DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“Doctor Fate arises when the Lord of Order known as Nabu bestows his sorcerous knowledge, as well as a magical helmet, amulet and mantle, to a human host in order to battle the forces of chaos. Once a human dons the garb of Doctor Fate, Nabu’s personality assumes control of the human host. Doctor Fate, in his many incarnations, has long served in the Justice Society of America as one of its most powerful members.”
Amongst it’s focus on some of the more oddball teams from the DC Universe, DC Universe Classics also did pretty well by the Justice Society of America, DC’s first super-team. In the 20 Series at retail (and a few fill-ins from the subscription service), we got the whole founding line-up (well, minus Earth-2 versions of Superman and Wonder Woman), as well as a few figures from the team’s modern-day incarnation. In some cases, they would pull double duty, giving us classic and modern incarnations hand-in-hand, as was the case with today’s figure, Doctor Fate.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Doctor Fate was part of Series 8 of DC Universe Classics, the ill-fated Giganta Series. There were two versions of the figure in play; the main one was the classic Doctor Fate, but there was also a variant based on the third Doctor Fate, Hector Hall. That’s the one I’m looking at today. He was actually the rarer of the two, as this was one of the 70/30 variant splits. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. Both versions of Fate were built on the mid-sized male body, the line’s most common choice when it came to base body. He had a new head, forearms, hands, and calves (all shared with the standard release) as well as an add-on piece for his cape/collar combo. Oddly, this collar piece gives him the illusion of the opposite problem that plagued most of the line: his shoulders kind of get a little lost. The new parts are all very solid. The helmet is a good recreation (even if I miss being able to see his eyes the way you could on the DCD figures), and the hands are nice and expressive. I also dig the ornate detailing on the collar, something that’s very important for this incarnation of the character. Perhaps the weirdest aspect of this figure is the paint. There has long been some back and forth over whether Fate should be yellow or gold. The Super Powers figure was all yellow (as was the standard release from this line, being a Super Powers homage and all), the first DCD figure had gold for the helmet and amulet and yellow for everything else, and the second DCD figure was all gold. This figure doesn’t seem to want to commit to anything, so we get a weird mix. I can get behind gold for the helmet and collar (though I wish it had a yellower finish to it), but the boots and trunks don’t seem to work. On the flip side, the boots and trunks would be fine if at the very least the gloves were also gold. It’s the arbitrary mix that really gets me. Why would they do that? You know, aside from the obvious “because they’re Mattel.” Fate was originally packed with a magical effect piece, as well as part of the Giganta CnC, but my figure is without either of those.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: this assortment was really badly distributed, so I never found them at retail. Fate was one of two notable missing members from my DCUC JSA (though the New Frontier figure did okay as a stand-in), until a rather nice DCUC collection was traded in at All Time. While I would have preferred classic Fate, Modern’s close enough that I was content. The gold/yellow thing is definitely a glaring issue on an otherwise fairly nice figure, but I’m overall pretty happy just to finally have a DCUC Fate.