Saturday, November 15, 2014

Stiff Joints Rob The Red Lantern Atrocitus Blackest Night Figure Of His Wrath!

The Good: Good sculpt, Decent Accessory, Generally good coloring
The Bad: Poor balance, Poor articulation, Mismatched colors
The Basics: Atrocitus burst into Blackest Night as an antagonist, but the Blackest Night Series 1 Red Lantern Atrocitus action figure is not quite strong enough to have the same level of impact!

For the past few years, since I started actively collecting action figures based upon the characters I actually have come to like from the DC Comics universe, the figure that I have long coveted has been Atrocitus. The graphic novel series Blackest Night is what got me into graphic novels and in addition to a growing Wonder Woman collection, I have found great enjoyment in collecting figures based upon some of the coolest characters in the DC Universe. The Red Lantern Corps leader, Atrocitus, certainly applies. So, when the Blackest Night Series 1 Red Lantern Atrocitus figure finally went down in price to a place where I could afford it, I was pretty thrilled to finally add it to my collection.

Unfortunately, the DC Direct Blackest Night Red Lantern Atrocitus figureis just not all that it could be.

For those unfamiliar with him Atrocitus is the leader of the Red Lanterns during the Blackest Night. First introduced in Rage Of The Red Lanterns (reviewed here!), Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns use the power of rage to try to exact revenge upon Sinestro and all those who have victimized others. Atrocitus is the leader of the Red Lantern Corps and is fueled by a fiery rage that does not abate. . . at least not until he got his own book after being robbed of getting vengeance on Krona!

It is Atrocitus in his iconic Red Lantern costume that is the subject of the DC Direct action figure of the character.


The Atrocitus figure is a dynamic-looking sculpt, though the figure outside the package is far less movable or balanced. Atrocitus has a decent amount of color to him, especially in the impressive head and hands, but the rest of the figure is predictably lacking any subtlety or shading. The vengeful alien stands 7 3/8" tall to the top of the figure's head. The Blackest Night Atrocitus figure is available only from DC Direct, though Mattel has since made a less cool-looking version of the character.

This toy is a decent sculpt, especially when one considers this is a very obscure character. Atrocitus looks like he is screaming in rage, his mouth open and facial muscles and tendons stretched taut. His hands are sculpted in a fist and in a claw that looks ready to tear out an adversary’s throat. He is tall and muscular-looking, appearing solid like a sadistic, hellish, linebacker. On his left hand, Atrocitus has very long fingers and the figure includes such molded details as his sharp fingernails and knuckles. Atrocitus’s teeth are sculpted to be tiny, pointed and realistically deadly in their appearance.

Atrocitus's costume is a very simple Red Lantern uniform and on the surface, this ruby and black outfit looks exceptional. The white Red Lantern symbol painted on the front of his chest looks fitting and the metallic coloring to the Red Lantern outfit makes Atrocitus look powerful. However, Atrocitus has shoulder/neck defenses in the form of a collar/shoulderpad ensemble. In addition to protecting his head from attacks from the rear and severely limiting Atrocitus’s head articulation, the collar section diminishes the look of the figure by virtue of being made out of an entirely different plastic. The matte red plastic exists in stark contrast to the cool-looking red metallic plastic that makes up the rest of the inorganic portions of Atrocitus and his costume.


Atrocitus, Leader of the Red Lanterns that he is, comes with only two accessories. He has his stand and his red lantern. The stand is a red and white disk with the Red Lantern logo. It is 3 3/4" in diameter and 1/4” tall and it has a single peg which plugs into the hole in Atrocitus's right foot. He is completely stable, but only when he is on his base.

Atrocitus also comes with a Red Lantern battery, which is molded to be in the same scale as the figure. His three-pointed battery is 1 3/4” tall and 1 1/4" wide and 1 1/2” deep. It looks like a classic lantern with cylindrical ends, save that it only has three points instead of four, and is molded bright metallic red. It matches the figure very well.


The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play, but Atrocitus is a bit underwhelming on both fronts. First, he has exceptionally poor balance, even when he is flatfooted. Because he lacks a hinge joint on the ankle, when off the stand, Atrocitus must be posed flatfooted and it is virtually impossible to get the figure to stand independently. Fortunately, the stand the figure comes with solves this problem, but even there, he cannot be posed in very dynamic poses.

Atrocitus comes with only eleven points of articulation, with many of the joints inhibited. Atrocitus has joints at the 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 simple swivel joint, which allows him only to look left to right! Because of the cuffs, shoulder pads and protective collar, the joints at the wrists, head and shoulders all have exceptionally limited mobility, so an ideal pose of Artocitus with his left hand up in a vengeful, “join me or die!” pose is impossible. He can, however, hold his red lantern in his hand!


Atrocitus is part of the DC Direct Blackest Night Series 1 line which was fairly common, but only because it was re-released, though it was usually only distributed through comic book shops. Atrocitus is one of the many villains in the Blackest Night line, but considering most of the figures in the line are undead versions of popular DC Universe characters, Atrocitus is one of the few original characters. The Atrocitus figure is unique to this series and is of the same stature of characters like the Orange Lantern Larfleeze or the Blue Lantern Saint Walker. Atrocitus has, for the most part, held his value over the years. While he is now available for under $50, his price does seem to fluctuate in that range more than be truly depressed. However, it seems like the figure is at its stable collector’s price and is unlikely to appreciate in value more.


Atrocitus is an awesome character and he deserved an awesome action figure. DC Direct got a lot right with the sculpt and base coloring of the villain, but fell through on the balance, articulation and collar coloring. The result is a highly-valued figure that is objectively more average than it is superlative.

For other figures based on leaders of Ring Corps’s, please check out my reviews of:
Blackest Night Series 1 Saint Walker
Blackest Night Series 2 Indigo-1
Blackest Night Series 3 Star Sapphire
Blackest Night Series 5 Nekron
Justice Sinestro


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

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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