Gotham City Five: Lex Luthor

Lex is the main driving force behind the set, both as the only new figure and the only one with new tooling. Does he alone make purchasing the set worth it?

As a super-intelligent teenager, Lex Luthor idolized Superboy and saved him from a piece of Kryptonite. While working toward curing Superboy’s weakness, one of Luthor’s lab experiments went awry, catching fire. The resultant fumes made Luthor’s hair fall out permanently and damaged his psyche. Luthor blamed Superboy for the mishap, and dedicated himself to destroying his former friend by concocting numerous schemes and weapons – none more powerful that his deadly battle-suit.

Like everyone else in the pack, this isn’t the first time Lex has had a figure in one of Mattel’s 6” lines. The first was in the DCSH line, which depicted Lex in his power armor, while this is more along the lines of the Super Friends TV series.
Lex is built on the “smaller but still big” body Mattel used for such figures as Nightwing and Black Manta. The body works well for Lex, and by starting small, the additional pieces don’t make him look too big. Luthor includes a new head and chest harness and new upper thighs and shins. The collar is re-used from Booster Gold, and the belt is from Atom with the details painted on. The new pieces look great, and definitely help Luthor add to the Super Powers theme DCUC has had. My only complaint lies with the upper thighs. It seems like they were scaled down too big to fit with the lower thighs, resulting in a bit of a between the two. It’s not horrible, but it could be better. The head looks great, however. I would have been fine with them using the same head as the DCSH 4 figure, but I doubt that could fit on the standard DCUC body. Other than the issue with the thighs, my only complaint lies with the belt simply being painted on a smooth blank. The colors are just too dark to stand out when on the same plane.

The paint work is like the rest of the set: simple and clean. Everything is where it should be, and the shades of color are the same between what’s cast in color, and what’s actually painted. My only complaint is his head is cast in a glossy flesh tone, which makes it look like Lex just got out of a hot tub. Crazy Legion of Doom ski resort trip.

Since Lex uses the standard DCUC body, he also has the standard DCUC articulation: double ball/socket head, ball-joint shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, ball-joint hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees and hinged ankles. Lex was the only figure I ran into quality issues with the articulation, in that both knees and both ankles were too damn loose for him to stand. Four drops of glue fixed that, but we really shouldn’t have to fix our figures to make them standard, especially figures that are the main reason to buy the set.

Like everyone else in the set, Lex is missing obvious accessories. Also like everyone else, we aren’t asking for anything new, just the kryptonite gun included with the DCSH figure. I’d be happy, Mattel would be happy, and there would be a reason for the open right hand.

So, is Lex alone worth the price? Short answer: no. If the other figures would have been the same as previous versions, I doubt I’d have gotten the set, and I would have turned to eBay for help. Luckily, the rest of the set helps aid the $55 price tag.

And why are two Metropolis characters in a set titled “Gotham City 5”? Simple, Lex and Superman weren’t originally planned for inclusion and replaced two other figures. My guess? Joker and Man-Bat. If that’s the case, I would have liked to see their inclusion, but I’m glad to have Lex and Superman on my shelf.

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