Monday, February 6, 2012

DC Universe Classics: The Creeper

Maybe Mattel should just have marketed this as "Custom Joker body": they might have sold more figures. But, despite appearances, this is not, in fact, the Joker. In fact, this isn't even a villain: Jack Ryder's sort of a superhero, albeit one who operates in Gotham City, looks maniacally evil, and has a supernatural laugh.

Yeah, when he made an appearance on Batman the Animated Series they retconned his origin to connect it with the Joker. I almost think they should do the same in the comics, though I'd be just as happy if he never showed up again. The Creeper's one of those characters I can do without. I'm sure there are fantastic stories out there, and I can appreciate the influence he probably had on later properties like The Mask, but he just doesn't interest me.

The sculpt work on the face is pretty fantastic, but I'm underwhelmed by the gloves and boots. Likewise the mane of back hair just doesn't seem all that impressive. From a design standpoint, I suppose it's pretty accurate to how the character's drawn, but it just doesn't look like it's part of his body.

Besides the face, the area this figure stands out is in articulation. Mattel's thrown in all the extra joints: pin-and-hinge wrists, double-pinned knees and elbows, and a ball jointed head that actually works. It all makes sense for the character, since he's supposed to be limber, but it almost feels like a waste on a character this obscure. In addition, that mane on his back throws his balance off, so it's not like he can hold most poses (though it does allow him limbo, as pictured above. 

Accessories are pretty light: the only thing he comes with is Bane's right arm. I mean, that's not even the interesting arm with the venom tube. I'm sure there's something this character could have, though since I don't really care about the character, I have no idea what that is. But I'm betting the three fans The Creeper has were probably disappointed.

Needless to say, I really just bought this for the Collect and Connect piece - it was all I was missing on Bane, so I shelled out the fifteen bucks he was going for on Amazon. He's a decent figure, but nothing special.

He's actually more interest to me as a custom base. Like I said at the top, this is clearly a sculpt that would work for the Joker. Be aware that the hair piece is attached to a peg sticking out of the Creeper's back. Most DCUC figures with capes and the like have a hole in their backs which the piece plugs into. This is reversed, which is going to require extra work.

Still, I'm intrigued by the head sculpt's potential. Mattel never put out a modern Joker in the scale, other than the "Mad Love" 2-pack (and even that was really the Silver Age version with a repaint). The Creeper's head is just some paint away from being the Joker: I'm a little surprised Mattel hasn't repurposed it themselves.

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