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Professor Zoom - The Reverse Flash

DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

Lots of heroes have enemies who are described as their opposite number; rarely is it so literal as this.

Born in the 25th century, Eobard Thawne was a fan of the Flash and wanted more than anything to be like the object of his obsession. He went so far as to transform his own face into Barry Allen's likeness and recreated the bath of supercharged fluids, giving Thawne the same powers. Thawne traveled back in time to meet Barry, but the travel made him mentally unstable and he became a supervillain bent on the destruction of his former idol.

When it comes to toys, Eobard Thawne just can't catch a break. Kenner made an action figure of him in 1998 (a repaint of the Total Justice Flash)... but it was only available as a ToyFare exclusive. DC Direct made an action figure of him just last year (a repaint of Flashpoint Flash)... but it was only available as an SDCC exclusive. Now Mattel has made him (a repaint of the same body they use for half their figures)... and with the way DCUC is distributed, he might as well only be available as an exclusive again.

Professor Zoom uses the same body as DCUC7 Barry Allen - and thus, the same as fellow Series 20 release "White" Lantern Flash. It still looks too bulky for a guy whose primary action is running really fast, but maybe that means he had time to do some super-speed powerlifting. His lower legs are unique, since the boots need holes to plug wings into. The Horsemen also sculpted a seam down the back of the boot, to make it look more realistic, and the soles have treads instead of just being smooth. And hey, that brings up a good point: Mattel, where the eff is our Wally!?

The only new sculpt on Professor Zoom is his head. Honestly, they could have gotten away with reusing even that - Thawne got plastic surgery so he'd look like Barry Allen - but he's got an angry, sour look that sets him apart very well. Not even Batman could frown as much as Eobard does! On a related note, what the hell kind of future Fleep-Floorp name is "Eobard?"

The paint on this figure deserves much praise. Yellow is a color that's very hard to make look good on an action figure - as seen here and here - but Reverse Flash looks great. His yellow is solid and vibrant, and tinged more toward red than toward blue (which can make a yellow app dull). There are shadows creating depth on the figure, and they're painted in a pale orange. The red used on his boots and lightning bolts is just a bit dark, making for a wonderful contrast. The only problem with the whole figure is that all that yellow makes his exposed skin look blue by comparison. The only solution would have been to make him pinker.

Zoom comes with an accessory - a real rarity for a Flash figure! It's not anything exciting, just the lightning rod he wielded in the pointless and shameful Flash Rebirth, but it's a new sculpt. Speedsters don't really lend themselves to accessories, so it's nice to see Mattel giving us something they really didn't need to; it's not like "more than necessary" is part of their regular business plan.

The figure comes with the left leg of the DCUC Series 20 build-a-figure, Nekron - kind of fitting, since the right leg came with Barry. Do you think that's just a coincidence, or did Mattel do it on purpose? The paint on this leg is better than on the other, but that's something that will vary from sample to sample.

So, about that name: "Eobard Thawne" is an anagram for "rawboned hate"... and also for "no Hebrew data," "Arab wet-end ho" and "bathe a wonder," so maybe we shouldn't read too much into it. There may have been no real reason for Barry Allen to come back to life, and the stories told with Professor Zoom the past few years have been stupider than stupid, but it's still nice to finally have a (sort of) mass market figure of him, and it's great that he turned out so well.

-- 04/11/12

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