Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Superhero Action Figure - Dollman

Arguably the most popular superhero character created by Quality Comics, Dollman started life in Feature Comics #27 in 1939, continuing through #139 in 1950, plus 47 appearances in his own magazine. Not bad for a pint-sized superhero. Chemist Darrell Dane discovers a formula that can make a human being shrink to six inches tall. Now why he might be looking for a formula like that or what he hoped to accomplish by finding it remains to be seen. But discovering it, when his girlfriend Martha Roberts is threatened, rather than leap into the fray full-sized, he gulps down the liquid and jumps in standing only six inches tall. This is another superhero I would think would have a credibility problem. I can hear the bad guys scream out, "Oh, look, it's a little six inch guy coming to beat us up." Then the boss responds, "Oh, woe is me, the jig is up now, the little six inch guy has us dead to rights." And then the boss's girlfriend comments, "Are you sure he's six inches - you always told me that was eight inches." Anyway, Dollman's major advantage was that, despite the fact that he was only six inches tall, he retained his full weight as a normal sized human, otherwise he wouldn't have been beating up on anyone. At least he was good at sneaking around and with the help of a miniature model airplane he could fly. But wait! If he retained his full weight even when shrunken to six inches then how could he fly on the airplane? Whoops - did we just suspend credulity?? Oh well, it still makes a good story. And since I have read a few of his stories I can attest that they were fairly decent stories for the period. The "action figure" is a metal miniature from a company called Grenadier, which I'm not sure is still in business. It was actually one of my early efforts at customizing action figures. As I look at it I'm not real happy with the paint job so I probably need to go back and repaint it. The figure I used for Doll Girl (Dollman gave the formula to his girlfriend later in the comics run) also isn't up to speed so I need to redo her as well. Can we say "works in progress?"

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