HAL JORDAN — CLASSIC
GREEN LANTERN CORPS (DC DIRECT)
“Armed with the miraculous Power Ring that makes his every thought a reality, Hal Jordan left behind a heroic legacy that will never be forgotten.”
Every so often, I like to remind my faithful readers that I was, at least at one point in time, a really, really big Green Lantern fan. It’s rare that you get to be a fan of something both before AND after it was cool, you know? Amongst Green Lantern fans, everyone’s got their personal favorite Lantern, be they human or alien. A lot of people rag on Hal Jordan, but he’s still my favorite, which is why I own 54 action figures of him. Today, I’ll be looking at one of my earlier Jordan figures, who hails from DC Direct’s long run of DC figures!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Classic Hal Jordan was released in the third series of DC Direct’s Green Lantern Corps line, alongside Guy Gardner and…Effigy? Yeah, okay. This was the fourth Hal Jordan figure DCD offered, and the first not to just be a straight repaint of the “Hard Traveling Heroes” figure. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation. This figure hit just as DCD started experimenting with articulation. It’s basic, but it works, and doesn’t impede the quality of the sculpt. Hal sported an all-new sculpt, based on the artwork of Gil Kane, who designed Hal and drew his very first appearance in Showcase #22, as well as handling the art on 69 of the first 75 issues of Hal’s solo title. Kane had a rather distinctive take on Hal, and I believe this is the only time we’ve gotten a figure based directly on Kane’s work, in general. The sculpt does a decent enough job of translating Kane’s renditions of Hal into three dimensions; he’s definitely been cleaned up a little bit, but I like to think of this as a “cover” Hal, as opposed to an “interior” Hal. The body’s a little stiff, but thankfully predates DCD’s move to odd pre-posing, so it’s pretty exceptible. The head sports some really nice work, and I like that they really nailed the shape of Hal’s hair. It’s all flippy in the front, just as it should be. Hal’s paint is pretty decent. It’s pretty simple, but that’s appropriate for this style of figure. The application’s all pretty clean, and I particularly like that they got the appropriate version of his insignia, as it was a bit different when Kane was drawing him. When Kane drew him, Hal was frequently shown with visible pupils, which aren’t seen here. Admittedly, it’s hard to get the pupils to not look really goofy, and it was about 50/50 as to whether they’d be there or not, so it’s hardly like they’re inaccurate. Maybe an extra head would have been cool, but that was hardly a common-place idea when this figure was released. Hal was packed with his lantern-shaped Power Battery, which, like his insignia, replicates the more unique shaping seen in Kane’s illustrations. Also, here’s a fun fact: Hal was released during the brief period of time that DCD was doing their resealable clamshell packaging idea. I always really liked it, but I guess it wasn’t cost effective, since it was worked out by the end of 2003.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This Hal hit during a time when getting any Green Lantern at all was a pretty big deal, so I was pretty pumped for his release. He’s I think my second or third proper Hal Jordan GL. I got him from Phoenix Comics, which was a really neat little comic store that I’m not even sure is still around. He was still a relatively new figure at the time and they were even selling him for a little below the going rate for DCD figures at the time. He’s a pretty solid figure, even 14 years after his release, and a really great recreation of the early Hal Jordan appearances.