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Catwoman

Ame-Comi Heroine Series
by Artemis

After a childhood of abuse and neglect, Selina Kyle took to the streets of Gotham City and learned to defend herself under the guise of Catwoman. Now as self-assured as she is street-smart, this frisky feline uses her thievery skills for the good of Gotham's less fortunate.

Batgirl's running mate - Ame-Comi girls are released two at a time - is Catwoman, Gotham's resident fetish fantasy. She's a better example of what Ame-Comi is trying to do: her design is substantially different to the American comic version of the character, but the telltale elements shine through, identifying her very strongly with herself, if you get what I mean. The black leather bodysuit (limbless though it is), the whip, the cat-ears and big goggles on her hood, and of course the tail - if you didn't know it was the Catwoman, you'd at least pick that it was a Catwoman, or fetishwear-themed catgirl at least. Same thing, really.

So she's recognisable, but the influence from the land of the rising panty shot is still pretty obvious. Rather than a full-body outfit she's got a high-necked (and very low-backed) torso suit, with long gloves and boots, which rather cleverly hark back to earlier Catwomen, with their boots and gloves over the purple body stocking, even as the design is primarily based on the current leather one-piece Catwoman. She's also sporting short-short leather chaps, or if you prefer, a miniskirt with the middle cut out and replaced by a couple of token straps - thoroughly ornamental, and not really in keeping with the practicality of Leather Catwoman, but to its credit it does close off the hips of the costume, where bare skin would've stood out a mile and changed the whole balance of the outfit.

Her face is typically girlish, though with a cocky grin - by cutesy anime standards, I suppose she could be said to look villainous - but even moreso than Batgirl, I really wish she was closer to the packaging art. The more lidded eyes in the art, and especially the wider, fuller lips, contribute several years to her maturity - the sculpted version looks very much girlish, which is approaching the "weird" line, in light of her come-get-me costume. She has one accessory, the whip - it's removable (and packed separately), fitting into her grip with the aid of a peg in the middle of her palm. What with it being light plastic, packaged coiled up, it takes a bit of coaxing to get it to look like it's obeying gravity, but it's not so set in its coiled form that you can't get it looking good given some effort.

Catwoman (or Catgirl, I guess) stands 9½" tall including her raised hand - 8¼" to the top of her head - and has the usual base, also with wedge-blocks for her heeled feet, situated close together in the middle of the base to match her narrow stance. It's with Catwoman that you really start to notice how big the bases are - Batgirl at least straddles the width of hers, though it's still quite deep ahead and behind her, but Catwoman is just posing tightly in the middle of this huge 6" expanse of base, which makes it difficult to put her among other figures on the shelf, unless you're accustomed to giving each figure or statue quite a lot of room by itself. I've got 400 of them packed into one room, so I can't really afford that luxury - in my case, I've got the Ame-Comi statues standing side by side with their bases overlapping where possible.

As a debut series for the line, I can't really recommend either Batgirl or Catwoman that highly - Selina's okay, in a low-key kind of way, but Babs really suffers from the lack of identification with her original self, and she doesn't really end up with that striking a design anyway. Luckily (as I'm writing this after series 3 arrived), things get better.


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