DC Universe Action League Wave 4 is proving to be the dark horse of the collection because of one thing: it is offering holdouts from the old Batman: The Brave and the Bold Action League collection. Many prototypes and character designs were ready to be made until that line ended. It left fans wondering if these characters would ever be made. Now it has happened as they are included into this new series, as seen with the Martian Manhunter and Deadman two-pack set.
Martian Manhunter made his debut at the height of science fiction in the 1950s. He is also one of the original seven founders of the Justice League (old continuity, not the New 52 version) having been called the heart and soul in almost every incarnation of the team. He is as powerful, if not more powerful, than Superman but never gets the proper respect. His stock hasn’t been great until his exposure with the Justice League animated series. Now I’m sure he is better known. Even my son knows who he is, though he keeps calling him “Martian Hunter.” That takes on a whole new meaning. With that said, this incarnation of the Martian Manhunter follows designs on his return after the Brightest Day storyline event. That means that good martian actually wears pants now. The entire look for this character is awesome. He oozes that alien quality and it mostly comes from the way his head is designed with a flat head and long face. The red pupils sunk into his black eyes help complete that look. He wears a red harness across his chest that fastens to his blue cape. I like the colour of his green skin. It’s not too lime or too dark in its shade, which has happened sometimes. Everything about his outfit shows off his classic look except for one detail: he wears black pants. I thought this was a weird addition in the comic books and it looks even more weird now. I think it was a last minute decision to give him pants because there is clearly an outline for trunks. I really would have prefered the blue trunks with his bare green legs, but I can understand why Mattel would represent the current version of the character at the time. Overall, I really like his distinct look in comparison to Superman. It really sets these two aliens apart.
Deadman is a long standing character from the late 1960s, a ghost that has the ability to possess people’s bodies. No one can see him, unless you do have to ability to see ghosts. The only time he really interacts with people is through other people. He is one of the characters that was slated for the Batman: The Brave and the Bold Action League series but was never released. This is why he has that stagnant pose different from the current Action League’s dynamic look. However, it suits this character. Deadman was originally an acrobat so his skinny frame makes sense. His head and parts of his chest are painted white. In fact I like the wrinkles on his face to make him look weathered. His outfit is cast in translucent red, a good move to show off his ghostly nature. Since he is a ghost, why not make look the part and transparent? Because of the way his legs are situated in the half mid-walk pose, it’s a bit harder to make him stay standing properly. But there is something else I discovered by accident that I never even knew at all. The white areas of his face and body glows in the dark. That’s right, turn off the lights and watch Deadman scare the bejeebers out of you. I love this ethereal look and commend Mattel for making this happen.
Standard four-point articulation is given to both characters. I’m also finding that this is one of the harder sets to locate. I would figure out of all the ones in Wave 4, this is the one people would pass over in favour of the other ones. I was wrong. Either this one is shortpacked or it’s that popular.
If you read the Brightest Day event, you’ll realize why the Martian Manhunter and Deadman is a good pairing. If not, then you’ll just see random characters packaged together that look quite different from everyone else. Either way works because you have two great characters in your collection, and they both can walk through walls.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Wave 1: Aquaman vs. Balck Manta || Batman and Red Tornado
Wave 2: Batman and Rex Mason the Element Man || B'wana Beast and Batman
Wave 3: Batman vs. The Demon Etrigan || Batman vs. The Joker || Batman vs. The Top || Dr. Fate vs. Wotan || Owlman and Blue Bowman
Wave 4: Batman vs. Scarecrow
Single Packs: Plastic Man
Deluxe Wave 2: Batman vs. Gorilla Grodd || Batman with Batcycle
Deluxe Wave 3: Batman vs. Chemo || Batman with Batcopter
Wave 1: The Flash vs. Captain Boomerang || Deathstorm vs. Firestorm || Superman vs. Bizarro || White Lantern Sinestro vs. Green Lantern
Wave 2: Batman vs. The Joker || John Stewart vs. Atrocitus || Low vs. Tomar-Re || Prometheus vs. Green Arrow
Wave 3: Batman vs. Deathstroke || Hal Jordan and Saint Walker || Kilowog vs. Zilius Zox || Superman and Wonder Woman
Wave 4: Batman vs. Bronze Tiger || Professor Zoom vs. The Flash
Green Lantern 3-Pack Sets
Comic Series: Guy Gardner, Hal Jordan and John Stewart || Tomar-Re, Hal Jordan and Sinestro
***This is part of my 2012 Funny Pages Write-Off. Let your inner geekdom out. You have until the end of July.
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Amount Paid (US$): 7.99
Type of Toy: Action Figure
Age Range of Child: Kids to Teens