Apache Chief Week: DC
Classics Black Vulcan Review

Paint QC was a bit of an issue on my Black Vulcan. The figure is primarily cast in black plastic and the skin tone and yellow areas are all painted on details (a thick paint on the face may be responsible for the soft look), but there are a lot of warbly lines through the figure’s symbol and some missing paint on his left butt cheek is the beginnings of a wardrobe malfunction.

Then, there’s the flat out missing deco – his neck should be flesh colored, not filled in. Mattel actually made this same error on his JLU figure (which I still need to pick up the Super Friends 3pk, I never saw at my Target), so I guess I’m not surprised it was repeated, but again the 2up was done correctly – so what went wrong?

Black Vulcan has all the articulation we’ve come to expect. Good range on the ball-joints at the neck and shoulders, swivels at the bicep, wrist, waist, & thighs, hinges at the elbows, knees, & ankles, the ab crunch, and the 4H hips.

Since I’ve complained in nearly every section so far, I may as well toss one more into the accessory department. I do appreciate that Black Vulcan includes yellow casts of the cracklin’ clip-on energy from Superman Blue & Red, but that’s not the accessory he needed. Black Vulcan… Roman God Vulcan… Greek God Hephaestus… made Zeus’ lightning bolts… any of that ringing a bell? Well, Black Vulcan is more known for throwing lightning bolts than for having energy crackle off him and a lightning bolt accessory would’ve been mighty fine here and, look he’s even got open hands so he could’ve held ’em…

Overall… man, it kills me to have to give such a downer review for Black Vulcan. I was so excited to get him, but I don’t think this is a case of Mattel not meeting my lofty expectations. This figure required so little love to get done correctly (and most of my issues weren’t present in the 4H 2up) that it’s just a shame that couldn’t get him done right. He’s a very simple figure and it was imperative to get the little details – gloves, boots, the head sculpt, the right accessories, just right – and they just… didn’t. I don’t know if it was cost issues, manufacturing issues, or a hex by Tony Isabella himself but this figure simply went to far awry once Mattel got their hands on him.

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DC Universe Classics Collector’s Guide.

17 thoughts on “Apache Chief Week: DC
Classics Black Vulcan Review

  1. Well, despite his inaccuracies, I suppose he’s lucky he got a figure at all, as opposed to [insert name of any currently missing team-builder from the JLA/JSA/Doom Patrol/Metal Men/New Gods/Teen Titans here].

  2. OK, um..

    That last pic has killed me. Completely killed me. I am now dead.


    yeah, I know, who remembers the old SNL skit anymore. 🙂

  3. Just think; you might be able to get that same kind of quality and attention to detail for $24 shipped each month if the sub goes through!

  4. The comics gods smiled down on Tony Isabella and they messed up Black Vulcan as payback. No bare neck, improvised boomerangs, open hands, slim torso. You name it, they blew it. Major fail on all counts.

    Now give us a vintage 70’s Black Lightning to further appease Isabella and us older DCUC fans in return.

    1. OTOH, it seems to me on reflection that this figure is perfect for custom work.

      I mean, both hands open! How often do we see THAT?

      When this fig becomes a peg warmer I suspect the customizing wizards will have a field day. 🙂

      Oh, wait, I am still ded. bah.

  5. I have waited so long for this figure and when I discovered he would be in Wave 18, I almost died in happiness. And even more happy I was when I finally saw the 2up.
    But every joy went away when I finally received my Black Vulcan: he didn’t seem at all with the product 4H and Mattel has shown to us. His open hands (which I hated the most), his entire head and the yellow symbol on his back and chest (it should be painted with 3 points, not 2).
    But that’s OK; if this is the only way to get my Black Vulcan….

  6. It’s his appearances on Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law that made me want this figure.
    He’s always been something of a joke, just like the rest of Superfriends Class of 77, but in the Birdman show that joke was actually funny.
    I don’t have many action figures that I have for comedy – ones that’d make me chuckle just by looking at em, but that’s why I wanted Black Vulcan. I’d make him a cup of coffee for him to be constantly spilling on his crotch and be all set.
    But he really did come out terrible. Oh well. Pass. Thanks for the excellent review and for keeping me from buying something I’d be really disappointed with.

  7. Look at the bright side. You can always give his electricity to the accessory-less Black Lightning now.

  8. I like Vulcan but he should have had an alternate figure with some pants. And give Digger his weapons off the side of his head too.

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