Sunday, September 15, 2013

DC Direct's PROMETHEA (with SOPHIE)!

Alan Moore's Promethea & Sophie Bangs - DC Direct & ABC Comics 2002
Promethea is one of my favorite creations of Alan Moore, the profound writer behind such modern classics as Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, and others.  (Plus very notable work with such established characters as Batman, Swamp Thing, and of course Marvelman).  Promethea was also my first exposure to the brilliantly experimental comic art of J.H.Williams III who is currently thrilling the readers of Batwoman with his innovative manipulations of sequential art (Just pick up a Batwoman graphic novel and check out what genius things that man can do with a page of comic panels).  With both the art and storylines of Promethea being so extremely solid, it was no surprise that these characters were given the action figure treatment relatively early (3 years after their debut).  These figures are great.  Yes, they are a little pre-posed, but the beautiful Tim Bruckner sculpts and high quality production from DC Direct make them must-haves for any collector of indie characters.

Promethea is a story of an ancient Egyptian heroine who can be "reincarnated" into the body of a modern woman ("vessel").  There have been many vessels over the centuries (and several storylines focus on finding out who those past vessels were), but in these comics, the current vessel is Sophie Bangs, a timid college student in New York City.  On the surface, this might seem like a female version of Captain Marvel/Shazam stories from DC Comics.  But the storylines in Promethea dive deep into mythology, folklore, religion, afterlife, and any number of brooding philosophical topics.  It's really great. 

DC Direct released several "Deluxe Box Sets" of action figures based on ABC - America's Best Comics properties (which was Alan Moore's own comic imprint started in the late 1990s).  These boxsets don't say DC Direct anywhere on them, but they were advertised, produced, and shipped with all the other DC Direct offerings and the figures themselves have DC Copyrights stamped on the soles of their feet.  (It's kind of like how no one is supposed to know that Scion cars are really Toyotas, even though the guts of the car say Toyota everywhere... who wants to guess what kind of car I drive?)

The packaging is very nice.  It features a partial "bookcover" opening feature so you can view the accessories held within and read about the characters in a small blurb inside the flap.

We'll start with Promethea in all her Egyptian-warrior glory.

The detail (both sculpted and painted) on this figure is amazing.
Next up is timid New York college student, Sophie.

Promethea and Sophie each come with a figure stand and an additional accessory.  Sophie has a shoulderbag, and Promethea has her Caduceus staff.

Here are a few images of Promethea from the comics.

Almost all of the Promethea covers were homages to existing works of art.  There's a nice list of all the references near the end of the Promethea Wikipedia page.


Time for some Comparison pics.

While the figure stands are a nice inclusion to the set, neither of the figures need them to stay up.  They are very well balanced on their own.



  1. I got this figures when they came out. They were just amazing and i adore the comic. It helped me to understand Kabbalah among other things. Alan Moore is simply the best writer of comics full stop. ( As Jack kirby is the best artist in comics).
    Wonderful review as usual.

    1. I need to re-read Promethea as an adult to see if I can pick up more on the religious angles of the story. I mean, I realized there was a lot of theologies being discussed, but I was a teenager then so my perspective was probably vastly different. I also never read ALL of Promethea. Not quite sure where I left off, but I'll start agian soon and finish it all. Alan Moore is amazing. I haven't read all of his work, but what I have has been perfect.

  2. That Sophie figure looks like she'll be really useful in customs! We need more "civilian female" action figures on the market.

    1. Yeah I didn't think about that, but you're right, Sophie would make some amazing custom fodder. She's very simple yet very well sculpted.