SAN DIEGO, DAY 1: DC Direct Unleashes Super Friends, Birds of Prey in 2002

While Micronauts, GI Joe, Thundercats, the Transformers and Robotech ride the wave of nostalgia comics, to date, DC Comics' own Super Friends has been left in the 1970s. Until now.

[DC Direct Figures]DC Comics fans attending Comic-Con International in San Diego Thursday got a first peek at a set of four Super Friends action figures shipping in April from DC Direct. The figures -- Superman, Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman and the Cheetah -- accurately recreate the styling of the classic Saturday morning cartoon, and feature Super Friends stands and a larger amount of points of articulation than some previous DC Direct figures. A series of Super Friends marquettes will also begin appearing in April 2003, beginning with Superman and Batman, but also including Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

[Birds of Prey Action Figures]DC Direct wasn't only looking backwards for inspiration this year: The company also showed off a trio of action figures based on the "Smallville" television show, six modern Superman figures -- including Superman, Bizarro, Brainiac 13, Supergirl, Cyborg Superman and Doomsday -- and a deluxe Birds of Prey action figure set, including a modern age Black Canary, the Huntress and Oracle (in a wheelchair and with a laptop computer).

In contrast to previous years, new non-action figure items were in short supply, although DC Direct did have a pair of Wonder Woman bookends -- featuring Wonder Woman and the Cheetah pulling on the Amazing Amazon's golden lasso through an open bank vault door.

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