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Wonder Woman (V.2)

Ame-Comi Heroine Series
by Artemis

This isn't the first redesign of an Ame-Comi figure, but in the other cases - Batgirl and Catwoman - the originals were a bit rubbish, whereas Wonder Woman v1 was pretty decent. Furthermore - again unlike Babs and Cats - Diana's not really known for changing her wardrobe (excluding her secret superspy identity, which this isn't). My guess is that the statue's designer got the assignment simply by walking into the Ame-Comi office and saying "Hey, how about we make Wonder Woman as butt-naked as possible?"

Fearsome warrior and battle-tested Amazon, Wonder Woman emerges victorious, Gorgon's head in one hand, war-axe in the other.

Evidently they were also hyped-up for the Clash of the Titans remake at the time, since what they've given us if Di in full-on Perseus mode, Medusa's head in hand looking around for anything vaguely Kraken-like (whatever it looks like). Having just received my copy of the Essential Wonder Woman Encyclopedia, I was in a position to look this up (without resorting to Wikipedia like usual), and it turns out that - post-Crisis - the two stories mesh together nicely: Perseus did indeed hack off the poor girl's head, back in the time of legend when men were men and Greeks were apparently Australian, but more recently Meddy's Gorgon sisters got Circe to reattach her head, whereupon Wonder Woman cut it off again. Since when she seems to have decided to just stay dead, which shows she's got more common sense than most every other supervillain, who just can't stop themselves coming back for more punishment.

Now I enjoyed Clash of the Titans, but there's no denying I'd have enjoyed it more if, in place of Sam Worthington in Russel Crowe's old Gladiator costume, it had starred Megan Gale (keeping it Australian) in this. Several of the recent Ame-Comi releases seem to have been about seeing how little clothing they could get away with, so this one - wearing basically a bikini, plus one of those anomalous One Lonely Boot accessories McFarlane used to obsess over - is still not absolutely the nakedest in the line, but without the loincloths that, for all they covered next to nothing, seemed to bulk out the costumes of such stripperific Ame-femmes as Hawkgirl and Catwoman v2, Wondy seems pretty damn skimpy.

That said, I can't help but feel she's straying a little too far from her origins - like G-Force Batgirl (though better-looking), there's not really a great deal of Wonder Woman left once the Greco-Roman anime pervs have had their way with her wardrobe. It's not quite for want of trying - there are lots of little costume details that match up, like the white stripe on the red legging, the stars molded into the gold edge of the bikini bottom, and the gold mini-breastplate attached over the top - but they don't tend to stand out when you look at the statue as a whole; the main body of the bracers being blue, rather than silver, leeches away their visual resonance too. The saving grace is Diana herself, from about mid-boob-level upwards: with her bare shoulders, black hair, and largely unchanged golden tiara, she's pure Wonder Woman there, and that managed to save the statue from disappointing anonymity.

As usual, the sculpted face doesn't exactly match the artwork on the packaging - this time, though, it's more to do with the colouring on art being a bit sub-par, while the statue preserves the strong, elegant jawline that the art bleaches out with its uninspired skin shading. The painted eye shadow is also far less dominating than the art would have it, giving the statue a much sleeker, more naturally beautiful look. Compared to the earlier Ame-Diana, this one has thinner, more elfin features, more serene confidence than stubborn determination - the emphasis is very much on the second half of "warrior princess".

The Amazon Bikini Princess doesn't sport any of the sporadic and random articulation that's shown up now and then on recent Ame-Comis, but she does get one unique bit of business, in the form of reversible hair. Her normal look (judging by the packaging art and promo photos) has her hair streaming upwards - I don't know where she fought Medusa (the encyclopedia doesn't go into that much detail), but an active volcano would be nicely epic, and would provide the necessary updrafts (and also explain why her costume foregoes a loincloth or similar bits of drapery - they'd just keep flipping up into her face). The entire hair piece can be removed and reattached upside-down, which given the angle it attaches at results in it streaming backwards and slightly down instead. In itself it works well enough, I suppose - initially I preferred the downward hair, but the upswept look has grown on me - but I confess to being a bit peeved to whoever took the promo photo of the alternate configuration, because they couldn't have done more to give a misleading impression of how it looks if they tried. The packaging text got in on the act too, choosing its words with care so as to suggest - without actually saying so - that what you were getting was an actual alternate piece, not just the option of flipping the hair around.

I'm not sure if you could count Diana's props as accessories, since her hands are clearly sculpted to be holding something - they are removable, though (and packaged separately). Medusa's head is a slightly cartoonish but nonetheless well-sculpted decapitated trophy, still looking displeased at her fate - the only downside to it is the half-hearted attempt to blend her human skin tone in with the green of her scales, at the edges of her cheeks and neck; thankfully the rest of the paint is decent enough. One of the snakes in the topmost coil is extended, to fit into Wondy's grip - you have to press its mouth closed to slip it through her closed thumb and forefinger, but then it's smooth sailing.

The axe is a bit of an eccentric design, but fits well with the rest of the statue in that regard - the two tips of the shaft make it look slightly Batman-esque, but it's just a vague resemblance, whereas the Wonder Woman symbology is clearer, in the "W" in the head, and the eagle wings at the top of the handle. The tail end pops off to allow it to be slid into Di's hand, although the studs along the shaft make it a bit of a struggle.

There's also a base, one of the shallower oval kinds that debuted with the Batman/Robin pair (and relabelled "Hero & Heroine Series" rather than just Heroine alone, because even in an all-girl line they just had to throw in a goddamn Batman), as usual with a custom block for this statue's particular footprint, supporting her raised left heel. These new bases are a vast improvement, eating up far less shelf space than the old circular kind.

The basic question with this statue is: do you want a statue of a hot woman in a fantasy-armour bikini holding an axe? If you wouldn't give that a look, the fact that she's also Wonder Woman probably won't be enough to sway you - she looks good for what she is, but there's just not enough of the iconic character in her to tip the scales. But if your collecting tastes tend to the broad, beyond particular favourite characters, she's a worthy addition to the Ame-Comi ranks, with a distinct look of her own that stands out from the others.

-- 06/16/10


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