Sunday, July 7, 2013

DC Direct Deluxe Golden Age Flash

Like the Golden Age Green Lantern, my experience with Jay Garrick Flash is limited mostly to post-Crisis On Infinite Earths literature, and more recently his re-imagined portrayal in the New 52 Earth 2 title. I found this 13" Golden Age Flash at a local retailer around the same time I was hunting for the Golden Age GL, and felt they'd make a great pair. Like the Flash of modern comics, classic Flash had a simple, but great costume. Noticeably absent are the wings on Jay's boots, though in truth this isn't the first omission of the costume feature in modern portrayals of the character. Jay is portrayed in the prime of his youth here, without grey temples he's shown with in his modern, retroactive continuity, and I kinda like that.

This is a nice looking doll with serviceable articulation: a ball-jointed head, hinge/swivel shoulders, double-jointed knees & elbows, swivels in the waist, wrists, biceps & upper thighs, an abdominal crunch, and hinged ankles. Backward movement is restricted in the ball-hinged hips due to the buttocks, but he can still pose in several stances. The bicep swivels run right through the middle of the muscle sculpt on these deluxe figures, leaving a somewhat awkward cut visible through the sleeves. Flash's musculature is more apparent, his leotard fitting close to the body and no cape over the shoulders. The bolt screen printed over the chest may not tolerate overstretching, but it's cleanly applied and looks good. The lightning motif is repeated on the vac-metal belt buckle, which is a separate piece but does not appear to be removable. I'd have liked if the pants were a separate garment with belt loops and all. His cuffed boots are nicely tailored in soft red vinyl, with zippers up the back and soft plastic soles. Jay came with an extra set of bendable, outstretched hands that plug into a peg at the wrists- a point of contention with some collectors due to their tendency to be either difficult to remove or easy to knock off. This figure isn't as bad as some, those with gauntlets causing the worst hand issues.

Without his helmet, one can see some unfortunate over-spray near the hairline- it's not terrible, but it is visible on his otherwise, nicely done portrait. While it's more realistic that the more cartoony Classic Superman of this line, it's not as lifelike as the Golden Age Green Lantern. He looks good though, and the detail reflects the much lower price tag than seen on a Hot Toys figure. DC Direct's choice to design these 13" tall as opposed to a true 1:6 ratio is frustrating to a lot of collectors, but I'd bet the company wanted them to stand apart, like their 7" figures do. 

Disappointingly, Jay's helmet doesn't stay on his head well at all. After the second time I dropped it, one of the wings popped off. To my relief, they are notched to fit into two holes on either side. If this was a safety feature, DC Direct might have just made the helmet fit more securely instead. I opted to pad the inside with a little sticky-tack- probably not archival, but it was absolutely necessary. It's made out of really cheap plastic, but the vac-metal finish looks really cool, giving the character that classic look that ties him to his mythological roots to the Roman god Mercury. It's shape is also Jay's dedication to his father, a WWI veteran.

Like the other DC Direct deluxe figures, we get an adjustable stand with the character's name stamped onto the base. These aren't really made for play, and a stand should be employed to keep the tall figure from toppling over. He stands well enough, but I wouldn't want to mar that pretty nose with a face-plant.

Flash had his own anthology series, Flash Comics, back in 1940, and joined Green Lantern and the other members of the Justice Society of America in '41. When costumed superheroes fell out of favor at the end of the decade, Flash was out of publication until 1956, when the character was revamped as Barry Allen. In the second issue of the new 52 Earth 2 title, Jay is given the power of speed by the dying god Mercury, whereas the original Jay Garrick accidentally inhaled what was initially described as "hard water vapors" in the college laboratory he was working in. Those wacky students!

Jay seems a more sparse an offering than the resplendent Golden Age Green Lantern, but they do make a stunning pair, extraordinary in their color and classic styling. I wasn't able to find many blog reviews on these, so it was fun to record them for posterity on the Super-DuperToyBox. Individually, I prefer the Green Lantern figure for his more nuanced portrait, wicked cape, and battery powered accessory, though as lifelong crime fighting companions, you really need both...

More Later- Make It FUN!


  1. WOW...some great photography there. I loved seeing those two Golden Agers together. And how cool is flashes hat/helmet. I am a big fan of the Jay Garrick flash and I have to hunt this figure down, well both, now that I know they exist. Great post.

  2. Another fantastic rendering of a great Golden-Age character! You just need a Hawkman in this style and you would be set.

  3. Pretty slick. Can't wait 'til you get 'em all and post your Golden Age DC superheroes.

  4. Wow, he's really nice looking.