Really, I’m just a big kid. A 13-year-old boy trapped inside a 33-year-old body. I get a kick out of toilet humor, I still think about what I want to be when I grow up and I love toys. So when new comic book-based toys come out, I get excited. I haven’t bought anything new lately, but there’s hope.
Right now I’m looking at a photo of the new line of DC Comics superhero action figures. The designs follow the current look of the heroes that can be found in the comics. DC did a big relaunch, called “The New 52,” a few months ago so new action figures were bound to be released. The photo I’m looking at is from toy maker Kotobukiya. The figures are much shinier than the Super Friends figures I had when I was a kid. The major design changes are to DC’s “trinity”: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
This Batman isn’t as dark. He’s more silver/grey. Not silver like George Clooney in “Batman and Robin,” and the cape and cowl are still midnight black. Wonder Woman has had a major upgrade. She’s wearing pants, for one thing. This might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Some fans demand tradition. In WW’s case, that tradition includes one of the most sexist outfits ever devised. OK, WW is hot and I’m not afraid to admit it. But seriously, how can anyone fight crime in that outfit? It’s just not practical. The designers tweaked her color scheme, too. The crown still graces her forehead (she’s a princess, you know) and she still has her bullet-deflecting bracelets, but there isn’t any gold. Instead, the reds and blues are accented with silver. The crown appears to be more of a platinum color. I support the change in the face of tradition.
When you talk about traditional superhero costumes, there is none more traditional than Superman’s outfit. The red, blue and yellow scheme has been around since the 1930s. The colors are all still there but what’s missing is ...
...(deep breath to prepare yourself)...
... the red underpants on the outside!
It works and the upcoming “Man of Steel” film adopted a similar look. So no more “why are your underpants on the outside” jokes. They’re gone. We’re left with a solid blue suit with the chest piece and a red belt. I dig it. Like putting Wonder Woman in pants, this was a change that should have happened years — decades — ago.
As for the rest of this line of figures, there are no major changes worth noting. Aquaman is still orange on black, The Green Lantern is green and black and The Flash is still red with yellow accents. There is a great Cyborg figure here, too.
Now, the question is: how many of these will my wife let me buy using the excuse that they are for our soon-to-be-born son?
At least one, I hope.
• Backstage Pass is a new blog on www.yakima-herald.com covering pop culture from Hollywood to your backyard. T.J. Tranchell, a freelance journalist and Herald-Republic customer service clerk, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.