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Captain Boomerang

DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

Remember last week when we reviewed Toyman and told you how the bio described the wrong guy? Here we go again.

Digger Harkness was a poor Australian boy skilled at throwing a boomerang. When he tried to make a living demonstrating his skills, he was laughed at by audiences. Resentful and desperate, he turned to crime, calling himself Captain Boomerang. He became an archenemy of the Flash and joined the supervillain groups The Rogues and Suicide Squad. One taste of his razor-edged or exploding boomerangs, and no one is laughing anymore.

When these figures first showed up at Walmart, a lot of people thought that bio was a mistake. Everything it says about Digger Harkness is right, but the figure appears to be Digger's son Owen. We even had a whole paragraph written up for this review all about that mistake and listing what about the bio was wrong, etc. But in doing our usual exhaustive research, it turned out that this is what Digger looks like these days! He was killed in Identity Crisis, but came back to life during Brightest Day, and now has a costume that looks a lot like the ones Owen wore.

Captain Boomerang gets a new body - he was dead and came back to life, so he has a new body in the comics, too! He's wearing a dark blue trenchcoat, so the arms are sculpted to look like sleeves. They seem too thin, though: they don't look thick enough to account for both human arms (especially on a guy whose gimmick is throwing things) and cloth wrapped around them; rather, it's like the coat is both tremendously thin and skin-tight, but only on the upper arms; the rest of it is fine. He's wearing long gloves and has odd metal braces on his boots. Part of his trademark look was a scarf, and he still has it - a separate piece around the figure's neck.

Digger Harkness is at least middle-aged, what with having a son who's in his late teens or early 20s, but the figure's face looks a bit younger than that. The benefits of resurrection, maybe? Anyway, the knit cap and sculpted stubble still make him look like a real dirtbag - you know, "the Colin Farrel effect." He's smirking at us, too (the evil jerk).

The figure has good articulation, but it's placed weirdly. He has the joints you'd expect - balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, H-hips, swivel thighs and hinged ankles - plus double-hinged elbows and knees. It's nice that we got them, but the knees are set way too low on the leg; the kneecaps are already sculpted lower than they should be, and then the joints are cut in below the patellas, pushing them even further down. It's rather disconcerting, especially from the Four Horsemen.

Also, the paint is a mess, but that rests more on the factory than the design. The silver used for his boots and the boomerangs across his chest is very sloppy. The black and silver bleed onto each other and there are stray brush marks all over the place. It's so bad I'm going to have to repaint them myself. Granted, this may be something that varies from figure to figure (since he's not plentiful enough to adequately compare samples), but it's something to watch out for when you're buying. If you ever see this in a store again.

While the boomerangs on the figure's chest are just a molded part of the coat, he does get one loose boomerang (or, as we call it in America, "a returning throw-stick"), but it's very thin, made from PVC and held in his hand in the package, so of course it's warped horribly by the time you open the toy. He also includes Apache Chief's head and... lap.

This is a really weird choice for a DCUC figure. Yes, Captain Boomerang is a classic Flash rogue (bringing that total to two), but this isn't a costume anyone would recognize. It comes from a story that nobody read and that was retconned out of existence three weeks after it finished. DCU Classics is a line dedicated to re-creating the past, but this is the character they pick to get the bleeding edge redesign immortalized in plastic? This? It would be better if this had been intended to be Owen and the packaging simply had the wrong bio on it. The figure itself is fine (other than the badly designed knees and the paint issues), but is anybody really going to care?

-- 10/06/11

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