Femme Fatales (Justice League Unlimited): Hawkgirl by Diamond Select

Folks, my available content for DC Fridays continues to run scarce. Don’t take that as an indictment against DC Comics, on the contrary I’m reading more DC books than ever right now! But, with no really cohesive or worthwhile DC action figure line, I’m falling back to mostly statues. I can see a time coming where I may have to start rotating other content into Fridays, but we’re not there yet. Thankfully, the fine folks at Diamond are continuing to pump out the PVC statue love for DC in their wildly prolific Gallery/Femme Fatale line. And it so happens that I was lucky enough to have another of their Justice League Unlimited statues hit my doorstep just in time for DC Friday. Let’s open up the Bruce Timm style Hawkgirl!

Hawgirl is a 2016 release, which explains why the box still says Femme Fatales as opposed to the newer DC Animated Gallery branding, but they’re all really part of the same series, all scaled at roughly 9-inches, and are meant to display together. The box is identical to what we’ve been seeing all along, with windows on the front, top, and side panels to let the light in and see what you’re getting. In this case, that didn’t help me, because I got her online, but more on that in a bit. The box features the Justice League Unlimited logo and everything is collector friendly. Hawgirl does require a bit of assembly, as her wings need to be pegged into her back and her foot has to be pegged into the base. Getting her pegged into the base was a little tricky, as I had to bend her legs out to make the pegs fit. That’s not uncommon with statues, and it’s a lot less nerve-racking with a budget piece like this one.

All set up, Hawgirl charges up a rocky base with her wings trailing behind her. She’s clearly about to have at some unfortunate villain with the full fury of her mace. I dig what they did here with the composition. It’s a lot more energetic than most of the other Femme Fatales, but it still fits in fine with the overall theme. The sculpt reflects the animated style beautifully and they really nailed her stylized proportions. As an animated statue, there isn’t a whole lot of sculpted detail, but all the paint lines are incorporated into the sculpt.

If you’ve been with me through any of my previous looks at this line, you may recall me saying how important the paint quality is on these animated style statues. With limited sculpted details, clean and well-applied paint is absolutely crucial to carry the day and make for a presentable display piece. Unfortunately, that’s a bit of an issue with this one. Hawkgirl is a textbook example of a statue that looks totally acceptable from a fair viewing distance, but begins to fall apart under close scrutiny. The most egregious issues are the seams where the arms connect to the shoulders. These were obviously intended to be covered by paint, but the paint either wasn’t thick enough, or it cracked after being painted and the result is an eyesore on some fairly prominent parts of the figure, particularly the right arm. There’s also some unsightly white rubbing along the top of her left thigh where it meets her red hawk-undies. I’ve seen the same issues on pictures of the statue from other people’s collections, so I know it isn’t an isolated incident.

The portrait is fairly good. I’ll be honest and say that this style has been hit or miss with me and Hawkgirl, as she sometimes looks really silly as if her eyes are on the sides of her head like an actual bird. It’s not something specific to the statue, but the animation model as well. In the cartoon, the animators could force perspectives on her and most of the time it worked, but in this case when you’re doing a fully realized 3D statue of a 2D design, you can’t rely on that as a crutch. I think it works fine in profile and when viewed at a slight turn, but dead on straight she looks pretty ridiculous. Again, not a fault of the sculpt, but rather the source material. With that having been said, the lips are painted quite nicely, the eyes aren’t too bad, but my statue has some rubbing and scuffing on the right side of her mask. It’s also worth mentioning here that the flesh tone looks fine on her face, but has some rubbing on the arms, which just make her look dirty.

The mace is recreated pretty nicely here. Oddly enough, it’s sculpted as a separate piece and fitted into her hands. You can’t really remove it, but it does rattle around in there a little and you can turn it so that the lanyard can face different directions. The matte gray paint on the head of mine also has some scuffing and rubbing, but nothing too bad. Surprisingly, the painted wings on my statue are quite smooth and even.

The base is a giant rock, which in the context of the figure looks fine, but by itself it looks like a giant lump of chocolate, or perhaps something else.

I’ve been a huge cheerleader for this line and many of the statues have offered some really impressive value for the dollar, but there has been an occasional disappointment here and there. Lady Deadpool was one, and now Hawkgirl is another. There’s nothing terrible here, but there are just enough issues to bug me. And yes, I realize this is a budget line. Hawkgirl’s MSRP is around $40 and I picked up mine for considerably less, but after some stellar releases like Zatanna, Black Canary, and Medusa, I guess my expectations have been buoyed. Still, my track record on this line has been pretty damn good, and I’m not going to let a few flubs on Hawkgirl dissuade me from continuing to collect it.

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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.

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!!!

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.