Also, Nekron was selected by a fan poll. I hate fan polls – not because my favorites don’t win, but because the winner is almost always obvious from day one. The Question. Raven. Nekron. Metron. Mattel/DC/WB did a horrid job at placing equally popular characters in their polls. Nekron was one of the worst examples. Voters had to choose from a 70s/80s Batman villain, a 70s JLA villain, an 80s Titans villain, a 90s Superboy villain, a short-lived Flash villain, or the hot, currently appearing villain in a top-selling mini-series! You know how they do those polls for “Best President” and the most recent ones are usually over-represented? This one was like that. Looking back, I wonder if the results would’ve been any different further removed from Blackest Night or perhaps if we had known then that the winner would be the last ever Collect & Connect?
Nekron did get the benefit of a 100% tool and the 4H did some nice work on the figure, but when you compare him to the DC Direct figure, you can’t help but feel like the Four Horsemen had to take a restrained approach to the “Lord of the Unliving” to meet Mattel’s expectations or to possibly ‘kidify’ him for the major retailers. There were some other odd changes too: the robes have lost their hood, the exposed back is now covered by the robes, the belt is reshaped (likely to accommodate the waist connection), and the hand symbol on his forehead has been altered. Some of these changes could be explained by artist interpretation in the comics. I think the only place the forehead symbol made the “crown” was in a few panels of Blackest Night itself and on the DC Direct figure. Some of the other changes appear to be odd choices though.
A quick note on the height. Nekron can control his height, so, like Swamp Thing, he’s a figure that Mattel can’t technically get wrong in terms of scale. With that in mind, what height you want him at is really a personal preference. Some folks might want to see him even larger, but I don’t really want him at this size. I would’ve been happy with 7-8″. I think that would’ve been more in line with most of the time he spent in Blackest Night.
The paintwork on my Nekron was well done though some of the colors chosen also don’t match the comics. The wrist wraps and the crotch piece below the belt should be black instead of silver while the heart should be much darker, almost black. Nearly all the little details are painted well though and that helps diffuse the odd color choices. There’s a great, dirty overspray on the bottom of the robes that looks really nice, but it does make me wish for a more dirty look to the bright silver areas to match.
As an original sculpt, Nekron received the extra articulation that was present on new 2011 figures: the double-jointed elbows and knees and ball-jointed wrists. It’s cool that he has the extra articulation, but he doesn’t terribly need it. The long robe restricts the leg articulation and the hands – sculpted for an accessory that he doesn’t come with – don’t really have an inherent, good-looking pose in them. What’s more, the soft plastic used in the middle of the knee joint combined with the tray to seriously warp my Nekron legs. He’s better in these pics, but it was almost comical when I opened him up. In addition to the added 2011 joints, Nekron included the standard complement of articulation for the line.
So, here’s the part where I can’t really do anything but nag at Mattel. I understand they’re a business. I understand the figures have to come in under budget. I understand that Warner Brothers and DC Comics don’t exactly engender a wide audience that would help move a lot of units. But, knowing all that, I can’t believe they made Nekron without his scythe! I accepted, long ago, that this line is accessory light. Usually, though, we got accessories that were absolutely needed for a particular character. Penguin got his umbrella. Captain Cold got his gun. Guardian got his shield. Starman his star rod. So on and so forth. So, Nekron not getting his scythe is actually a really big deal. A raw deal. This is like removing Superman’s cape to fit him under budget. You just don’t do it. There’s a beancounter out there that needs smack on the forehead!
While a good chunk of C&Cs have included accessories, this isn’t the first time that a C&C has lost accessories though. Grodd lost some years ago, but they weren’t really crucial to his character. Kalibak lost his Beta club, which some (me included) would consider crucial, and the 4H/Mattel got it to us just a couple waves later. Therein lies the rub – when could we possibly get this scythe? There is no later. It’s highly unlikely that it will come along anywhere in the 2013 line – why would it? There’s the subscription, but the 2012 version is being done so cheaply that I doubt they have it planned for there either. Mattel needs to file this one under collector goodwill and figure it out though. I’d be happy to be wrong, but I don’t believe they will.
Overall, I’m just not that impressed. I’m surely bringing along some baggage from the line ending, from my tiring of Geoff Johns influence on the line (though the fans did vote this GJ-creation in), from my displeasure at how quickly he was dispatched in Blackest Night, from the knowledge that the only so-far-revealed oversized subscription figure is a giant, inaccurate piece of crap… but I digress. This figure just doesn’t do much to overcome any of that either. I don’t like his size. His sculpt is nice, but I think it’s beaten hands down by the DC Direct version. The odd paint and design choices create inaccuracies that attract my attention. And his trademark accessory is just up and missing. Nekron just feels incomplete. And that’s the last thing Mattel should want us to be feeling when we look back on what they did with DC Universe Classics.
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