DC Universe Action League Review: Martian Manhunter & Deadman

without comments

After a few long years, enough figures have come out in the Action League line that we actually have something that resembles a Justice League. But someone at Mattel seems to be on a tangent that makes sure every super hero is wearing pants.

Deadman, resurrected by the White Lantern Ring, teams up with Martian Manhunter to restore life to the universe.

An alien from a dying world that possesses super strength, flight and speed sounds an awful lot like another hero, which makes Martian Manhunter an oddity in the DC Universe since he’s just Superman – but better! He has all of Superman’s powers plus a few other ones like shape shifting, invisibility and telepathy along with enough detective training to put him right up there with Batman. To balance it out though, he has a crippling fear of fire and a love of Oreos.

A green-skinned alien from Mars, J’onn J’onnz has been part of the DC Universe since the mid-50s. A shape shifter by nature, Martian Manhunter made his “costume” after observing all the other super hero costumes being worn. And boy is it hideous. A blend of primary colors all manage to work with the red suspenders, yellow buckles and bright blue for the cape and buccaneer boots. But in a very odd move, this figure was given pants.

I guess because someone at Mattel didn’t want Martian Manhunter running around pantless, so the figure was haphazardly painted with black pants. What is every weirder is the fact that the sculpt clearly shoes where his legs and underoos are different. It’s almost as bad as the Stealth Suit TMNT figures a few years back.

The head sculpt for Martian Manhunter is very well done and fits in with the Action League style. The flat head and long face don’t look quite human, while the black and red eyes look great against his green skin. Articulation is the standard four points at the shoulders, neck and waist. But because of his cape, all the articulation is limited a bit – especially the head which only turns about 150 degrees.

While I never read Brightest Day, I vaguely recall how big of a deal it was that Deadman was brought back to life. Though with the new 52 reboot, I imagine he’s dead again. Either way, this figure of Deadman is another hold-over from the old Brave and Bold Action League that never got released.

Unlike Bronze Tiger, Deadman doesn’t look out of place. Originally an acrobat, Deadman is a skinny guy and has some of the best looking proportions for the style. I actually think his chest to arm ratio looks better than most of the figures in the line.

The head is sunken and covered in wrinkles. It looks like it is mummified which works well. Another unique touch is that his feet are cast together and look to be made of flame. It’s an easy way to show that Deadman is ethereal.

To show that he’s a ghost, Deadman was cast in translucent red plastic which was a genius move. The plastic is just thick enough to let some light through, while still making him look unique. It’s a much better execution than either of Gentleman Ghost’s two figures. The rest of the paint is simple but effective. The red gloves, belt and D emblem all look great and the white head works well. Articulation is the standard four points, but again the high collar limits his head’s movement.

This two-pack is one painting decisions away from being perfect. Deadman is a fun figure that makes great use of translucent plastic to show him off. Martian Manhunter is beautifully sculpted but the fact that he’s wearing pants is just odd. But even with that one error, this is a fantastic two-pack and a worthwhile addition to the Action League line.

DC Universe Action League

Wave 1
Superman & Bizzaro | Hal Jordan & White Lantern Sinestro
Firestorm & Deathstorm | The Flash & Captain Boomerang

Wave 2
Green Arrow & Prometheus | Batman & the Joker
John Stewart & Atrocitus | Tomar Re & Low

Wave 3
Superman & Wonder Woman | Batman & Deathstroke
Split Hal Jordan & Saint Walker | Killowag & Zilius Zox

Wave 4
Batman & Bronze Tiger | Professor Zoom & the Flash
Martian Manhunter & Deadman | Yellow Lantern Sinestro & Akrillo

Written by jestergoblin

January 25th, 2012 at 12:00 am

In addition to commenting, be sure to stay up to date by visiting the Hasbro Heroes Forum!