By Past Nastification
The fingerprint of Devil’s Due is all over this Zartan, although nothing on the packaging would indicate it. DD might have been denied any credit deserved for this design, but it made for a nice figure. It’s not a direct take on Zartan’s DD appearances, but more of a blending of them with elements of Zartan’s ARAH figure.
The biggest change- an improvement- is that the bare midriff is gone. The arms are also covered by the same shirt, but that’s a decent price to pay to move Zartan to a more discreet look. A man with face paint, wearing a hood, chest armor, wrist chains, a skull belt buckle, and big stompy-time boots can only look so discreet.
But the shirt helps.
The loss of “exposed flesh real estate” limits the color change gimmick to Zartan’s head. If you’re really into color-changing plastic, than the original Zartan is probably your jam. For those of us who don’t need to see the unusually flabby muffin top of the 1984 figure, this 2007 figure is the way to go.
The sculpting is really good. The face features some impressive work and looks a bit like the actor Joaquin Phoenix. The Cobra symbol on the sternum is actually sculpted, even if a Dreadnok symbol would have been more appropriate for the character. Unlike many early 25A figures, this one has less exaggerated proportions and a wide range of motion in the articulation points.
The backpack looks like the ARAH one, and even holds the weird mask. This Zartan has a scoped rifle and a knife that sheaths alongside his right shin.
The color set here is largely muddy browns against metallic greys. Very simple, but something not seen before in either the ARAH or New Sculpt eras. At least not that comes to mind. It also brought Zartan more in line with his classic look than the oddball NS figures did.
This isn’t the most original Zartan, and it’s not a mimic of it, either. It lands in the middle from a design standpoint, but manages to improve on the weaknesses of the ARAH figure.