Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Out of the Box: DC Direct's Planetary & The Authority

Planetary's The Drummer
The Planetary figures included a stand
with the comic's logo.
We've all heard the saying "vote with your wallet", and that's always one of those dilemmas when you collect anything that's related to a particular property - when the first tie-ins are released, do you need to buy them to show that there's a market for that property?  And is that true even if the product isn't that great?

That was my dilemma back in 2001, when DC Direct released three figures from the Wildstorm series Planetary and then again a year later when they released another four from The Authority.  As with an unfortunate number of DC Directs figures from that era, the figures have minimal detail and less-than-ideal articulation, but as with any property that hasn't had any non-comics merchandise, there's always a temptation to pick them up anyway.

I initially decided to compromise and pick up one figure from each release - Snow from Plantary and the Midnighter from The Authority (those two would spend several years as desk decor at my office).  In 2007 I came across the rest of the series on sale at ComiKazi (my local comic shop when I lived in Calgary), and picked up another two.  I'm still on the fence about these toys, but I can't lie - they've grown on me.  And hey, at least the Authority figures aren't in the terrible costumes from the new DCU versions of the characters!
The Midnighter & Apollo from The Authority
This release didn't include stands.
Elijah Snow from Planetary.
This figure is currently in storage, so this is an old photo
of him at my desk at work.  Amusingly, two different co-workers
mistook him for the Glad Man.


  1. Not gonna lie; the Midnighter looks an awful lot like Batman. But since it's DC, at least it's not like they stole it from another company. :)

    1. Heh, it's true he does! Depending on who you ask, he does get described as the "the superpowered Batman", "the gay Batman", or "Batman crossed with Wolverine", and so on.

  2. I'm not familiar with these comics, but The Midnighter is a very striking figure. I have always been partial to figures in black.

    1. I'm the same way. And as much as I like to complain the lack of detail on this line of figures, they really did get the billowing trench-coat right!

  3. Beyond Batman, Superman, and the New Teen Titans, I don't know many of the DC characters. (Yes, I was more of a Marvel camper.)

    I like the Planetary guy's drumsticks. He seems very attached to them ;-)

    1. Heh, that's why they call him The Drummer! ;)

      These characters were all part of the Wildstorm universe originally, so even a lot of DC fans aren't familiar with them (or weren't, before they were brought into the DCU with the revamp). My (probably unrealistic) hope is that since they're part of the main DCU now, maybe we'll see them show up in new toy lines (or even the cartoon and/or movie series) at some point.