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Dr. Destiny, Toyman and Firefly

Justice League
by yo go re

Toyman, Dr. Destiny and Firefly are all notorious nemeses of famed heroes. Toyman, a skilled inventor of deadly toys, became one of Superman's most unpredictable adversaries. A pyromaniac, Firefly uses winged battle armor and a flame thrower to set destructive fires in Gotham City, earning him the attention of Batman. Dr. Destiny invented the "Materioptikon," a device that turns dreams into reality, and used it to invade the nightmares of his foes, often clashing with the entire JLA.

Dr. Destiny is a mostly forgotten villain - he first appeared in Justice League of America #5, where he invented a gravity-controlling device that let him impersonate Green Lantern. Which doesn't explain why he went by the name "Destiny," or how, in his second appearance, he suddenly had a device that could make dreams real. Eventually the JLA defeated him... by getting a psychiatrist who hypnotized him into being unable to dream at all. Yeah. He disappeared for a decade, then came back with a completely new look.

As a result of being unable to dream (and thus unable to get a restful night's sleep), he got frail, his hair fell out and his skin turned a sickly yellow, making him look like a living skeleton. The figure uses one of the larger bodies, because Dr. D always seemed to be a huge musclebound guy despite supposedly being "withered horribly." He has flared gloves, a new skirt with a large belt, and a big hooded cape.

The head is new, too: it's just a bare skull, with shadows painted around the eyes and mouth. The animators considered giving him a new color scheme so he wouldn't look so much like Skeletor, but what could they do? Make him gray, he looks like Phantasm. Make him green, he looks like Dr. Doom. And anyway, Dr. Destiny started looking like this in 1978 - if anything, Skeletor is copying him.

Toyman is a Superman villain from way back, though he's had a lot of different interpretations over the years. This particular take on the character, with the giant doll head, originated in Superman: the Animated Series - he wasn't Winslow Schott, but rather Winslow's unnamed son. In the comics that was more a metaphorical son than a biological one: he was a robot and went by the name of "Toyboy" (because apparently no one writing for DC knows how to run a Google search).

Toyman was always shown to be rather short in the cartoon, and as such, he gets an entirely new sculpt. He's got stumpy little legs, a sweater vest and a bowtie - certainly not something that could be reused from one of Mattel's normal stock of JLU bodies! Even the proportions are different, since he needs to be short.

It would have made sense for Toyman to be included in the "Hereafter" three-pack, instead of that stupid Batman figure, but this one is clearly based on the Season 5 episode "Alive." How can you tell? Because of the thin black lines on his forehead. When the supervillains started fighting amongst themselves, Toyman headbutted Killer Frost, cracking his giant creepy doll face in the process.

Firefly is, of course, a Batman villain, and I was all ready to say that his inclusion in this set was stupid because, being a Batman villain, he never appeared on Justice League (thanks to the so-called "Bat-embargo" that kept them from using anyone other than Batman himself). But hey, that's why we do research and fact-checking before you read these reviews: Firefly was on the cartoon; in fact, he appeared in the same episode as Dr. Destiny!

Garfield Lynns was a pyrotechnician for a musician's concert tour, but he was obsessed with her and kind of stalker-y. She fired him, and he tried to burn her in retaliation. The figure's constuction is odd: he uses one of the thinner JLU bodies, and has new arms and legs; but the legs are different lengths, so he's permanently leaning to the side; and the arms are thin enough that the shoulders don't line up properly with the torso. Mattel skimped out on Firefly's flame gun, but his winged jetpack is all-new.

The head is also new, but the angle of his neck makes him look really weird. His head juts forward like Creeper's was supposed to. And yes, the model sheet did the same thing, but why? There are red highlights on the black lenses of his mask, and in an attempt to make his 2D belt look like 3D pouches, the silver apps are slightly misaligned. They should have sculpted them.

Barring any unannounced surprises, this is Mattel's final JLU release. Clearly they wanted to go out on a high note, offering three new characters - one from BtAS, one from Superman, and one from Justice League - and all three of them have substantial new sculpting. There's been a lot of crap released in this line over the years, but this set is a good one.

-- 01/16/13


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