Bane Week kicks off with a look at Mercury. Mercury is important to your collection if you’re trying to build Bane or complete your Metal Men team and that’s about it. I wanted to be excited about him, but I was disappointed by some of the design choices. And then, he broke. Kinda put a damper on things…
I talked about the Metal Men in my Iron & Gold reviews, so I won’t go into too much detail here. They first appeared in 1962′s Showcase Presents #37 and have been an on-again, off-again team ever since. They exist in a strange limbo for DC where most fans enjoy the idea of the Metal Men, but we won’t purchase books focusing on them. That leaves them with permanent guest star status and causes them to die, get rebooted, retconned, and generally messed with by each subsequent writer looking to reclaim them.
Mercury is the egotistical hothead of the team. If you have an internet friend that is pretty full of themselves, makes quips at your expense, and seems to be in the thick of most flame wars – that’s Mercury. Mercury is also the “only metal that’s liquid at room temperature”, a fact that Mercury spouts at least once per appearance. I tried to work that into one of the pictures, but my red dye/glue mix didn’t turn out so well (though I am typing this up with my hands looking like they’re covered in dried blood).
The sculpt is one area where I’m pretty satisfied with Mercury. I do find myself wishing that they’d given him a tunic similar to Iron’s, but I imagine the folks out there who really love articulation probably prefer this setup – where the bottom edge of the tunic is sculpted into the hip and crotch pieces and everything moves like it should. It doesn’t look bad, but I preferred the setup on Iron.
Mercury utilizes the thinner buck which best suits his build. In addition to the above pieces, he also includes new calves and forearms with boot and glove edges respectively, a new chest to attach the plate that features his logo, new feet, and I believe new legs overall – I think this is the first time we’re seeing double knees on the thin buck. The new head looks pretty cool with a great smirk and I don’t think the nose being a different piece is terribly distracting.
I’ve got a prejudice against this figure because of the paint/color choice. The Metal Men aren’t really precise depictions of the metals they represent, particularly Mercury. He’s likely red because of the confusion over what’s really in a red thermometer. When it comes to the figure, I think that it was perfectly reasonable to do this figure in pearlized red instead of a metallic red, but I think he would look great with the same metallic treatment as the other two got. The pearlized red is better than nothing though – the outer half of my scissors came without paint and are a rather dull red.
The figure has the full complement of the new articulation – double elbows, double knees, and ball wrists in addition to the standard articulation found on the figures since the second year (Mercury can’t look up). The double knees are more or less cancelled out by the one-piece ankles, but I don’t know if I should complain because I imagine the ball-ankles would be handled similar to the ball wrists…
I mentioned my Mercury broke and this is where. It’s somewhat ironic because his left hand’s ball joint is designed to be a swappable piece between the attachment and the regular hand. I haven’t had any problems with it either, but the right hand gave me trouble. It was slow to turn when I got it out of the package, but it finally gave and I assumed it was fine. I didn’t bother with any freezing or heating tricks but maybe I should have. During the shoot, I went to the move the right hand, just after I swapped out the left one for the pic below, and it came off in my hand.
The attachment itself is pretty cool with the bubbled up transformation an working scissors, but I have trouble getting it into good poses – it’s too loose in the socket and and gravity quickly swivels it down.
Overall, I really wanted to enjoy Mercury’s figure. I love the Metal Men and I’m anxiously awaiting Mattel to get back to them (and hoping that’ll happen later this year), but Mercury let me down a bit. I could’ve gotten over the pearlized, non-metallic plastic and the decision to work the tunic directly into the sculpt instead of having a slipover piece like Iron. I do appreciate that his chest piece doesn’t ride up like Gold’s, but, in the end, the figure broke. It’s really hard to give a positive review on a broken figure. If some part of Mercury impressed me enough that I wanted to stress it, then maybe, but he doesn’t. He’s a great sculpt that ended up with a lukewarm figure.
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