Have I ever mentioned I loathe fan polls? (I know I have, but it’s fun to ask). I’ve been thinking about them a lot while photographing DC Universe Classics Metron. He’s just (about) right, but I’m also glad that he’s not “Red Rocket” or Black Lantern Swamp Thing.
When Mattel kicked off the Classics line, the New Gods were well represented. Orion was in the first wave and an improved Orion came in a 2pk with Lightray the next year. Mister Miracle & Big Barda followed shortly thereafter, Forager found his way into the Walmart wave, and plenty of evil New Gods were salt & peppered into the line those first couple years too. Then things kinda dried up. It wasn’t that big a deal – there are hundreds of DC characters that sorely need figures, but some of the notable New Gods were visibly missing. Metron was first on that list for many.
I voted for Metron to be the Club Exclusive in last year’s fan poll. I always thought he’d win, but the “eww” factor of the alternative (Black Lantern Swamp Thing? Really?) gave me pause. I wouldn’t have minded the Shaggy Man or Rocket Red (until I saw him anyway…), but Metron was the best option and I’m tremendously grateful to all the like-minded voters out there.
And that was before I had him in hand. There are a few issues that I’ll cover as we go along, but this is one really impressive toy. The Metron figure we deserve & the Metron figure we need right now! He makes me happy that we have the DC Subscription. I know there’s been fan debate about where Toy Guru & Co. might have cribbed Metron from. Was he the “missing” SDCC exclusive? Was the just going to be a regular chairless figure? Was the Chair going to be a new C&C form factor? That kind of geek discussion can be fun to engage in, but it’s just that, geek discussion, and it’s not particularly important. However Mattel intended (or didn’t) to get this figure & chair out to us, I’m just glad they did.
If you’re not familiar with Metron (hopefully that didn’t lead you to vote for Black Lantern Swamp Thing…), he’s one of the basic New Gods created by Jack Kirby in the early 70s. Metron more or less fits neatly in the “observer” archetype like Uatu. He seeks to learn everything he doesn’t know and doesn’t really join into the fray too often (and when he’s does it’s usually by doling out a key item or revealing a pro-tip). Metron’s not necessarily aligned with the Highfather’s noble New Gods or Darkseid’s notorious bunch, but it’s hard to learn new stuff when you’re dead, so he’s more often seen hanging out with Miracle, Orion, & the gang.
Metron’s most notable feature is the Mobius Chair (that’d be the big, green hunk o’ plastic in the pics). The chair is powered by an unknown element that allows Metron to move through time and space instantly and effortlessly. As you can imagine if you had a chair like that, Metron is almost never seen not sitting in it. It’s one of those things that put toy companies in a logistical jam. There’s little point to making Metron without his chair, so his name usually ends up on the cutting room floor. It took Mattel years to get this far. DC Direct did produce a chair-less Metron a few years ago. It looked nice, but no chair, no sale.
Before I get to Mattel’s Mobius Chair, which will probably be the highlight of the Club Infinites Earth subscription this year, I do need to spend some time on the figure. (See, that’s how important the Chair is, it’s the star of the show. As any long-time DC Collector would expect, Metron is built on the basic buck and only required a new head and hands to get the details right. I will take a moment to mention that I wish the folks at Mattel had more vision (& tooling budget) to create a vaster array of bucks that would include a lean, adult sized torso. This figure works on this buck, but it could be better. Unfortunately, Mattel and I aren’t interested in the same type of bucks. Continue to Page 2…