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Circe

DCD Wonder Woman
by Artemis

Doctor Who once said "you can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies" - he was up against the Daleks at the time, which rather proves his point. It goes for superheroes too - what would Superman be without Lex Luthor, Batman without the Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face, Riddler et al, Spider-Man without Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus and Venom, the Fantastic Four without Doctor Doom and Galactus, Wonder Woman without... um... yes, quite.

Taking advantage of Diana Prince's absence, Circe long-time Wonder Woman enemy Circe captures Donna Troy and steals away the many powers possessed by Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman doesn't have the benefit of a world-class rogues gallery - she's got foes aplenty, but not a Luthor or a Von Doom among them. As yo pointed out, she fights geeks like Egg Fu and the Angle Man. If long service counted for anything though, Circe would be up there, since she's been giving Diana grief since 1949 (not to mention her dabbling in the affairs of Odysseus some considerable time prior, but you can't give DC credit for that). In her recent appearance - not counting the Amazons Attack nonsense - she stole Wonder Woman's powers and set about being what she considered a wonder woman, zipping across the globe freeing women who had been forced into prostitution and slavery, and killing every man who stood in her way.

Yeah, I'm not sure where the "evil" part comes in either, but since the entire Justice League and Justice Society turned out to defeat her, I guess she must've done something bad somewhere along the way. (She got a bad rap from history too - everyone remembers her turning Odysseus's crew into pigs, but she also was his lover, and helped him find his way home. Admittedly she did like turning people into animals, but no-one's perfect.)

During her brief tenure as Wonder Woman, Circe Woman Circe sported a rather striking costume that was a combination of her own look and Diana's, a deep blood-red bustier with a silver dragon breastplate, rather than gold eagle, no starry panties (not that she didn't have any panties, that is, they just weren't starry) [awww... --ed.], and a black cloak. Frankly, she looked kick-ass, but since she only wore the outfit for one issue, and there were two Wonder Women in this series already, DC Direct evidently felt her usual costume would go down better. Though it's difficult to see, her black bodysuit has modern-looking segmented sections down her sides and thighs, while retaining a classical look with the Red Sonja-esque scale mail bra and bracers, and a heavy cloak.

I was expecting Circe to be the least interesting figure in this series, with her costume design from the comic not being especially exciting, it's windy back here but she's far from dull. Her pose is a bit more defined than DC Direct usually does - very contrapposto, stepping off her left foot with her torso turning slightly to the right, and her articulation sets her up perfectly to be looking back to the left and pointing accusingly with her left hand. It's a dramatic pose, and her hair and cloak do a great deal of work, both sculpted as if being whipped by a fierce wind - the cloak is especially good, with a dynamic sculpt that confidently eschews any kind of generic positioning and goes straight for what'll look great. Her hair is likewise a confident design choice, streaming out to her left in what could have been a pretty goofy manner, but it all works - the posture, the cloak, and the hair all come together to make the figure look lifelike.

Her face is quite characterful - she's not unattractive, but her personality comes through strongly, coldness and controlled cruelty dominating her features. pink eye The framing effect of her headdress complements this, accentuating the point of her chin and, aside from the one lock across her brow, cutting her face off from the softening effect of her hair. Add in the highly arched eyebrows and she's got a great "Evil Queen" vibe going, to which the reflective pupil-less eyes add a look of sorcery. In the comic she only got the glowing eyes during the spell in which she magically stole Wonder Woman's powers, but all things considered it's not a bad choice to have her look that way here - aside from aesthetic considerations, it's also handy in that it doesn't "lock" her into looking in a particular direction.

Nothing in her paint job interferes with the terrific sculpt, but there's a lot that could have been better. Her bodysuit is all black, with matte and gloss finishes distinguishing areas from each other - it's effective, but I did notice a few random spots of gloss where they shouldn't have been. Her breast armour is dark silver, but it's an all-over coverage - the spaces between the circles are silver too - which is a bit lazy. Her cloak is cast in colour, and the shoulder plates (which are part of the cloak) are well painted to match the rest of her body, but the clasps holding the cloak to her breastplate are only painted on the top - from the side they're the same purple as the cloak, which is disappointing considering how thick they are. Her hair could have used a highlight - or rather, it could have used a darker base, with its present red/pink being the highlight, but luckily the highly dynamic windswept swirls in the sculpt keep it from looking too plain.

Her bracers are sculpted (and were drawn in the comic) to be the same kind of armour as her breastplate, but they're left gloss black - it's not an obvious flaw to look at the figure, she's not been deflowered but it's irksome that they skipped a paint application when you know what's meant to be there. There's also what looks like a scroll tucked into one of her belts - she sported various scrolls and so on in the comic, though none in that exact position that I saw - but it too is unpainted. The only issue that really stands out, though, is the splotch on her belt that looks kind of like a cross between a pizza and a kaleidoscope - it's meant to be flowers (another ancient touch to her look), but there's only three colours on it, a yellow base with red and blue details, and they're applied very haphazardly. If you don't know what that area is meant to be, you'd have a hard time guessing, and since it's brightly coloured and right on the front of her, there's no overlooking it.

that one! have him bathed and brought to my tent! Circe's articulation is the usual DC Direct fare - balljointed neck, balljointed shoulders, peg elbows, swivel wrists, T-crotch, peg knees. Her legs aren't good for much but putting in their intended pose and leaving, but their dramatic posture plus the evocative sculpt of her hands - the right clutching, the left pointing - means her arms can look decent in a number of positions, and the soft shoulder plates don't impede the balljoints there much. Since her hair is blowing sideways so violently, there's not a lot left to hang down her back or over her shoulders, so her neck joint is very mobile for a woman with long hair, with plenty of room to get her line of sight just right whichever way you want her facing.

if I had a hammer Aside from the standard Wonder Woman base - which, with that heavy cloak billowing around like crazy, she needs to remain upright - Circe's only accessory is her sickle. It's a simple piece, with a matte black handle and silver blade, but it fits well into her left hand, and the positioning of the fingers is such that it looks reasonably realistic whether you have her posed so she's pointing while she's gripping the sickle, or with her arm lowered just holding it. Since her belts are separate soft pieces, the sickle can also be slipped into one of them if you want Circe to be villaining hands-free.

So far as action figures go, this is a great example of how it's not what you're given, it's what you do with it. Circe isn't really much to look at in terms of her basic design, but her body posture and hair and cloak sculpt make her seem far more exciting than she had any right to expect. Ignore the pizza on her belt - or better yet if you can, repaint it - and she's quite the success story.

squeal like a boy, pig!


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