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Cyborg Superman

DCD Green Lantern
by yo go re

Superman doesn't have very many good enemies, so any time we get a good action figure of one of them, it's a cause for celebration. How annoying, then, Cyborg is so consistently rare in action figure form. DC Direct released a Cyborg in 2003, but it sold quickly and regulalrly trades for upwards of $125. Mattel put Cyborg in Series 6 of DC Superheroes, then promptly failed to actually get Series 6 (not to mention Series 7 and 8) into stores in any appreciable numbers, once again locking the character away behind an impenetrable wall of scalper-happy prices. DCD was the first to throw fans a bone, by offering a new Cyborg for everyone who still needed him, this time based on his appearance during The Sinestro Corps War.

Hank Henshaw is one of the most powerful and dangerous members of the Sinestro Corps, in part due to the multiple power rings he wears!

Cyborg began as a one-shot character, almost a joke. Four astronauts are bombarded by strange radiation and crash back to Earth, where they each discover the radiation has affected them each differently. Sounding familiar yet? The gruff pilot became a living pile of rubble. The young guy turned into a pillar of flaming radiation. The woman began to fade away. Yeah, now you've got it. Even his alliterative name is an homage. Still, he's come quite a way since those days; it's a rare parody/homage character that can learn to stand on its own.

After disappearing from the comics for three years, Henshaw resurfaced following the death of Superman, disguising himself as the Cyborg Superman - the Man of Tomorrow. Revealed as the villain of the piece, he was defeated, of course, but only temporarily. Even being thrown into a black hole hasn't been enough to stop this guy, which is why Sinestro recruited him for his new army of fear.

Hank has reconstituted himself in his most common form: looking like a half-robot version of Superman. If he can build himself new organic parts, why doesn't he re-create his own body? Because he's mental, that's why. His right arm and the right side of his torso are cybernetic, and so is 75% of his skull. He's wearing his red and black pseudo-Superman costume, though he's replaced the S with the Sinestro Corps symbol. It's just painted on, not sculpted, so it would be easy to customize him into the more "classic" version.

Cyborg's head isn't quite perfect. Technically, the metal parts of his head should have the size and shape of a skull, and while there's a bit of that, it's too bulky - particularly the jaw, which is way too wide and round. He has his mouth open in what almost looks like laughter or a smile, though Hank would probably consider himself above such petty organic displays. The only flesh on his head is the patch around his right eye: he doesn't even get the benefit of a nose or right ear, as he has in previous incarnations (and, depending on the artist, often during Sinestro War as well).

DC Direct's predilection for strange articulation is in full effect here. We get a balljointed head, balljointed shoulders, hinge elbows, swivel hips and hinge knees. His left wrist is the usual swivel, but for some reason, his right wrist is a hinge. What? That might be fine if it was paired with a swivel somewhere below the elbow, but as it is, he's stuck with his palm permanently pointed up. We'll forgive that, though, in celebration of DC's decision to give him a balljointed torso! At last, a figure with the range of a waist joint. DC takes a bold step forward into 2002!

The sculpt on Cyborg's metal parts is good, though perhaps a bit less detailed than you would expect. He usually looks like a random conglomeration of metal parts, while this one is more "finished." The tech detailing continues even on his neck and shoulder where the black costume covers it, suggesting there's more robot than meets the eye. The coolest feature, though, is that his right hand is molded from translucent plastic that's been painted silver. Why did they go that direction? So the four five Sinestro Corps rings he's wearing on that hand can look like they're glowing with power. Neat!

The Sinestro Corps War was, if not the best comic story of 2007, one of the top few. It was wide-reaching, impactful and constantly exciting. It also managed to turn the Cyborg Superman into an interesting and threatening villain again, something he hadn't been since "Reign of the Supermen" all those years ago. This figure isn't perfect, but it does have one distinct advantage over both the previous versions: it's available. If your collection is still lacking a Cyborg, then this is a great way to get him.


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