I’m a huge fan and something of a completist when it comes to DC Direct’s mini-bust series. The line started a few years back with the first wave of Women of the DC Universe busts designed by Adam Hughes and has gone on to include the good guys (Heroes of the DC Universe) and the bad guys (Villains of the DC Universe). The second series of Women of DC has been running for a while now, showcasing the designs of Terry Dodson, and the newest piece is Mera, queen of Atlantis. I wasn’t crazy about the newest Heroes of DC release, Superman, but Mera definitely has won back my trust in the line.
Mera is in scale with the rest of the busts in the line, standing about 5.5″ tall atop a detailed base. She’s sculpted leaning back on some swirling tentacles atop some nice looking water. Her pose, as well as her flowing hair, suggest that she’s supposed to be underwater, quite appropriate for an Atlantean queen. The splashing water around the base, though, looks like the surface of the water, so maybe the pose catches her just popping out of the ocean. Either way, it’s a suitably aquatic scene that conveys the setting well.
The base is one of the most detailed of the series, including not only the aforementioned water, but also a few entwining octopus bits. The control art shows that a large tentacle was to extend up from the water behind Mera, reaching to around her neck level. That was omitted from the final design, probably to allow for a better back view of the character, and in the end the purple tentacles (three in all) wrap around the base to about hip-level. The water is nicely done in a translucent blue resin. DC Direct has used translucency on several of the bases in this series (Mary Marvel and Starfire, for instance), and it’s always been a great addition.
The sculpt and paints are tight and accurate on Mera, as they tend to be on these busts. In my experience, the male figures have had more negative paint issues than the females, and Mera perpetuates that trend. The shiny green used on her costume, combined with the flat but detailed way in which her face is painted, gives the bust a modern-retro feel. If they ever visit Atlantis on Mad Men, this is the Mera who will greet them.
I only have two complaints about this piece, one from its design and the other from its sculpt. The first and least significant is that I think Mera’s hair could have been floated in a better direction. As it is, her long hair flows almost straight back behind her head, making it nearly invisible from the front. If you rotate her to see the hair, though, you can’t really see the face very well. There’s not an optimal angle from which the hair-face combo really syncs up, and that just bugs me a little. The second problem is with the sculpting of Mera’s hands, which are resting behind her on one of the tentacles. The sculpt here is a little sloppy, with her fingers all sculpted together and then detailed in sort of a slapdash fashion. The result is that her fingers look a little sausagey, and her hands are a bit mitteny. They are behind her, though, so you probably won’t even be looking at her hands when she’s on display.
Mera is a finely produced collectible, and I have no hesitation in recommending her to any DC fans or DC Direct collectors.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars