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Manhunter Robot

Green Lantern Classics
by yo go re

Insert your own "robots go evil" joke here - we've already used all of ours.

Before the Guardians of the Universe created the mighty Green Lantern Corps, they policed the galaxy with robots known as Manhunters. Lacking the judgment of living beings, the Manhunter robots imposed peace with deadly force. Realizing they had made a mistake, the Guardians decommissioned their Manhunters, but they continued carrying out their programming in spite of the Guardians' attempts to shut them down.

The Manhunters have a rather convoluted history: in 1942, Jack Kirby took an existing police detective character and revamped him into more of a superhero, giving him a red suit with blue trunks and a gray mask. In 1977, Steve Englehart took inspiration from that (now-obsolete) costume in creating the Manhunter robots. However, from a story standpoint, it was eventually revealed that the robots not only preceded Paul Kirk, but actually inspired the Manhunter Cult who gave him his costume, meaning he's actually designed to look like them!

Despite using the standard "thin" male body, the Manhunter robot has a decent assortment of new pieces - and we're not just talking about the collar glued onto his shoulders. His forearms have large bracers with ornate patterns both on the inside and outside of the arm (though the green gem near the top gets cut off by the hole for the elbow joint), and matching boots that are just as complex. He gets double-hinged knees, though only single elbows. The metallic blue details on his chest and thighs are merely painted on, but sculpting them would have been overkill.

Sadly, the figure's face is a permanently sculpted part of his bucket-shaped head. Normally that would sound like an idiotic thing to say, but remember, Manhunters are robots: in the comics, their faces flip up to reveal a power battery beneath - one capable of repowering a Green Lantern's ring or, if needed, draining all the power from it quickly. He does get a very nice "angry" expression.

The Manhunter comes with one accessory, his handheld power battery. They used to be shown as small, purse-sized devices, but artists have drawn them larger and larger over the years. This one is basically as big as a Green Lantern's battery, just rectangular, rather than rounded. He doesn't have the pistol or energy rod that the battery was used to power.

We keep forgetting to mention that all the Green Lantern Classics come with a pair of 3D glasses modelled after Hal's GL mask. It's even more useless than the collector pins!

The BAF piece included with this figure is the chest. This is one piece of Arkillo that doesn't use the same mold as Kilowog, because he doesn't have the big exposed swatch of neck-wrinkles. He does have a zipper at his collar, but it runs down into the logo on his chest.

The Manhunter robot comes two to a case, for all your army-building needs. They could have gone with a less organic, more robotic body, or given him a flip-up face, but the new pieces (and the new joints) make this one worth it. Buy a bunch and have Hank Henshaw boss them around. There's room for improvement, but this is still in the top half of DCU figures.

-- 12/30/10

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