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DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

Back in 2009, before we were no longer invited to participate in Mattel's Q+A sessions, one of our readers, unhappy with the situation surrounding the 2009 SDCC-exclusive Anti-Monitor, asked whether there was any chance he'd appear in another form, whether as a smaller online exclusive or a BAF or what have you. Well, first Mattel ignored the question and just talked about why it was an exclusive, but when we pressed them about it, they said yes, Anti-Monitor might return. It's taken two years, but he's here at last.

As you can tell by his name, the Anti-Monitor is defined by his opposition to another character: in this case, the Monitor, who was originally a Teen Titans villain (which makes about as much sense as Darkseid first showing up to bedevil Jimmy Olsen). While the Monitor did little more than watch over the multiverse, the Anti-Monitor was dedicated to conquest and destruction. To put it in terms people will actually understand, imagine if Galactus and the Watcher were brothers.

The Anti-Monitor is sold in seven pieces: legs, crotch, torso, arms and head. Between the loincloth covering the hips and the armor covering the shoulders, it can be a bit tough to make sure you have the limbs' hexagonal pegs lined up right when it's time to plug them in. And the head is shaped in such a way that you have to flex the neck-armor around it to get it in place on the body.

Anti-Monitor is one of those characters who change size - not because of inconsistent art, but because he's basically made of energy and his height fluctuates. Still, when they wanted to make an Anti-Monitor in scale with the terrible Infinite Heroes, Mattel created a 30" figure; when it was time to put him in a 6" line, he's 9" tall. Do you see a problem here? Yes, he's been shown to be about 9' tall in the comics before, but that was a long time ago - he's usually hundreds of meters tall. Gigantic. The only thing this figure is in scale with is the similarly shrimpy Imperiex.

Articulation is fine, mostly, with all the same joints as most DCUC figures: hinged rocker ankles, hinged knees, swivel thighs, H-hips, swivel wrists, hinged elbows, swivel waist, hinged torso, swivel biceps and swivel/hinge hips. The neck, however, is a plain swivel joint. His bullet-shaped head just can't accommodate a balljoint's range of motion, so all he can do is turn side to side. The big tubes connecting his shoulder and forearms are fairly flexible, so they don't really impact the range of motion at all.

One of the major complaints about this figure is that he's sculpted "wrong" - and yes, it's true, he's not wearing the same armor he did in the '80s, but that doesn't make this one incorrect. Far from it! This figure is an accurate representation of how the Anti-Monitor looks now, post-resurrection. Yes, he was killed during the Sinestro Corps War, used as Nekron's Black Lantern battery during Blackest Night, then brought back to life by the White Lanterns, and this is what he looks like today. It's an improvement. The costume is a pretty substantial redesign, but it's still got strong connections to the original: silver "skin," blue boots and gloves, and golden tubes running all over the place. He's also added a big purple cape, which makes him look more "superhero-y." No, it's not the classic look, but the classic look wasn't that great, in all honesty - nobody ever said George Perez's designs had to be inviolate.

There are a lot of small details that had to be painted perfectly on this figure: it's not just the transition between sections of costume, or the golden piping on his loincloth, but dozens of tiny silver specks that seem to be rivets holding the armor together. The real highlight, however, is the head. They not only captured his fiery eyes perfectly, but if you look past those wrinkly gray lips, you'll see that the interior of his mouth has been fully painted as well. It fades from yellow to orange, and is completely full of "Kirby dots!" It's very cool.

When we asked Mattel about the possibility of an Anti-Monitor BAF, they said if it happened, he'd have to be 10" at the most - apparently that's the most their contract allows. Even if they had given this figure the extra ¾" to bring him up to the limit, it still wouldn't have done the Anti-Monitor justice. He's just too big. This isn't even a BAF you can surround with HeroClix to make him look right, because he'd still be too small. It's a great-looking figure, but it can't integrate with anything, and all the fans who would want a standalone Anti-Monitor toy would have wanted his old look, not the modern one.

Star Sapphire Wonder Woman | Sinestro Corps Scarecrow | Blue Lantern Flash
Indigo Lantern Atom | Orange Lantern Lex Luthor | Black Lantern Hal Jordan

-- 07/24/11

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