JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED (MATTEL)
Justice League Unlimited‘s expanded roster brought with it a mix of characters, some all-new, and some with prior DCAU appearances. Dr. Fate had shown up a few times before, with a guest appearance on Superman: The Animated Series during the show’s second season, as well as on JLU‘s precursor Justice League, as part of the Defenders homage team in “The Terror Beyond.” The character had only a few rather brief appearances during JLU‘s run, but it didn’t really take much to justify giving someone an action figure with that show.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Dr. Fate was part of Mattel’s launch line-up for their JLU tie-in line in 2004. He was in a three-pack alongside Green Arrow and The Flash, in a pack specifically referencing the episode “Initiation.” Fate’s not really much of a player in that episode, but neither is Flash, so the whole thing winds up a bit odd. It was honestly a rather frequent occurrence in the early multi-packs for the line. Fate wound up getting re-packed a good number of times, as a single in 2005, alongside Vixen and Hawkgirl in 2006, alongside Starman and Flash in 2007, and solo once more in 2009. The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. Fate was built on the skinny male base body, which was patterned on the original Flash figure. It generally fits pretty well with Fate’s depiction on the show. He gets a new head, cape, and arms to fully sell the look. The head’s a pretty spot-on piece, as is the cape. The arms add his gloves, and they’re not bad, but they are a touch too long for the base body, giving him something of a monkey arms set-up. Dr. Fate’s paint work is okay in application, but not so great in accuracy. His colors are definitely too bright for the animated Fate, and his neck and boots both wind up being done in yellow, instead of blue like they should be for proper accuracy. The application was at least decent, and the slightly metallic finish for the yellow parts is at least a little more visual pop. It’s worth noting that the 2009 release actually corrected the layout of the colors, though not the actual shades of them. For his three-pack releases, Fate got no accessories, but his single releases both got a magic effect for him to hold.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I took a while to get the Dr. Fate figure from this line. I don’t really know why, honestly. It’s not like I dislike the character or anything. In fact, I generally like him, and his animation design as a whole. For whatever reason, I wound up waiting until his first solo release, which I more than likely got with a gift card after the holidays. He’s got some issues with accuracy, and those monkey arms are a bit much, but he’s still a pretty fun figure, all things considered.