As is usually the case, articulation is the one area where DC Direct tends to lack and the Mera buck is no exception. There is some decent articulation here: a ball-jointed head (the regular version has some range despite the hair, but the red version is completely blocked by the bone collar), limited ball shoulders, and hinges at the elbows, hips, and knees. I’m always going to want more from DC Direct, but I really lament the lack of wrist joints on these two figures. It’s really hard to get good trident poses out of the static hands these two were given. That’s easily my least favorite thing about these figures.
Mera’s paint is awesome – both figure’s costumes are painted silver with a translucent overcoat to get the preferred color. Their is a slight drawback to this method – the intricacies of the scales caused some of the silver paint to show through here and there. It bugs me a little bit, but I don’t mind in the long run because the costumes really pop on the shelf because of the metallics. I’ll take the good with the bad on this one. Red Lantern Mera has great paint apps on her “bone” extensions except for the ones on her calves – they were forgotten and are painted metallic red like the rest of the figure.
The paint on both faces is really nice. Unfortunately, my Brightest Day Mera’s eyes are a little off from each other (the downside of the direct market, you get what Diamond sends you. sigh), but it’s not terrible.
In the accessories department, Red Lantern Mera makes you feel like Brightest Day Mera could’ve used a little more. While both figures have stands, Brightest Day Mera only has her trident as an accessory – and it’s recycled from the Brightest Day Aquaman. It’s comically big and it doesn’t really fit well into either of her hand sculpts. Meanwhile, Red Lantern Mera included her own unique trident, a red lantern (borrowed from Atrocitus), and Dex-Starr. Mera could have included some “hard water” constructs to help her value. Heck, it might have been cooler to have her trident cast in a clear bluish tint alone.
So, back to Dex-Starr. He’s a domesticated earth cat (yes, he’s blue, I know) that went through some tough times, but none as tough as getting a decent toy of him. Initially, the cat was thrown into the comics as a joke, but then the internet stepped in and he became a sensation, even earning himself a heart-wrenching origin story. I’ve already reviewed the Mattel version of Dex-Starr in which he was somewhat like an alien cat/toddler. I didn’t like that that much. This version is fairly accurate to the one panel where Dex-Starr was first shown – right down to the sprawled out pose. He does look more like a cat here, but the end result is that he’s a just hunk of plastic. He is articulated at the head and tail, but that doesn’t do much for him when he’s laying on the ground.
Overall, these are pretty solid DC Direct figures. The obvious question a DCUC collector is going to ask though is if Mattel will do these two. I want to say it’s highly likely that Mattel will get to them soon – they know there’s high demand (2009 IAT Most Requested Figure!), they seem aware that the Hals were a cheap fill-in for her on a tight budget, and Mera’s name even ended up on some Mattel shipping containers before being replaced by Hal. That said, it’s still Mattel. I just don’t know.
But these figures are good to have around regardless. I’m happy to have ’em. They’re great sculpts and some missing wrist articulation aside, are all-around good figures. If nothing else, Karen Palinko sculpted all those scales individually – and artwork like that shouldn’t be left to gather dust in some old comic shop, right?
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