‘They’re called action figures for a reason’

by  in Comic News Comment
‘They’re called action figures for a reason’

Chris in Maryland is putting the “action” into his action figures. Today he shares his shelves of plastic-on-plastic violence, pitting The Teen Titans against Trigon, Mongul against the Justice Society and many more.

“I had a lot of fun posing many of the figures in fight scenes,” he said. “It is embarrassing how much I enjoyed doing this.”

Check out Chris’ collection below.


Chris tells us:

They’re called action figures for a reason.

Since 2005, I’ve picked up the occasional action figure here and there on a whim (and at a discount) at conventions. I’d never had much of a plan or had any real interest in displaying them until a few months ago. For the first time in about two decades, I am not buying comics on a regular basis and I realized this summer that I miss the iconography. I decided I wanted to expand my small collection of figures and find a way to feature them in order to fill the void.

Two trips to Ikea and Home Depot (the Billy bookcases, glass shelves, glass door, and dot-it lights make great cases for about $100 a piece) and many, many auctions on eBay for figures and specific issues to feature behind them resulted in three different displays.

As you can see below, I had a lot of fun posing many of the figures in fight scenes. It is embarrassing how much I enjoyed doing this. Some of the other shelves are just the characters in static poses because it didn’t make too much sense to have them fighting each other (don’t think I didn’t try in several cases, though).

The Crime Syndicate is one of my favorites. As you can see from this shelf, I wasn’t too worried about getting figures from a specific story or even consistent versions of teams. I just wanted to be able to match up cool looking figures.

The George Perez drawn JLA/JSA/New Gods cross-over from the 80s is an all-time favorite. That was the interpretation that helped me fall in love with the New Gods (even if they’ve rarely been as interesting to me since). With Omac throw-in for good measure (just because he is also Kirby and Perez’s version in DC Comics Presents wowed me so much), here is some New Gods-love.

This is the first of two Marvel shelves. Not sure why, but the Marvel figures have never appealed to me as much as those from DC. On the right, I’ve got a pretty cool X-team. On the left are two of my favorites – Falcon and Dr. Strange.

It didn’t take long to realize that most of the figures I was collecting were male. This shelf was my attempt to feature some female characters, including my all-time favorite Barbara Gordon from Thrillkiller and two versions of Scarab from Kabuki (the duality of which mirrors that of Promethea and Sophie in an unexpectedly cool way).

I was late to the Wildstorm stories but really loved Planetary and enjoyed various parts of the Authority. Really like the pairing of the trios here (even if the family dynamics between the characters are vastly different).

This is my random TV/Movie shelf. Really random. I love it nonetheless.

Early New Teen Titans are still my all-time favorite comics. While Trigon is, in retrospect, a pretty lame villain, how can you not love him at double size? I realize that neither Superboy (who is being held upside down by the big T) nor the Doom Patrol ever fought him but they seemed like good additions (and the NTT issues that re-introduced Robotman are highlights of that run).

Can’t imagine any super hero fans in my age range (mid-40s) who don’t have fond memories of Challenge of the Super Friends. This is as close as I got to recreating that magic. The Secret Society of Super Villians comics from the 70s help a lot (even though they only feature two of the figures – Sinestro and Creeper – that I have in the scene).

This was the first action scene that really came together for me. The set-up came about in large part because of the horrible job someone at DC Direct did on Hawkgirl’s wings (happy accidents and all that). Doesn’t matter that the JSA never fought Mongul (that I can recall) or that I included both Atom figures – this is still probably my favorite shelf.

Only someone with an incredibly good imagination will see that I was trying to imitate that famous cover from Uncanny X-Men #100. Clearly, I don’t have all of the right figures and Angel’s wings won’t cooperate. I still like the way this one turned out.

Ostrander’s Suicide Squad was another of my all-time favorite series so I was really glad to be able to feature three characters from there (no Nightshade, unfortunately). Putting them in the middle of a little throw-down between the recently teamed-up Blue Devil and Black Lightning (even if my figures are the old versions) and Dr. Impossible and the modern Cheetah (both who have looks that far outpace their use in the comics) just seemed like a lot of fun.

Remember that era of Justice League that featured all the B characters (just before JLA Detroit)? Me too. Fondly. This is my homage to that time with some characters who should be much more popular than they are.

Oh, if only they had created a Molly figure to go next to Tim Hunter. That would truly be magic. I also really love these two versions of Grendel. Matt Wagner is underrated as an iconic designer. All three of these were among the first figures I ever purchased.

Kevin Matchstick completes the Wagner collection. And who doesn’t love some Sandman characters? I’m still on the look-out for a reasonably priced Delirium to add to this shelf but like the foursome well enough too.