Martin Jordan (2011 Green Lantern)
By Past Nastification
Green Lantern wasn’t a bad movie, or a good one, although my opinion of it went up after the unnecessarily destruction-rific Man of Steel and dreary Superman vs. Batman were released. If it were up to me, I’d recast Justin Timberlake in Ryan Reynolds’ role of Hal Jordan and just bring this continuity’s Green Lantern into the ongoing DCUE movies. But it’s not up to me and besides, we’re here to talk about toys.
The Green Lantern movie line featured figures in at least two different scales. The 1:18 line, if you can appreciate a low point-of-articulation count, was nicely done. Hidden in this line is a gem for GI Joe collectors in need of a pilot figure. It’s not Hal Jordan, but rather his father, Martin Jordan. Decked out in a generic flight suit, Martin Jordan is a great representation of an everyman pilot. If you need a figure to sit behind Ace in an old style Skystriker or behind Slipstream in the NS Thunderwing, look no further.
The head sculpt is modeled after actor Jon Tenney, who played Martin Jordan in the movie (flashback sequences, if I remember correctly). Mattel did solid work on the head sculpts for this line. In fact, I kept looking at the figure, perplexed by the fact that it didn’t look like Ryan Reynolds, while all of the Green Lantern figures do. When I saw the figure, despite the name “Martin Jordan” clearly displayed on the packaging, I just assumed it was a superhero/alter ego pack. But I eventually took the time to read the package and discovered the name. Until then I had just assumed it was a Hal Jordan pilot figure. A quick check of the internet showed that the details of the head- the early 40’s crow’s feet and subtle age lines- are good matches for Jon Tenney at the time. It’s not a flawless likeness, but it equals most Star Wars or GI Joe movie line figures in terms of quality and accuracy.
As a collector who views action figures as display items, I’m often fine with low poa’s. I have grown to favor the GI Joe 25th Anniversary style pop-off heads, though, with their great range of motion and more natural looking necks. Plus they’re great for instant customizing. Sadly, Mattel hasn’t followed Hasbro’s lead of using the pop-off heads for low POA figures. It would have been nice to pop on a different head to easily create another pilot.
If you want more than six points of articulation, there’s probably not much about this figure that will appeal to you. That said, the sculpting on the body is well done. It’s that of a slender athletic build, exactly what you’d probably imagine upon hearing the words “fighter pilot”. The sculpt work itself is very fluid yet crisp. The proportions are ever so slightly cartoonish, just enough that “cartoonish” might not even be the right word.
I wonder if the original comic version Martin Jordan was named after (Golden Age/Alan Scott) Green Lantern’s real-world creator, Martin Nodell. Nodell also created yeast infection-fearing Pop ‘n Fresh, more commonly known as the Pillsbury Doughboy. On a quick side note, I got to talk to the late Mr. Nodell twice at comic book conventions. You could actually talk to the man and he couldn’t have been nicer. One of my friends slid back to the table and even got an Alan Scott doodle for me as a gift (thanks!). Sadly, Mr. Nodell’s name wasn’t listed in the movie credits. Without his Golden Age Alan Scott, there would have been no Silver Age Green Lantern, and no Green Lantern movie. DC’s exclusion of his name in the film credits is inexcusable.
Back to the figure. The accessories are low point. You will have to supply a helmet, as Mattel didn’t bother. Mattel did include a parachute, for when you want to throw a figure at the sun. The parachute’s flimsy trash bag plastic is exactly what you’d expect. The harness to attach to the figure is the worst part of the parachute. It’s a Velcro loop. Not a molded harness, but a Velcro loop. An ejection seat would have been the best choice. Mattel included a “capture claw” construct for the Green Lantern figure, which uses just as much plastic as an ejection seat would have, making it even harder to see why they didn’t. There’s only one foot peg. That’s so lazy I can’t even… make words to explain. The parachute is a gimmick, so a Velcro loop is fine. And we know you’ve already got a spare fighter pilot helmet somewhere (I threw on a Para-Viper helmet, which is close enough style-wise).
This is a simple figure, likely too simple for some collectors. But Mattel did a graceful job with it.