Moving on with the “Christmas” special we’re going to take a look at the assorted Red Hood things I have from non-video gaming. These aren’t necessarily recommend-worthy but more just me giving personal thoughts on them.
When these came out I was pretty hooked. The game was fun and strategic. A lot of the figures looked fantastic. I stopped collecting/playing because I got into other things. It didn’t help that they’re expensive and the pull rate for the rare figures is ridiculous. It’s what prevented me from buying a bunch of Yu-Gi-Oh! Heroclix. In DC or Marvel, you’d usually have some main characters as commons so even if you didn’t get a rare you might get someone cool. Yu-Gi-Oh!? Bunch of garbage you remember never using when you played the video games. Pretty much only the rare and chase figures mattered so while I’d really like the main ones, I didn’t really bother. Moving on…
I stopped playing Heroclix long before this guy game out. Back in my day we didn’t have fancy cards with abilities typed out or summaries about the character. We had the figure, a reference sheet/foldout for abilities, and that’s it. I do think it’s a great idea and it gives you a little something else to collect. It’s just a shame that when you pick up single figures, sometimes they don’t have the card. The cards are cool but they’re another piece to worry about losing.
I haven’t read too many of the comics but I don’t recall him ever having a plain white shirt. Otherwise, I think this is a great piece. The pose is very actiony. The sculpt is pretty detailed and they even put his knife on his leg. Probably can’t make it out in the picture though. I do wish there was more detail on the head because it’s just a red oval with white eyes. There’s none of the black lines I’m used to seeing. Again, I don’t recall him with the white shirt so maybe this is just how the helmet looked on this design. Besides being based on an unfamiliar design, I like this one a lot for the pose.
Streets of Gotham #019
When I became a fan of this guy I decided to see what Heroclix did with him. I figured he’d have a few pieces by then. To my surprise the previous figure I talked about was his only one. Now, I’ll be lenient since Heroclix was in some trouble at some point and for about a year and a half nothing got produced. Still, I figured that being a member of the Bat-Family would’ve meant he’d have more than one.
Five years after the last figure, here’s the second. This one’s based on his design from the New 52’s Red Hood and the Outlaws comic. I read a few issues of it and I’m not a fan of the helmet (or whatever it is now) having facial features. It’s supposed to be a helmet, right? Why is there a realistic nose and mouth? What’s the point? Sure, Power Rangers sometimes have them but those outfits are designed towards the theme of the show so there’s a aesthetic reason for the facial features. With Red Hood, eyes should be good enough for him. After seeing the current helmet, it made me think back to how he originally didn’t have a nose and mouth. Being trained by Batman you’d think he’d focus on logic and what’s practical. The old helmet made sense. It’s nitpicking but I don’t get why they decided to do this all of a sudden.
The abilities card is more character-based though I’m not too familiar with most of the phrases here. Definitely dig “Trained by the Bat” on both cards though. A bit disappointed that they took away the summary. Writing profiles takes effort but it helps people better know characters.
One huge negative is the company stuffing these cards into little blind boxes. I’m so lucky this one came out mint but boy are they unsympathetic about the bent and/or damaged ones because THEY KEEP DOING THIS. They have to know this method is terrible.
With how often we get some real “quality” Heroclix figures with features like melted-looking faces and paint splotches, this one’s really good. The sculpt is fantastic. While I have some mispaints and I think the face could be more even/level, it’s still a great-looking figure. You can even make out the nose and mouth I was complaining about. Liking that maple leaf bottom he’s got on his chest. Wonder if there’s a Canada map you can play on. The pose is nice but I feel a little spoiled with how good the last one’s pose was. It just felt more ambitious to have the figure in midair with just his hand on that mailbox instead of standing there. To be fair, I do remember this pose from the comics so at least it isn’t out of nowhere.
Teen Titans #023
While I wasn’t a fan of how long it took to get the previous figure, this one came in the next set. I was quite surprised but I’ll take it. Once again it’s based on his Red Hood and the Outlaws design as it’s the most current.
No significant changes to the abilities card but I do wish they kept “Trained by the Bat”. They replaced “Bat” with “Batman”. Might just be me but I think the old one sounded cooler. First thing I noticed was that this figure has way more abilities than the last one. Good for him.
The pose is pretty generic again. They changed it up by giving him his sword instead of a second gun. Gotta say that his face freaks me out. It looks so alien close up. Moreso than the last one because his facial features are so well done. Those tiny pupils with the super realistic facial features are creepy.
One interesting thing that’s new with this set is that you can detach figures from their bases and combine them with other figures to make a bigger display piece. I won’t bother with this because of cost but I think it’s a pretty cool idea. It’s a way to make playing with the team feel more like they’re a team if that’s how it works. Very neat for collectors as well because some combinations are impressive.
I never got into this game but I did run around trying to get certain cards. Some of the art is fantastic. Some not so much but since this is a comic-based game, I suppose they wanted to showcase different artists. Good for characters that get tons of cards. Not so good for those with only one.
The Joker <> Red Hood
The Man Who Laughs
DC World’s Finest (DWF) 135
Flavor text: That day, the joke was on him.
Just for fun I decided to look at this one. While not the Red Hood I’ve been discussing, this is the design that started it all. The stupid dome helmet, the cape, and the “flashy maitre’d” suit. We’ve all seen this scene before. Dude runs into the chemical plant, gets knocked into acid, and The Joker is born. Don’t know if the art was in the comics, but I like it. Clumsy dude drops a bunch of money as he’s running away and shooting behind him. You can see Batman’s reflection on his shiny dome which is a clever idea. Don’t know if this is a good card but it’s a nice nod to The Joker’s origin.
Jason Todd <> Red Hood
DC Legion of Superheroes (DLS) 171
Flavor text: “You should have killed him when you had the chance, Bruce. Now, we do things my way.”
Just going to say that I don’t like the art. I’m not a fan of the style or the Red Hood face. That’s definitely not a helmet. It looks more like Peter Parker’s “The Human Spider” mask in the first Sam Raimi movie. It’s odd to me when Red Hood never looked like this (as far as I know). I don’t know where this design came from. I’m not trying to knock the artist and I’m not saying you can’t change things. I just don’t get it. What’s worse is this is this Red Hood’s only card. With someone like Batman you can just wait for the next one but this is his only one. Lame… On the positive side, the art’s a good representation of the events that led up to Red Hood’s story and I think the quote used is very fitting. If he’s only going to get one card, it’s a good line. I just don’t like the art style and his inaccurate look. When I’m only collecting these cards, that’s a subjective negative. Unless this “helmet” and jacket? shirt? were used and I just never came across this design. Even then I wish he got more cards with his classic look.
Hope you had enough of me complaining about the different designs Red Hood’s gone through. Next time I’ll cover how all this started.