Friday, 22 August 2014

POP! Heroes – Martian Manhunter


Company: Funko

Series: Heroes
Year: 2011

RRP: $15.95

First appearing in “The Manhunter from Mars” in Detective Comics, all the way back in 1955, Martian Manhunter has gone on to become one of the better-known B-listers of the DC Universe. He was a founding member of the Justice League of America, and has gone on to be a member of most of its various incarnations. He pretty much has all of Superman’s powers, but can also shapeshift, turn intangible and has telepathy/telekinesis. The only real downside is that he’s vulnerable to fire -- but then again, pretty much any normal person is too. I'd say it's an okay trade off.

Though it changes from time to time, Martian Manhunter generally works by day as a policeman or PI, calling himself "John Jones", the earth equivalent of his Martian name, "J'onn J'onnz" (yes, it's silly, but it was the 1950s). Naturally, his superpowers give him quite the edge in tracking down criminals.

Martian Manhunter has never quite broken through to true mainstream popularity, he’s still got a cult following, and it’s always a pleasure to see him turn up in a title. Hopefully if/when the Justice League movie eventuates, we’ll see him appear in a prominent role.

Martian Manhunter uses the basic POP! body, though it’s been slightly retooled to accommodate his chest harness and belts. Similarly, the forehead on his head has been retooled to approximate his distinctive brow, though it’s not quite as prominent as it is in the comics.

The picture on the back of his box depicts him in his 1950-1990s style – namely, just cape, trunks and boots. However, the actual POP! has depicted him in a more contemporary style, with full pants. This a look I tend to prefer myself – the old-school strongman/pro-wrestling look is not one that I’m a huge fan of, though I appreciate that it’s a product of its time.  Still, it’s a slightly odd choice, as it’s not really an iconic look for the character.
Martian Manhunter is actually the best-painted POP! I own. Most of him seems to be cast in blue, with his arms and chest painted in his distinctive bright green. There’s a bit of gold slop on the harness, but nothing to get too worked up about. This is even more impressive when you consider that this was originally released back in 2011, and Funko were not doing particularly great paint work at the time.  

In my collection, Martian Manhunter fulfils much the same role that he does in the comics. He’s not the most prominent member, and he probably doesn’t get as much attention as she should, but he’s good to have around nonetheless. Highly recommended to Martian Manhunter and JLA fans alike. I just hope that in the future we'll eventually get a more Martian-looking version, and a John Jones.

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