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Riddler

DC Direct Hush
by yo go re

Almost all of Batman's supporting cast got some on-screen time during Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee's year-long "Hush" storyline, from the big threats like Joker and Killer Croc to minor annoyances like the Riddler.

Riddler Edward Nygma was obsessed by riddles, constantly confounding the Dark Knight by leaving clues at the scenes of his crimes. In fact, he is psychologically incapable of committing any crime without offering a clue as to how he can be caught. Unfortunately for the Riddler, he has met his match in Batman, who's been able to decipher even his cleverest conundrums.

Of the five figures in Hush Series 2, Riddler is one of the weakest, and it's all because of DC Direct's typical aversion to articulation. John G. Mathews did a good job with the sculpt, capturing the look of a guy in a plain suit very well. There's no exaggerated muscle or overabundant McFarlane-style wrinkles on here; it just looks absolutely like a real guy in a real suit.

The paint apps are perfect, too. The startling green of his suit is just what you would want, and the slight hints of yellow in the purple shoes, gloves and buttons help that typically garrish color match its verdant counterpart. His skintone is a bit pasty, as you might expect from a puzzle-obsessed criminal who spends most of his time either in jail or in a dark hideout. The edges are all crisp and clear. This is good paint.

...and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Riddler The head sculpt is nice, even if the face is a bit younger on the figure than Lee drew him in the books. In a subtle bit of design, the hair that pokes out of Riddler's hat is shaped like a question mark. Pretty clever.

What's not so good is the pose. Now, admittedly, the pose is very distinct - his legs are spread for stability, he's resting his right hand on his cane, and his left arm is bent, with one finger extended in a shushing motion. Yeah, that's great and all, but because of the way DCD uses articulation, he's stuck that way.

Riddler moves at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elsbows, wrists and hips. Above the waist, that seems like a lot for DC, who usually only does shoulders and elbows. But then, they usually do balljointed shoulders, too, while these are just peg joints. The biceps would be nice, if moving them even slightly didn't throw off the line of the sculpt. And even with all the movement, you can't get Riddler's finger up to his lips for the "hush" he's supposed to be giving - he looks more scolding than taunting.

The legs, particularly, hinder the figure. Sure, the big stance is nice, but give us the option for something else. I want a Riddler who can sit down, put his feet up on a table and needle Batman that way. Anything but one static pose.

en garde! The figure's got two accessories: his removable bowler hat and his question mark cane. The hat fits tightly on his head, so you don't have to worry about losing it accidentally. It's painted the same green as the suit, and has a purple question mark on its black band. The cane is rubberbanded to Riddler's hand in the package, and you'll want to leave it that way. The cane is 3 1/2" long, but doesn't have any way to actually attach to the figure - his hand is molded to rest on the cane, not hold it.

Despite everything Jim Carrey and Joel Schumacher might have you believe, the Riddler really is a cool character. He got to show off a little in "Hush," but he desrves a better figure than this.


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