Monday, June 7, 2021

LEGION TOYS: Mantis (DC Universe Classics)

While not your atypical Legion of Super-Heroes nemesis, the  insect colony leader, Mantis, battles the Post-Zero Hour Legion during the DC Cosmic Event story titled Genesis! Emerging from his Power Pod, the second most-powerful being on Apokolips nearly defeats the Legion, if not for Ultra Boy punching Mantis away from his recharging apparatus.

The standard adult body type is used for the classic Kirby version of Mantis. The ridged gauntlets and boots as well as the head sculpt are original sculpted pieces. The glider cape is attached directly at the ridged gauntlets and boots. The boots and gauntlets are nicely sculpted. The head sculpt is detailed and reflects the wild antennae, large ears and claw-like chin of Mantis.

Incidentally, Wave 9 of DC Universe Classics also features Mantis' Super Powers character design as a variant. Clearly, most of the sculpting money went into the Super Powers mode, but I still think Mattel does a decent job with the Classic Kirby look for Mantis as well.

I count 24 points of articulation on Mantis in total. His neck can move in a 360 rotation, pretty far up and a little ways down. Arms can move up and down, as well as rotate in a circular fashion. However the glider cape does hinder the full rotation of the body type. There are bicep cuts that swivel and single joints at the elbow. The wrists can rotate. There is an ab-crunch and also a waist swivel cut. The legs move forward and back and can do the splits. Single-Knee joints and ankle tilts for forward and backward motion complete the standard articulation.

The Paint Applications make the most of the standard adult body type. The Darker Green tone is on the rear of the head, the glider cape, the gauntlets, boots and the vertical and horizontal stripes on the body itself.  The lighter green shade envelopes the rest of the body. The greens are tight and not the least bit sloppy. The lemon yellow on the face mask is on point. The skin tone for the jaw is good, the white on the gritted teeth and eyes are great, while the eyes themselves are an angry red.

Even though the mandate of the line was to re-create many of the characters and designs of the Kenner Super Powers line, it's great that we get the option of the variant Classic Kirby look for Mantis. This was also true of other Kirby Fourth World Characters such as Steppenwolf and the Parademon. Even Mister Miracle got a Doctor Impossible variant in the DC Universe Classics line! Simply put, I appreciate the effort to please all parties with variants that don't even use the same mold and require some unique sculpting (along with some clever reuse).

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