Since discovering Green Lantern Hal Jordan's popularity, DC Direct has decided to milk the character by offering many variant action figures, such as the younger Green Lantern- Hal Jordan. For many, this figure is another apology figure by DC Direct. As anyone knows, apology figures are usually well designed pieces of redundant plastic.
Increasingly, Hal Jordan and other Green Lanterns are becoming icons. Alan Scott plush dolls are available. John Stewart is the Green Lantern of the next generation of DC Comics fans. Action figures about Green Lantern related characters are often released. DCDirect even has a variety of Hal Jordan to draw from to create new action figures, much like Batman and Superman.
This Hal Jordan is based on Gil Kane's Silver Age design. His cheekbones are plumped. His body is sleek. He has no six pack abdomen and no green shoulder pads. This is a younger Jordan. The only difference is the lack of eye lids. The original Silver Age Green Lantern had some in his first adventures.
The earlier Hard Travelling Hero Hal Jordan, and the Silver Age version look like two different characters. Only strong characters can have so much differences in interpretations. Both versions are equally legitimate to fans and creators. This is a wonderful thing for the character and collector. Unlike the Flash, Hal Jordan is a now a full-fledge character independent of his powers.
As a good apology figure, Hal Jordan is well sculpted and comes in a stern pose. He is ready to be fully articulated in any position, unlike the previous version. The figure's musculature is developed but not over bearing. All his proportions are clean and well crafted. Again this figure looks much better than the other one. No arms are sticking out in weird positions.
A problem with this figure is the area around the jaw area near the ears. The figure's head is independent from the neck. It is attached at the top of the neck. In many figures, the jaw lines up to the ears from the lower part of the head. When connected to the neck, there is no cut. Here, there is uncovered space near the hairline and the area under the ears. It looks awkward and bad.
The paint job on this figure is very simple. The only highlight is on his lips. However, I have serious concerns about the white on the Green Lantern's logo. The white paint used looks thin. One can almost see through the green matte underneath. If you rub it, it will quickly fade. Also, unlike the first Hal Jordan, there are no streaks of brown or highlights in the figure's hair.
Hal Jordan's scale is perfect. He matches very well the Silver Age Aquaman, although he is taller than the Hard Travelling Hero Jordan. He is taller than Hawkman, but again, that is all right. The figure's head seems quite large when put next to the Silver Age Batman, whom he towers. Obviously, Guy Gardner fits perfectly with this Hal Jordan.
At first glance, this figure seems solid enough, but beware. Hal Jordan likes to fall face down. Unless his knees are bent a bit, his center of balance will be push forward. With nothing to counter balance his back, he will fall down. Because of the new paint coating used, his finish will look scratched when that happens. Hal Jordan stands s the best when put on a stand with pegs.
The articulations on this figure deserve their apology status. They are perfect and plenty. A major criticism of the previous Green Lanterns was the lack of rotation for the ring-holding hand. Well both of Hal's hands can twist. He can mimic several popular Green Lantern moves such as recharging his ring. This Hal Jordan also has ball jointed shoulders and a T-crotch.
The plastic used on this figure seems heavier than the usual DCDirect figure. This is why the figure has problem standing up. The plastic looks more solid, even when paint scratches seem more prone to happen.
Hal Jordan comes with a new Green Lantern battery, often called by fans the Abin Sur type. It has a large opening on a single side. It is more reminiscent of the Alan Scott lantern than the other models. It's a very good thing for DCDirect to offer this new lantern. Of course, a standard all size PVC ring comes with the set. I now have enough of those to open a store.
Hal Jordan came in the new re-sealable package. While those are easier to open than past ones and take less place, for collectors who like to keep action figures unopened, they are not environmentally friendly. The clear plastic packaging used is not accepted by all recyclable waste facilities.
The figure can be packed back in the package at will. This is bad news for moc action figure collectors. It is almost impossible to tell whether the package has been tempered with. The package comes with tiny DC Direct stickers that have a tendency of sticking out, even when the package is new. Unless you buy your Hal Jordan from a retailer, you will not know if it is moc.
Hal Jordan costs like most single packed DCDirect action figures. Again the price on each item depends on the retailer and DCDirect's unwillingness to set a price for its action figures.
Every Hal Jordan action figure released has been a commercial success for DCDirect. Many variants of the old, less than optimal Hard Travelling Hero figure were created and most eventually sold out. DCDirect introduces new runs of the character often. Hal Jordan's popularity has spawned a whole sub family of action figures under the Green Lantern banner.
This is a popular item. Expect this figure to sell out faster than others because of its quality and the avid and large Green Lantern fan base. This figure will also be popular with Silver Age collectors who seem to make up a large sub component of the total DC Direct market.
Also, expect DC Direct to introduce variations based on this new sculpt. For example, it is still unclear whether the Superfriends Hal Jordan is based on this sculpt. It quite likely that the body is the same. We know DC Direct will eventually introduce a version with shoulder pads with a modern power battery prop. They may even try a Hard Travelling Hero one!
Update February 6 2005:
This figure has sold out from Diamond Comics, the exclusive distributor of this action figure.