DC Gallery (Justice League Unlimited): Black Canary by Diamond Select

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.

Advertisements

Femme Fatales (DC Animated Series): Zatanna by Diamond Select

What’s this? Two DC Fridays in a row? I’m actually getting back on track! Today I’m checking out another one of Diamond Select’s DC Animated Statues. And yes, I know that these aren’t being released under the Femme Fatales moniker any longer, but in the interest of preserving my personal cataloging system, I’m going to keep calling them that. Or in this case, maybe I should call it, SELATAF EMMEF!!!

femzat1

Because it’s Zatanna! Boy, I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this release. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of DC’s buxom spell-slinger and if there’s Zatanna merch out there, then I tend to buy it. And Bruce Timm’s Zatanna? All the better! She comes in the same style window box we’ve been seeing all along with this line of 9-inch scale PVC Statues, now branded as the DC Animated Gallery series. Although I was surprised at just how much wider this box is than any previous releases, in order to accommodate Zatanna’s stance. You get windows all around to let in plenty of light offering a great look at the figure in the box. Inside, the statue comes encased between two plastic trays and there’s no assembly required, so let’s open her up and get her out!

femzat2

femzat4

Ah, isn’t she just lovely! Zatanna stands atop the stage in her abbreviated magician’s black tuxedo jacket with purple lapels, purple short-shorts, and a lavender corset, looking like she just stepped off the screen of Batman: The Animated Series. She’s also amazing her audience by holding aloft the bat that she just pulled out of her hat. The sculptor did a wonderful job capturing all her curves and supplying her with a pair of legs that just won’t quit. This is indeed the Bruce Timm animated style converted flawlessly to the third dimension. Of course, as I always mention when look at this line, these more simplistic animated sculpts require solid paint work to back them up, so how did we do here?

femzat3

femzat5

Well, the quality of paint in this line has very rarely been terrible, but it hasn’t always been as tight as it could be. When you’re dealing with budget statues, it just goes with the territory, but that can be a nerve-wracking situation when you have to buy these online and sight unseen like I do. If there was one character in this line I really wanted to be perfect, it was this one, and I’m happy to say, Zatanna is pretty close to it. Mine has some very minor rubbing on the surface of the back of her hair, but apart from that the paint here is very sharp, the white is clean, and the skin tone is smooth. In fact, I’d say that the paint here is rivaled only by my Talia Al Ghul as the best in this collection.

femzat9

femzat14

The portrait is also superb. Zatanna is offering her best, beaming smile and again, the paint on her facial features is just about flawless. I love this look for the character so much, especially after being less than thrilled enduring the many years of her New 52 make-over.

femzat8

femzat10

The bat and the top hat are both simple sculpts, but great additions to the statues composition. The simple eyes and smiley face they painted on the bat are just adorable.

femzat13

femzat11

I’ll confess the base here threw me for a bit, but then I realized that the shells in the front are supposed to be stage lights and the bubbles in the back are just theatrical effects. If you look really closely, you can see the seams for the trap door she’s standing on with the gray hinges on the back and the handle on the front. They probably could have designed this to be a little more obvious, but once I put two and two together, I’m fine with what they did here.

femzat16

femzat15

femzat12

I was apprehensive about picking this one up, because I think my expectations were running higher than this budget line could possibly produce. But now that she’s in hand, I’m so very happy to say that Zatanna turned out to be everything I wanted her to be. Indeed, I think the quality on this piece rivals some of DST’s own Premium Collection statues, which are much more limited and tend to run about two or three times the retail price. To say that I’m satisfied with what I got here for forty bucks would be quite the understatement. This line has always been decent, but here’s an example of it flat out amazing me.

Femme Fatales “DC Animated Series:” Supergirl by Diamond Select

I’ve mostly been spending my DC Fridays looking at DC Collectibles’ figures, but anything DC is fair game and today I’m looking at the very first Bruce Timm inspired statue from Diamond’s Femme Fatales line. I’ve been a casual fan of the FF line for a little while now and I was thrilled when I heard that DST struck a deal to bring Animated versions of the DC ladies on board with the Timm art style. It seemed like a perfect match and they kicked it off with Supergirl. Rather good timing, too, as the Supergirl TV Series just premiered this week. It was my second time watching it and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

ffsupg1

ffsupg2

The statue comes in a window box, which has been standard for the line. You get additional windows on the sides and top to let in plenty of light and showcase the statue. The biggest departure here is found in the deco. Rather than using the same black box with red trim, they went for a bright yellow and orange which fits the comic book theme a lot better. The familiar Femme Fatales logo is still in the top right corner and the bottom features the logo for Superman: The Animated Series. The box is totally collector friendly and Supergirl comes fully assembled and ready for display.

ffsupg3

The first thing I noticed taking Supergirl out of the box is that she’s fairly larger and heftier than any of my previous Femme Fatales. She only slightly taller than my Anne Bonny statue and keep in mind that Kara is reclining a bit in mid flight and not standing straight. The scale change may annoy avid collectors of this line, but considering it’s a new sub-line and the animated style doesn’t really fit with previous releases, I’m perfectly fine with it so long as it remains uniform with all the upcoming DC ladies.

ffsupg4

ffsupg5

With size out of the way, I’ve got to say that I’m really impressed with the way this piece came out. The sculpt does a wonderful job capturing the animated look of the character and the proportions are great and the portrait is absolutely adorable. The pose has her hovering in mid flight, which would be absolutely perfect if it didn’t get a little confusing when placed in context with the base, but I’ll get back to that in a bit.

ffsupg6

ffsupg7

As for the outfit, Kara sports her white cut-off top, blue skirt, red boots, and short cape. The S-Shield on her top is sculpted on as well as painted, which is nice because the animated style of this piece doesn’t call for a lot of intricately sculpted details, and that’s where the paint becomes so critically important.

ffsupg8

ffsupg9

Happily the quality of paint holds up very well. The statue makes use of bright, vibrant colors to emphasize the look of the animated series. Everything looks very clean, and while I was afraid of visible brush strokes on the white top or yellow hair, there are none to be found. the eyes are straight and the lips and eye brows are tidy. There’s a stray stroke here and there along some of the lines, but overall what’s here is solid work.

ffsupg12

If there’s a fly in the ointment here, I’d say it’s the base, which is an odd bit of work. It’s obviously meant to look like the landscape far below, but having the sculpted mountain top and just a blue patch of paint on the otherwise featureless oval base isn’t terribly convincing. She could have also used some height over it, say maybe an inch of clear rod propping her up, because it still kind of looks like she’s standing on it and not hovering far above it. In no way does this ruin what is an otherwise beautiful piece, but I defintely would have preferred just a blank disc for a base.

ffsupg11

ffsupg13

ffsupg14

Supergirl falls right in line with the $40 price point on all the Femme Fatale releases. In the past I’ve been able to get some really good deals on these pieces, particuarly the non-licensed ones, but I’ve dropped pre-orders on all the DC Animated releases, so in this case I paid full price. I’m far more interested in supporting this line rather than shopping around for deals. And I’m even more pumped for these statues now that I have this inaugural release in hand. Poison Ivy is the next release in the series, but before I get to her, I’ll be checking out the SDCC version of the Supergirl statue next Friday.