REVIEW: DC Universe Classics Alien Altercation

15 waves of DC Universe Classics figures and Mattel has finally released Martian Manhunter to throngs of ingratiated fans. They’ve also tossed the more obscure, Jemm Son of Saturn into the mix as well. These two extra-terrestrial heroes have a lot in common and are even mutually-respected friends in the DCU proper. However, we here at MTV Geek! show allegiance to no man, and shall pit these two aliens against one another in a no-holds-barred review dual to the death!

Round 1: Sculpt

J’onn J’onzz has been made in the image most seen throughout his career in DC Comics. The high-collared cloak, plain crossed bandoliers, the crotch hugging blue man-panties, and swashbuckling boots are all present and accounted for. His face is set in a mildly perturbed expression, shown only by the slight furrowing of his brow. Speaking of his brow; it is properly huge and foreboding, causing his eyes to seem recessed and ominous. The head, cape, bandolier, belt, and boots are all new tooling, and it really shows. His muscular sculpt also hides the fact that he practically inhales Oreo cookies.

Jemm is a Red Saturnian. That’s right, “Saturnian”. No joke. Originally he was conceived as being related to J’onn as another Manhunter, but editorial decided that he should be a little less tied to the character. He is sculpted to appear a lot leaner and more “alien” than M.M. This is achieved by the slender facial features, tiny waste, freakishly-long fingers, and skinny (but still superhero-y muscular) legs. Jemm’s high-collared cloak is wrapped around his neck and held in place by a starburst-shaped clasp. His bracelets are detailed with a ribbed pattern, and together with his leggings and boots, give him a very regal other-worldly appearance. Jemm’s “jem” is sculpted into his forehead, so he can feel your emotions. Yep, he knows you’re secretly laughing at his hands so don’t even try to hide it.

Sculpt Winner: Martian Manhunter

While Jemm does sport the more complicated sculpt; Martian Manhunter looks iconic in a way that destroys his competition! He’s on par with many of the fan-favorite DCUC figures (Ted Kord Blue Beetle) when it comes to achieving the character’s look to a tee.

Round 2: Paint

Martian Manhunter has very little paint to speak of. He has been molded in most of the correct colors, which negates the need for extra paint. His eyes are a bright red with tight black outlines. The neck-strap of his cloak is painted red, and his belt buckle and shorts are painted in their respective colors. The blue of the cape, boots, and shorts have been aided by having a darker shade airbrushed onto them, helping differentiate them as cloth and highlighting the details in the sculpt. That’s just about it, really. No frills and no fuss. Also, on a positive note: no slop or spillage either.

Jemm has far more paint apps than his green-skinned foe. His red skin is a sharp contrast to the soft blues used for his uniform. His cape, bracelets, and leggings are all a light blue, while his boots and shorts are of a darker hue. Jemm’s belt is blue as well, although it’s a shiny metallic tone. His eyes, jem, star-clasp, and belt buckle are all painted a deep yellow. Two bands of silver run around his lower legs as well. The whole shebang is then topped off by having darker shades painted into the wrinkles, creases, and muscles.

Paint Winner: Jemm Son of Saturn

While M.M. is gussied up in the correct color scheme, Jemm is far more detailed. This helps him to stand out on the shelf; but, only works well thanks to the tight painting involved. If there were any paint mistakes on the review figure, it could have fallen in J’onn’s favor. For now though, Jemm can point (with those long-ass digits) and laugh at the Martian’s simpler coloring.

Round 3: Articulation

Damn, these two space-faring do-gooders are pretty evenly matched in the articulation department. However, they both dominate the other figures in the line with their sweet ball-joint heads. Not only do they offer good motion forward, back, up, and down; but, they can even be tilted side to side for those quizzical looks they so often give to us lowly humans. Good show Mattel, good show! Hopefully we’ll be seeing this pose-ability in upcoming DCUC releases. Other than the previously mentioned ball-jointed neck, our two combatants also have: swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinged hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, & hinged ankles; but, only Martian Manhunter has swivel lower legs. That last articulation spot is at his boot-tops!

Articulation Winner: Martian Manhunter

J’onn barely eeks out a win here with one more set of articulation points than Jemm. Sucks to be a Saturnian on this day!

Round 4: Accessories

Martian Manhunter is packaged with the head & crotch of Validus (The Collect & Connect figure for the wave), and a button. The buttons have been included with all 75th anniversary DCUC figures, and M.M. is no exception. His stab-friendly decoration features art from an old issue of Justice League of America, and manages to show part of Hal Jordan on the small face.

Jemm has the left arm of Validus in his blister, along with a button of his own. Jemm hasn’t exactly been prolific in his DC Comics’ career, so he benefits by having some original art on his button. It’s a fully body shot of Jemm kinda just standing there.

Accessories Winner: Draw

Sure, Manhunter comes with one more accessory than Jemm; but, who’s really gonna brag about having Validus’ junk sealed up with them?

Overall Winner: MARTIAN MANHUNTER

In the grand scheme of this epic battle of six-inch proportions, Martian Manhunter has risen to the challenge and beaten Jemm to a meaty pulp. Take that pacifism! The Four Horsemen have once again proven why they are today’s hottest action figure design team, as both of these figures are fantastic in their own right and worthy of your shelf space.

Now, to the victor go the spoils! Let’s get J’onn a big ol’ bag of Oreos!

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