Geoff Johns and Jesus Merino craft the best Toyman story in…umm…ever, in Action 865 (July 2008). Over the years, the Toyman went from a relatively harmless villain, to one obsessed with revenge, to a child killer. This story puts a new light on all of that.
It begins as the Toyman kidnaps Jimmy Olsen, wanting to tell him his story. He doesn’t like being labelled a child killer, and insists that he did not kill Adam Grant. Olsen is skeptical. Toyman never made any such claim at his trial.
But that was not the real Toyman. We discover that Winslow Schott is a master of building robots, so real that no one ever suspected. As well as the bald killer robot, whose actions infuriated Schott, we see the more recent Toyboy is also one of his creations. The second Toyman from the 70s, who Winslow worked with Superman to capture, was yet another of his robots. Most disturbingly, Hiro, the Japanese boy who has been an ally of Batman and Superman, is yet another Toyman robot.
Batman breaks in to save Olsen. He had tracked the Toyman from Arkham. Neat that it isn’t Superman. Batman has to deal with all the Toymans. But he’s Batman, so he succeeds. The real Toyman is carted off to prison.
The reference to Adam Grant should have cued me in, but I didn’t see it coming. Cat Grant’s return is set up at the end of this issue. She had not been seen in the Superman books for at least five years.