Sunday, June 10, 2012

Limited Splatter, But The Brainiac Justice Action Figure Is Still Very Cool!

The Good: Great sculpt, Good coloring detail, Fair articulation, Fair balance
The Bad: Could always use more articulation, Low collectible value, Coloring is slightly off.
The Basics: The Justice Brainiac action figure is very cool, but it could have used just a little more attention to coloring detail.

Today is my thirty-eight month anniversary and it might be the only anniversary that my wife and I have spent apart. While that is a huge bummer, it did not stop us from spoiling one another with gifts. I sent her a collector’s edition of a book she truly loves. For me, she left a very cool action figure that I have spent a bit of time looking it over. She left me the Justice Brainiac action figure.

For those unfamiliar with it, in Justice (reviewed here!), Brainiac is part of a criminal conspiracy to eliminate the superheroes on Earth. Part of his plan is supplying the villains with cities to rule over and as part of his plan, he dissects Aquaman. In one of the most gruesome sequences, Brainiac removes Aquaman’s brain!

It is Brainiac in his medical coat, bloody fingers and all, that is the subject of the Justice Brainiac action figure.


The Brainiac figure is well-detailed, especially considering he comes from a comic book with painted panels. The artwork of Alex Ross translates well into the Brainiac figure as this Brainiac has clean lines and an authoritarian look to him! The alien villain stands 7" tall to the top of the figure's bare green head. His costume is white. The only portion of Brainiac that is not white is his hands, which are appropriately red, mottled with blood. Brainiac is from DC Direct.

This toy is an impressive sculpt; for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Brainiac looks good in all three dimensions. DC Direct sculpted him to have an intense look to his eyes and a strong jawline. In some ways, the facial sculpt makes him look like a bald, green, demented Superman! This character is not molded to look ultra buff. Instead, he looks like an autopsy doctor, with a green head. The only real molded detailing on Brainiac are the computer nodes on his head and the seams and folds on his lab coat.

The coloring for the Brainiac figure is mostly decent. He looked a bit more olive than bright green in Justice and he certainly had more blood splatter on us lab coat when he removed Aquaman’s brain, but this representation is otherwise wonderful. DC Direct even got his intense red eyes to look very cool.


Brainiac, insane medical robot, comes with his stand, a scalpel, a brain, and his monkey. 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 Brainiac’s right foot. He is perfectly stable on his base.

The scalpel is a very simple plastic cylinder, 15/16” long, with a triangular tip. The scalpel fits only into Brainiac’s left hand. The handle is clean, despite Brainiac’s bloody gloves.

The brain is cute, a pink and black brain accessory 5/8” long, 1/2" wide and 3/8” tall. This looks just like a brain and it is not useful as anything other than something for Brainiac to hold. He can easily hold the brain in his right hand.

The final accessory is one of the coolest and most underwhelming. The monkey that Brainiac has as an assistant is able to perch right on Brainiac’s right shoulder! The monkey is 3 1/4" tall from the top of the wires coming out of his head to the tip of his tail at the bottom. This is textured to look like it has real fur and the coloring detail is at least on part with the Brainiac figure, with its bright blue eyes and the lights on the control box present! But the arms have seams that make it look like the monkey should be articulated there, but it is not. That is a little bit of a letdown, because if it were articulated, it would be able to hold the brain, which is just super creepy! It looks entirely badass perched on Brainiac’s shoulder and it stays there nicely because of the magnet on the bottom of the monkey!


The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play. Unfortunately, Brainiac is a bit of a wash on the play front, though it makes for a very cool display piece. He has less articulation than I would like, but better balance off his stand than I would have guessed! Because of his sculpt with the feet very close together, there is only one way to get Brainiac to stand flatfooted. Standing that way, on his own, Brainiac stands fine, but moved out of flatfooted, Brainiac falls right over. On his stand with one foot plugged into the base, he is perfectly stable.

On the plus side, Brainiac has some good articulation, especially in the wrists. Brainiac comes with eleven points of articulation, most of which are simple swivel joints. Brainiac has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists and head. The elbows and knees are both hinge joints, but the rest are swivel joints, which is disappointing for the head.


Brainiac is part of the DC Direct Justice Series 5 line which was fairly common, despite being mostly distributed through comic book shops. Brainiac was one of two villains in the line and he remains ridiculously easy to find, even now. As a result, he has not retained his value at all. Originally available in the $15 - $20 range, his price has plummeted to $5 - $10. In other words, fans are not likely to ever make money off this figure.


Brainiac looks good, despite a few niggling coloring issues. Still, as the primary villain of Justice and one of the most formidable adversaries in the DC Universe, this figure is well worth picking up!

For other Justice action figures, please check out my reviews of:
Wave 4 Zatanna
Wave 3 Wonder Woman
Wave 3 Poison Ivy figure
Wave 1 Cheetah figure


For other toy reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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