DC Green Lantern Classics: Black Hand and Manhunter by Mattel

It seems like ages ago since I got the first wave of Green Lantern Classics. In reality it’s only been about a month, but I really expected to have gotten a chance to look at them all here by now. I’m going to try to rectify that over this weekend by finishing off the wave. January was a crazy month for me and DC Universe Classics as I acquired about fifteen new figures and had to put in a new shelving unit just so I could have them all out on display. And right now these GL Classics occupy the top shelf, because they are both topical and awesome. 

Anywho, we looked at the packaging last time with the Kyle Rayner and Abin Sur figures. This is the same dealy-o. It sort of looks like the same old DCUC packaging only possibly sponsored by Mountain Dew. The cardbacks are green, the background artwork is Green Lantern specific, and the insert in the bubble has a huge faction symbol for each figure. The bubbles also have a more dramatic cut to them. Luckily, Mattel didn’t go nuts with packaging either Manhunter or Black Hand in any seriously dynamic poses, so I didn’t have any problems with joint warping, as I have with some other recent DCUC figures.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting Black Hand’s appearance in the DCUC lineup and now that he’s here I am not disappointed. As someone who’s murdered his entire family in cold blood and made his costume by sewing together body bags, he’s a pretty hardcore figure for Mattel’s standards. There’s a lot to love here, it’s hard to know where to begin. So, let’s start with the fact that Mattel could have been content with just using a generic DCUC body and painting on all of the costume details, as they often do. But not here. No sir. Not only does Black Hand have his emblem sculpted onto his chest, he also has unique sculpting on his leg straps, his arm bracer and the studs on his left wrist. In fact, even the borders of his costume between the black and the blue have sculpted seams. As near as I can tell, everything on this figure is unique to the character. His right hand is exposed, which is the one you don’t want him touching you with, and the black ring is prominantly sculpted as well. The head sculpt is wonderfully detailed and has a really cool, grim expression. The paint apps on my figure are absolutely perfect and the brilliant metallic silver really looks amazing against the darker black and blue of the costume.

Black Hand has the updated DCUC articulation, which includes a ball jointed neck; arms with ball joints in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, DOUBLE jointed hinges in the elbows and swivels in the wrists. His legs feature universal movement at the hips, DOUBLE hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs and hinged ankles. His torso swivels at the waist and features the ab crunch hinge.

Next up is the Manhunter robot, which is another really excellent figure, and one that I’ve been waiting to hit the DCUC lineup for a while now. This guy relies a lot more on paint apps for his overall appearance, but there’s still a good deal of original sculpting here. Both his boots and his forearms are original as is his cowl and head. The head is dome shaped with a cool angry expression sculpted on the silver painted face, which I really dig a lot. The figure is mostly red with blue painted striping and blue boots and bracers, with a little green thrown in for good measure. The colors really work to make this figure pop. Purely from an issue of style, I’m conflicted on whether the Manhunter should have been bulkier, and possibly a little taller. He sports a relatively lean body, and part of me wishes he was a little more powerful and hulking. And yet, I love the way the figure looks so much, I’m not sure I would want to see anything changed.

Manhunter’s articulation differs from Black Hand in a few areas. His head, which is technically ball jointed, is mostly limited to turning from side to side because of the shape and the cowl. His arms only have single hinges in his elbows, although his legs do have the new double hinges.

Both figures come with parts to build the Collect & Connect figure Arkillo. The Manhunter also comes with a green lantern accessory.

Black Hand and the Manhunter both fill important holes in my DCUC collection, and they’re much appreciated even if taken out of the context of the upcoming movie. The Manhunter probably should have been released a while ago, and even Black Hand would have been welcome last year at the height of the Blackest Night furor. But with figures this good, I’m not about to quibble about when they were released, I’m just thrilled to have them.

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