Advanced solicited for a release in January 2008, DC Direct has unveiled the latest action figures from based the Alex Ross maxi-series on the Justice League called Justice. This set features armoured versions of Aquaman and Superman, as well as Gorilla Grodd and Green Lantern John Stewart. The problem with some of those figures is that they are not based on Alex Ross’ work.
Both Gorilla Grodd and John Stewart are remoulds of existing action figures released by DC Direct previously. While the head sculpt for Gorilla Grodd is new, the rest of the apian’s body is based on the first Gorilla Grodd action figure released in 2001. As for John Stewart, like previous action figures based on the character, he appears to be a Frankenstein of several older models. His head is from the first John Stewart action figure whose body was based on the Hard Travelling Hero Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Although the body used for the new John Stewart action figure is undetermined, it is quite possible that it based on the existing Green Lantern Hal Jordan action figure, from the Justice series.
While reusing older mould to build new figures allow new characters to find material from characters whose toys are long out of production, and is also a smart business decision to make, marketing these toys as inspired by the work of an artist, while they are not, is a misrepresentation. While Gorilla’s head may be inspired from Alex Ross, his body was not. And while John Stewart’s body was probably inspired by Alex Ross’ work, somehow, his head was not.
The Justice Series could be one of the best sellers for DC Direct so inserting random action figures in that line that would be hard to sell elsewhere is commendable, but the very value and quality of the line suffer if non Alex Ross-based products are pushed in. There is a possibility that parts from the other action figures in that series, Aquaman and Superman were farmed out from other non Alex Ross products, but it is unclear, based on the image provided. One thing is certain, the trident that Aquaman is holding is definitely the same one the Silver Age and the JLA Aquaman had.