A very unusual series of drawings surfaced last week. These drawings supposedly represent a proposal from 1985 for a line of Kenner action figures called “DC Anti-Heroes”. Each drawing is actually a style guide featuring an image of a major DC hero in three distinct thematic looks — “Hi-Tech”, “Road Warrior” and “Robotic”. There are style guides for: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Firestorm, and Cyborg. Each guide also includes an overlay with notes and color codes. Check out the Firestorm designs below.
WTF, right? These proposed figures are straight-up bizarre. They look so outlandish, I can’t help but wonder about the authenticity of the whole proposal. It’s probably legit, but c’mon, “Road Warrior” Firestorm and “Robotic” Cyborg? It just seems too weird to be true. At the same time, I’m morbidly fascinated by these proposed figures! Crazy, but kind of super-fun in an ’80s sort of way.
Given these are dated 1985, you gotta assume the “DC Anti-Heroes” figures were a proposed off-shoot of the “Super Powers” line. The inclusion of Firestorm and Cyborg makes that a pretty sure bet. I wonder if these characters were supposed to be evil doppelgangers of our favorite heroes, or just alternate hardcore versions.
Below you’ll find a closer look at the “Hi-Tech” Firestorm Anti-Hero action figure. I kinda dig the mouthpiece and the black bodysuit is pretty sleek. I’ve seen worse redesigns, that’s for sure.
Below is a closer look at the “Road Warrior” Firestorm Anti-Hero action figure. Chris Sims from Comics Alliance had this to say about the “Road Warrior” Firestorm action figure:
Finally, we have a set of designs for perennial third-stringer Firestorm, which somehow manages to be even better than Road Warrior Batman. I mean, the fact that someone, anyone, at any time thought that a toy of Firestorm in a post-apocalyptic Road Warrior universe was something that should exist is amazing on its own.
As to the figure itself, I barely even know where to begin. First off, there’s the fact that Firestorm’s flaming hair has been expanded to now include eyebrows made of fire. Then there’s the Firestorm logo leather jacket, which, if it actually existed, I know two dudes who would be getting out their wallets before they even knew the price. Admittedly, they might be the only two guys who bought it, but still.
Finally, and most importantly, is the figure’s weapon, which is A GLOWING RADIOACTIVE PIPE WRENCH. This is without question the greatest design for a toy that I have ever seen in my life.
I LOVE Chris’ description of the figure. He’s totally correct about the pipe wrench. It looks so Kirby!
Finally, below is a closer look at the “Robotic” Firestorm Anti-Hero action figure. I can’t stop staring at the hair — fire in a glass dome! Does he have an endless supply of combustible gas in that dome to keep the fire burning? The dome itself makes me think of Brainiac or Psimon. Very 1980s. That and the Boba Fett-like antenna.
Y’know, as a rule I always welcome Firestorm action figures with open arms, but I’m kinda glad these were never produced. I envision these figures would have hung around as peg warmers in local T.G.&Y. stores for years.
My thanks to Florian Schwalenberg and Matt Selby for directing me to this amazing find.
Support Firestorm! Fan the flame!