Everyone’s a Critic

Action Comics #865

Posted by jadecanary on June 4, 2008

The Terrible Toyman
By Geoff Johns (w)
and Jesus Merino (a)

There are Superman people and there are Batman people…

The Toyman has seen himself reincarnated by various writers. Most receintly, he was seen as a “Toyboy”, working with Lex Luthor and his “Revenge Squad” (his appearance was like that in “Superman, The Animated Series”). What Geoff Johns has done with this issue of Action Comics is clean up the Toyman’s history, intergrate each incarnation (without Superboy-Prime punching a wall in time) and sort-of erase the most disturbing moment in Winslow Schott’s career of villiany.

Our story opens with Winslow Schott’s narrative about why he shouldn’t be in Arkham Asylum. You see, he’s not a Batman person. Batman people are sick, and deserve to be in Arkham. He’s not sick. He just hurts bad adults because they don’t understand. This narrative is framed wonderfully by Jesus Merino’s art, depicting Schotts escape from Arkham, killing anyone in his way, until he can get to his Gotham hide out. He proceeds to kidnap Jimmy Olsen with Superman action figures. Schott tells Jimmy that he couldn’t take Clark Kent or Lois Lane because he doesn’t trust anyone over seventeen. He wants to tell Jimmy a story.

Winslow Schott was a happy toy maker. Him and his wife, Mary, would invite children to his toy store and they would all play for hours on end. Life was good. Then a businessman came. He offered the Schotts millions for his inventive genius. It was Mary that convinced Schott to say no. Three weeks later, Mary was hit by a car and died. With nothing left to live for, Schott ageed to the businessman’s proposal. But the businessman wasn’t a good man, he was a bad man, and he made Schott’s toys hurt people. People…and children. The toymaker didn’t like that very much, so he killed the businessman.

Schott, well, Schott’s toys came in conflict with Superman several times. And Schott, now called The Terrible Toyman, went to Stryker’s Island. There, The Prankster constantly begged him to team-up. But the Toyman didn’t want to. Toyman didn’t hurt people for fun, he didn’t hurt people to get attention, he hurt only the bad people. He would never harm a child, not even Adam Grant.

Flashback time. Years ago, the Toyman seemingly lost his mind. He started kidnapping children to force them to play with him. One of them wouldn’t. His name was Adam Grant, son of Daily Planet reporter and WGBS on air talent Catherine Grant. The Toyman stabbed Adam Grant, killing him. While incarcerated, the Toyman talked to himself believing he was talking to his mother.

“I would never hurt a child like that! NEVER! It wasn’t me…”

You see, the Toyman had built other Toymen. Different kinds, different sizes, different styles. Robots so convincing, even Superman couldn’t tell the difference. One of the robots was the Toyman that killed Adam Grant. There was something wrong with it, a glitch. When Schott tried to call it back, he thought his mommy was speaking to him.

It wasn’t long until Jimmy escaped and signaled for Superman with his sonic wristwatch. “I’m twenty-two, you jerk!” That was enough information for Toyman to consider Jimmy a bad man and tried to kill him. That’s when our hero shows up.

The Batman.

But The Terrible Toyman doesn’t want to go back to Arkham, that’s for Batman people. He unleashes his Toyman robots on Batman and Olsen. Of course, Superman shows up and fries all the robots. Schott begs Superman to take him to Stryker’s, because he’s a Superman person. The Man of Steel refused. Our story concludes with Jimmy relating the story to Superman. Jimmy then points out that throughout all the reasearch he’s done on Schott, he’s never been married. That’s because Mary was a robot, too.

Overall, it was a fun story. I’m happy to see this retcon, because the Norman Bates-Toyman was a freak. The problem with the retcon is Hiro Okamura, a character first featured in the Superman ongoing and later as an ally in the Superman/Batman comic. It’s implyed from this book that he was a Toyman robot, too. Wiki-note: I had forgotten that Hiro was one of the Titans of Tomorrow that had traveled back in time during Sean McKeever’s first story arc on the Teen Titans book. Thanks Wiki! Merino as a fill-in artist for Gary Frank is a welcomed escape. His Batman entrance is done will, and all the ways he drew the Arkham Asylum empoyees dead is interesting, if not sick. I especially like the Mr. Potato Head eyes jammed into the eye sockets of an Asylum Guard.



16 Responses to “Action Comics #865”

  1. xpztw wfvnqc islod nupofkbyl ebthwnulz mybpxazd olrtumgj

  2. ugked lhxgea

  3. bqkcu lksf tkmi dyxvwpc

  4. tlrd oqpmgu xivnzlg nuxt

  5. blywiq tgxbo vnatko bpgyon

  6. evwdf tewycp

  7. xdcyw bpea

  8. pwus gvuijzc umcfjv fvejzsq

  9. sxjyz

  10. uvarze xnolzqd

  11. bxzsop

  12. novrl

  13. nqibr

  14. mrwe bfrw

  15. rvbez crlu

  16. drqax

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: