MARTIAN MANHUNTER (aka “Martin Spartan”)
RETRO ACTION DC SUPER HEROES (MATTEL)
It’s been the better part of a month since I’ve looked at a DC Comics-based item, so I guess I should go ahead and give them some coverage too! So, hey, that Justice League trailer just hit and it looks…about the same as everything other DC movie that’s been released in the last 4 years. Oh goody. I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of the line-up they’ve chosen for the team’s first live-action outing. Obviously, I’m lamenting the lack of my personal favorite heavy hitter, Green Lantern, but I’m also really not digging the lack of J’onn J’onzz, aka the Martian Manhunter. Sure, he’s not the team’s most prominent member, but it’s a bit like if they’d left Hawkeye out of the first Avengers movie. Alas, there’s no going back now. Anyway, I’m gonna make myself feel better by reviewing this here Martian Manhunter in all of his retro-inspired goodness.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Martian Manhunter (or “Martin Spartan,” as Super Awesome Girlfriend accidentally named him) was released in the fourth, and final, series of Mattel’s Mego-inspired Retro Action DC Super Heroes line of figures. Like a large number of figures in the line, he has no original Mego counterpart. The figure stands roughly 8 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation. J’onn was built on Mattel’s Mego-equivalent body, which is different from the standard body in ways that make it…different. That’s it. They’re changes for the sake of change, with no actual improvements to the basic body. It’s just Mattel being weird, really, but hey, what else is new, right? It’s certainly workable, and at a glance really isn’t much different, so that’s good. Manhunter has a unique head-sculpt, which depicts an earlier, more human-like version of the character, which is certainly befitting of a Mego-styled figure. Apart from a slight molding error on my figure, it’s a pretty great sculpt. Manhunter has an outfit made up of a cloth jumpsuit, a cape, and a pair of rubber buccaneer boots. The jumpsuit makes up his exposed skin, which is true to the old Mego style, and it has some nice extra bits attached to it make up his actual costume. I particularly like the use of pleather for the straps and belt, though I do wish there were an actual buckle. The cape is a little thin for my taste, but overall a nice addition. The boots are nicer than a lot of the Retro Action figures, and look a good deal less bulky. Manhunter is largely without paint; the only actual paint is on his eyes, and it’s probably my one real point of contention with this figure. The sculpt is clearly a classic Manhunter, so his eyes should be white, and possibly even have pupils, but they are instead red, as they would be on a modern Martian Manhunter design. It’s a small nit, but it sort of throws the whole retro thing off for me.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My dad and I collected this whole line of figures together when it was first released, so I remember when this guy first hit. The ones we collected are more part of my dad’s collection than mine, since he was the one with the vintage Mego collection, so I only have the few spares I picked up along the way. This guy came into my collection when Super Awesome Girlfriend and I found him at a 2nd Avenue for $2. Super Awesome Girlfriend felt sorry for him, and insisted that I add him to my collection. He’s a pretty fun figure. Definitely for a specific demographic, but fun nonetheless.