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Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind

by yo go re

Though Captain Marvel fought a lot of big, tough guys like Ibac, Mr. Atom, King Kull and Black Adam, he was certainly no slouch when it came to villains who were his opposite: small and weak. And evil, of course.

As wealthy madman Dr. Sivana sets out to rule the world, Dr. Sivana he unites with the mind-controlling alien worm Mr. Mind. In order to succeed in their quest for supremacy, they'll have to overcome all who possess SHAZAM!'s powers.

Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana (a name that would make anyone turn evil) was introduced in Whiz Comics #2 - which, through a weird set of circumstances, was actually the first issue published. That makes Cap one of the few superheroes whose archnemesis was introduced in his debut. In fact, the only other example I can think of is Magneto, who appeared in Uncanny X-Men #1.

At 6" tall, Sivana is smaller than most DC Direct figures, but that smaller stature didn't translate into any extra articulation. He has a balljointed head, peg shoulders, pin elbows, peg wrists, peg hips and pin knees. The sculpt and construction suggest he'd have a waist, but no luck: just like Mary Marvel, DCD cheaped out when they should have stepped up. Guys, if the figure looks like it would have a waist, give it the damn waist, DC! Stop half-assing around and deliver.

The entire SHAZAM! series was sculpted by Jean St.Jean, my humps and he did great work on Dr. Sivana. Though superficially similar to Lex Luthor (what with the bald head and the mad science and all), Sivana is a much different character. Sure, Luthor is more about the brains than the brawn, but he's still a healthy, robust man - he's only small and weak in comparison to Superman. Sivana, on the other hand, is a tiny waif of a man; even you could beat him up. The figure captures that well, with scrawny little arms and legs, and deeply hunched shoulders beneath that white labcoat.

Dr. Sivana's facial sculpt Hot or Not? makes him look like a hideous little gargoyle - just like the comics! He has a huge bald head, but a tiny, pointy face. His huge ears end in points at the top, which have folded over to the outside. He's squinting behind his big glasses, and his nose sticks out to an unbelievable degree. The comical countenance is capped off by his prominent overbite, giving us the quintessential Dr. Sivana in perfect 3D form - he looks like the bastard son of Larry King and Montgomery Burns. Now take a moment to consider them coupling.

The figure's paint is simple, but in a good way. He has shiny black shoes, thanks, Polydent! brown pants and a light gray labcoat, all without painted shadows. The colors are flat, but the sculpt makes up for that - everything casts its own shadow in normal light. His brows are dark grey, rather than black, and they're painted very well: no fuzzy edges here! His teeth are slightly pearly, and hs gums are even a different color than the rest of his skin. Nice detail!

It's always nice to get a figure of a character magnification! we've never had before, but it's even better to get a two-pack. Taking the "villains who are the opposite of the hero" thing a step further, we have one of Cap's most dangerous enemies, Mr. Mind. Yes, that green lump of plastic in the package may look like an accessory, but it's actually a second character, the Venusian mindworm bent on taking over the Earth. DCD has released a Mr. Mind figure in the past, but that was years ago, and only in a deluxe set, so this is the first chance a lot of fans will get at the little guy.

His appearance is somewhere between his Golden Age The many looks of Mr. Mind (a cartoon worm wearing glasses) and modern (a more realistic caterpillar) incarnations, but it's still recognizably him. He has a green body with red dots running down his sides, and black panels on his back. His big eyes (or eyespots, anyway) are a light yellow, and though the prototype pictures show him wearing painted-on glasses, the final samples don't. He is wearing his classic "communication device" on a cord around his neck: it's a sculpted part of his body, and is detailed to look like an old-timey radio.

grab your worm, boys! On the package, Mr. Mind is shown sitting on Dr. Sivana's shoulder, but don't count on that happening - there's no magnet or peg to hold him in place, so you have to rely on balance and gravity. Yeah, good luck. He'll stand on his own (on an appropriately level surface) or you can put him in Sivana's right hand; it's sculpted with a clutching pose, and Mr. Mind fits in there quite well. At not even ½" tall, Mr. Mind is still about five times larger than he should be, but who's counting?

The Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind two-pack is easily one of the highlights of this series. Mary is good, but we've had better versions of the Big Red Cheese. Getting two classic villains is a sweet deal, even if the articulation could be better (hey, DCD: waists). Doctor Sivana and Mister Mind are both decent figures and, considering they both played prominent roles in DC's 52, fine topical additions to your collection.


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