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Doctor Psycho

DC Multiverse
by yo go re

Apparently Mattel has finally figured out the secret to getting all the parts of a Build-A-Figure into stores at once: only split it between two figures!

Dr. Edgar Cizko was once a psychologist, but was ridiculed by his peers for his studies in psionics. Psychologists may be insightful, but they're not very creative, so they mockingly called him "Dr. Psycho." Which turned out poorly for them when he developed psychic powers and swore revenge on everyone who'd ever made fun of him. So it's kind of like Carrie, except instead of staring around bug-eyed and burning down the gym, he could control dreams, dominate minds, and project illusions.

He was also based on a real guy. Dr. Psycho was created by William Moulton Marston, same one who created Wonder Woman. When Marston was in college, he studied under Hugo Münsterberg, who was a pioneering psychologist in many different fields, and was also quite the chauvinist, even by early 20th century standards: he detested "the predominance of the feminine mind in the shaping of national society," believing that women had too much influence on the world. Women. Too much influence. In 1910. Women. Basically, the dude was the grandfather of every stupid Men's Rights Activist today, but even those dummies don't think women shouldn't be school teachers because they'd be poor role models for boys. That head-up-the-ass kind of thinking obviously wouldn't sit well with a radical feminst like Marston, so he based the diminutive misogynist Dr. Psycho on Münsterberg.

Yes, diminutive: Dr. Psycho has dwarfism, and has since his earliest appearances. Of course, back in the '40s he was drawn with a gigantic, oddly-shaped head, while modern interpretations of him make him a physically typical little person, though often with wild, unsettling eyes. Creepy eyes. Scary eyes. This figure's eyes are normal, even if he is "Deadpooling" pretty hard.

Psycho is one dapper dresser, wearing a full tuxedo. It's sculpted with wrinkles and seams on the pants, lapels and a red boutonniere flower on the jacket, a button-up vest, a white shirt and a black bow tie. The detail overall is slightly soft - this feels like a copy of a copy, not a first-generation mold. Since he's wearing black over black over black, it really falls to the sculpt to differentiate the layers of his clothing, but that just doesn't happen here.

Because of the toy's small size, the articulation is very limited. He has one hand sculpted in sort of a reaching gesture and the other like he's ready to claw at something, but since there are no wrist joints, the hands will always be facing the direction they're already facing. All we get are swivel/hinge shoulders and balljoints for the neck and waist. It's no doubt somewhat gauche to compare a little person to a simian, but consider Hit-Monkey: his toy was about the same size as this one, and they dressed alike, but Hasbro gave him elbows, knees, ankles... the whole shebang! Granted, the Hit-Monkey BAF was split among a 50% greater number of figures than Dr. Psycho was, but it's not like either of the figures in this mini-series were brimming with accessories. And heck, as long as we're complaining, the figure's neck is too long, leaving his head hovering above his shoulders unnaturally.

Dr. Psycho is not a character who would typically get chosen for an action figure, so making him a BAF with two Wonder Woman-themed figures is welcome: he won't satisfy the "BAFs need to be bigger than usual" crowd, but he definitely scratches our "make a figure we wouldn't get otherwise" itch. And completing a BAF after only two figures is nice, particularly when Mattel can't seem to get any more than that onto shelves reliably. Maybe if a future Wonder Woman movie uses him as a villain we'll see more toys of him? I know the sequel has already cast Kristen Wiig as Cheetah, but Dr. Psycho would make aninteresting departure from all the bombastic action: rather than Diana's physical match, he'd be like fighting Freddy Krueger. I mean, it's either him or Egg Fu.

DK2 Wonder Woman | Wonder Girl

-- 03/15/18

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