Friday, May 13, 2011
Ultra-Humanite (DC Universe Classics)
Article by A.J.
In all the time I've been collecting Mattel's DC Universe Classics line, Ultra-Humanite here (a DC Comics mad scientist villain that originated in some very early Golden Age Superman stories, but best-known these days as a Justice Society foe who placed his brain in the body of an albino gorilla) is the only Collect and Connect figure I've been able to complete. All six pieces pack with DCUC wave 14 were acquired thusly: I got the torso with Kamandi, an arm came from Mario's Zatanna, a leg from my brother's Golden Age Green Lantern, the head/crotch pair and the other arm from eBay, and the last leg was paired with Gold, which my brother bought for me because eBay prices for the limb alone were approaching that of the carded Metal Man figure, so why not just get it.
Anyway, here Humanite is, in all his fully-assembled glory. Befitting the Collect and Connect concept, the figure is huge, looming over the single carded figures in the line by a few inches. Humanite reuses the arms of the line's other Collect and Connect ape, Gorilla Grodd, but the rest of the sculpt is brand new.
Unfortunately, the combination of pieces that doesn't really gel aesthetically. This is because Grodd was made to look reasonably like a real gorilla, while Humanite (arms aside) is inspired by Bronze Age comic book art, which renders him more like a hairy human with token ape features. From low angles the figure looks fine, but from above the disconnect between the old and new pieces is jarring. Also notice that the hair sculpting on his arms is far more detailed than that found elsewhere on the figure.
Aside from the visual disconnect and a sculpted pose that looks dumb if the torso leans forward as intended (I like to display my figure with the torso leaning back--which unfortunately leaves the ab crunch hinge on the stomach exposed--because it looks more natural and makes Ultra-Humaite appear more threatening) this is a pretty cool figure. The limbs are particularly fun to pose, and the red loincloth doesn't inhibit the leg articulation. He comes with one accessory, a control pad of indeterminable purpose, which is kind of difficult to pose with the figure pressing the keypad. Still, it's an intimidating and interesting-looking villain for your collection, and he looks very cool towering over assorted superheroes or assaulting them with his long, grasping arms.
There's a few other DCUC Collect and Connect figures I would've liked to complete first (still need a left arm for my Solomon Grundy!), but now that I finally have Ultra-Humanite assembled, I'm certainly not disappointed. Even with the reused arms, this figure is a great example of what the line's sculpting team the Four Horsemen are capable of if allowed to unleash their talents upon a largely-new sculpt. Worth putting together or buying as a whole from eBay if you want to add a striking change of pace to your DCUC collection of repainted and reused base superhero bodies.