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Gorilla Grodd

DC Universe Classics
by Poe Ghostal

Collect all five figures in DCU Classics series two and you'll finally have what you need to put together Gorilla Grodd, the superintelligent simian and perennial Flash foe. Since he doesn't have a package of his own, Grodd doesn't get a little bio; so instead, we'll swipe one from his Wikipedia entry.

Gorilla Grodd is a hyper-intelligent telepathic supervillain with the power to control the minds of others. At one time he was nothing more than an average ape, but after an alien spacecraft crashed in his African home, Grodd and his troop were imbued with super-intelligence by the ship's pilot. Grodd and fellow gorilla Solovar also developed telepathic and telekinetic powers. Taking the alien as their leader, the gorillas constructed a super advanced home named Gorilla City. The gorillas lived in peace until their home was discovered by prying explorers. Grodd forced one of the explorers to kill the alien, and took over Gorilla City, planning to take the world next. Solovar telepathically contacted Barry Allen to warn him of the evil gorilla's plans, and Grodd was defeated. However, the villain would return again and again to plague the Flash and his allies.

Really, Grodd is just a very smart gorilla. And as everyone knows, gorillas are awesome. Gorillas in comics are even more awesome, and if they are over-sized and have cybernetic attachments, the awesomeness (as rated by J.D. Power and Associates) soars through the roof.

Technically, Grodd is a gorilla who happens to be hyper-intelligent and have superhuman mental powers - so, physically, he should look like a normal gorilla. But where's the fun in that? While real-world gorillas usually walk by leaning forward on their knuckles and stand five to six feet high, Grodd stands on his hind legs and is often drawn towering over the superheroes he fights. Reflecting this tendency, the Horsemen's Grodd stands over 8" tall, making him two inches (and thus, two feet) taller than the average DCUC figure.

While Grodd is usually depicted in this larger size and as being bipedal, nothing else distinguishes him from your average ape. To distinguish the character, the Four Horsemen added a neat mad scientist-style helmet (to suggest his telepathic and psychokinetic abilities) and gauntlets that connect to the helmet. What are they intended to do? Who knows - they can do whatever you want them to, thanks to the power of imagination!

One aspect of the sculpt that many fans have commented on is the face. Grodd is almost as famous for his temper as he is for his tendency to refer to himself in the third person; but this is a very calm, reflective Grodd. As mentioned in the Firestorm review, calmer faces are preferable to raging ones, but the Horsemen could have made Grodd glowering a bit more. It's not big deal, though, and it works well when Grodd is examining some odd piece of equipment.

The paint work on Grodd is exceptional. The plastic used in his construction is a bit stiffer and less rubbery than that of the regular figures, but it ensures his body and limbs aren't too loose or heavy to hold their positions when posed. But the plastic also holds the details of the sculpt well, and is reminiscent of the great work on ToyBiz's Face-Off Hulk. There's a white wash over much of Grodd's fur, giving him the distinctiveness of an elder silverback. His red eyes are appropriately menacing.

Being a Collect & Connect figure - and a different species to boot - Grodd's articulation is a bit different than that of most DCUC characters. He has balljoints at the head and shoulders, hinge joints at the elbows, limited balljoints at the wrists, and swivel joints at the biceps, hips and ankles. Some more leg articulation would have been nice, but for a large character like this (and at the DCUC price point), it's satisfactory.

Again, no accessories, unless you count his helmet-and-gauntlet combo. Grodd was originally going to come with some sort of weird, Kirby-esque pincer-devices as well, and his hands are sculpted to hold them, but it seems they didn't cost out at the production stage. The helmet is glued on, though surely you could pry it off with some effort.

We've had a lot of BAF figures since Galactus in Marvel Legends, and Grodd stands out with the best of them. Now all we need is a Flash for him to tussle with.

Firestorm | Aquaman | Harley Quinn | Electric Superman | Black Manta

-- 09/10/08

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