DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS
Ah, DC Universe Classics. A line that left me with so much confusion. The line led me to steadily hate everything Mattel did. But on the same hand, it was the DC toy line I’d wanted since I was 4 or 5. Not only did it have great versions of the big name characters and their supporting casts, but it also gave us characters we never thought we’d see released in a retail toy line in a million years. I’ll be looking at Negative Man, one of those characters, today.
Negative Man, or more specifically Larry Trainor because Negative Man wasn’t actually his name, was a member of the wacky 60s super hero team the Doom Patrol. The Doom Patrol weren’t your conventional super heroes, no, they were freaks and outcasts that the public had shunned. They were led by a wheelchair bound man and they fought the Brotherhood of Evil. No, I didn’t make that up. They were totally the X-Men, only at DC. Not a rip off, mind you. They debuted the same year, and neither one was really a best seller. But eventually X-Men became one of the bestselling comicbooks ever, and the Doom Patrol were mostly forgotten. Sure they’ve had a few reboots, but none of them ever really captured the fun of the original series, and none of them ever really lasted all that long.
Anyway, Larry was a test pilot who was exposed to some strange energy that turned out to be the sentient being N-Man. N-Man was trapped inside of Larry’s body, and could only be released in 60 second intervals, or Larry would die. When N-Man was present in Larry’s body, Larry was radioactive, so he had to be wrapped in specially treated bandages to keep the radiation contained. I’m gonna be honest, it was a pretty sweet concept!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Larry was released as part of the 13th wave of DC Universe Classics. Believe it or not, Larry’s actually had a few looks over the years. Mattel has chosen to go with what is probably the character’s best known look, his red and purple number that he sported for the majority of the original series. While I’m partial to his original green uniform, I think they picked the right costume. He stands just shy of 6 ½ inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation. DC Universe Classics operated on the buck system, meaning they had a set of differently sized bodies and the picked the one that best suited the character in order to save on tooling. Larry is based on the medium build male buck, which works fine, since he’s not supposed to be a powerhouse. I’ve heard arguments that he should have been on a skinnier body, but I think the medium build looks just fine. In addition to the buck body, Larry has specially sculpted parts for his head, neck, hands, belt and boots. The head, neck and hands are all bandaged, and they all look pretty cool. They found a decent way of handling showing a face, without it looking too silly, which is a good thing. The belt has a cool leather texture to it, which is one of those things that could have easily been left out, but I’m really glad wasn’t. The boots are actually a reuse from the line’s Green Arrow figure, but if it’s a good part, use it. The paint on Larry is all well applied, with no slop or bleed over. There are several washes present to bring out the details in the sculpt. In one area of disappointment, Larry includes no accessories apart from the requisite C-n-C piece. It’s Trigon’s staff for those who care. But, Larry himself gets nothing, not even a cool snap on Negative Man effect! I guess they had to draw the line somewhere.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
In spite of DCUC’s spotty distribution, I actually found Larry in store with relative ease. I was greatly excited by that, as he’s one of my favorite characters, and I’ve always wanted a figure of him. This one did not disappoint. Larry shows the DC Universe Classics line at its best. Well distributed, well sculpted, cool obscure character. He was just full of win!