The PopCult Toybox
Part of the fun of being a comic book fan is picking out the analogues between one company’s heroes and anothers. For example, Marvel has Namor, the Sub-Mariner, while DC has Aquaman. Both are half-human rulers of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. It’s a game that almost every fan of super-hero comics plays.
DC Comics has The Flash. Marvel had The Whizzer, and later Quicksilver. Both have super-speed. Marvel had Nova while DC had Firestorm. Both were high-school students suddenly bestowed with unbelievable power. Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are both millionaires who fight crime with expensive gadgets.
And then we have Green Arrow and Hawkeye. Also known as Oliver Queen and Cliff Barton. Both of these heroes fight crime with a bow and arrow and no other super powers. It seems unlikely, but in the hands of talented creators it can work. Green Arrow predates Hawkeye by more than twenty years, but the legendary Jack Kirby wrote and drew Green Arrow before moving to Marvel comics where he was a driving force in the creation of the Marvel Universe.
Now, after years of second-banana status, both characters have made the jump into new mediums. Hawkeye, as played by Jeremy Renner, is a major player in Marvel’s Avengers movie franchise, while Green Arrow, shortened to “Arrow” stars in his own television show on The CW that is the starting point for DC’s television universe.
As for what this has to do with toys, this year Arrow is inspiring a second wave of action figures from DC Direct, as well as a line of “ReAction” figures from Funko. And Marvel, in conjunction with Diamond Select, has a really cool figure of Hawkeye coming out as a shared exclusive between Marvelshop,com and The Disney Store. Both have had many action figures made of them before, but now collectors are really paying attentionand the stakes are raised.
First up, let’s look at Hawkeye. Wearing his newer Marvel NOW! outfit, Avenging Hawkeye comes with his bow, arrows, crossbow pistol, alternate hand, alternate bandaged head and his canine companion Lucky. Lucky was introduced in the 2012 Hawkeye comic series, by Matt Fraction and David Aja, in which Hawkeye dealt with street-level crime in and around his New York City neighborhood.
This new Hawkeye figure was sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios, and stands 7 inches tall with 16 points of articulation. Like all Marvel Select action figures, he comes packaged in display-ready packaging with comic artwork down one side, for handy shelf reference.
Look for the figure to make its debut exclusively on Marvelshop.com on March 23rd, and to arrive in Disney Stores and on Disneystore.com by April 6.Thor joins previous Marvelstore.com exclusive figures Mighty Thor, Unleashed Hulk, Superior Spider-Man, Unmasked Captain America, Bleeding Edge Iron Man and Electro. All are currently available on Marvelshop.com and Disneystore.com.
In addition to this cool comic-based figure, Hasbro will be releasing several versions of Hawkeye from Avengers: The Age of Ultron. Some of those are in stores now.
With Arrow, DC Direct is releasing members of his supporting cast, following last year’s release of Arrow, himself. This year you can look for Felecity, Diggle and Arsenal to joining Arrow’s 7-inch crew.
Arrow, Black Canary and Deathstroke were released last year by DC Direct and they were major hits with collectors. Green Arrow has been depicted in action figure form for decades, dating back to the original MEGO days of the 1970s, but the character has never been a “star” until the debut of Arrow on the CW.
Now Arrow has been the launching pad for The Flash and the upcoming Vixen cartoon, plus there will be ties to the CBS series, Supergirl, which is debuting in the fall. Don’t be surprised if all of those shows spawn some cool action figures in the future (The Flash already has).
Funko’s ReAction line is releasing 3 3/4″ versions of televisions’ Arrow. Collectors can expect Arrow, Arrow unmasked, Deathstroke, Dark Archer and Black Canary. These will be small, barely-articulated action figures aimed at the poor kids who grew up when that was the industry standard.
All of the Arrow figures are expected out this summer. We have to admit, despite being life-long DC Comics fans, in this showdown of the action figures, Hawkeye’s Diamond Select figure wins the battle hands down. It’s close, but on top of having incredible sculpting and articulation, Hawkeye’s dog trumps Arrow’s supporting players.