As most board members know from reading my posts, I’m not only a big fan of the JLU action figure line…I’m also a vocal proponent of the line being "complete." By "complete" I mean all of the important characters being immortalized in plastic. Now, I realize that some characters like Captain Cold are important to some folks (as to why, I have no idea…heh), but I’m defining "importance" here as to the show itself. Significant amount of airtime, speaking roles (not just lines), being focal to the plot and story arcs, history in the DCAU, defining moments, etc. I factor in all of these when deciding which characters NEED to be made before the line rides off into the sunset. Seeing as how I’ve used up my quota of quotation marks, I’ll begin. Yes, these are ranked for a reason.
#1 – Amanda Waller
Central to nearly the entire run of the show as the head of Cadmus, Waller not only has more screen time than most of the heroes and villains, what she did in the show actually made a difference to the outcome of several plotlines and story arcs. While a figure of her may not seem exciting to most children, those collectors that must have every character would be hard-pressed to deny her place on the shelf with the other JLU plastic people.
#2 – Batman Beyond
Simply put, the JLU would not exist without Batman Beyond. However, an even greater reason is that he’s Batman. He’s the carrier of Batman’s legacy in the DCAU, and he’s the reason the JLU exists far into the future, even after the team is supposedly destroyed. This doesn’t even factor in that he had his own show and an on-scale, on-model figure of him has never been produced. He was in episodes with the future JLU, some of the current JL members, and fought villains that the current JL eventually fought. There’s also the big connection with Amanda Waller and project Cadmus as well as the culmination of that story line being once considered the final episode of the JLU and the DCAU as a whole.
#3 – Mr. Terrific
Once J’onn left the team, Terrific filled in as the Watchtower head honcho and team coordinator. As such, he had a number of speaking parts and expanded roles in numerous episodes, and is the most important JLU team member as-yet unproduced.
#4 – Toyman
From his roots in STAS to the final episodes of JLU, Toyman has had the most DCAU screen time of any villain except for the Joker and Lex Luthor. That alone would justify this spot in my top ten, but the fact that a major arc of shows centered around the act of him supposedly killing Superman should cement his production as a most-wanted figure.
#5 – Tala
As a conduit of not only Luthor’s third-season-long plot to rid the world of the Justice League, she also provided an interesting centerpiece of two character triangles…Luthor/Grodd/Tala and Grodd/Tala/Giganta. Throw in the great comedy of "The Great Brain Robbery" with the Flash and that removes all doubt that she should be one of the few produced as a figure before the line ends.
#6 – S.T.R.I.P.E.
One of the very few characters on the show to sport entirely different looks as the show went on, his unexplained downsizing of armor shouldn’t have to hurt his chances of being an important character that needs to be made as a figure. Multiple speaking parts, highlighted action in more than a handful of episodes, and quite a bit of character development and interaction all make him a must to be included amongst the heroes already released.
#7 – Kalibak
A big-time player on STAS before his involvement in JLU, Kalibak had many different roles spanning both shows. Fighting by himself, with Darkseid and his forces, and as a part of the Toyman crew that "killed" Superman…he’s done everything with plenty of speaking parts and lots of screen time. Plus, with Target’s new exclusivity and two six-packs per wave, there’s plenty of opportunity for him to be included even tho he’s an oversized character. Yes, you heard me right…the Etrigan body will NOT work for him.
#8 – Cheetah
Perhaps most audible of all the cries for an unmade character, Cheetah’s absence from the store pegs is glaring. A visually striking character, it also works against her as needing a unique sculpt in a vast line of buck reuses. However, given multiple large parts of plots spanning many shows, she is a must-have in the villain pantheon. Hell, Batman would probably be dead if it weren’t for her!
#9 – Vandal Savage
If a villain is of enough stature to warrant a multiple-episode arc, then he already qualifies in the speaking lines and screen time categories. Also, given the basic nature of his character design, he would also be a very easy figure to produce, with not much tooling needed. Hell, Superman would probably have stayed ‘dead’ if it wasn’t for him! Okay, since I’ve started ape-ing myself it’s a good thing I’m almost at the end…
#10 – Supergirl (new sculpt/new costume)
Need I say more? As Erik continuously reminds us, Polly Pocket is a grim reminder of just how bad the JLU line can sink if you look for weak spots. A major character over the entire DCAU from STAS to JLU, a new sculpt to go along with her ‘adult’ costume (yes, it just sounds indecent) is a must. While not at the top of any of our polls, when asked of all the JLU collectors on all the different forums there is 100% agreement that this figure NEEDS to be made before the line ends.
So, there ya have it. Agree? Disagree? Apathetic? I welcome your thoughts, but if you do decide to include your own list in rebuttal, think about the characters that are on it. How were they a major part of the show and the DCAU? The only other one that I could think of with major credentials would be Warhawk, since he not only appeared on a few JLU episodes and had quite a few lines, but he was also a major part of the original JLU as well as being the son of Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. If the above characters were produced by Mattel in the near future I could actually say, after all is said and purchased at Target, that the JLU action figure line is truly complete.