Our 2nd entry in Armless Stel Week is a look at Nautkeloi / Medphyll. There’s just one figure in this review, but it includes alternate heads to be either of the two featured Green Lanterns. It’s cool that these two guys have found their way into the line, but I can’t help feeling bored by this lineup.
In the first wave of Green Lantern Classics, Mattel introduced alternate heads into the DC Classics line. In that wave, a Yellow Lantern was featured that included alternate head and hands to recreate the characters Low or Maash. It was pretty cool – I bought two to have one of each. Mattel embraced that concept even more in the second wave, making combo figures of two Green Lanterns and two Red Lanterns.
As I said in the teaser, the figure includes heads to be either Medphyll or Nautkeloi. Both are classic Green Lanterns, each appearing very early in Hal’s book and both were created by the legendary team of John Broome & Gil Kane.
Nautkeloi is probably the more obscure of two, but it’s hard to say because his appearance is likely the more memorable. His differentiating characteristic is his fish head in a bowl. I think most Green Lantern fans are aware of him, but they might not know just how little we know about him. The character is right around fifty years old, but has only appeared a handful of times and usually as a background character at that. We know he’s from the ocean world of Aeros and… that’s about it. We don’t even know what sector he’s from. Maybe Johns, Bedard, or Tomasi should get on that? Despite his uninspiring appearance list, Nautkeloi’s head was included in DC Direct 1/6th scale line which makes this his second figure (and a third movie-based version is on the way).
Medphyll, on the other hand, might be less identifiable, but has more appearances and story under his belt. He’s a sentient plant hailing from the planet J586. He’s got a few serious battles under his belt including a tussle with the “Anti-Green Lantern Corps” (where’re those figures?!), subduing and befriending Swamp Thing, joining the Darkstars after the Corps was dismantled, and ultimately getting killed by Jack Knight… wait, that last part doesn’t seem to have happened anymore. As they say, he “got better”. Like Nautkeloi, Medphyll is again appearing as a background character in the Green Lantern title.
Once again, we’re talking about a figure that’s mostly just a new head. We’ve got the Hal body and deco from neck to ankles, but the figure does feature new bifurcated feet. This is great for Medphyll because he does have bifurcated feet, but not so much for Nautkeloi since he doesn’t. I’m not going to make a mountain out of a molehill, but it does annoy me a bit.
The centerpiece of the figure is again the head. I’m not as fond of the Medphyll head. It looks okay. I’ve never been exactly sure what Medphyll is – sometimes he’s a plant and other times he’s a vegetable. Is his face made of wood with leaves for hair? Or his face like a potato with asparagus hair? I don’t know. I don’t know if anyone does, but the Four Horsemen had to make a decision to render him in 3D. It looks like they leaned more towards plant and gave him a tree head. It works.
I ended up really liking the Nautkeloi head though. It’s actually three pieces – the collar, the helmet, and the head. The helmet has more of a modern look to it, but I don’t know if the Four Horsemen based it on any artist’s interpretation in particular. Similarly, the head looks modern, but I’m not sure if it comes from specific source material. He does look a little silly with his “bass mouth”, but I like it. I can look at the pieces individually, but it’s really the whole ensemble that works for me. The figure just looks much sharper as Nautkeloi than it does as Medphyll. Continue to Page 2…