GOLDEN AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA & DUM DUM DUGAN
Even the Cap gets by with a little help from his friends… though he does occasionally have to borrow those friends from some outside sources. Such was the case with the Howling Commandos, Nick Fury’s WW2-era unit from the comics, who found themselves merged with Captain America’s WW2-era super team The Invaders for the purposes of The First Avenger, and in turn, found themselves treated to some action figures in the process.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Golden Age Captain America and Dum Dum were one of the two TRU-exclusive sets for the Captain America: The First Avenger assortment of Marvel Minimates.
GOLDEN AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA
On the path to getting his proper Captain America uniform, Cap goes through a few trial stages. The first of these is Cap’s USO show costume, which is the spitting image of Cap’s classic costume from the comics. Golden Age Cap is made up of six add-on pieces, all of them re-used. The gloves and boots are the standard Cap pieces, and the belt was taken from the DC Minimates Series 4 Golden Age Flash (fitting, I suppose). The mask comes from the First Appearance X-Men set, and while it’s not a terrible piece, it’s not strictly speaking accurate to the source material, where he actually had 3D head wings. Of course, there was no ready-made piece that would quite match, and it would have certainly been a one-off, so the slight deviation is excusable. Cap’s paint matches the somewhat sephia-toned coloring of the other Caps in this assortment. It’s pretty cleanly applied overall, and I like the goony facial expression under the mask. It’s a different look for Cap, and it helps him stand out a bit more from the other variants. The blue’s perhaps a touch too light (as it stands, it matches with his standard costume, when it really should be a bit deeper), but that’s a minor change, and he’s at least consistent with the Frontline Captain America in that regard. Golden Age Cap is packed with his shield (the same one included with Frontline Cap), and a spare hairpiece for a proper unmasked look. A pointing hand might have been cool, or even some of his accessories from his movie serials he was filming, but he makes out alright.
DUM DUM DUGAN
Dum Dum is possibly the most distinctive of the Howling Commandos, in both the movie and the comics. His presence here was definitely a sensible one, allowing collectors not only one of Cap’s supporting players, but also a very memorable agent of SHIELD who has had far too few action figures over the years. Dum Dum is built using two unique add-on pieces; one for his hat/hair, and one for his vest. The hat is a very distinctive and very important piece for Dugan, and this piece is mostly pretty good, but there’s one slightly annoying flaw to it: it’s lopsided! It should be symmetrical, but it’s very clearly leaning to the right. The other details are well-rendered and match the movie, but it’s hard to miss that one issue. The vest is a decent piece in its own right. I like that it bulks him up a bit, and the options for storing his shotgun and sidearm are much appreciated. The paintwork on Dum Dum is respectable. He’s got a lot of brown going on, but that’s accurate to the movie, so no complaints there. The face doesn’t have much of a Neal McDonoug likeness, but it’s a pitch-perfect Dugan, so it works well enough for me, especially since it can double as the comics version of the character. Dum Dum is packed with his shotgun and revolver. Basic pieces we’ve seen many times before, but still solid pieces nonetheless, and perfect choices for the character.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like the previously reviewed Gabe Jones and Hydra Flame Trooper, I grabbed these two from a TRU on a road trip with my my family back in 2011. Golden Age Cap is perhaps the least essential of the three versions of Cap we got for the movie, but he’s a decent enough variant, and certainly more entertaining than all the variants of Wolverine we’ve gotten from his movies. Dum Dum is a minor but still very important character, who was definitely in need of a figure. This one, despite one notable flaw, definitely does the character justice, and helps to fill out the SHIELD ranks.