to remain one of the least expensive figures in the Blackest Night line.


Despite loving Boston Brand, the critical flaw in the Black Lantern Deadman design makes it virtually impossible to recommend this figure.

For other Blackest Night figures, please check out my reviews of:
Wave 8 Black Lantern Black Flash
Wave 8 Indigo Tribe The Atom
Wave 7 Arkillo
Wave 7 Red Lantern Mera
Wave 6 Blue Lantern The Flash
Wave 6 Star Sapphire Wonder Woman
Wave 5 Nekron
Wave 2 Indigo-1
Wave 1 Saint Walker


For other toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page!

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