Over the next couple weeks, a series of reviews will cover all of DCUC8. First up, will be the Kent Nelson Dr. Fate and his variant, the Hector Hall Dr. Fate.
The two Fates share almost entirely the same pieces. Both are built around the same buck and utilize the same boots, gloves, belt buckle, and Helmet of Nabu. The key difference in sculpt is how the Amulet of Anubis connects to the cape. While the lower halves of both capes are identical, they are still from two different molds. One connects with the classic version’s shirt collar/shoulder pads and the other through the elaborate neckpiece. The other changes are accomplished with paint apps, but we’ll save that for a little later.
Both figures come with the same acccessory. A translucent yellow energy ankh that fits over the outstretched hand like a glove. I really enjoy this accessory. They could have opted to go without on Doctor Fate, but the ankh really opens up some good poses for the figure. I would have liked to see the helmet be removable. I like that kinda thing on action figures. But, that would have added to the cost of the figure and it might have cost us the variant since it would need a different sculpted head. While I would love to pull the Helmets of Nabu off and see a Kent Nelson and a Hector Hall under there, I’ll take them this way to get both versions. Finally, both Fates include Giganta’s right arm. Yes, if you buy both versions of Fate, you get two right arms.
There is a debate in the comic fan community about how best to portray gold. To be completely correct, the helmet and amulet should probably be given gold paint while the cape, gloves, and boots should be done in yellow. But when it comes to which side of the bread needs the butter, I think that gold and yellow clash on action figures. I think in this case Mattel got it half right. The classic Dr. Fate, to recapture his Super Powers look, follows the yellow interpretation from Fate’s comic appearances. I think he look good in solid yellow – so good, that he’s currently my favorite DCUC figure. I also support Mattel’s decision to use gold on the Modern Dr. Fate to distinguish them – but they didn’t go far enough. If a man can wear gold boots, he needs a gold cape and gloves to go with them. Had he been made all gold, I would have liked this figure a lot more. They gave fans a small boon by going gold on the difficult to custom paint ankles. Even an unskilled customizer can paint the unarticulated cape, gloves, and hands gold to match with little hassle. Mattel has mentioned that a running change has been made and that the modern Fate will be all gold going forward, but we haven’t seen any since the first online batch – but still we can hope.
Overall, I’m completely biased about Dr. Fate. He’s been one of my absolute favorites since I was five. The highest praise I can bestow is that Mattel and the Four Horsemen lived up to my lofty expectations on the classic Doctor Fate. Only a couple figures, if done as well, can topple him from his perch above the other figures. Modern Fate is only hurt by my dislike for his colors. I haven’t repainted mine all gold yet, but if it turns out the running change hasn’t been made, he’ll go under the brush.