Martian Manhunter Review

It’s been months since we wrapped up DCUC13, DCUC14 is still MIA, but DCUC15 has is starting to trickle in. Weird time to be a DCUC collector. Now, it’s been a couple weeks since my last review and I’m a little out of practice. Please bear with me as we look at Martian Manhunter & his variant.

To recap, there’s been some sort of delay with the Walmart exclusive DC Universe Classics 14. Mattel is appropriately quiet on the delay and DCUC15 has arrived first. It makes me wonder if this is still DCUC15…

J’Onn J’Onnz is a cornerstone of the DC Universe… kinda. He first appeared in 1955’s Detective Comics #225 and was featured there as a backup or in his own stories in House of Mystery, though he’s most known for his Justice League tenure in the 1960s (before leaving to return to his people on Mars) and again for his JLA tenure since Crisis. Since he can sometimes go for years at a time without use, key elements of his back story tend to get shifted around. He used to be simply displaced from Mars waiting for his people to retrieve him, but he is now the last survivor of the doomed race. Sometimes he was teleported here as a contemporary to his generation of heroes, other times (and my preference) he was transported here in the 1950s and operated as different heroes over the years, including the Bronze Wraith in the 1960s (yes, I want a Bronze Wraith figure… and an Acro-Bat too…), until going public after the appearance of Superman.

J’Onn’s powers typically rival, but fall slightly short of, Superman’s – he used to be the Superman fill-in for JLA stories. This includes superstrength, flight, invulnerability, and “Martian” vision (similar to heat vision). He can also shapeshift, become intangible/invisible, and is a powerful telepath. I always liked Martian Manhunter as a kid because he was like Superman in his hero guise while in his ‘secret identity’ he was a police detective John Jones, a man as skilled and capable as Batman. He’s one stop shopping for all your superhero needs. Anyway, I could gush about Martian Manhunter all day, so we’ll just move along to the review. As you can imagine, this one was a highly anticipated figure for me.

I’ve been looking at Martian Manhunter over the last few days trying to determine what’s new and what’s reused and I’m still not sure. The upper torso appears to come from Hawkman and I expected the arms too as well, but the vein pattern is different. The vein pattern is important because your J’Onn might not have it. There’s been some serious quality issues with this wave (more on that later) and many J’Onn’s are being found with incorrect biceps (smaller, no vein pattern) on one or both of the arms. Both of my J’Onn’s have the correct biceps, but my Jemm wasn’t as lucky, and sports a weaker right arm.

Some parts are clearly new like the cape, belt, harness, boots, and head. The new parts are all sculpted well and look good on the figure, but I keep looking at the chest harness and thinking it’s been misapplied. It looks okay, but it also appears to be slightly askew. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of pulling it off and seeing if it would fit better if turned 90 degrees one way or the other.

The cape is made of a very pliable plastic. It’s much lighter and doesn’t restrict the articulation. I like it, but I have to cross my fingers and hope I don’t find it coated in white plastic in a few years months.

J’Onn is appropriately scaled to reflect his 6′ 6″ or so height in the comics. This is something I’m glad to see Mattel doing. I don’t mind the buck system, but there are plenty of tricks for adding or removing height from figures while using the same base body (Minimates has been doing it for years). J’Onn just wouldn’t be right if he were eye level with his comrades and I’m glad to have him be the big guy no matter which JLA team I display him with. The only downside is that figure’s added height comes entirely from his new calf pieces and his legs look a bit elongated because of it.

There is very little paint to be found on J’Onn – nearly everything is molded in the appropriate color. The red band on his cape, the belt buckle, his upper thighs, his eyes, and a little bit of wash on the cape are the only paint apps on this figure. It really works for the most part, but it does leave J’Onn looking a bit more plastic-y than other figures and, along with the grade of plastic used, a little more difficult to photograph. And oddly, his right hand is a slightly different shade of green than the rest of the figure. It’s hard to tell from my pics, other than that piece reflecting more glare than his arm. Click here for a look at J’Onn’s variant.

33 thoughts on “DCClassics.Com:
Martian Manhunter Review

  1. My MIA list…top 3 edition

    1. Mike Grell Classic Warlord
    2. Ambush Bug with Continuity Cop and Cheeks pack-ins (please toy gods, please)
    3. CNC Doomsday

    Okay, top four list…Maybe a Scabbard figure to go with Ambush Bug, just for giggles.

    1. You can put CnC Doomsday at the top of my list right now. I don’t really need a CnC Bain, because the DCSH version is at least a good size, but he DCSH Doomsday, despite his great detailed sculpt, is lacking in size and bulk.

  2. OK, I think I get it. the blade hand and the ‘normal’ right hand are part of the same mold. That’s why the right hand is lighter then the left.

    Man, I surely would love to see some pictures of the tooling for one of these figures and see how the parts are broken down. I suspect many of the answers about QC issues revolve around what parts are shot in which group. In other words, there’s probably one mold just for left hands, maybe 6 to a tree so they haul it out and shoot a few thousand in green for J’onn. Right hand, new tool, to keep all the variant parts together they slug in like 4 ‘standard’ right hands and 2 ‘variant’ hands, then shoot it. Something like that.

    Repeat for any and all ‘buck’ parts.

    I dunno. I fear the QC issues with the upcoming Legion of Super Heroes pack. And they need to sked a second set with more of the ladies. Cripes, no Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel? bogus. Bogus I say!

    1. Having briefly worked with injection molding (albeit essentially flat and black items), it’s more likely that each part has it’s own mold, so no “4 standard hands, 2 variant hands” mold, it’s all one piece and dropped into a box/bin for the assembly line. and with all the trouble we had stamping on those flats, I can only imagine how bad some of these toys look that we DON’T see, especially for the ultra-detailed tampos (wrestling tats/complex multi-color designs). I’m always impressed with how most of them turn out, esp the complex ones. then again, they probably have better guides to hold their pieces in place besides an “L” and tape. @_@

  3. Mattel has really bungled this release of waves 14 and 15. 14 is still MIA and who knows when it’ll come out and it has been so long since the last wave that my stores are all filled with peg-warmers.

    1. My Target is really primed for new product! And with KMart early birding 15 and WM getting 14… I want them to get nothing!!

      It’s still WM, so I hope it’ll show up in force, but I’m sick of waiting for 14.

  4. I only cared to find 2 figures from this assorment and found them saturday. I found Golden Pharoah and MM (I found 3 yellow Lantern Batmans too, what a horrible figure!). After opening MM I noticed the peg on his right shoulder that connects to his bicep is severely warped, so his right arm cocks out from his body when his arm should look prone. I tried the heat trick to no avail. Then after reading the review I took a closer look at his biceps and they are both the smaller, veinless versions, which actually make his arms look short compared to his longer legs. I know it says “call customer care for any issues” on the packaging, but a replacemt policy almost never applies to exclusives. At that point it’s out of the hands of Mattel and it’s the exclusive distributor’s problem (K-Mart).

    Something else I noticed is that MMs PVC parts are a lot softer. I can pop his head on & off without any problem. Makes me think that they could have just included the variant head & hand with all of the MMs instead of making all those extra unused Validus heads & waists.

    So Noisy, if you need a good home for that MM variant (even without the head and right hand), I’ll gladly take him off your hands. =)

    1. My “all in” policy requires that I keep all the variants, even dumb ones. 🙂

      I forgot to mention that in the review – there is evidence in the pic where the cape is moved behind the head – but the heads do come off really easy. It’s kinda nice. I love me some interchangeable toys…

    2. I got my two J’onns from Amazon yesterday (waiting on rest of w15, except Jack = $$$$) and his head does pop off fairly easily. I checked the right hand, and it does have a little give, but I’m not going to play with popping it off in case the peg does break like Romat’s neck popping off as I pulled him out of the package!

      I did try to put Validus’ head onto the Kilowog torso, but either the neck peg isn’t the right size or there is too much neck for it to sit properly. Kil’s lleft leg does fit into the Val crotch, tho. I tried to mix & match for a new GL, but it didn’t quite work. :/

  5. Getting the wrong forearm on the side that’s morphing into a blade is like winning the lottery as far as bad QC. Still a bad mistake, but at least it’s on the one arm in the whole wave that doesn’t ruin the figure, right? Kinda? Maybe its more like stepping in dry dog crap rather than the messier kind.

    Speaking of which, I haven’t gotten this wave yet, but it seems like a real step backwards with all the reports of QC so far. Even Roboto from MOTUC seems affected by sloppy apps in addition to backwards and mixed shoulders. It’s odd since the last couple of DCUC waves and the last few MOTUC releases seemed to be improving. Crap in a hat.

    Good review though, thanks! I hope to see the wave soon. Hopefully I’ll have a few to pick through for errors.

    1. I do have to admit having it on that MM is not so bad.

      The dumb thing is the QC of MOTUC and DCUC shouldn’t be related – they were made at the same time, though it should have been in two different factories.

  6. Oh, boy… I ordered this guy from Amazon back in June and he’ll be shipping this week. I have no idea which one I’m getting because it did not specify, but I’m hoping for the regular version. That blade hand doesn’t do it for me.

  7. MIA lists Ambush Bug!!!! Are you kidding me?!?! DC is better off letting that waste of ink fade into obscurity.

    Oh Yeah. Nice review. MM has been a long time favorite of mine. Seeing MM make blade hands does seem odd. It’s like seeing Mystique take the shape of a chair or turn paper thin.

  8. I think my J’onn didn’t have the veiny biceps. Still, not bad. The Fwoosh DCUC15 forum had a Kmart coupon, that convinced me to buy the rest of this wave. Just have to find Raven and Jack Knight now.

  9. AMBUSH BUG!!!! XD You mentioned Ambush Bug!!!
    Sorry. Er… Distracted by that last paragraph.
    You were harder on his review because he is your favorite. That’s my take.

  10. Sweet Christmas! The QC on this wave really is terrible! I just got my SC Batman in from Amazon and before I even opened him up, I noticed a missed paint application! Of all things they forgot to paint his SC ring! WTF?!

  11. In total, there were probably 10 Martain Manhunters, variants, and Jemms at the K-Mart I found this set in. All had different combos
    of veined shoulders, big and small biceps. None correct. All but one had one large and one small. At least 2 smaller arms doesn’t look deformed. I had to buy an extra and swap arms.

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