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DCD Blackest Night
by yo go re

The Sinestro Corps' imperative to instill fear can take a lot of different forms. There are some members who are just big and physically frightening, and others who look gross. A very few, however, actually inspire true fear, striking at the psychology of their victims. One of those few is Kryb.

Long thought to be a terrifying myth in many sectors of the universe, Kryb's obsession with patricide and her quest to imprison "liberated" infants in the cage-like sac on her back has led her to set her sights on the children of the Green Lanterns.

Seriously, you want fear? Karu-Sil has scars that make her look somewhat unsettling - Kryb strikes at the primal underpinnings of all civilization. If parents didn't care about what happened to their children, we'd still be laying eggs in the shallows and swimming away without a second thought, and Kryb uses that connection as a weakness. See, Green Lanterns are pretty much invulnerable, as long as they're confident and able to concentrate; even a flicker of fear is enough to defeat them, and there's no way to repress a feeling that deep.

Kryb comes from Series 2 of DC Direct's Blackest Night toys, and definitely falls under my "there's no way Mattel will ever make this" criteria for buying a DCD toy. Sculpted by Mike Locascio, Kryb is a horror to behold. She has a skeletal, demonic face with stringy black hair, harshly knitted brows, a high, flattened nose and small, sharp teeth. Her skin is wrinkled, and looks like it might split if her expression changes. Basically, she's an old hag.

The figure isn't an exact duplicate of what you'd see in the comics, but she's been drawn somewhat inconsistently anyway: apparently she has some limited shape-changing ability. In plastic form, she's stooped over, but not terribly so. Kryb stands 6½" tall, but that would be closer to 9" if she could stand up. She has four arms (sometimes she's seen with up to six) and two-toed feet (sometimes she has four small toes, not two big ones). Each hand has three fingers and a thumb, and prominent tendons that add to her cronish appearance.

Kryb's waist is very small, and her ribcage is nearly twice the width. This may seem like an odd complaint, but her breasts are small and cling tightly to her torso. In most depictions, she has sagging breasts - more of the "she's old as heck" stuff - that point straight down toward the ground. No surprise the toy skipped that particular feature. Oh, and for extra squick, she can also shoot hypnotic yellow breast milk that attunes itself to victims' DNA and can't even be stopped by a GL's protective aura.

Articulation is exactly what you expect from DC Direct: insufficient. Kryb has swivel hips, swivel wrists, balljointed shoulders and a balljointed head. Yes, that's all. No knees, no elbows, and of course no waist. For once, though, we're going to praise the fact that there aren't any joints below the hips - Kryb has an extreme pose, and minimizing the joints in her legs makes her more stable. The lack of elbows remains annoying, however. There's no excuse for that. However, you can still get multiple poses, thanks to the four shoulders. She includes a translucent yellow disc base with the Sinestro Corps logo in white on the surface, but her feet are too far spread to utilize it.

Kryb has an action feature that works perfectly both as part of the toy and as a part of the character. The spiny cage on her back is present on the figure, and it's a removable piece: eight pegs hold it in place, and the interior is hollow and fully sculpted. Her accessories - and you can probably guess where this is going - are two alien babies. Yes, this toy comes with a pair of plastic infants that you can steal away from their parents and jam in her prison-sack. Hideous!

The babies are solid plastic, 1⅜" long, and detailed fairly well. There's a blue baby that has three deely boppers on its forehead, making it look like a sea monkey, and a pink baby that's completely smooth. Looking at the issues, the blue one is probably meant to be the offspring of the GL from Sector 1067, who Kryb collected in Green Lantern Corps #30. The other one is too pink to be human, so maybe it's supposed to be from Sinestro's homeworld of Korugar. Or any of the millions of other planets in the universe. Maybe these are just super-complex versions of the family pegs from the game of Life.

If you're planning to integrate Kryb with your Mattel DCU Classics Sinestro Corps, you'll want to be aware of her paint. Oh, the toy is painted well enough, to be sure - her blue skin contrasts with the yellow and black uniform, her nails and teeth are gray, and her eyes are black with white dots in the center, and all the edges where colors meet are crisp - but the yellow used on her costume is a very pure yellow and unmistakably metallic. It doesn't even come close to blending with Mattel's Yellow Lanterns, if that matters to you. Sinestro's a tyrant, to be sure, and would probably insist that all members of his Corps wear the same shade of yellow just like he insists that they all wear the same costume design, but Kryb's yellow isn't a distraction in a crowd.

Will Mattel ever make a Kryb? Almost certainly not. Even as a BAF, she'd be too unmarketable to sell, and the idea of including kidnappable babies? It'd never work at Wal*Mart. This is one of those figures that you'll get from DC Direct or no one. Thankfully, she may have her shortcomings in the articulation category, but Kryb is one worth getting.

-- 12/09/09

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