DC Collectibles: A Conversation With Infinite Crisis's Jeffrey Steefel
With fun, uniquely different takes on some of DC Comics most beloved heroes and villains, it was only a matter of time until we gave the champions of Infinite Crisis the DC Collectibles action figure treatment. First unveiled at Toy Fair in February, this eagerly awaited new line of figures is set to make a splash later this year with an initial wave of figures that include Atomic Green Lantern, Mecha Wonder Woman, Pajama Party Harley Quinn, Atomic Poison Ivy and Renaissance Batman. They’ll be joining a successful line of statues that include the already released Atomic Wonder Woman and Arcane Green Lantern.
Considering the game’s heavy emphasis on characters, and how perfectly suited it is for the collectibles industry, we thought it would be fun to sit down with the Executive Producer of Infinite Crisis, Jeffrey Steefel, and discuss the new figures as well as the cool new MOBA it’s based on. Read on, DC Collectors! The Multiverse may depend on it…
Atomic Green Lantern
DC Collectibles: It’s safe to say that the DC Collectibles team was super excited about the potential for a killer toy line when the initial character designs started coming in, and with things showing up like the stunning Atomic Age Poison Ivy or the incredible Arcane Green Lantern, we couldn't wait to get started!
Jeffrey Steefel: We are even more excited! It’s so great to see the characters in our game, derived from the DC Universe canon, come to life in the real world in such unbelievable detail!
DC: Do you have a favorite universe and/or character design so far?
JS: In terms of what I resonate with and what first drew me in, I really love Atomic Wonder Woman. She feels so Wonder Woman, so out there, but in some ways so familiar too. In terms of super cool design, I really love the guys’ realization of Arcane Green Lantern – love the original design for the game and the statue is amazing. For the action figures announced so far, Atomic Poison Ivy is my favorite – truly exquisite. Sorry, it’s impossible to choose just one!
Atomic Poison Ivy
DC: Six action figures have been announced by DC Collectibles, and the toys that were shown at New York Toy Fair got a great response… with more already in the works as we speak! Who would be your top picks for characters you'd like to see in action figure form?
JS: Mr. Fletcher, I hope you’re listening! Hmmm, and these are not necessarily from the game roster… How about Mecha Zod or Arcane Huntress? Our community is lobbying heavily for Mecha Alfred!
DC: There are so many iterations of the DC Comics characters in this game. What made you choose these specific worlds to start with?
JS: Atomic seemed cool, and also relatable. This is a world concept most modern people are aware of, thanks to the Cold War and Mad Max. Arcane gave us the opportunity to scratch our deep-seated Turbine fantasy roots. Mecha is just plain badass. But we have many more worlds to draw from moving into the future for the game.
Mecha Wonder Woman (sculpt)
DC: It seems like a challenging task to rebuild iconic characters (while keeping them easily recognizable) not just once, but multiple times for the Infinite Crisis Multiverse. With so many detailed character designs for this game, where do you look to find inspiration?
JS: Some of it just comes from the deliciously twisted minds of our developers. In terms of diversity, we can look to the characters as DC made them, as they are already multi-faceted. Batman, for example is at once the dark vigilante the techie gadget guy. That gave us Nightmare Batman and Gaslight Batman.
DC: Does your team come up with a character bio first, or the art concept?
JS: It tends to be the bio first, though there is definitely some give and take between the concept and the backstory. Not to mention the in-game kit possibilities.
Pajama Party Harley Quinn
DC: How many rounds of designs do you normally go through until a character is ready?
JS: In terms of designs, it really varies. It depends on how far afield we are going, and how much we have to tackle in terms of new role requirements and power sets. In terms of development, each character goes through many sequential phases before becoming a released character in the game.
DC: The DC Collectibles team shared some early concepts, such as the Ame-Comi, Bombshells, Robots and Steampunk designs, with your team early on. Did that influence any of your thinking when you were redesigning characters?
JS: Of course! After all, DC Comics and DC Collectibles are the source inspiration for everything we do.
DC: Are there artistic genres you wish you could have included in the game or hope to see in the future?
JS: We have a pretty aggressive release schedule with a new champion getting released every three weeks, and a new costume every week! At this rate we will have plenty of opportunity to explore all sorts of cool and interesting areas of the DC Universe – stay tuned!
Look for the first two Infinite Crisis action figures—Pajama Party Harley Quinn and Atomic Green Lantern—in stores and online at www.shopdccollectibles.com in August, 2014.