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New 52 Atomica

DC Comics Icons
by yo go re

Tired of having Mattel steal its lunch money, DC Direct created the DC Icons line, which offers plain versions of its characters with plenty of articulation. We haven't reviewed any yet, mainly because every character they've released has already been covered in one form or another. At last, we get to test the waters!

Atomica was a New 52 creation, taking the place of the seemingly absent Ray Palmer. She first appeared during Atlantis' attack on the surface world, disabling bombs that would have sunk the city of Boston (it's just that no one noticed her because she was so small). She was invited to join the Justice League, but eventually revealed to the team that she was a double agent - she was secretly working for Amanda Waller's "Justice League of America," a group put together to counter the League. She gained the real League's trust by revealing Waller's plan, but that was only half the story.

Rhonda Pineda was a criminal on Earth-3, aka the home reality of the Crime Syndicate. She came to Earth-1 to infiltrate the Justice League and tear them down from within, weakening the world's heroes so they were easier to defeat. She did a really good job of it, even going so far as to shrink her way into Superman's brain and jab a shard of Kryptonite into his optic nerve. She was Johnny Quick's girlfriend, and was ultimately defeated by Lex Luthor - or more accurately, by Lex Luthor's boot.

Atomica was usually shown as a cute woman of presumably Hispanic origin - her skin was definitely brown, and her hair, while straight, was brown tending toward black. This toy is noticably lighter: her hair is a medium brown, and her skin is nearly pink. We're not saying no Latina has ever looked like this, but it's not the way we saw her in the comic.

There aren't a ton of costume details to worry about: Atomica basically just wore the classic Ray Palmer suit, re-cut to fit a woman - so naturally, she looks a lot better in it. The edges between the red and blue sections of her costume are sculpted in, rather than just being painted, as are the seams on her legs and at the top of her gloves. She's got some sort of panels on the back of her hands, and oval kneepads. The goggles she wears are pushed up on her forehead, and there's a 12-pouch utility belt hanging on her hips. The figure was sculpted by Sam Greenwell, and she's looking good.

The DC Icons line has the kind of articulation that, in a sensical world, their figures would have been coming with for years. Seriously, should this list really be something special and unusual? Balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed torso, hinged waist, balljointed hips, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Any toy that doesn't have that much (or the equivalent) goes in the "sub-par" category. Atomica's hair is PVC, but it still sits so close to the body that her head won't move very far; she ends up looking downward, which is weird for somebody whose power makes her shorter than everyone else.

Oh, and speaking of which, DC Icons are done in a 6" scale - a strict 6" scale. While Marvel Legends and (whatever stupid name Mattel is using this week) are called "six inches," they're perpetually creeping upward, and generally end up closer to a 6½" scale. Now here comes DCD with the super iconic versions of their characters, and they all look miniscule next to other toys. Well, other than Movie Masters, since those stick to the same scale. Anyway, Atomica doesn't even reach the 5¾" mark, which isn't outside the realm of possibility for an adult woman, even in a 6½" scale.

Her only accessories are an extra pair of gripping hands. Why, when she has nothing to hold? Best not to think about it. That doesn't mean nothing else comes in the package with her, though! In addition to the Rhonda Pineda version of The Atom, we also get increasingly small Ryan Choi and Ray Palmer Atoms! Ryan is 2⅞" tall, and moves at the Big Five; Ray is just over 1½", and while he doesn't have any articulation, he does have a clear display stand and a neat little atomic effect to go around him, suggesting he's in the process of shrinking. The combo of all three figures is what convinced me to buy this set.

The DC Icons figures actually do seem pretty nice. If you don't already have a plain Harley Quinn, or a plain Superman (with red trunks, even!), or a plain Aquaman, then you may well like what you find here. At least in the case of Atomica, Mattel has never made her, and probably has no plans to any time soon.

-- 06/23/16

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