MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS (MATTEL)
If you asked me who I though the greatest super hero in comics was, I probably wouldn’t be able to give you a single answer. Maybe I could give like a list of five or so, but that’s the best I can do. The best super VILLAIN in comics, though? That’s easy. It’s Doctor Doom. No question. He’s as good as it gets, mostly because he doesn’t shy away from being an absurd comicbook caricature. He’s ridiculous, his plans are over the top and needlessly complicated, and he likes to speak in the third person a lot. He’s just a very fun character. Of course, movie makers decided that they could “improve” on that, resulting in two rather terrible live-action takes on the character, but I digress. Despite being the number one foe of the Fantasic Four, who were all represented in Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line, Victor Von Doom wouldn’t get his first action figure for another decade. I’ll be looking at that figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Doctor Doom was released in the first series of Mattel’s Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars line. Doctor Doom has an interesting place in the line. He had a rather prominent role in the tie-in comic series produced by Marvel, but it’s worth noting that three of the four members of the Fantastic Four were also prominent in the series, yet Doom is the only FF-related character that the line released. Slightly odd if you ask me, but given how much of this line relied on using the same basic pieces for every figure, I guess Mattel just didn’t want to justify the costs of new molds for the likes of Sue or Ben. Anyway, this figure stands 4 ½ inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. Rather than going with the classic Doctor Doom design (because, hey, it had only been around for 20 years. Nobody was attached to it or anything), this figure gets a Mattel original design. It keeps a lot of the same basic cues as the usual Doom look, but gives him a more generic battle armor sort of look. To be fair, the design did appear in the comic tie-in towards the end, but I feel that was more to tie-in with the toy than working the other way around. Despite the line being mostly built on the same basic body, Doom actually uses none of the standard parts. That’s not to say he’s totally unique; he shares his arms and legs with Iron Man. Though Doom’s armor is usually not as sleek as Iron Man’s, but they’re close enough that it works alright. The right leg has been slightly tweaked to add a leg strap (apparently Doom was ahead of the ‘90s pouch craze), which works well enough. Doom has a unique head and torso, which are…decent? They don’t suck. There are even some fun little details, such as the jetpack on the back of the torso and the little rivets on the faceplate. Individually, they really aren’t bad, but they don’t work very together. The weirdest thing is the head, which has Doom’s signature hood, which ends rather abruptly. It’s almost as if it was sculpted to rest on top of some sort of cape piece, but no such piece was included. At one time, Doctor Doom had a rather complicated paint scheme on the torso, but Secret Wars figures are notorious for their paint wear, and this figure was no exception. As it stands, my figure’s only paint is on the head, for the eyes and mask, which are basic, but pretty well handled. Doctor Doom originally included two blasters and one of the wonky lenticular shields that all of the line’s figures had.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked up Doctor Doom last weekend at Balticon. I got him from the same vendor’s table where I got Bane, so he was another $2 figure. Secret Wars really isn’t a line I saw myself getting very invested in, but I keep finding them for pretty good deals. Doom is probably the weakest figure I’ve looked at so far. He really shows off a lot of the line’s flaws, especially with the toy-original design. Still, he’s not the worst figure I’ve ever owned, and I like having him for the novelty.