#3300: The Question



Hey, it’s time for another installment of me reviewing a figure of The Question on The Figure in Question!  I really was expecting that joke to come back around quicker than it ultimately did.  I mean, it’s been, like eight years, with no additional reviews.  That’s on me, you guys.  There are many great things about Justice League Unlimited, but the undeniable best thing about it is Jeffery Combs as The Question.  He’s just so, so great.  Every moment with him’s just fantastic, and it’s really just the definitive take on the character.  Unfortunately, due to a weird contractual thing, Mattel was unable to add the character to the tie-in toyline until very near the end of its run.  But, they did at least get him in before they were done.  That’s gotta count for something.  So, let’s take a look at that figure!


The Question was released in the first assortment of Justice League Unlimited three-packs post Mattel launching their larger DC Universe branding.  It followed them getting the full DC license, which allowed them to finally produce the figure.  Question was packed with re-packs of Flash and Wonder Woman…which was borderline predatory on Mattel’s part, really.  Question doesn’t ever really interact with the two of them in the show, and Mattel knew very well that people were buying this set just for him.  Couldn’t hey have at least thrown people a bone and packed him with, I don’t know, maybe Huntress?  Heck, you could even go for a “Question Authority” theme and throw a Superman in there.  See?  Heavy hitter.  Actually, it looks like they paired those two off with Galatea at the same time.  Well, there it is.  Whatever the case, it is what it is.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  He used a base body derived from Mattel’s take on the animated Two-Face, which they’d made a little more basic.  It would be re-used for a few others down the line, but it kicked off here.  He got a unique head sculpt, as well as an extra piece for his overcoat.  The overcoat is a little bit clunky, but the head sculpt is pretty decent.  There’s no face, of course, but there shouldn’t be, so it tracks.  The color work is basic, but what it needs to be.  The application is pretty clean overall, and the colors match up well with his look from the show.


The Question was my favorite part of the show, and I desperately wanted him as a figure for the show’s whole run.  I even tried my hand at making one of my own, but it’s honestly for the best that I don’t have it to compare.  It was pretty bad.  This figure was one I was really excited for.  Not super thrilled about having to buy the two extra figures, but by this point in the line, I was desensitized to the whole thing.  He’s actually a pretty nice little figure.  Basic, but that’s the whole line.  He definitely felt worth the wait.

#3295: Atom



When reworking their slate of Golden Age heroes into something that better fit the more “modern” audience of the ’60s, DC banked far more heavily on science and “space age” ingenuity for the backgrounds of their superheroes.  Where the Golden Age Atom was just a kinda small guy who was a bit of a bruiser, his replacement in the Silver Age was a man who could shrink down to the size of the thing he took his name from.  Well, okay, probably still a bit bigger.  Actual Atoms are pretty darn small.  Ray Palmer’s turn as the Atom reshaped the character, and has been the standard going forward.  He’s found himself as a supporting player in a number of DC projects.  He first got his name dropped during Justice League’s second season, before becoming a member of the titular team in the following season, when the went “Unlimited.”  He was voiced in the show by Dr. Percival Cox himself, John C McGinnley, and got two focus episodes of his own, as well as a little bit of action figure coverage.  I’m looking at his main JLU line figure today!


The Atom was part of the first single-carded assortment of Mattel’s Justice League Unlimited line.  They largely kept the new team members confined to the multipacks at the start, so he was largely packed in with a bunch of unnecessary variants of the core 7, making him by far the most desirable in the bunch.  He was re-released a couple of times after that in multipack form, but this guy’s the original release.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Atom was built on the skinniest of the male base bodies, which was patterned on the original Flash sculpt.  It’s perhaps a touch skinny for how Ray was portrayed on the show, but it was a closer fit than any of the other options.  He got a new head sculpt, which was a strong recreation of the animation design, and just a pretty strong sculpt in general.  It’s very cleanly handled, and instantly distinct from the other characters in the line (well, apart from the Hourman figure that re-used the head, but that’s a whole other thing).  His paint work is pretty basic stuff, but it covers his needed set-up pretty well.  The insignia on the head and belt is decent, and the blue and red are fairly close to what they should be.  As a single-release, Atom actually got an accessory; it’s a miniature version of himself.  Interestingly, this smaller Atom appears to have his mold based on the mid-range body, which was patterned on Batman, making him look a little bulkier than his full-sized compatriot.  Given the scale, though, it’s a pretty minor difference.


Atom was my first JLU figure.  The three packs were hard to get at first, and my dad wound up finding this one for me, which he presented to me as sort of a gift of acomplishment after I lost a tooth mid-way through a school play and still went on with the show.  I was determined, I tell ya.  He was always one of my favorites from the line, and I stand by that.  He kind of exemplified the kind of stuff the line could do very well when it played to its strengths.

#3290: Wildcat



First appearing as a second fiddle of sorts to Wonder Woman in Sensation Comics #1, Wildcat became something of a journeyman hero.  He didn’t officially join the JSA until after the Golden Age had wrapped, but became quite a fixture for the team in the ensuing years.  He’s found his real footing in recent years as the old-timer hero involved in training a good chunk of DC’s street level heroes.  That was the role he found himself in for Justice League Unlimited, where his role as Black Canary’s mentor served as the basis of their shared debut episode “The Cat and the Canary.”  His part in the show got him his second time as an action figure, and I’m taking a look at that figure today.


Wildcat was released in the second series of three packs for Mattel’s Justice League Unlimited line, alongside Metamorpho and a re-packed Batman figure.  He was subsequently re-packed as a single with a few extra accessories later down the line.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Wildcat is based on the larger male base body, which was based upon the first Superman sculpt from the line.  It’s a decent build for the character, but he does have a little bit of trouble standing.  He’s got to lean all the way back to really balance, which doesn’t quite feel very true to the character.  Wildcat got a unique head and arms.  The head’s a little bit on the tiny side, but is otherwise a nice mold, which does a respectable job of capturing the animation design.  The arms are similar to the standard ones, but with slight tufts of fur on the forearms.  It’s a small touch, but an effective one.  The figure’s paint work is fairly minimal.  Largely, he’s just the molded off-black/purple.  He does get a little bit of paint for his face and his hands.  Nothing too crazy, but it gets the job done.


When it first launched, JLU was a rather tricky to acquire line, especially when it came to the three-packs.  After finally managing to get most of the first assortment, I actually lucked into almost all of the second series at once, while vacationing with my family back when they first dropped.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Wildcat, and I liked his appearance on the show, so I was happy to have gotten him.  He’s a pretty basic figure, but he does what he needs to, and he fits the line well.

#3285: Warhawk



“In the not too distant future, an older Bruce Wayne trains high school student Terry McGinnis to become the new Batman, ensuring the protection of Gotham City for years to come. This new Batman eventually joins the future JLU, teaming up with heroes such as Warhawk, the tough-as-nails son of John Stewart and Shayera Hol.”

Since Batman Beyond‘s tie-in toyline from when it was on the air wasn’t particularly comprehensive, and was effectively non-existent by the time of the later seasons, its best toy coverage came not in its own line, but rather as part of the line for its follow-up show, Justice League Unlimited.  JLU the show was used to more clearly tie the entire DCAU together, in particular giving a little more time to Beyond, as well as its own continuation of the Justice League, the Justice League….Unlimited.  Team member Warhawk, who had previously been something of a blank canvas, was given an actual proper backstory, which wound up being a key plot point within JLU‘s last couple seasons.  As such, he was a pretty natural fit to get his first action figure in JLU‘s tie-in line.


Warhawk was released in one of the final retail three-pack assortments for Mattel’s Justice League Unlimited line, alongside the previously reviewed Batman Beyond and Bruce Wayne.  The figure stands about 4 1/4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  Warhawk’s starting point was the medium base body, which was patterned on Green Lantern.  Given Warhawk’s parentage, as well as his usual build in the shows, it’s a pretty solid choice of base.  He gets a new head and an overlay piece for his shoulder plating and wings.  The head is a solid piece, though it seems to be a little more inspired by his Beyond appearances than by JLU proper.  They’re not terribly different, so it’s not like it’s really terribly noticeable, especially at this scale.  The overlay is pretty basic; while the hawk symbol appears to be a cut out piece on the show, it’s just painted here, probably for the sake of integrity of the piece.  The wings are separate pieces, glued in place here.  Warhawk’s paint work is fairly well handled.  It’s again going more for the Beyond appearance, given the shading of the skin, but the rest of the colors are pretty neutral for both sets of appearances.  Warhawk was without any accessories.  Most of the three-packs didn’t get any extras, and Warhawk already got quite a few new parts, so it’s not terribly surprising.


As I noted in my review of Bruce and Terry, I was mostly out of the line by the time this set came along.  I saw the prototypes, but never anything in person.  Through All Time, I was able to get the other two a couple of years back, which was pretty cool.  But, I certainly had this distinct lack of a Warhawk figure in my collection, and, as luck would have it, the missing piece of the set made its way into All Time.  Boom.  Warhawk.  I’m glad I got him, because he’s honestly the best in the set.  Sure, it would be nice to have the whole team, but at least this guy got a cool toy out of it all.

#2241: Legion of Super Heroes



There is a surprising lack of toy coverage for the Legion of Super Heroes.  Like, there are toys.  There are a fair number of them.  But it’s just a little surprising that there aren’t more.  Between DC Direct and Mattel, we did manage to get a decent team line-up in the 6-inch scale, and Mattel also added a few select members of the team to their very expansive Justice League Unlimited line, based on their two appearances in the DCAU.  Those are the figures I’ll be taking a look at today.


Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl were released as one of the Matty Collector-exclusive “four packs” of Justice League Unlimited figures.  Why the quotes?  Well, as I touched on when reviewed the Justice Guild, the sets were actually just four single-carded figures packed together.  So, despite the number of figures being completely arbitrary, almost every one of these packs felt like the warranted one or two more figures.  The Legion didn’t fair quite as badly in this respect, though, so I won’t totally rag on Mattel here.


“After key members of the Legion of Super Heroes were defeated by the Fatal Five, Brainiac 5 used a time sphere and his level 12 intellect to recruit heroes from the past to save his future and in doing so changed Supergirl fate forever.”

“Changed Supergirl fate forever” indeed.  You gotta love when those typos make it to press.  Typos aside, Brainiac 5’s bio is referencing “Far From Home,” the Legion-focused episode of JLU‘s final season.  Brainiac 5 serves as the main Legionnaire for the episode, making his inclusion the most natural of all the members. The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Like all of the male members of the set, he’s built on the skinniest of the standard male bodies, which was the one reworked from the original Flash body.  It’s a pretty close match to Brainy’s depiction on the show, made even more so by the pretty spot-on head sculpt that adorns it.  They managed to get his show design down pretty much spot-on.  His paintwork is pretty decent; some of the lines on the costume are a little fuzzy, but they did a good job of cleanly applying the Brainiac symbol on his forehead.  Brainy included no accessories, unless of course you count his 12th level intellect.  Which I suppose would bump him up a bit.


“A native of the planet Braal, Rokk Krinn uses his natural magnetic powers and leadership skills to aid the Legion of Super Heroes in battle in the 31st Century.”

The remainder of this set is filled in with the Legion’s founding trio.  Their bios are actually about them, which is a bit of shift, isn’t it?  Though not featured in “Far From Home” in anything beyond a cameo, Cosmic Boy did get a fair bit of focus in “New Kids in Town,” the Superman: The Animated Series episode that introduced the team to the DCAU.  His design was pretty much the same between both appearances, so it works for either one.  He uses the same body as Brainy with a unique head.  His head is a little larger than the others in this set, owing to him being closer to that S:TAS design, where the characters had slightly more exaggerated proportions.  It means he sticks out a little bit when with the other three figures in the set.  His paintwork is also pretty decent, but there’s still the slightly fuzzy lines of the costume.  Cosmic Boy also included no accessories.  Not even his much lower level intellect.


“In the 31st Century, Garth Ranzz is one of the founding members of the legendary Legion of Super Heroes, a vast intergalactic team of teenage heroes dedicated to advancing justice throughout the universe.”

Poor Garth got the short end of the stick for the team’s DCAU appearances, being nothing more than a cameo in either one of them.  Still, he’s a founding member, so that at least got him a figure (even if it was at the cost of getting a Chameleon Boy to round out the “New Kids in Town” team).  Since he wasn’t ever a focus character, Garth didn’t get a new animated design; he’s just a straight adaptation of Dave Cockrum’s design for him from the ’70s.  It’s honestly Garth’s best look, so no complaints there.  He gets his own head sculpt, and it’s honestly my favorite in the set.  It’s just a very sharp sculpt.  Unfortunately, Garth’s paint is the weakest of the bunch; the edges of the white are by far the sloppiest work seen here, and they opted for gold paint over yellow on the lightning bolts, which just isn’t as striking as it is on the page.  Again, there were no accessories for Lightning Lad…I mean, I guess unless you count him having his arm.  He doesn’t always have it, you know.


“A native of Saturn’s moon Titan, Imra Ardeen hoped to use her telepathic powers as a member of the Science Police.  Instead, she became a founding member of the 31st Century’s greatest team of champions, the Legion of Super Heroes!”

I think I may have missed it; what was the name of the team again?  I don’t know if that was repeated enough times.  Like Cosmic Boy, founding member Saturn Girl was prominently featured in “New Kids in Town” and then demoted to cameo for “Far From Home.”  She’s the most unique of the figures in the set; being a girl means that she’s on the girl body.  Of course, she’s only unique within the confines of this set, because being a girl means that she’s also on the only female body Mattel had.  It’s not one of their better base body, with those weirdly spaced legs being the primary issue.  She got a new head, which again is not a particularly strong piece.  The hair and head a two separate parts, and like a lot of the figures Mattel tied this on for this line, the two pieces just don’t quite line up correctly.  It makes her head look a little bit weirdly shaped.  Her paint work is okay, but nothing amazing.  Her eyebrows definitely seem to be set a little bit high, though.  Saturn Girl is a notable exception to this assortment’s lack of real accessories.  She gets a stand, which is good, because she can’t really stand without it.


Unlike most of the Matty Collector-exclusive JLU stuff, this set didn’t hit after I’d given up on the line.  I did miss its original drop date on the site, but they went back up during that year’s Cyber Monday sale, and I picked up this, the Doom Patrol, and the Shazam set all at the same time.  Though none of them are going to redefine action figures or anything, I’ve always quite liked this set, and it’s probably one of Mattel’s best Matty-exclusive offerings.


#2227: Batman Beyond & Bruce Wayne



“In the not too distant future, an older Bruce Wayne trains high school student Terry McGinnis to become the new Batman, ensuring the protection of Gotham City for years to come.”

Would you believe there was a time where we were thankful for Mattel making up for the mistakes of Hasbro?  I know, that must have been a strange bizarro world.  When Batman Beyond hit the airwaves, Hasbro had fully absorbed Kenner and were back to making toys under their own name again, and they…weren’t the best at it.  For their Beyond line, they decided that rather than doing anything that followed the actual show, they’d do a bunch of wacky non-standard variants of the title character instead.  It was a reasonable toy line, but not much of a companion for the show.  A show-accurate version of the main character, as well as a handful of the supporting cast, would eventually get their due courtesy of Mattel and their Justice League Unlimited toy line.


Bruce and Terry were released in a three-pack alongside fellow Beyond character Warhawk in one of the final retail assortments of the Justice League Unlimited line.  Terry would also see release as a single-carded figure, but this was the only way to get Bruce.


The main character of the show, Terry was not short on action figures, but he was short on accurate ones.  This figure changes that…more or less.  He’s wearing his standard gear from the show, which is a pretty darn timeless design.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Batman Beyond is built on one of the line’s mid-sized bodies, in fact the one retrofitted from the original Justice League Batman body.  It’s honestly a little bit on the large side for Terry, and he’d probably have looked more at home on the skinny body that they built out of Flash.  Ultimately, it’s not the worst look, and is okay for maybe a slightly later career Terry as seen in “Epilogue.”  Given it’s the JLU line and that was his main JLU appearance, I suppose it’s not totally unreasonable.  He gets a new head and a slightly tweaked set of arms.  The head is a fairly reasonable recreation of the animation design, certainly closer than any of Hasbro’s attempts.  It’s a little on the large side, but that ends up making the body look slightly more proportionate, I suppose.  The arms are pretty much just the standard ones for this body, but with the scallops on the back of the forearms.  The paint work on BB is fairly basic, just the standard details for him.  One notable omission is the mouth, which really should be white like the eyes.  Instead, it’s left unpainted, which makes it easily lost in the sculpt.


Despite many figures of his younger self, this was the very first figure we got of the elder Bruce Wayne as seen for most of Beyond‘s run.  I mean, I guess it’s a little harder fault Hasbro on not releasing this one; he’s an old guy in a suit.  Not a ton of play potential there.  Coupled with a fully suited up Terry and Warhawk, though, he’s admittedly an easier sell.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation, just like his companion.  Bruce was built on Mattel’s revamped suit body of the time, but given the slightly bulkier arms of Hal Jordan/Mr. Terrific, as well as a unique head and an add-on piece for the torso.  The head is a respectable match for Bruce’s design from the show, but is rather on the small side, especially when compared to Terry’s oversized head.  It also has a straighter neck than Bruce tended to have in the show.  The add-on piece, conversely, adds in some of Bruce’s slight hunch from the show, but when coupled with the very straight neck, plus the arms that really weren’t designed for this body, he ends up looking like his shoulders are about half and inch too low.  It’s not ideal.  Like Terry, Bruce’s paint is fairly basic, though he doesn’t have any obviously missing apps, which I suppose is a good thing.  What he *is* missing is his cane, which he was pretty much never seen without on the show.  Seems like a pretty glaring omission if you ask me.


I fell out of JLU towards the end, so by the time that this set was at retail, I was pretty much gone.  I remember seeing pictures, but the distribution was such that I never saw it anywhere in person.  I can’t say I felt like I was really missing it, but this pair got traded into All Time several weeks back and I had some trade credit, so I decided I kind of wanted them.  Are they great?  No.  Are they good?  Eh.  Are they fairly passable, fairly accurate recreations of the source material?  More or less.

#2011: Starman



Starman created the Cosmic Rod which collects stellar energy and allows him to fly and manipulate gravity on Earth and beyond.”

So, yeah, you know the guy mentioned in that bio?  It’s not the guy shown here.  The bio is very definitely talking about original Earth-bound Starman Ted Knight (not to be confused with the actor), who operated as a member of the JSA in the ’40s.  This here would be Starman #4, Prince Gavyn of the planet Kranaltine.  He was introduced in the ’80s, just before Crisis and is yet another only vaguely related character in the Starman mythos.  Also, for reasons that never quite made sense, he was the version of the character chosen to appear on Justice League Unlimited.  Hey, I’m certainly not complaining.  Though he never spoke once on the show, he somehow managed to get a whopping two figures in the toy line, the second of which I’m looking at today.


This version of Starman was released at the tail end of the Justice League Unlimited line, after the line had left retail and moved to Matty Collector.  He was sold in a three-pack with Animal Man and Adam Strange.  His placement in this particular set is rather baffling, since I don’t believe he’s ever had much interaction with either of those characters, and he’d already gotten a figure, meaning he was hardly at the top of anyone’s list at the end of the line when character slots were all the more precious.  Further more, he’s not even based on his show appearance, but is instead based on the character’s second, all-blue get-up from the comics.  An odd choice to say the least.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  He’s the exact same sculpt as his previous figure, which is fairly sensible, since the costumes where really just palette swaps, and he *is* the same guy.  One small tweak, though, was that by this point in the line, the molding error on the base body’s leg had been repaired, meaning that he no longer leans to one side.  His head sculpt also remains one of my favorite in the line, and looks just as nice here as it did the first time around.  His paintwork is, of course, the main breaking point.  Rather than the red of the original figure, this one’s molded in blue, and drops the yellow and black detailing on the legs, resulting in an even more streamlined appearance.  It’s sufficiently distinct from the prior figure, and is still nice and striking.


As I noted when I reviewed Animal Man, by the time of this set’s release, I’d pretty much abandoned collecting JLU, so I didn’t get it new.  I picked him up alongside Animal Man two summers ago when I made a stop at Factory Antique Mall while on a road trip.  He’s not much different from the first figure, but I loved that one, and I quite like this one too.  Now I guess I need to track down an Adam Strange to finish out the set…

#1813: Hawk & Dove



Jeez, when are the Teen Titans going to stop masquerading as the Justice League?  First Cyborg, now these guys?  Okay, actually, first these guys, by a little bit…unless we’re going to count Super Friends…but then it’s actually first Robin….I’m getting sidetracked.

For Justice League Unlimited’s expansive roster, the creators actually searched just about every corner of the DC Universe for characters not otherwise tied up.  While most of the Titans characters were tied up in their show, for whatever reason, Hawk and Dove weren’t, so they got tapped for Unlimited, getting their main focus in the appropriately titled “Hawk and Dove.”  They also got some figures out of it, which would end up being the very first figures of the pair.  Not too shabby at all!


Hawk and Dove were released in the second round of Justice League Unlimited figures, in a three pack that was rounded out by a re-issue of Wonder Woman.  Given her prominent role in the duo’s eponymous episode, she was a decent choice to pair off.  But, she was just a slight tweak on a character I already had, so I’ve subsequently gotten rid of her.


First up, it’s Hank Hall, aka Hawk.  The older and gruffer of the two, he’s also voiced by Fred Savage, of Wonder Years and Princess Bride fame.  Pretty nifty!  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Hawk was built on JLU’s larger male body, which was a retooling of the Superman base.  It’s a decent fit for Hawk, especially as he’s depicted in the show.  It’s worth noting that, the way the pieces work out, Hawk actually ends up with more new parts than most in this line.  He’s got a unique head, of course, but also has a slightly tweaked torso and arms, which allow for the attachment of his “cape” and gloves.  The cape piece I get needing a unique piece for, but the arms are a little surprising, given this line’s penitent for just painting details on.  Of course, I’m certainly not complaining.  Hawk’s paintwork is pretty straightforward and clean.  The red matches the show, and pairs well with the white, presenting an all-around nice looking figure.


Hank’s younger brother Don took up the mantle of Dove…at least he was replaced by Dawn Granger following Don’s death during Crisis.  Convenient that they were able to find someone with such a similar name, huh?  On the show, Don was played by Jason Hervey, Fred Savage’s on-screen brother in The Wonder Years.  Family reunion!  Dove is built on the skinny male body, retooled from the Flash body.  It’s definitely a perfect match for Dove’s build from the show.  While Hawk got a bunch of new parts, Dove only gets a new head sculpt.  Fortunately, it’s a really strong sculpt—a pitch-perfect match for his animation model.  Dove’s paintwork is similar to Hawk’s, as you would expect.  It’s also cleanly applied, and the white is thick enough to not have any bleed-through from the blue plastic, which definitely shows some quality work on Mattel’s part.


“Hawk and Dove” is one of my favorites amongst the earliest episodes of Unlimited, so I was slightly bummed when they were absent from the first assortment.  Their presence in the second series was definitely a plus.  As luck would have it, they were the first set I found, at a Walmart on the way back from a family vacation.  Both of the figures included are pretty strong, definitely amongst the best Mattel produced in this line.

#1713: Animal Man



“When a teenage Buddy Baker went hunting in the Adirondacks, he found more than big game – he found an alien spacecraft! After being exposed to its strange radiation, Buddy found he could take on the powers and characteristics of any nearby animal – down to regenerating severed limbs, like an earthworm. He has faced many surreal menaces, traveled through space, and seen his entire reality torn apart more than once, but he always remains plain old Buddy Baker, family man and occasional hero – an oasis of sanity in the stranger corners of the DC Universe.”

Though Justice League Unlimited covered most corners of the DC Universe, there were a few characters left notably absent.  In many cases, it was where duplication of powers or gimmicks came into play, and a more minor character was chosen because of production team preferences.  One such instance was Animal Man, whose role as an animal expert was passed off to the more minor B’wanna Beast.  But at least Buddy found himself in the toyline.


Animal Man came from towards the end of the Justice League Unlimited line, after it had left retail and moved to Matty Collector.  Buddy was part of a three-pack which also included Adam Strange and a blue variant of the Prince Gavyn Starman.  It’s almost a sensible pack-out, were the last sylable in that last name “fire” instead of “man,” but oh well.  Buddy had no official JLU design, since he never appeared on the show, so this figure just animates his usual design.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  He’s built on the medium-sized male body, and re-uses the sleeved jacket arms from Mr. Terrific.  He also gets a brand-new head sculpt and a new jacket add-on piece, replicating his denim jacket from the comics.  The head is definitely a nice piece, and it’s well-fitted to the body.  There’s a nice friendly sort of smile that seems appropriate for the character.  The jacket piece is cool, because it could have easily been left out, and instead been replaced with another repaint of the Mr. Terrific piece.  The unique piece adds a character specific flair to the figure, that makes him that much more impressive.  Animal Man’s paintwork is clean, crisp, and very bold.  The shiny black on the gloves and boots looks particularly sharp.  Animal Man included no accessories, but that’s about normal for the line.


By the time this set was released, I had mostly abandoned the JLU line, so I didn’t get Animal Man new.  Instead, I got him last year from the largest antique mall in the country, on one the many long coastal drives I made over the course of last summer.  He’s a very nice figure, and I’m glad I tracked him down.

#1626: Mantis



“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?


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.


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.