Following his death in Final Crisis, the Martian Manhunter was one of the Justice Leaguers and other chracters reanimated during Blackest Night. He returned to live with a new uniform giving him pants and an updated figure closer to his iconic image in the past, unlike the more alien-like look he had sported with a high collar just a few years before. The Brightest Day action figure is based on the updated depiction of the Martian Manhunter in the Brightest Day comic book and the final issue of Darkest Night.
Ivan Reis was the illustrator who probably redesigned the Martian Manhunter. His depiction as an action figure is similar. What’s new with the newer design is the less exaggerated brows for the Martian Manhunter that look quite similar to how he was first drawn during the Silver Age. His eyes are red, as in many recent illustrations since the 1990s.
The sculpt is good but is the same one used for Hawkman and other Brightest Day action figures. I think the default pose for all the sculpt looks better for the Martian Manhunter than Hawkman because it feels more natural to have him standing up and brooding. I would say the legs are too far apart making it difficult to pose the Martian Manhunter action figure in any other pose. Surprisingly, the cape does not hinder the toy’s shoulders from moving. I have to say that I prefer his face there to the weird one used for the Justice League International action figure. That one had weird muscle structure and did not really look like his comic book inspiration.
The paint job is good although the base plastic is not green. Some hues on the green would have looked better. There are no highlights anywhere at all which make the action figure look plain. The medallion in the middle of his chest has a metallic hue.
All action figures in this series are about 6.75 inches. For the Martian Manhunter, that’s a problem. He really looks small when put next to Hawkman or other DC Direct action figures. The Martian Manhunter should top all of other members of the Justice League. So posing him next to other DC Direct action figures or even older Martian Manhunter action figures like the first one from 2001 will look bad.
The action figure stand is almost necessary because the Martian Manhunter despite not being to top heavy and having flat feet still cannot stand up on his own for long.
He has 15 articulations. The one at the neck allowing the head to pivot in many directions is particularly well done. I find the articulations stiff but the plastic seems to be the type that would make them loose if played too much with. The plastic is tougher and less soft than previous DC Direct action figures but I still would not buy this toy for a young kid. It would be destroyed in days.
DCDirect used the same type of packaging for all the Brightest Day action figures. It wasn’t worth keeping as it didn’t have any diorama elements or anything particular. You’ll need scissors to open the package so keep it away from small kids. Again, I think DCDirect uses too much plastic for these toys and should rely on environmentally friendly alternatives like cardboard.
It’s easy to find this action figure at comic book stores or online. Most stores can order it for you from Diamond Comics. With many Martian Manhunter action figures released in the past, this one is not exceptional or a classic like the first one from 2001 or distinctive in looks like the First Appearance version. But it’s solid one. Since then, the Martian Manhunter’s look has been tweaked a bit and he isn’t even a member of the Justice League since the new 52. The new version looks closer to the First Appearance look and the one used in cartoons such as Young Justice and Justice League Doom. So this is not a must have collector’s item, unless you really like the character, like me.