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DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

Sometimes you need nuanced villains with complex motivations and subtle plans. Other times you just need somebody to come in and bust some $#!+ up.

When Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, decided to destroy all of Earth's heroes, he ordered his servant Desaad to project a futuristic techno-seed into the heart of an experimental fusion generator being tested at STAR labs in New York. Instants later, the generator exploded, to relase the monstrous flaming giant called Brimstone upon the world.

That bio may or may not describe this Brimstone. It's not like they put out bios for the BAFs, what with the pieces being scattered among an entire series, and there have been a few Brimstones over the years (even discounting the plain human who was part of Batman's Rogues Gallery briefly), and they've all been blown up eventually. That bio describes the original nuclear monster, introduced in 1986's "Legends" crossover and killed by Deadshot, but a second one showed up in 1994 fighting Superboy and The Ray with no explanation. Ah, who cares, they all look the same.

Brimstone is the "Collect & Connect" figure for the Target-exclusive "Public Enemies" series of Mattel's DC Universe line. He comes in six pieces, split between both waves of the series. Like Chemo, his head and torso are one solid piece, so you can probably figure out from there what each of the six pieces are. The bits all fit together well, but we wouldn't recommend trying to pry them apart again: that's never a smart idea.

Unfortunately, when you get him all put together, Brimstone stands only 8¾" tall - in the comics, he's a Godzilla-sized behemoth capable of crossing huge swaths of countryside in just a few steps. Human-sized Brimstones recently showed up in Action Comics, but remember, this is based on Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, and he was a giant in that. He even dwarfed Giganta!

Articulation is what you'd expect. It's all the normal Mattel DCU stuff, minus the neck and thighs: swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, hinged knees, and hinged/rocker ankles. The sculpt is actually shared with DCUC11 Kilowog, making them, unexpectedly, the first two BAFs to share a body. Considering the way Mattel likes to re-use molds, that's a huge shock. (The next instance of recycling will be Series 14's Ultra-Humanite, who will get most of his body from Gorilla Grodd.)

However, the two figures really don't look anything alike, and that's mainly thanks to the paint. It helps that they're at diametric ends of the color wheel: Kilowog is green and white, while Brimstone is red and black; can't get any more different than that. None of the costume details (ie, his black wrestling singlet) are sculpted, but the edges have a sharp delineation. His torso and legs are solid, but the arms and hands are semi-translucent plastic. Is there any particular reason for that? Beats us.

One area of the figure that is sculpted is the head. Most likely since they already had to make a new mold for the chest (since there would be no neck joint to allow for a separate head) they just went all-out on it. His skeletal black face is raised slightly above the surface, and the rest of the black shapes on his head follow suit. A yellow airbrushing on the face makes him look fiery.

Brimstone is one of those characters who has a cool design, but absolutely nothing else. He's a big red and black skull-faced fire monster, and that's all. He shows up when the villains need some gigantic physical threat, but the problem is that he's such a threat, he has to be written out of the story as fast as possible, which conversely makes him look super weak. In "Public Enemies" he was nothing more than villainous set-dressing, something scary for all the other bad guys to stand in front of, and he'll probably fill the same role in your collection, as well. Just get some cheap HeroClix to scatter around his feet to give him an appropriate sense of scale.

Batman | Black Lightning | Icicle | Major Force | Silver Banshee | Superman

-- 07/31/10

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