SUPER POWERS (KENNER)
“Doctor Fate is the master of an ancient type of magic first brought to Earth before the dawn of man. Fate uses this magic to cast spells which allow him to fly, walk through walls, make himself invulnerable, and many other things.”
The heavy Super Friends-inspiration of Kenner’s Super Powers line, coupled with it being released right around the end of the bronze age, meant that the line’s heroic component was largely focused on the Justice League of America. The League’s predecessors, the Justice Society of America, weren’t quite so fortunate when it came to the line-up. There were, of course, a few overlapping members between the two, but just one single proper JSA member, Kent Nelson, better known as Dr. Fate!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Dr. Fate was released in 1985, as part of the second series of Super Powers. He was the first and only JSA member added to the line, and would have remained so, even had the line continued past 1986. Why exactly he was chosen for the line when there were no other plans for any other JSA-ers is anyone’s guess. I guess they just thought he had a cool visual? They weren’t wrong. The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation. His sculpt was all-new, and a pretty solid recreation of the classic Fate design. He’s a touch stockier than Fate was usually depicted, but that was generally in keeping with the line’s style. This is just Dr. Fate after a really good work-out, perhaps? And he’s clearly not had time to let out his suit, which is why it’s so tight, clearly. Whatever the case, the costume design is proper classic Fate through and through, and the helmet in particular is really cleanly rendered, and properly striking. Like others in the line, the cape is a cloth piece. It’s kinda hokey, but there’s a certain charm about it. The paint work on the figure is clean, bright, and bold. The paint on my particular figure has seen some slightly better days, but it’s not too bad overall, especially for a figure of its age. Fate included no accessories, but he followed the line’s tradition of giving the figures “super powers,” in his case “Power Action Magic Spell Cast,” which raises the arms upward when his legs are squeezed. A slightly weaker feature compared to others in the line, but generally not bad.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
In my review of Hawkman last week, I noted that he was one of my earliest Super Powers. Dr. Fate is right there beside him, because he came to me on that same Christmas morning in ’00. As Hawkman’s *sort of* a JSA figure, they were a pretty decent pair, all things considered, and no doubt contributed to my early love of the JSA and their adventures (though, it’s worth noting that he wasn’t even my first Dr. Fate figure; that honor went to the DCD figure, released earlier that same year). The figure’s another winner for the line, apart from his lack of compatriots, but I’d rather have just him than not at all.