It’s a double feature month here at DFAT for my MattyCollector Club Infinite Earth‘s review! Yesterday I took a look at Larfleeze the greedy Orange Lantern, and today we are going to take a look at the CLUB EXCLUSIVE Monsieur Mallah and the Brain!
As a scientist, the man who would one day become known as the Brain performed experiments on animals to raise their intelligence. One of these was on a captured gorilla, raising its I.Q. to the genius-level of 178. He named the gorilla Monsieur Mallah and educated him for almost a decade before making him his personal assistant. “Ten years ago, I took a superior ape—stronger than any human… more agile than the best athlete! Through secret teaching methods and shock treatments, I gave it an I.Q. of 178! Genius status!” –The Brain, explaining Mallah’s origin in Doom Patrol #86
The scientist’s colleague, Niles Caulder grew jealous of his work and arranged for the scientist to get caught in an explosion, which destroyed the scientist’s body. Only the brain survived, and Caulder planned on putting his brain in a robot body. Mallah rescued the scientist, taking his brain and transferring it to a computer network that kept it functioning. Now known simply as the Brain, the scientist and Mallah gathered together the criminal organization known as the Brotherhood of Evil in hopes of conquering the world and getting revenge on Caulder. Caulder, now known as the Chief, through a series of other accidents that he manipulated, would form the superhero group known as the Doom Patrol. Setting out to destroy the Chief’s ‘pets’, the Brain, Mallah, and their Brotherhood became enemies with the Patrol. Their criminal activities would also put them into opposition with the Teen Titans.
Interestingly enough I was never familiar with this character, sorry characters. I was never a big reader of Doom Patrol, and the oddities of the DC Universe have only tickled my curiosity in the past few years thanks to the wonderful animated show Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Monsieur Mallah and the Brain also made a few appearances in Young Justice, so they are not too unfamiliar to the general viewership. I mean how can you not be intrigued when it comes to a gorilla and a brain in a jar right?!
Being that Mallah and the Brain are considered an “oversized” figure they of course come in oversized packaging! It is identical to the rest of the Signature Series figures boxes in style and art, as always by the talented Mike Thompson, there is no surprises here if you collected last year. The only difference is that in 2013 this is your only oversized figure. Mallah and the Brain are also the Club Infinite Earths Exclusive so if you don’t have a subscription it could cost you a little more to pick him up online off of the secondary market.
If Mallah looks somewhat familiar to you DC Universe Classics collectors it’s because he uses the same body a the Gorilla Grodd ‘Build a Figure’ from series 2, changing his color a little and adding a new head sculpt with bandolier and machine gun as his accessories. Do we count the Brain as an accessory or do we count him as a bonus figure in the set? I’ll let you make that call. What I do love about this figure is the amount of detail that went into his face. I think he looks super realistic and I like what the Four Horsemen did with his eyes. Check it!
The Brain of course looks great, not a hard figure to sculpt but his creepy mechanical face/body with organic brain matter on top. But for a simple figure he has a lot of detail and his lines are pretty clean.
Now the problem here, if you want to call it that, is that Mallah has very little articulation. Does he need it? Not really. Do we care about that, no. He is a gift to the fans who want to complete team villains, and Mallah and the Brain are being thrown at those Doom Patrol lovers out there. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a figure based on Chief somewhere down the road. The Brain of course has ZERO articulation.
So if you missed Mallah, be prepared because some people are asking a pretty penny for him, nothing wrong with that. Mallah and the Brain make a great addition to your DCUC collection, put him right next to Grodd and Ultra Humanite. I give Monsieur Mallah and the Brain 4.5 outta 5 stars. What I don’t like about this figure is the fact that his body feels hollow. I understand the need to mass produce a figure like this takes a lot of money and putting “better” material into the making of this figure was out of the question, and that’s fine. Mallah and the Brain make a beautiful couple on my shelf in more ways that one.