Lara Croft : TOMB RAIDER

From Square Enix comes this amazing Japanese import figure of LARA CROFT, the powerful protagonist of 2013’s TOMB RAIDER reboot. Standing about 8 inches tall, this figure perfectly captures the strength of the character, showing the dirt and damage from her time on the island and including her bow and arrow, her shotgun, her hand gun and the pickaxe that has lately become her emblem. She comes packaged in a window box, but this is one you’re definitely going to want to display.

New 52 Green Arrow

Oliver Queen got a serious overhaul from the man we new before the launch of the New 52 and he’s looking awesome minus the van dyke.

A Justice League figure, Ollie stands about 6 inches tall and features a bunch of articulation, awesome detail and, of course, a bow and arrow to get him ready for whatever’s on its way.

New 52 BATMAN Figure

Hate it or love it, DC seems pretty intent on sticking with the New 52. Knowing that, it’s no surprise that the New 52 figures are starting to roll out in previews. Here’s a look at the 7-inch BATMAN figure from the upcoming collection!

In the image above, you can get a sneak peek at who the collection will be bringing with it, silhouetted behind a very awesome rendering of the Dark Knight himself. If you’re a fan, you can pre-order now and expect Batman and others to arrive in May!

New 52 BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE

Based on the DC Reboot and the New 52, we’ve got a brand new Batman Black & White designed by the great Jim Lee. Take a look!

Standing just under six inches tall, Batman looks fantastic in his new, streamlined costume. If you’re a fan of the new take on the DC Universe, then this makes an excellent new addition to your toy shelf, celebrating not only the Dark Knight himself, but a new age of comics. You can pre-order this statue now and expect it to ship out in May of this year!

JUSTICE LEAGUE: HEROES AND FOES IN 2012

With the coming reboot, it’s no surprise that we’re getting a great new wave of figures from DC Direct. Here’s one you can pre-order now, arriving in 2012!

Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash and the Joker are all here rocking their latest looks (which means pants for Wonder Woman and some rough-looking makeup for the Clown Prince of Crime). Each one is about 6 inches tall and comes with character-appropriate accessories where applicable. If you’re a fan of the rebooted DC Universe, then you’ll definitely want to get your order in now for an April 2012 delivery!

The NEW (old) BATGIRL

Newsarama just posted an image of the new, rebooted BATGIRL and she’s a familiar face: Barbara Gordon, the true original!

Reviews of the relaunch are mixed (you should definitely read this thought-provoking article “Oracle is Stronger Than Batgirl” for a perspective you may not have considered), but it seems that it’s what we’re in for and at least we have Gail Simone writing. If this had to happen, it’s good that it’s in her capable hands.

Of course, the original Batgirl never quite went away and if you’re a fan of her as she was or…well, as she will be, then you can always grab one of these awesome 13-inch DC Direct doll figures, too! They’re available in the black you see below, or with a grey fabric.

THE DC REBOOT

The big news in the comic world is that DC Comics is totally rebooting its universe, starting from scratch to create new origins, new stories and new connections for its old characters. Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman and a host of others will see their pasts erased as they reset everything back to zero in hopes of drawing in new fans and undoing some of the convolution that has alienated even long-time readers. Following the upcoming Flashpoint event, it all starts over again. CNN has the story!

Fifty-two superheroes are getting a makeover, and comic book fans can’t stop talking about it — even though they’ve seen this sort of thing before.

DC Comics announced Tuesday on its blog, and in exclusive interviews with USA Today, that come September, not only will many of its titles get a more modern look under respected artist Jim Lee’s direction, but they’ll also get renumbered, starting issue counts back at No. 1.
(DC Comics, like CNN, is owned by parent company Time Warner.)
For readers emotionally invested in the stories of superheroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, this kind of announcement can be threatening. Based on fans’ Twitter reaction, it’s obvious that anxiety, or at the very least skepticism, has set in.

“I’ve seen their attempts to revamp before,” said David Whitehead, a 39-year-old client performance strategist who has been collecting comic books for 20 years.

“So, I guess I’m going in with some guarded skepticism,” he said. He wonders what kind of stories DC has up its sleeve, and how interesting they could be. He hopes the iconic publisher can pull it off, he said.
“I was the biggest Jim Lee fan in the ’90s, and then after seeing what he did to the Wonder Woman costume, I’m a little hesitant to see what he’s done with the rest of the Justice League and the rest of the DC Universe,” Whitehead said.

Fans also know that any kind of reboot is, in part, a business decision for the comic book publisher.

“What they’re shooting for is the opportunity for readers to jump on at an issue No. 1,” said Kathleen Saracen, manager of Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia. “New readers feel like, ‘Oh, it’s a No. 1, I could start reading it now,'” she said.

Comic book sales often jump up with a No. 1 issue, she said, “but I think it gets tiresome, from a collector’s point of view, to constantly have to renumber your collection.”

With comic books, she explained, many titles order story lines by volumes. At the beginning of a new volume, the issue number of a comic book may or may not roll back to No. 1. So for hard-core, superorganized collectors who have been following one comic book for a long time, she said, the chronological order of their copies isn’t always so logical.

And renumbering hasn’t always been appreciated in the past.

“One book that comes to mind is Wonder Woman,” said Erika Peterman, a DC Comics fan and blogger for girls-gone-geek.com.

The Wonder Woman comic book was relaunched by DC in 2006, and by last year the new volume had reached issue No. 44. After a fan write-in campaign, DC revised the issue numbers to reflect the original starting date of the title, resulting in the next issue being numbered 600.
“Fans were like, ‘Yes! (Wonder Woman) deserves that high number because she’s been around since the 1940s, this puts her right up there with Superman and Batman,'” said Peterman.

Despite all the apprehension, fans say they want DC to be successful in this latest endeavor. They know that more people reading comic books means they get to keep collecting. So even if DC’s across-the-board revamp isn’t engineered to please loyal fans, it’s a move that they understand — because it’s designed to bring new readers into the fold.

For the most part, said Peterman, comic book collectors are in their mid-30s, which may surprise outsiders who think comic books are juvenile. Younger people are not collecting comic books the way they were 20 years ago, she said.

Whitehead points out that comic books aren’t generally available at the corner store anymore, so the impulse buys he made at the drug store in his youth are less likely to happen. These days, comic books are sold almost exclusively in comic book stores.

That’s where the second part of DC’s announcement comes in: With the renumbering, they’ll be offering day-and-date digital. That means that the same day new issues of comic books are in stores, they’ll be available for download as well. Whitehead said he thinks younger readers are more likely to read comics electronically.

“We’re having a party,” said DC Executive Editor Eddie Berganza. “We want as many people coming to that party as possible. If day-and-date digital is a way to get more people involved in comics and see what we’re doing, I think that’s great.”

“It seems to be the way the whole world is going,” he said.

In addition to the announcement Tuesday that the comic book “Justice League” would be starting again at issue No. 1 in September, DC officials told CNN the publisher would also be renumbering and modernizing such titles as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, The Fury of Firestorm, The Savage Hawkman, Green Arrow, Justice League International, Mister Terrific, Captain Atom and DC Universe Presents.

The characters brought to the fore with the reboot will be interacting in ways they never have before in the DC universe, said DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras.

“For me, I wanted to get into the Cyborg character, who will be part of the Justice League,” Berganza said. “He’s always been one of my favorites from the Titans and now to see him step up, really take his place among the bigger pantheon of heroes is excellent. He’s such a cool character.”

“We’re doing a book called ‘Savage Hawkman’ and to see the excitement between the artist (Philip Tan) and the writer (Tony Daniel), taking a classic DC character, and to see what they’re doing with it is so amazing,” said Harras of the energy he sees in the pages of the rebooted title.

“It’s an epic that we’re putting together, and we’re incredibly excited about it,” he said.

Even so, fans still have unanswered questions about the upcoming reboot. As DC continues to announce its 52 superhero titles getting the treatment, fans can’t help but wonder what will change. For example, after giving Wonder Woman pants, what will Lee do to modernize DC’s other heavy hitters, Batman and Superman?

DC wouldn’t tell CNN. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Of course, while you’re waiting for all the changes, you might want to relive the old looks and the old stories through some of the awesome figures we’ve got over in our DC Section! Check ’em out while they last.