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The Riddler

DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

As long as you're okay with robbing banks, you might as well be willing to commit crimes against fashion, as well.

Edward Nigma had been a cheat all his life, especially when it came to the solving of puzzles. He turned this into a career by running a crooked carnival puzzle game. But E. Nigma, yearning for greater glory, decided to use his love of riddles to match wits with the Gotham City police and Batman, sending them fiendishly complex clues to his forthcoming crimes as... The Riddler!

Hey, that's the same bio the Series 5 Riddler had! We always hated when ToyBiz did that (such as on version after version of Iron Man), so we're not going to give Mattel a pass on this one. Of course, as Poe pointed out, the text really didn't fit with Riddler as he was presented in that series, but it does seem a lot more appropriate for this release, doesn't it? He's certainly never been an anti-hero or semi-hero or whatever while wearing this.

This is Riddler in his old-fashioned spandex suit, which means he gets an old-fashioned reused body. It's one of the smaller ones, though still a lot beefier than you'd expect for a guy whose idea of "fighting" Batman is to sit around writing clever puns. Really, they could have gotten away with a Deadman body. This isn't really a "first appearance" Riddler, because he didn't have the purple gloves for a few years decades, but it's still the classic design, the lime green body stocking with big black question marks all over. The 51 erotemes are black, various sizes, and painted very crisply. It's nice work. His belt buckle is merely painted on, not sculpted - but the belt itself is a separate piece.

I'm not sure we can praise Riddler's face highly enough. Remember how the DCUC5 version had a pointed nose and chin, strong cheeks and a crooked smirk? Well, this one does too. All those features are present here, and the shapes are nearly identical. This face is smoother and a bit more plump, making this face look like a slightly younger version of the other. Perfect!

There's nothing to say about the articulation. This body has been used X number of times before in the various DCUC series, so the articulation is the same as X number of other figures. One of the question marks is separated from its dot by the swivel in the right thigh, but that's the only thing of note. His accessory is the same cane the last version had, but the way he's posed in the packaging, with the cane tucked under his arm, is pretty darn cool.

Riddler comes with the left arm of the Series 16 BAF, Bane. Though the arm is mostly identical to the right (same kind of glove, same smooth texture), this is the one that has the control device on the wrist. A translucent green tube extends out of it, and will eventually plug into the figure's head.

Riddler's "suit and tie" costume first appeared on the Adam West tv show; Frank Gorshin didn't like the jumpsuit, so he designed something else. It didn't make the jump to comics until 1989's Secret Origins Special, though, so the spandex has a long and proud history, and a lot of people are going to be glad to get this figure - provided they can ever find it. The last Riddler was a Walmart exclusive, but even that seemed more plentiful than anything from Series 16, which has yet to really make an appearance at retail.

-- 06/30/11


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