The fine folks at McFarlane are back with another few waves of action figures, so prepare for more reviews in the coming weeks. Up first, we have the final figures in the Batman: Three Jokers line, with McFarlane truly saving the best for last with that batch, and an unrelated character who is nonetheless one of the best action figures I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Yes, it’s that mossy muscular man-thing, the Guardian of the Green, Dr. Alec Holland himself:
While I’ve read my fair share of Swamp Thing comics, I wouldn’t call myself an expert on his lore or anything, but he’s still one of those characters that I’m always excited to see. He’s just so cool and unique and weird that I can’t help but get intrigued when he pops up in a book.
His design is amazing, too, and it translates incredibly well to three dimensions. All those ridges and branches and leaves give Swamp Thing an incredibly distinct look that’s organic, kind of disturbing, and yet welcoming all at once. McFarlane’s take on the protector of the Green is a figure I’ve had my eye on since he was announced, and he does not disappoint at all.
Three figures were provided for review, and while they’re generally identical, they each have their own unique qualities that set them apart from each other. There’s the standard Swamp Thing, the horned variant, and an all gray Platinum Edition chase figure. The body sculpts are identical across the board, down to the small twigs that protrude out of his wrists, and all three figures have the same alternate arm accessory. The variant is the only one that truly differs, with some wooden branch-like horns protruding from the top of his head.
It’s hard to put into words how impressive this figure is, either considering the incredible details all about his body, or his massive stature. Labeled as a “megafig,” Swamp Thing stands at almost a foot in height and easily towers over even the tallest of the standard McFarlane figures.
The only drawback I found was that it was incredibly difficult to try and get his arm off to attach the accessory, to the point that I just gave up and never got it on any of the figures. The joints are in there tight, and the spiky fingers on either hand make it hard to get a good enough grip to pull the limb off. Still, that’s a small nitpick, and each of his arms and hands make for some great posing, so it’s easy to make him look good on your shelf.
Batgirl (Batman: Three Jokers)
This figure here is almost perfect, falling just short due to some minor but worthwhile quibbles. The sculpt is excellent, and the paint application is fantastic as well. As a huge fan of Barbara’s original look, with the dark gray bodysuit and yellow boots, gloves, and symbol, this hews close to my ideal Batgirl costume. The Batarang accessory is really nice too, and it fits well in either of her hands.
The problems? She has a “shifty-eye” expression that too many McFarlane figures have, making posing incredibly awkward, and the grappling gun accessory is way to big to fit in her hand. If it was one or the other, I’d be able to look past it, but both of those small quibbles still make this figure come up just short of perfection. Even still, what works is great, as Babs has one of the all-time best costumes in comics, and the molded cape and hair look amazing on this figure. This is my favorite figure of the Three Jokers line, without question.
Red Hood (Batman: Three Jokers)
From a design standpoint, I like this look for Red Hood. The jacket in particular has some really nice details that don’t just make it look like an afterthought, but an essential part of his costume. To put it another way, it looks like Jason and the artist who designed the outfit both had a specific intention with the jacket, rather than just “well, let’s put a jacket on him since a cape wouldn’t look right, and the costume’s too bare without it.” I think it’s the red trim in the collar that sells it.
I also love the tunic he has, with the black “stitching” going down his torso. It calls back to the Robin costume without being a direct lift, and is a unique detail not found on too many comic costumes.
As an action figure, though, Red Hood is… kind of boring. He looks good, but the black and dark reds of his costume don’t exactly pop like a lot of other figures. He also comes with a single accessory, and one that can we please stop making this part of Red Hood’s arsenal I mean come on: a crowbar. Jason doesn’t even have guns. Shame. (I do realize that there has been a mandate that these characters not have firearms, but they could have given him a better weapon or accessory, is my point)
So, I’m conflicted on this one. It’s a design I like, and one that is faithfully translated from the comics page. It just doesn’t really have a “wow” factor like a lot of other figures, so I could see it being easy to pass up unless you’re a hardcore Red Hood fan.
Joker: The Comedian (Batman: Three Jokers)
I’ve already reviewed the other two Joker figures from this line before, so I’m glad I get a chance to check out the last of the titular three Jokers in this batch. McFarlane saved the best for last, too, as the Comedian is the best Joker of the lot, and one of the best Joker figures I’ve seen in quite some time.
Taking inspiration from the Clown Prince of Crime’s look in Batman: The Killing Joke, this Joker has a purple hat and trenchcoat, lighter purple gloves and pants, and white spats (!) over black shoes. The stitching and details on the trenchcoat are beyond impressive, with buttons, pockets, buckles, and folds that give the figure some interesting dimensions and a striking silhouette.
The paint application on his face is what really got my attention, though, with his trademark grin looking particularly sinister resting below his black eyes, which have black shading around them to simulate the shadow from his hat. He looks positively evil, with the small white irises in his eyes and off-white teeth behind his red smile adding to the chill factor.
As far as accessories go, he has a crowbar and camera, which are both fine. It was difficult to get the crowbar in his hand, but I appreciated that the camera has a strap so you can hang it about his neck. It almost looks touristy and comical, which contrasts well against the creepy look of the figure, and that captures the nature of the Joker about as well as anything.
Overall: Swamp Thing is always welcome, and it’s nice to complete the Three Jokers line as well. This batch of figures is solid, with Swamp Thing in particular being one of the most impressive action figures I’ve ever seen. As I’ve said before, McFarlane have been reaching pretty deep for some of their offerings, as there’s always something out there to appeal to every DC fan, and this small group is no different.
Disclaimer: McFarlane Toys provided Batman-News with samples for the purposes of this review.
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