Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: DC Siganture Collection Black Mask By Mattel

I will save my unbelievably vitriolic rant about how fucking long these fucking figures took to get to me for another day. But just so you know, I got my September Matty order a full week after Monkey, Evil, and Carl. Re-fucking-diculous.

I'll also get into why I'm saving that rant for later... uh... later.

I know this guy isn't specifically a horror-related character, but I think he qualifies for Halloween coverage. He has a skull for a head, he murdered a teenage girl, and if I don't go ahead and cover him now I might forget for a while like I did with poor Icarius last year.

I'm honestly not that big a fan of Black Mask. Well, not this one. I really dug the one on Batman: The Brave and the Bold; but pretty much everything on that show was rad.

If I'm being totally honest, the main reason I don't think much of Black Mask is because he killed Stephanie Brown just when I was really starting to like her. And in a way that was totally cheap and meant to make you take Black Mask seriously, not in a way that necessarily flowed from the narrative. Steph was sacrificed to get a lesser character over – a guy that couldn't get any heat on his own. But the problem was that he killed a teenage girl that the Batman comics had been telling us for quite some time was inferior and incompetent. The whole thing came off about as well as if CM Punk beat Santino Morella.

But I do like the design of Black Mask, as he's quite sinister-looking and typically has a suit on. It's a very original look that...



Maybe at least the figure is distinctive enough that it won't be an issue.

First Glance: This is the most visually impressive figure so far, as far as just sitting there in the box goes. He really does look like pure evil and I dig that.
Articulation: Your standard suit-wearing-dude DCUC articulation.
Head – ball joint (sort of)
Shoulders – swivel/pivot
Biceps - swivel
Elbows – pivot
Wrists – swivel
Abdomen - pivot
Waist – swivel
Hips – swivel/pivot
Thighs – swivel
Knees – pivot
Ankles – pivot
The head is on a ball joint, but mostly just swivels. I kins of hate his neck, but we'll get to that later.
His feet seem to have just a wee bit more of a range of motion than other suited DCUC figures.
Sculpt: I don't own every DCUC figure, but I think we've seen most of Black Mask's parts before. The Horsemen just did their thing and combined them in a way that is fresh. I believe Mask's jacket, hands, tie, and (of course) head are new.
The head may bear a similarity to a certain other comic book company’s much more famous character, but it does look awesome. I kind of wish they had taken the teeth down a bit and made him look more like just a skull. His top teeth are exaggerated a bit too much and that's what's making him look like the Mask. And don't get me wrong – this head looks great. But it does make me wish Dark Horse had a line of 6" action figures.
The hands might not actually be new, but I didn't see them in my collection. They're nice and slim and somehow very sinister. They have little lines on the back like Mickey Mouse's and that's just horrifying.
The shoes are the regular DCUC dress shoes. I would've liked to see some wingtips on this guy, but that's just nitpicky. These are fine.
Coloring: Black Mask is pretty simple, but what is colored is pretty good aside from some gloss issues.
The head looks fantastic. I can't tell through the glare, but there appears to be a slight wash on the face area to bring out all of the sculpt details. The eyes arw a bright white and very tightly done. The teeth are a different shade of white and also well-placed. There is no bleeding or missed spots.
The tie has a great gray and black stripe design; broader stripes alternating with narrow ones. It looks very good and adds so much more to the figure than a plain tie would have. It's little details like that that keep me buying these things. Well, that and the fact that I would have to cancel my credit card to stop buying them.
The gloss of the arms and legs don't quite match the jacket. It isn't bad, but it is noticeable. The shoes are much glossier than either and look really good, despite being one solid color.
Flair: The jacket is the best suit jacket to come out of DCUC. It hangs very nicely, the arm holes are very snug and don;t detract from the aesthetics at all, and it doesn't interfere with the abdominal joint as much as you might expect. It's just a slick, two-button jacket, but it looks very good.
The tie looks nice and is glued in place well enough that it blends into the sculpt well. I'm glad we're (for the time being) away from the era of ties being sculpted to flap in the wind and stupid crap like that. Now if we could just stop getting "yelling" faces.
Accessories: Black Mask comes with a Batman mask, a knife, and some kind of giant serving fork. This is where we run into the real problems.
Let's start with the bad – the knife is all fucked up by my standards for implements of stabbing. The guard is on the worn side, the hilt is just a bit too small for the figure's hand, and it's made of fucking rubber. Mattel had stated that a collector's line did not have to meet safety standards, so I do not understand why any accessories would still be made of rubber.
The Batman mask looks great. It is sculpted nicely and even sports a paint job. Unfortunately, whatever the intention was for Black Mask to be holding it or stabbing it with one of his stabby items it does not work. There is a raised portion with a small slot in the back that looks like the part where the figure is supposed to hold it, but nothing fits in that slot or can hold the raised portion. Like Atrocitus' lantern, I don;t know what the fuck we're supposed to do with this thing.
The two-tined fork is okay. It's rubber, but it looks fine.
Packaging: It’s a neat little window box. This is a case where the window box works against the product, but it hardly matters since you were either forced to buy this (yes – I know you didn’t have to sign up for the sub, but if you did you had no choice but to buy this guy) or are ordering it in some other online method. 
Very few people will get to see it in person before they make the purchase. But if they did they might pass because you really can’t tell how neat he is while he’s in the box. The art on these is great, by the way.
Value: $23.70 (including shipping) for a six inch scale figure with a lot of shared parts. Not very good.
Overall: I fell like I was a little hard on this figure in spots. I actually really like him and am fairly satisfied. The accessories irritate me, but they aren't critical to this character so I actually don't care that much. I'm probably going to give him the DCD version’s weapons. That drill is rad.

4 out of 5

Yeah, he's fine. Not worth what I paid, but if he had been fifteen I'd be perfectly content.

Phantom Troublemaker vs. 31 Days of Halloween
If you’re new here or haven’t been keeping up, this is where I give my thoughts on SyFy’s “31 days of Halloween” programming. Obviously I haven’t seen everything I’ll be talking about, but that’s kind of what the internet is all about – talking out of your ass.
Each day I will cover the schedule from the time my post goes live (usually 11 AM) through the following 24 hours. On Fridays I will cover the whole weekend, which is a huge pain in the ass but also kind of fun.
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Copperhead – As much as I wish this was a motion picture about the pilot of the COBRA Water Moccasin; that just wouldn't be very Halloweeny. I mean, unless he's a serial killer or something. Which he isn't.
This movie actually has two things going for it – it's set just after the Civil War, making it more interesting than your typical "attack of (animal)" movie. The other thing is Billy Drago.
Halloween score – 2
Quality score – 4
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Anacondas 3 – Crystal Allen has starred in two of these things now and, shockingly, neither of them is bad. Well, they're both bad, but fun. Not unwatchable by any means. As a matter of fact, SyFy's snake day is looking pretty fun so far. Not very Halloweeny, but fun.
Halloween score – 2
Quality score – 3
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Anacondas: Trail of Blood – This is the second Crystal Allen one. It's okay. John Rhys-Davies is also in it and I find him to be such an odd entity. I like him when he's in good movies, but I tend to not feel the same way when he's in shitty movies. Well, not shitty. Just lower-budget I guess. And I don't think there's a difference in his performance. I dunno.
Halloween score – 2
Quality score – 3
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Anaconda – The one that – implausibly – started it all. They showed these out of sequence because when Ice Cube punches a eighty-foot-long snake in the head and calls it "bitch", you save that shit for dinner time. I fucking love this movie.
Halloween score – 2
Quality score – 4
8:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Haven/Alphas Adventure Hour(s) – I don't care enough about these to say anything and I'm tired of doing entries for repeats in alternating slots.
Halloween score - 2
Quality score – 2
11:00 PM – 1:00 AM – Anaconda – It's so good they're showing it again! No – wait – they show everything again.
Halloween score - 2
      Quality score – 4


1:00 AM – 3:00 AM – Anaconda 3 – What's the deal with this? I don't get why SyFy skips over certain sequels. What the heck happened to Anacondas? It isn't bad. They're just skipping it. Weird.
Halloween score – 2
Quality score – 3
3:00 AM – 4:00 AM – Ghost Whisperer – I can't believe it, but I saw the title sequence for this for the first time the other day. I had never really thought about not having seen it, but once I saw it I was like, "What the fuck is this? I have never seen this before".


Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 5
4:00 AM – 8:00 AM – Paid Programming – Show some support for SyFy’s Original Programming and watch a few minutes of creepy old men extolling the virtues of penis pumps.
Halloween score – 1
Quality score – 5 (for paying the bills)
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Ghost Hunters International – "Witnesses" with funny accents do not make this retarded show any more watchable.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 1
Come back tomorrow for my review of the 2012 Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse!


  1. I don't know that much about Black Mask other than what I've seen in various animated movies and tv shows, but this is a cool looking figure.
    However, I am really sick of this body.

    I wish we could get a suited body that still has the bulkier comic book proportions of just about every other figure in the line. Very few of the characters that use this body look correct to me, with the rest just looking emaciated.

    1. I have to say, the narrow suit body just doesn't bother me. At least, until you put it next to Riddler, a guy who famously wears suits and you realize he couldn't possibly fit in this suit. I never noticed it before. YOU HAVE RUINED MY LIFE.

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    3. Sorry about that. My wife always tells me I'm a life ruiner, but she always seems to be talking so I never listen to her.
      The worst use of this body has got to be Clark Kent. It's bad enough to compare Riddlers, but packaging two versions of the same character side-by-side in a clamshell package just makes this suit look ridiculous.