Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pretty Much All It Promises: The Justice Limited Edition Translucent Martian Manhunter Figure Delivers!

The Good: Great sculpt, Good articulation, Decent balance
The Bad: Did not maintain collectible value at all!
The Basics: The Justice Translucent Martian Manhunter action figure is a cool variant figure that might seem specific to Justice, but is a cool figure essential for Martian Manhunter fans!

Whenever I go on vacation these days, I try to find local comic book shops to find deals that represent good values I can’t find locally or online. Returning to my home state last year, I pawed through the beloved comic book shop of my youth and found many cool items. One, which I saw again weeks later in Minnesota at similarly depressed prices, was the Justice Translucent Martian Manhunter action figure. The variant of Martian Manhunter was a pretty clever idea from DC Direct, even if it was unpopular and has virtually no collectible value (these figures were originally released in the $16 - $20 range and I found it on clearance for $4 – and saw it on clearance for $5 in a second location!).

For those unfamiliar with Martian Manhunter in Justice (reviewed Hise!), he becomes integral to the plan to save the world by infiltrating the league of super-villains who have taken control. Martian Manhunter is depicted as invisible as he enters the mind of Gorilla Grodd and spies for the surviving heroes. Seen frequently disembodied in Justice, Martian Manhunter has the ability to disguise himself and to remove himself from the minds of others.

It is Translucent Martian Manhunter in his standard costume, with cape, cast in clear plastic, that is the subject of the Justice Translucent Martian Manhunter action figure.


The Translucent Martian Manhunter figure is very well-detailed and is a good sculpt. The artwork of Alex Ross translates nicely into the Translucent Martian Manhunter figure, though given that he is cast in monotonal clear plastic, the surface details are hard to pick up by the sculpt alone. The Translucent Martian Manhunter is muscular, ethereial-looking and bears both the Translucent Martian Manhunter costume and the distinct forehead ridge that makes this Martian Manhunter clearly J’onn J’onz. The humanoid Translucent Martian Manhunter stands 7 3/4" tall to the top of the figure's head. His skin is visible all over, save the briefs, belts (waist and across the chest) and cape. The Justice rendition of the Translucent Martian Manhunter is from DC Direct.

This toy is a decent sculpt; for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Translucent Martian Manhunter looks good in all three dimensions. DC Direct made the character appropriately muscular, especially with his visible ribs and pectoral muscles. DC Direct cast the Translucent Martian Manhunter in hard plastic and he is solid, save the rubbery cape.

This Translucent Martian Manhunter figure has no coloring details at all. Martian Manhunter, in this incarnation, is entirely made of clear plastic and has no coloring accents at all, which makes sense for the character.


Translucent Martian Manhunter, Hero of the DC Universe that he is, comes with only his stand. The stand is a black and silver square that looks like a piece of flooring. It is 6" by 4.5” and 1/2” tall and it has a pair of peg holes spaced 2” apart. The pegs come with the figure and plug into the base and then into the hole in Translucent Martian Manhunter’s right heel. Why there are two holes/pegs for a figure with only one foot hole I do not know. He is perfectly stable on his base.


The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play. Even so, the Translucent Martian Manhunter holds up well on the playability front. The Translucent Martian Manhunter actually has decent balance on his own. He can stand flatfooted in most poses off his stand. On his stand with his foot plugged into the base, he is perfectly stable.

Translucent Martian Manhunter comes with eleven points of articulation, most of which are hinge joints. Translucent Martian Manhunter has joints at the knees, calves, groin socket, shoulders, elbows and head. The elbows and knees are both hinge joints, while the groin socket, calves and head are simple swivel joints. The shoulder of the Martian Manhunter figure are actual ball and socket joints, so they function ideally. This is not the most robustly articulated figure DC Direct has ever made, but on its stand, he still looks very good, though most of the joints are visible given that he is transparent!


The Translucent Martian Manhunter is part of the DC Direct Justice Series 5 line which was fairly uncommon, largely because it was mostly distributed through comic book shops. Translucent Martian Manhunter was one of three heroes in the wave and there were two Martian Manhunters in the set. This one is, by far, the less popular one and as a result, it has plummeted in value. It may be found easily and inexpensively now and is a tough sell except for the most die-hard collectors.


The Justice Translucent Martian Manhunter figure is pretty cool, even if one can see some of the joints because of its transparent nature and it has no real collectible value. At least it may be found inexpensively enough!
For other Justice action figures, please check out my reviews of:
Wave 1 Sinestro
Wave 5 Brainiac
Wave 1 Cheetah


For other toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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