DC Universe Classics Wave 20: Collect & Connect Nekron by Mattel

We can argue all day whether or not the new DC All Stars line is really just a re-branded DCUC only without the re-branding, but there’s no arguing that Wave 20 saw the last DCUC Collect & Connect figure. Obviously, Nekron wasn’t everybody’s first choice to fill the last C&C slot, nor was he mine, but I wasn’t terribly upset about it either. Besides, it’s not like Mattel was going to make everyone happy with any choice anyway. While there are plenty of other characters I wanted more, Nekron certainly had potential to be a very cool looking figure, so I was perfectly fine with it.

And cool looking he is! This poor guy has literally been lying on my shelf for ages, hoping that I would get off my ass and buy the last two figures needed to get him his legs. Unfortunately, a bunch of other purchases had priority and so he was going to have to wait. I was almost ready to take up a collection, complete with Matty Collector style thermometer and everything. “Our goal is just $30 to get poor Nekron his legs.” If only he had a long staff-like accessory to lean on. Ah, but more on that in a moment.

Where was I? Oh yeah, he is a great looking figure. The head sculpt is worthy of praise just because there’s so much depth and texturing in it. The skin has a great cross-thatch pattern, the Black Lantern emblem is sculpted, rather than just painted, and every one of the teeth in his rictus grin is lovingly crafted. The deep set eyes are piercing and thanks to a particularly great bit of paintwork, they practically look like they’re glowing, and in a way that is better than most light piping effects can produce. The neck features a heavy collar with real chains dangling off the front and back. Simply awesome.

The body is clad in a soft, rubbery black trench-coat type affair that’s tattered towards the bottom. It’s parted at the chest to allow a good view of the broken rib cage, complete with strands of sinew and flesh clinging on, and the sculpted heart that lies within. Man, it would have been cool if the entire torso cavity was actually hollow to improve this effect, but the way they did it still works well. Nekron has another heavy manacle on his left wrist with another real chain hanging off of it.

If you’re looking for exciting coloring, look elsewhere. Nekron is as drab as death and appropriately so. In a series full of brightly colored costumed heroes and villains, it’s kind of refreshing to see someone dark and dusty and actually looking like they just crawled out of a tomb. The only real contrast from his grey, dead skin is the glossy black pants and the silver on his belt and boots. The coat is matte black, and there’s a great layer of dust painted all around the bottom of the back of the coat.

Mattel went all out on the articulation for this guy. You get a ball jointed neck, and even with the collar, you can still get good motion out of the head. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs feature the usual DCUC universal hip joints, swivels in the thighs, hinges in the ankles, and double hinged knees. There is no ab crunch, due to the unique properties of the chest sculpt, but it’s nice to see that Mattel tossed in the extra double-hinges in the elbows and knees to make up for that. Nekron isn’t exactly a figure that I need to be busting out action poses, but more articulation is almost always better than less, so I’m not complaining.

Equally cool is Nekron’s trademark scythe. Hey, wait a minute… there’s no scythe! No, there isn’t. While shown off in promo pictures of the figure, the scythe was taken out at the last minute as a cost cutting move. It was a really unfortunate decision as it soured a lot of collectors on the very last C&C figure. What’s worse is that Nekron’s hands are obviously sculpted to hold the missing accessory and they mock me every time I look at them. Seems like Mattel could have thrown us collectors a bone for keeping the line afloat for 20 waves, but then I’ll confess, the scythe is no small accessory and I have no idea how much it would have added to the overall cost of the wave. Not to mention it’s probably not great business sense to go over budget on the final wave of a dead line.

And there ya have it. I can’t help but think that it might have been a little inside joke to have Nekron, the lord of death himself, as the last C&C figure, towering over the final wave of DCUC as it passes into oblivion gets slightly revamped into DC All Stars and continues on its merry way. This format was the way to do him right. The DC Direct version was a great sculpt, but the scale doesn’t work for me. I wanted my Nekron towering over my other figures, and I certainly got that in the end. Scythe notwithstanding, I’m pretty happy with him. He looks great, and the character certainly has gravitas, even beyond the Blackest Night story arc.

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