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Doomsday

DC Direct
by yo go re

The Golden Age of comics began in 1938 with the publication of Action Comics #1 and the first appearance of Superman. He came first, inspiriing many imitators. In October of 1956, Showcase #4 introduced a new version of the Flash and started the Silver Age. There's some debate about when the Silver Age ended, but the best arguement I've heard is that it followed the Flash, making its exit the same time he did in 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths #8.

The end of Crisis ushered in a new, darker era for comics. Things got grim and gritty, heroes got meaner and stories were aimed at an older audience. There were big character changes at both major companies, from Batman's broken back to Spider-Man's ill-conceived "Clone Saga." The biggest change, the one that came first and inspired all the imitators, was the death of Superman.

Doomsday is an irresistible force of destruction who was stopped by Superman in an epic battle that led to the death of the Man of Steel.

This isn't the first Doomsday figure we've gotten; Kenner produced one back in 1994's Man of Steel line of figures, though it hardly compares to this new version.

Standing almost 7⅛" tall, Doomsday looks quite like hs comicbook counterpart. He's taller than Superman, and really looks like he'd be able to throw Clark a beating. All those bony protrusions limit his mobility a bit, but he does move at the neck (swivel), shoulders (swivel/hinge), elbows (hinge), hips (swivel) and knees (hinge). You won't be putting Doomsday in any hyperdynamic poses, and it's barely enough for a good brawl. Kinda disappointing.

Back in the day, he looked pretty menacing, but today Doomsday just seems like the ridiculous product of a bygone era. The bones sprouting through his grey skin lack any sense of purpose - why grow foot-long spikes out of your knees and elbows, for instance? What prompted him to develop wide plates that stick out perfectly horizontal from his shoulders? Why all the heavy development across his back, shoulders and neck, but nothing to protect softer areas like his stomach? Sure, some of it looks good (the knuckles, his face), but that's in the minority. It's a case of style over substance, and now that style looks silly.

All six figures released so far in this Superman sub-line (the original three plus Doomsday, Supergirl and the Cyborg) come with an S-shield display base. While it's nowhere near as nice as the bases ToyBiz has been producing, a good base is never unwarranted. Only about ¼" thick, the base still has a nice heft to it, giving it enough weight to keep the figure from falling over.

With their recent Superman figure, DC Direct finally came close to ToyBiz's level of quality in both sculpt and articulation. They've quickly slipped backwards, however, proving they still have a long way to go. Still, Doomsday isn't the worst figure they've ever offered, so there's still some hope.

-- 07/15/03


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