DCAU #164: Don't Try This at Home

IN THIS ONE... Toy-Man crafts action figures of Superman that go on a crime wave.

CREDITS: Written by Scott McCloud; art by Rick Burchett and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: Toy-Man's return isn't all that original, as he turns to petty crime and makes action figures of Superman rob thousands of households. It's a classic shtick, and part of the plan is ruining Superman's reputation with a life-sized Superman figure, but I still wouldn't call it his shining hour. Thankfully, there's more going on, giving the issue a frenetic pace and some laughs along the way.

Notably, Barry the Bomber, a secondary villain, is dangerous, but just nuts enough to provide comic relief. He so wants to kill the Man of Steel that he several times believes he has, and his winding up in the back of a paddy wagon with dozens of deactivated Superman action figures. Perhaps mad bombers shouldn't be comical - not in our day and age - but Barry is drawn as a caricature that takes all the sting out of the character, even for the contemporary reader.

There's also a certain sweetness to Superman getting help from a little girl, and the Toy-Man's gags are always very visual. Best bit from him: His avatar's head floating up like a balloon before his body explodes.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: The Toy-Man mechanical toy salesman seems to wear the same suit the Prankster does, a character long compared in look and methods to the Toy-Man, and which this version of the Toy-Man has tried to distance himself from.

REREADABILITY: Medium - Lots of fun elements that work well together, but perhaps not the tightest of stories.



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