Has it been a while since I’ve done anything DC? It feels like it, so let’s go with that… I have to confess that I’m not current on my Batgirl. Like all of the New 52 comics, I’m reading the book in the collected TPBs rather than monthly, but I have been enjoying reading it. But hey, it’s Gail Simone, so the fact that I’m enjoying it goes without saying. It also doesn’t hurt that I absolutely love Batgirl’s New 52 design, something that I can’t say about all the characters since the reboot. Anyway, Batgirl is getting a total makeover come issue #35(?) and while it’ll be a little while before I get there, I thought I should cover some of the collectibles based on her current look before it becomes dated. Today I’m checking out the newly released figure by DC Collectibles. It’s odd timing for this release, as one would think they would want to promote the new look, but then maybe they’re just trying to get the figure out while they still can.
I’ve featured a number of DC Collectibles figures this year so we’ve already seen the packaging plenty. It’s a window box with an extended card back and while it allows for a good look at the figure, the art design doesn’t really do much for me. The exception to that is the glorious old-school Batgirl emblem on the top of the card. That’s just awesome. The box is collector friendly, but I’m just going to rip her out of there and toss it into the bin.
Ah, there she is and man do I dig that look! I’d be sad to see it go if her new costume wasn’t just as cute as a button. This look, on the other hand, marries bad ass with everything I love about Adam Hughes Batgirl. How do you look so sweet, innocent and wholesome while wearing tactical armor? Well, Babs here pulls it off and so does this figure, sculpted by Jack Mathews. The panel lines and scalloped plates of the armor look fantastic and the plastic has an almost rubbery texture that makes it feel like it’s designed to absorb bullets and blows. I also really dig the bat cut-outs in the knees of her boots. Even the cape, with it’s narrow design, is as practical as a cape can possibly be when hanging off of a suit of modern urban armor. The only thing I don’t care for in the suit design is that extra bat at the collar. It just seems out of place and pointless and the paint on it is a bit sloppy.
As great as the suit is, it’s the portrait on this figure that really wins me over. I’ve had a thing for Barbara Gordon ever since Yvonne Craig donned the mask. It’s hard to pick out my favorite thing about this headscupt. I love the lips and the wide eyes, but I think I’ll go with the way the hair is sculpted. It just comes bursting out of the cowl and gathers up around her shoulders and damn if it doesn’t look great.
The paintwork on this figure exhibits some highs and lows. The paintwork on the face and hair is all great, and the bright yellow just pops beautifully against the black of the rest of the suit. I just wish that some of that yellow paint were more neatly applied, particularly on the bat symbol on her collar. I’m already not a fan of that piece of decor and the paint kind of makes it look like Barbara dribbled eggs onto her costume at breakfast. The bat symbol on her chest could be sharper, but I have to get in pretty close before I can notice. There’s nothing terrible here, but certainly room for improvement.
My favorite thing about DC Collectibles this year is the added articulation to their figures and Batgirl certainly shows that off. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and gloves. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, and hinged at the knees and ankles. You also get a ball jointed neck. Yeah, poses still come off as limiting and stiff, but it’s better than what we were seeing out of DC Direct.
Batgirl comes with one accessory and that’s her grapple gun. It’s a simple yellow plastic sculpt with a string running through it and tied to the hook, so you can display it ready to fire or already deployed. You can also use it to try to recreate that unfortunate pose used for her first Cover Girls of the DC Universe statue. Or better yet, don’t. On the downside, it’s a rather big and clunky looking gun and her hand does not seem like it was sculpted to hold this thing. I can barely get it into her hand and even when I do it looks rather awkward. It’s probably destined for the dreaded Tote of Forgotten Accessories.
Batgirl set me back $21 at an online retailer and I think she’s a really great figure, even with some minor opportunities with the paintwork and the accessory hand malfunction. I could have tried finding one with better paint, but the nearest comic shop is an hour away, so I’m fine with the one I got. Besides, I hear tell some people are getting figures with googly eyes, and I’d much prefer a figure with normal, pretty eyes, and some slop on her armor. DCC still has the odd kink to work out of this line, but all in all I’m still happy to collect it, especially in light of the vacuum that was left behind by Mattel pulling of of DC Universe Classics. Next week, we’ll check out another DC lady that shipped in the same wave… Supergirl. Then maybe next month I can start digging into some of the others.