JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED (MATTEL)
“Mantis, an evil resident of Apokolips, decides to lead an invasion of Earth after the apparent demise of Darkseid.”
Of all the New Gods characters, I think Mantis may be the least developed. I mean, he’s always been there, since Jack Kirby created the group in the ‘70s, but Kirby never did much with him, and subsequent creators sort of followed. Mantis essentially just exists when writers need a New God for the heroes to battle without throwing off whatever’s going on with the New Gods that actually matter. Despite that, Mantis inexplicably has four action figures. Who’d have thunk?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Mantis was released as part of the amusingly typo-ed “Attack from Apolkolips” 6-pack from Mattel’s Justice League Unlimited line. That’s the best name I’ve seen since the good old days of “Muntant Armor.” The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. He’s built on the large male body (patterned after the original Justice League Superman), which is a good fit for the character. He’s got a brand-new head sculpt, and though it’s made of rather rubbery plastic, it’s actually a pretty decent piece, rather deftly recreating Mantis’ design from the series. Mantis’ “wings” are handled here has a cloth cape piece. In a line of figures that used almost exclusively sculpted pieces for such things, this seems a little out of place, especially since it’s not a particularly *good* cloth cape. There’s no hem on the outside, and it’s held in place by some rather obvious clips. Organic flow is not among this figures strong suits. The paint work on Mantis is decent enough; his colors all match up well with the on-screen ones, and the greens are nice and complimentary. There’s a little bit of slop on his face and mask, but he’s otherwise pretty clean, and the detail lines on his costume are quite sharply defined. Mantis included no accessories, but this was within the norm for the multi-pack figures. Also, having seen a number of the accessories that were included with the single-carded figures, I can hardly feel like I missed out on anything.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My interest in JLU had largely waned by the time this set came along, so I didn’t buy it new. This guy was bought all on his lonesome from Yesterday’s Fun, during my family vacation last summer. He’s not an exceptional figure or anything, but he’s not awful either. He’s about average for this line, which I guess is about as much as you can expect.