It was way back in January that I last visited with Diamond Select’s DC Gallery line of 9-inch scale PVC statues, which is basically an off-shoot of the old Femme Fatales line. What started as a low key assortment of female indie comic characters and some original designs has since ballooned into a very prolific series of statues based on both DC and Marvel guys and gals. The DC Gallery has been focusing on the Bruce Timm style of the various DC animated series. That last one was Zatana and she was absolutely amazing. Today, I’m opening up Black Canary based on her appearance in the Justice League Unlimited series!
I dig the packaging on these statues, which consists of collector friendly boxes with windows on the top, front, and side panels to let in plenty of light. You really can get a great look at the figure from almost every angle before you even have to break the seal. It’s great for me, because currently I’m displaying all of these in package so I can stack them. The box decos are usually themed to whichever show the character is from, and in this case we just get a very dark blue box with the JLU logo on the front and the DC Gallery logo on the top corner. Oddly enough, DST refers to this one as a “PVC Diorama” but it’s still really just a figure on a base like we’ve been getting all along. There’s no assembly required, and Dinah comes right out of her clamshell trays ready for display.
Straight away, I’ll say that I love what DST did with the pose here. Black Canary is adopting a wide stance, leaning forward with arms out and hands clenched into fists, and she’s letting rip with her awesome canary cry. This piece has a lot more energy to it then most of the other figures in this series, but it isn’t so much of a departure that she looks out of place among her fellow femme fatales. As always, the Bruce Timm animated style doesn’t require a lot of sculpted detail, so Dinah relies on a lot of smooth surfaces. You do, however, get some lovely little wrinkles in her jacket, which is blowing back behind her, plus all the paint lines feature sculpted lines as well.
The portrait is especially nice. In terms of expression and the shouting mouth, this is probably one of the most complex and difficult head sculpts DST has yet to offer in this line. Mostly we just get smiles. Nonetheless, DST pulled this one off with style. The open mouth is absolutely fantastic and I love the determined expression on her face. I also love the way her hair flows back behind her to match the jacket. What’s more the paint work on Dinah’s face is just about perfect. Actually, forget the “just about” part and let’s just say it’s perfect.
So, let’s talk paint in general, because it’s crucial on these animated style statues. While I have had a few instances with DST’s Gallery statues where the quality of the paint application has been an issue, most of the time it’s been fine, and a few time’s it’s been exceptional. It’s one of the frustrating things about having to buy these online and hoping for the best, as opposed to choosing the best one off the shelf. Well, I’m happy to say that Dinah is one of those exceptional times. Here, everything is sharp and clean. There’s no rubbing or scratches on the black or gray surfaces, and virtually no slop or uneven lines to speak of. What’s more the quality of the paint itself is superb. The yellow on her hair and the blue on her jacket are both vibrant, the gray on her stockings and the skin tone are both smooth and consistent.
The base places Black Canary on a strip of road with the asphalt all ripped up in front of her. It looks pretty good, with a decent surface texture and the highway dividing lines painted in yellow. The area where it’s broken up looks a bit mushy and more like clay than asphalt, but I’ll write that off to the animated style. It looks fine and it makes for a nice little scene, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, and not really worth the added moniker of “PVC Diorama.”
After the great experience I had with Zatana, I thought she was going to be a mighty tough act to follow, but Black Canary here makes the grade. The composition is excellent, the sculpt is on point, and the paint is superb. And here’s where I’m happy to remind myself that this is essentially a budget line. Black Canary retails for around $45, but I was able to pick her up on Amazon for ten bucks less and at either price, I think she makes for a great value. Right now, I’d probably put her tied for second among my Femme Fatales DC ladies. Zatana still holds the top spot, with Dinah battling it out between Talia and Poison Ivy for second place.