JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED
While DC’s Golden Age heroes have all more or less managed to stay in the spot light over the years, the foes that those heroes faced haven’t been quite so lucky. Even hardcore DC fans will struggle to name more than a handful. One of the few to not totally get lost in the shuffle between the various “ages” was the Shade, thanks in no small part to being included in James Robinson’s run on Starman. Shade’s had three action figures over the years. Today, I’ll be looking at the one based on his appearance in the Justice League cartoon.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Shade was part of Mattel’s Justice League Unlimited line. He was initially released as a solo figure in 2007, but he was also re-released later in a three-pack with Cheetah and Lex Luthor. The figure stands 5 ¼ inches tall counting the hat, and he has 5 points of articulation. JLU was Mattel’s first instance of applying the buck system to a DC line, and Shade was no exception. He was built on the skinny male body (a re-tooled version of the Flash). It’s a decent fit for Shade, though he should probably be a little taller and skinnier. He has a new head, which does a pretty awesome job of translating Shade’s look from the show. There’s no mistaking him for anyone else. Shade also has an add-on piece on his chest, to represent his jacket from the show, but it doesn’t work very well. It’s ill-fitting and overly bulky, and lacks any really defined details. A newly sculpted torso, or even just proper application of paint on the basic torso would have been much better. As it stands, the look of the figure is really off, which is a shame, given the quality of the head sculpt. The paint on Shade is pretty straight forward: white on the face, black everywhere else. It’s not particularly exciting, and it’s also not accurate; Shade on the show had a few different finishes on his outfit, and at least part of it was a dark grey. The single packed Shade included his cane (which he’s unable to hold), while the three-pack version was without any extras.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Shade was a rather rare figure back when he was new, so I never got one. Last November, while participating in Small Business Saturday, my brother and I were in a small nick-knack shop, where he happened upon a Secret Wars Wolverine in a small bin on a low-sitting shelf. A quick look through the rest of the surrounding bins found me this guy, for $1.99. This figure is a bit of a mixed bag, but for 2 bucks, I’m willing to let him slide.