DC Super-Villains: Johnny Quick and Atomica by DC Collectibles

It’s no secret that Forever Evil and Injustice League constitute a comic arc that is saturated with bad guys. Much of it reads like a who’s who of DC Super-Villains. And yet there are two characters in that weighty roster of scumbags that stand out as being truly horrible people. Yup, they would be Johnny Quick and Atomica. Holy shit did this pair feature in some great panels and some of their antics made the rest of the Crime Syndicate look like boy scouts by comparison. DC Collectibles released the entire New 52 Crime Syndicate as part of their Super-Villains line. A few weeks back, I had a look at Deathstorm and today I’m checking out this pair.

Johnny comes in the same type of window box that DCC has been using for all their New 52 figures, although they have been going with a black deco for the Super-Villains line accompanied by a splash of color themed for the character within. It’s collector friendly and shows the figure off well. So well, that I could see I had a problem as soon as I got him out of the shipping box. Apparently, there have been issues with the paint on Johnny’s vest fading and that’s certainly what happened here. I considered sending him back, but he was really cheap so let’s press on…

Here he is out of the box and faded chest paint aside, I love almost everything about this figure. What I didn’t love is that his left foot fell off right out of the tray and I had to glue it back on. Sheesh… the plastic gods are not smiling on me today. Anyway, the costume has a delightfully cheesy, retro flavor to it that contrasts beautifully with the fact that Quick is such an evil bastard. I get a strong Super Sentai vibe off of this design and I really love it.

There’s some wonderful attention to detail in the sculpted suit, which includes ribbing on what I presume is the exposed body suit, and lots of jagged, lightning-like edges on the armor and gauntlets. The brilliant metallic paint looks fantastic… except on his vest where it has faded. Yeah, that vest issue really sucks. It’s obviously  supposed to match the rest of his costume, but it’s gone so pale that it looks like another color paint entirely. At first, I thought it was sun fading, but it’s like that on the front and back. This is apparently a problem with this figure, as I’ve seen a handful of other reports from collectors with similar issues. It almost looks like it’s painted that way by design, but I know better. Anyway, the rest of the paint is pretty good, and I like the mustard tone they used for the glove, boots, and trim.

The head sculpt here is great. While Quick was certainly a shit-bag in the comic, he had fun being one, so I would have liked to see a smirk or something, but I guess the determined expression works for me. The large bug-eyes and the back swept helmet are also pretty cool. Again, if the face was painted to match the helmet, this guy would look like he jumped right out of a Super Sentai show. I’m ready to move on to discuss his articulation, but before I do, both shoulders are stuck, so pardon me while I boil some water.

Ok, so that fixed the right shoulder up great. The left shoulder is still a little sticky, but we’ll press on. One of the most surprising things about this figure is how great the articulation is. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles have hinges and swivels, but in my case that now includes only the right ankle since the left foot is now glued on. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch in the torso, and the neck is ball jointed. And… OH FOR F’CK’S SAKE!!!

And then that happened. So, suffice it to say… this figure is cursed. From a bad paint job to two joint issues, he’s just a mess and I’m really disappointed. I love the design of this guy, I loved to hate him in the comic, and now I can’t even enjoy him on my shelf. Let’s bag it and just move on to Atomica.

Yes, Johnny also comes with his tiny girlfriend, Atomica. She’s a character that played a pretty big part in the New 52 Justice League and she’s had an appropriate amount of love from DC Collectibles. She last graced the pages of FZZ as a DC Icons figure and a damn good one at that. Of course, this one is a simple static piece, but very well sculpted and painted for such a tiny gal. They even sculpted her itty bitty goggles down around her neck. And I don’t have to worry about any of her limbs falling off because she doesn’t have any joints. She does come permanently attached to a clear disc base.

Well, needless to say this DC Friday didn’t go as planned. The only good news is I picked up Johnny Quick on clearance, so he was dirt cheap and I’m not out that much money. The bad news is, I love this figure so much, I’m considering trying my luck a second time. I know, it’s rewarding bad QC and it’s potentially throwing good money after bad, but I really want this figure on my shelf.

DS: “Sucks, dude…”

DS: “Let’s go murder some people. That always makes you feel better.” 

S-W: “I know I should be more sympathetic, but he’s kind of a dick.” 

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DC Comics Super-Villains: Deathstorm by DC Collectibles

Yup, every now and then I’m still picking up some of DC Collectibles’ New 52 line and the Super-Villains series was one of my favorites. I was tempted to pick up all of the Crime Syndicate, but I already have the DC Universe Classics versions, so I decided to just pick up some of the ones that Mattel never put out. Enter Deathstorm!

As usual, the figure comes in a sizable window box and it’s even branded with the Crime Syndicate logo up on the flap. This figure is based on the character’s appearance in Forever Evil where he was basically a living prison, trapping the Justice League inside his energy matrix. I really enjoy that story arc and Deathstorm had some solid moments in the events that unfolded, but the main reason I wanted the figure is because his character design is just so bad ass.

Deathstorm’s costume is a dark and sinister reflection of that of his counterpart Firestorm’s. He has a burgundy and black suit with the flared shoulders and segmented boots and bracers. He even has his own version of the energy burst symbol offset on his chest. From the neck down this is a fairly simple costume, but the figure pulls it off quite well, thanks mostly to some excellent paint work. I especially appreciate the mix of matte and gloss black.

And Deathstorm has a portrait that would make Ghost Rider proud! Yup, he’s sporting a full on skull for a face and he has a flame for hair. The skull is cast in the same translucent plastic as the flame and painted over with a dirty white finish. I’ll bet that lends to some pretty damn nice light piping.

Aw, yeah. It does! It’s a shame they couldn’t have slapped a hinge in that jaw, but it probably would have been difficult with the hood that frames it.

Speaking of articulation, Deathstorm’s got all the right points. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps and thighs, ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso has a waist swivel and an ab hinge, and the neck is ball jointed. Note, I didn’t mention the elbows and note that there are no visible joints on the elbows. There are actually what appears to be rotating hinges buried under rubbery sleeves. It’s really uncommon for DC to put hidden joints on a figure, and I find it odd that they chose Deathstorm to get this treatment. Unfortunately, it has some mixed results. The right elbow articulates perfectly, the left one won’t hold a bend and it’s impossible for me to know what’s going on in there. Oh well, it was a cool idea.

And that’s really all I have to say about Deathstorm. He comes with no accessories, although I’d like to think DCC sculpted a teeny tiny Justice League and inserted them all into his torso. He’s definitely a simple figure, but well executed. At least, everything but that one elbow. I picked him up at a really good price from an online comic shop, and I only wish the rest of the Crime Syndicate were going for reasonable prices these days, because I wouldn’t mind having more of them to go with him. As it is, I only have two other members of the Syndicate from this series, and I’ll be coming back around to look at them in a few weeks.

DC Icons: (#12) Atomica by DC Collectibles

It’s another DC Friday and I’m winding my way through the most recent wave of DC Icons figures. I’ve already checked out Superman and Harley Quinn and today I’m opening up that traitorous bitch, Atomica! And yes, that’s a spoiler for an old comic.

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The packaging is the same as we’ve been seeing throughout the run of this series. It denotes that Atomica is the twelfth figure in the line and that she hails from the pages of Forever Evil, although she was in the company of The Justice League for a while before that. It was right before Forever Evil that she showed her true colors as a mole who was sent ahead to assist in allowing the Crime Syndicate to escape their Earth and conquer our own. Where the hell does The Atom fit into all this? Ray Palmer was busy screwing around in the pages of Frankenstein: Agents of SHADE, a book that got shit-canned after 16 issues, and if you ask me deservedly so. But don’t worry, Ray is in this box too… and so is Ryan Choi!

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The beautiful and sadistic Rhonda Pineda dons her striking red and blue outfit, which gets by with very little in the way of sculpted detail other than the new belt. Now, with the first two ladies appearing in this assortment, it would be understandable to assume they were straight repaints of the same buck, but that’s actually not the case. The Harley figure features a number of slight rumples and wrinkles on her costume, whereas Atomica’s is totally smooth and skin tight, with just a handful of subtle sculpted lines. That’s not to say the lack of detail is an oversight, as the figure’s appearance is quite faithful to the costume as it appears in the panels and thanks to the vibrant colors, this is a beautiful figure in hand.

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And speaking of beautiful, the head sculpt here is no slouch. Her mask is part of the sculpt and she has her goggles up on her forehead. The hair is also nicely done, but as expected it can get in the way of the neck articulation. That can be frustrating at any time, but a little more here, since Atomica is a flyer and she can’t look up. I’ll also note here that the paint on the face is really curious in that through the lens, it looks really mottled up close, but in hand it looks really good. I noticed that a bit with Harley too. Weird!

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The rest of the articulation is unhindered and features everything we’ve seen in this line before. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and feature both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The neck, is ball jointed, there’s another ball joint just below the chest, and there’s an ab crunch hinge just above the waist. Still no swivels in the legs… Insert sigh here.

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Atomica’s only accessories are an extra pair of hands. These are sort of gripping hands, but not quite. Truth be told, they aren’t really different enough from the fists that come attached to the figure, so I doubt I’ll be swapping these out a lot.

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You do, however, get two additional figures in the box, or at least one figure and one display piece. The figure is a mid-sized version of Ryan Choi. Both the paint and the sculpt on this little fella is pretty damn impressive considering his size. He also features a standard 5-POA articulation with points in the hips, shoulders, and neck.

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And lastly, you get a super teeny-tiny Ray Palmer with a stand and translucent atom shrinking effect.  I really love the way this guy looks. The paint isn’t as clean as the other figures. Mine actually has a stroke of blue paint on the face, but considering the size and how close you need to get in to see any issues, I’m not bothered by it. I am, however, going to go on record and just say that I’d rather they given us a midsize and small versions of Atomica herself, as opposed to the other Atoms. Given the context of this figure, it just seems more appropriate.

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And so we have another DC Icons release, and another very solid figure. Of course, with this particular character, the mileage may vary. With a wave that includes very classic versions of A-Listers like Aquaman, Superman, and Harley Quinn, Atomica definitely feels like the odd figure out. As for me? While I was admittedly disappointed by the payoff of the whole Pandora’s Box thing in The New 52, I actually enjoyed Forever Evil and Trinity War quite a bit. The reveal of Atomica’s true nature was a neat little twist and both she and Johnny Quick were memorable characters to me, because they were just so damn twisted. In other words, I am very happy to get her, but also bummed that we’ll probably never see a Johnny Quick in this line to go with her. On the flipside, in DC Collectibles’ regular New 52 line, we got a Johnny Quick, but no Atomica. Bummer.