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DC Universe Classics
by Poe Ghostal

In the annals of comic book events - or is it stunts? - there are few as well-known as 1992's Death of Superman, which killed off the Kryptonian for a while. He came back, naturally, but before he did, comic readers were given the Reign of the Supermen storyline, which introduced four ersatz Men of Steel: The Man of Steel (now known only as Steel), the Cyborg Superman (now a major supervillain and recent participant in the Sinestro Corps War in the pages of Green Lantern), Superboy (the late Connor Kent), and today's review subject, the Eradicator - a sort of android clone of Superman made from Kryptonian technology.

I could spend days writing out charts and graphs explaining how the Eradicator came to be, but instead, let's go with his pithy packaging bio:

The Eradicator's sole mission is to preserve Kryptonian culture above all others. After Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday, the Eradicator's programming allowed it to temporarily take Superman's form and help bring him back to life. In addiotion to sharing the same super-powers as Superman, the Eradicator is able to manipulate all manner of energy, making him more than a match for even the Man of Steel!

Perhaps you're wondering whether a guy with the name "Eradicator" is a good guy or a bad guy. Well, he's mostly a good guy, except when he tries to turn our yellow sun into a red dwarf to match Krypton's son. But that was a whole misunderstanding, and Superman took care of it. Since the Eradicator only wore this outfit for a few issues, it's a bit puzzling that we've had more than a few action figures of him, but let's face it - he's an easy repaint.

As part of the Wal*Mart exclusive DCUC Series 5, the Eradicator is something of a preview of what Series 6's red-and-blue Superman will look like. While the DC Superheroes Superman was a great figure, he had a few problems (such as a very wide stance). Also, I find the DCSH style doesn't quite mesh with DCUC in every case, particularly the muscled-up superhero sculpts.

Eradicator uses the same "large male" body seen on DCUC figures such as Red Tornado, Aquaman and Captain Atom. His facial likeness is, of course, identical to Superman's. It's a cinch we'll see this head on the red-and-blue Superman body in the near future, probably as the "All-Star" figure in later waves (the Series 6 red-and-blue Supes will be sporting the Reign of the Supermen-era supermullet). The facial sculpt isn't nearly as angular as that of the DCSH Superman, better fitting with the style of DCUC.

There are two small holes on either side of his head to attach the removable sunglasses. Now, prototypes of the figure showed clear glasses, but unfortunately those didn't cost out, so Raddy is stuck with Luke Skywalker's blast shield in front of his face. Good thing he has X-ray vision. The opaque glasses are a disappointment.

The only other new tooling Eradicator has is his shield-and-cape combo. The cape is extremely stiff - far more than that of Robin from Series 3, but similar to Ares from Series 4. I do like the shape of the cape, though, and the way it hangs off the shoulders. The only flaw on my figure is a small bit of torn plastic on his upper right pelvis.

The paint work isn't particularly complicated, but it's well executed. The "S" symbol is centered properly, for the most part, and doesn't have much bleeding - it's centered horizontally, but it's a bit too high vertically. The hair has some nice blue highlights, and if you take off the visor, the eyes are glowing red. The blue of his costume has well-defined edges.

Eradicator has the standard DCUC articulation: balljoints at the neck and shoulders, h-hinges at the hips (allowing for balljoint-like motion with less harm to the sculpt), hinges at the elbows, knees, torso and ankles, and swivels at the wrists, biceps, thighs and waist.

Unless you count his BluBlockers, Eradicator's only accessory is Metallo's left arm.It's got a surprising amount of articulation, even some joints that end up being redundant when compared to others. Regardless, you can tell the big guy is going to be able to take some mighty swipes at any of the Superman family who stray too close to him.

Honestly, the extra arm is probably the reason a lot of people will buy this figure. Repaints like Eradicator usually aren't the most exciting figures, so kudos to toy companies for stumbling upon the BAF concept. While Eradicator is a great figure, he wouldn't be nearly as desirable if he didn't have the all-important BAF part. However, his head would make for a good fill-in for the Series 6 Superman if you're not fond of the mullet.


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