The Vault is an exclusive feature of Project Action Figure; a set of non-promotional pictures of the release including the figure, accessories, and packaging, in an assortment of poses and angles to provide the user with the closest experience to an in-hand product as possible.
Figures: Green Lantern Kyle Rayner / Black Lantern Batman / Black Lantern Superman / Deathstorm / Atrocitus (BAF)
Wave: Blackest Night – Atrocitus BAF
Brand: McFarlane Toys (DC Multiverse)
Release Date: July 2022
For this line and other releases, click here to check all that our Vault has to offer.
“In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!”
For years, the oath was a small yet integral part of the Green Lanterns mythos with no other meaning beyond the battle between darkness and light that the characters represented… but in the early 2000s, a writer named Geoff Johns took over the GL main title and changed the lore -and the meaning behind that oath- forever.
More than just a concept, the Blackest Night was a prophecy, the final chapter in the Book of Oa, that foretold the end of all life, and the return of the dead (and Death’s avatar itself!) after a great war between all the light in the emotional spectrum. This was the epic setting that Johns sought to tell through a decade worth of stories. It spaned some of the greatest collections of comics from the GL side of DC, and of course, THE ultimate line of action figures of the Corps and their allies that DC Direct produced back in the day.
Jump to the present day, with McFarlane Toys in charge of collectibles, and it’s not hard to tell why they decided to thread into already explored waters and make their own version of these epic waves; if you’re making Green Lantern figures, there’s not another single story that’s riper with the inspiration for tons of Corps characters, and some of the coolest zombies you’ve ever seen.
So, let’s have a look at each one of the figures from this wave (hopefully, just the first of many) and where they come from:
After a run as Ion, the Torchbearer of the willpower entity and sole Green Lantern in the universe, Kyle Rayner became Parallax, went back to be himself, fought, died, revived, and got demoted to a standard Corps member right on time to fight the dead… he certainly never had it easy.
He’s the 4th human to be chosen as a GL, and comes from a very different place in life: he’s a graphic artist! Thanks to his imagination, he’s one of the most versatile and powerful Corps members, with amazing constructs and usually a stand-out uniform among the more standardized suits from the rest. However, his Blackest Night outfit is somewhere in between: a classic pattern with a more streamlined version of his older and bulkier domino mask.
McFarlane has translated him from page to figure with almost all the details, the exception being the paint application, using a lighter, almost lime shade of green for him; and his hair, which is very different from the shorter cut we saw in the comics. For the sake of comparison -not competition!- let us also show you how the original DCD release interpreted him.
Let us remember for a moment that this event took place after Final Crisis, and this has one serious story connotation: Batman was dead! More like stuck in time thanks to the Omega Sanction, but you know, for the rest of the world… Dead!
The iconography of his skull being swung around by Black Hand, spitting Black Lantern rings all over the galaxy was heavily used both as an emotional trigger for the story, and the overall promotional campaign, and when the time to RISE! came for “Bruce”, it brought a turning point in the story (and even a clue as to what was going to happen to the character later) even if his presence was short-lived. Taking all of this into consideration -plus Todd’s love for all things Batsy- the choice to include him in this wave was no surprise; the design is pretty straight forward but it has some small, cool details, especially his cape, that turn him into some great figure material. Is worth noting that McFarlane has a more faithful adaptation, keeping a more muscular body like it was drawn in the comics, versus DC Direct, which went for an exaggeratedly decrepit look.
In comics, and specifically in this event, there’s Superman, and then there’s the Superman. “Dude, what?” you may ask; well, let me share a bit of DC lore: the first Supes, created back in the Golden Age, Kal-L was the one that in time grew old and grumpy and was retroactively made as the Earth-2 main kryptonian; the one we read these days, of Earth-1 (Earth Prime, Main Earth or whatever you want to call it) is Kal-El, forever young, forever boy scout. L vs El, get it? Yeah, silly, anyway.
It’s important to make this distinction because they both play a role in the story, and they both are -at one point or another- turned into Black Lanterns. But both McFarlane and DCD put old Earth-2 Kal-L in series 1 of their waves for the same reason: his design is way cooler, unlike the dull main Earth Supes. The new release stays pretty close to the page, including the silver details and that weird ass tiara (even if it’s slimmer in the figure), and a headsculpt that displays his more advanced state of decomposition. This doesn’t mean we’re ruling out another figure, like DC Direct did, but the result speaks for itself.
The last couple of days, I’ve read some comments asking “Why Deathstorm, why not Black Lantern Firestorm?” The short answer is that he’s a total badass and one of the most powerful Black Lanterns out there.
The long answer is a bit more complicated, but I’ll try to summarize it. Ronnie Raymond, the original Firestorm, died during the Identity Crisis and was brought back as a BL by Nekron. During the event, he confronts the new Firestorm, Jason Rusch, but given the nature of their power, they are fused together and the black power merges directly with the Firestorm matrix itself, creating an upgraded entity that requires neither Jason nor Ronny to exist or even a black lantern (eventually).
This release is the one that has it rougher to go from page to plastic, DC Direct had some creative ways to display the raw light and fire from the character, but McFarlane came up with a pretty bland -if accurate- representation, that only shines with the headsculpt.
Finally, but equally important, we reach the BAF itself, Atrocitus!
We’ve talked about him previously, so let’s stick to this release and say how good it came out, finally displaying the tall and bulky monstrosity that the prophet of the Blackest Night itself truly is. Not without some flaws, especially on the matter of proportions, he is currently one of the best and most tidy collect-to-build figures that McFarlane Toys has released so far, with a special mention to a less restricted solution to the headpiece he’s often known for.
And after this lengthy recap, we hope that you not only know a bit more about each character but also make up your mind about this wave. Share with us in the comments your pics, if you already got them, and let us know which other figures you’d like to see featured in our Vault.