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Cover Girls of the DC Universe
Black Canary

Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct


I'm currently only collecting one series of statues - Batman: Black and White. I've been looking around for other goodies to add to the mix lately, but nothing has really tripped my trigger.

But then I saw the Cover Girls of the DC Universe on display at last summer's SDCC. Being a red blooded breathing heterosexual male, my first thought was "HOMINA, HOMINA, HOWWA!" And I didn't even know I could speak Cherokee. (extra geek points for getting that pop culture reference.)

The first release in the series is Black Canary, based on the artwork of the talented Adam Hughes and sculpted by Jack Mathews. Actually, she's been out for awhile, and I think Zatanna is out by now too - mine just hasn't shown up yet.

It's considered a "limited edition", although at 5000 pieces, that's stretching the definition a bit. Compare that to an edition size of just 200 for Remy, and I think you'll see my point.

They have big plans for this series, and have already shown off Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Harley and Zatanna. Word is Batgirl and Supergirl are soon to be announced, and I suspect we'll see quite a good set before this line finishes up.

These are done in a 9" scale, and come in around $80 at most retailers. As usual, I have several great suggestions in the Where to Buy section. Remember, these sponsors make it possible to keep the site up and running, so please check them out.
Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct
Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct
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Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct
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Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct
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Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct
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Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct
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Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct
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Packaging - ***
It's a box, big surprise, and the solid interior trays keep the statue and stand (they're separate pieces) very safe. The graphics are pretty basic, and a window would give you the chance to see what you're particular statue looks like, but I'm sure the logistics were a bit much for them to work out.

They have added in one of the DC Direct large style paper Certificates of Authenticity. Mine ended up crinkled because they placed it on top instead of on the side, and the COA is slightly bigger than the area of the top, but hopefully they don't do that consistently across the series.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Hiding beneath the paint (more on that in a minute) is a very pretty lady. They've transcended the usual comic book look, creating a more realistic version of the character in a number of ways.

A lot of the credit for that goes to the stockings. These things look amazing, with a webbing that's perfectly in scale with the 9" statue. You might still end up with the oversized line up the back, but from the front and side they look great, and they highlight the underlying sexy, muscled legs perfectly.

From the neck down, the sculpt quality is excellent. I'm not thrilled with the pose, but I'll bash on that in the Design section. While the statue is based on Hughes' work, the breasts aren't the size of watermelons, another feature far too often exploited when doing collectibles based on these ladies. By not over emphasizing these proportions, they've avoided looking too comic book, and allowed them to be somewhat more like an actual woman. Or at least an actual fantasy woman.

From the neck up, there's a couple issues though that pull the score down. The hair is a bit too thick, lacking the kind of fine detail I expect. The same is true with the skin itself, and unfortunately, the paint doesn't help the situation. The teeth have no detail, and instead are a solid white chunk inside her mouth. At this scale, these things become obvious and distracting, making her look more Barbie doll than high end statue. The lack of sculpted eyebrows also hurts, giving her that 50's look where the eyebrows are completely plucked and repainted on. I might understand it in a much smaller scale (although many of DCUC women have sculpted eyebrows), but here it's not acceptable.

Paint - **
Again, from the neck up is where the problems lie, and this time the problems are great enough to seriously effect the score.

From the neck down, things are great. I love the contrast between the gloss body suit and boots and the matte jacket, and the work on the gold buckles on the boots is clean and neat. There's no slop, everything is consistent and even, and there's not much you could improve upon.

However, the work on the face and hair, clearly a key aspect, is not as good. I think Hot Toys has pretty much ruined it for everyone, not just sixth scale manufacturers, when it comes to sculpt and paint. If they can get a photo-realistic sculpt and paint job on their figures, why can't others do it on statues and busts? Yes, their figures are more expensive...but include a ton of accessories, an articulated body, and great costumes. With a statue and bust there really is only the paint and sculpt that matter, so you'd think these things would get even more attention.

The paint on the hair and face is very toy-ish. In fact, I'd argue that the work on the DCUC wave 10 Power Girl is far superior, considering the smaller scale.

The eyebrows are painted on, as I mentioned in the previous section. The eyes have a very doll-like appearance, and even the upper lip is uneven and crooked. I understand that the price is lower here than usual, but you can't skimp on the work on the face.

Design - ***
The design of the statue - the selected pose, expression, and artistry - isn't a surprise, since it's the same as what we saw back at SDCC. A weird thing happens with me though, and perhaps it happens with you too. It's one thing for me to see it at a show, or in a magazine, and quite another to actually hold it in my hands. Especially after paying for it.

The design was never something that stuck with me, which is the first sign of trouble. A pose like the one they selected for Catwoman, now THAT sticks with me, but this one left me with that old feeling of 'meh'.

In hand, that translates into some level of disappointment. She's cracking her knuckles, with her right foot extended off the floor. Something about the overall pose just seems odd, and I think I probably could have dealt with the outstretched hands if not for the odd foot position.

In combination, they really don't do a lot for me. Now, I know that these are based on actual cover art for these characters, so they probably didn't have much to choose from for Black Canary. It's not the worst pose ever, and from certain angles it works, but I can't help but think there had to be a better choice than this.

Value - ***
Batman: Black and White statues are now running around $70 at most retailers, and you can find this statue for under $80 pretty easily. Considering the 30% larger size, that makes her (and the rest of the series, if they stay in that range) a pretty good value in my book.

Things to Watch Out For -
With this kind of statue, it's always a good idea to be careful inserting the metal posts into the base. She has two on her left foot to keep her upright, and since metal will always win in a battle with resin, you want to take some care.

The good news is that the fit is just right, so that inserting and removing the posts poses less risk than usual.

Overall - **1/2
I'm being a bit rough on this statue, but I'm hoping that we won't see the same sort of paint work on the future statues. Perhaps if we all bring it up early, they'll avoid it moving forward.

I'm also not particularly keen on the selected pose. Again, that's an issue I don't have with the other releases (well, most of them) shown so far. I'll be continuing with the series, at least for now, but I certainly hope that we see some paint quality improvements. I haven't seen Zatanna yet, but I hear she's outstanding.

And yes, those stockings look smokin' hot.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - **
Design - ***
Value - ***
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector  has her for $78.

- Big Bad Toy Store  has her for $85.

- Entertainment Earth has her at the full retail of $100.

- Forbidden Planet in the UK has her for 80 GBP.

Related Links -
If you're a fan of Black Canary, check out her 6" action figure version from the DC Universe Classics line. DC Direct also did an earlier action figure, back a few years ago.

Discussion:
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Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.13

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Black Canary Cover Girls statue by DC Direct


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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