Thursday, June 11, 2009

Make These Action Figures II

I had a good time with this the first time around, so let's give it another go...

As he was customizing a USAgent figure for the latest Marvel Super Heroes: What The--?!, Alex Kropinak made me aware of something I did not know: there is no existing USAgent figure (hence, y'know, why he had to customize one). That is of course madness, as despite being an off-kilter Republican and the favorite character of Arune Singh, USAgent is a brutally cool looking character. Captain America's iconic costume is one of comics' true classics (there's a reason it wasn't updated for nearly sixty years), but when Steve Rogers temporarily became The Captain, his togs got a slick redesign that was more a coat of black paint and some tweaks than a full reinvention. When Steve went back to being Cap proper, John Walker inherited the new gear as USAgent and I would love to be able to pose those two side-by-side on my shelf.

The Golden Age
One of my favorite stories of all-time, James Robinson's classic Elseworlds epic The Golden Age had a sprawling, colorful cast of characters who could support a whole series of action figures for several years. While Robinson's encyclopedic knowledge of those great 40's characters and his ability to drag them into the modern day as three-dimensional, complicated characters were a big part of what made Golden Age work, another key component was Smith doing the finest work of his career, taking classic designs and breathing new life into them with craftsmanship and flair. Just like there have been DC Direct lines specifically modeled after art done by artists from Jack Kirby to Ed McGuinness to Shane Davis over the past few years, a Golden Age line based on Smith's work would be just keen; for the first line I'll take Green Lantern, Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Dynaman and Manhunter.

The cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe is a source of vast untapped potential that I'm sure makes toy and statue designers salivate. While I've certainly got my fingers crossed for a modern Nova figure somewhere down the line, the updated Drax designed by the awesome Mitch Breitweiser would also be a great place to start. It would be a neat-looking figure that would stand out in most collections and could also come with some fairly badass accessories considering the cool knives Drax carries around to do his business. If we're looking at a line, alongside Drax include Star-Lord, Gamora, cosmic Ultron and Rocket Raccoon.

Given the popularity of Grant Morrison's JLA run, I'm honestly surprised one of his coolest creations, the villainous Prometheus, has never gotten any merchandise. I mean look at the guy: it's like Howard Porter designed him thinking, "Hey, this would be a cool action figure" (and maybe he was). He's got a quirky costume with a neat weapon and the potential for rad extras like making the helmet removable or giving it a "port" to put little fighting skills discs in. Prometheus had a bit of a rough spell for the last few years, getting treated more or less as a joke, which probably hurt his chances to get that elusive figure, but now he's back on top and seemingly positioned for big things ahead, so let's make this happen.

I was initially thinking about how I just wanted a figure of Captain Britain in his new costume, but then I realized there really aren't any members of MI13 I don't think I'd at least consider buying. I'd love a modern Blade, Pete Wisdom is such an offbeat choice I'd dig it, Spitfire has a simple but great look, Faiza is somewhere along the same lines as Pete, and I think the Black Knight may already have a figure, but I've always been a fan of his visuals and would gladly take another. Heck, toss in Meggan and Dracula and you've got a sweet box set!

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