After what seems like forever, DCDirect's figures based on Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb's Batman epic The Long Halloween are finally here. After missing their initial reported in-store date of 10/19/2005, the figures were put in the limbo of "TBD" until finally popping up in stores just after the start of the new year. Since my Bat-Collection has up until now been without a Catwoman, I was eager to pick her up from this series.
Working for Sofia Falcone, Catwoman frequently came to Batman's aid while hunting the holiday killer. So how does she measure up?
Well, if we're talking about size, she definitely comes up a bit short. In fact, all the figures in this series do. Scale is always an issue with DCD figures, but just put Catwoman up next to DCD's Cassandra Cain Batgirl and you'll see the problem. Batgirl, who's basically a teenager, looks giant compared to Catwoman. The good news is that these do seem to fit in with the smaller Mattel DC Superheroes, so Catwoman shouldn't be completely without properly-scaled company.
Other than scale issues, the sculpt is extremely good. I am slightly disappointed, however, that the sculpt does not seem to feature all the disturbing ultra-defined musculature that we saw on the prototype. Tim Sale's Catwoman definitely works out, and the prototype was frighteningly accurate to the amount of super-detail Sale utilized when drawing Selina Kyle's bulging muscles, but this seems to have been toned down for the production figure. It may just be due to the fact that this figure is so small, and she DOES still have some killer muscles, particularly around the ribs and back
The head and face are handled extremely well, although there are no whiskers. I'm not sure if the proto had whiskers, but the comic art certainly did. However, whiskers would be difficult to pull of in this scale, so it's probably better that they've been left off. Selina's eyes and lips are perfectly sexy and capture Sale's art in three dimensions wonderfully, and the mask with its requisite giant cat ears looks great. The rest of the sculpt is nice too; Selina's got a great figure, including formidable breasts and a cute butt. Though the latter can be difficult to pull of with leg articulation, this figure does it well. Instead of sculpted on bracelets, Catwoman gets three nice, non-removable real metal bracelets on each wrist. It's a very nice touch.
The paint does nothing but enhance the sculpt.
The face is painted perfect, right down to the tiny details of her eyes. I've never seen a figure with lips painted this nicely, and the eye make-up is noticeable without looking whorey. There's also little to no bleed between the mask and skin areas of the paint. The rest of the figure lacks the paint detail of the face since the costume is pretty uniform, but there's a nice contrast between the main body of the costume, which has a nice satin finish, and the gloves and boots, which are glossy .
The articulation is nice, although in typical DCD fashion Selina still lacks a waist joint. However, with no belt or other visual break up in the design, a waist joint might hinder the sculpt. Selina does have some nice upper body movement though, with a great ball jointed neck and ball jointed shoulders. Her biceps are peg joints, as are her wrists, and she's got hinged elbows. The lower body doesn't fare as well, with only t-crotch hips and hinged knees. Ankles would have been nice, and there could have been mid-thigh joints at the boot tops, but overall DCD did a decent job of giving us solid articulation while still maintaining the female form. The hinged joints are ratcheted, too, which means they'll last longer.
The Long Halloween figures, for the most part, seem to buck the DCDirect trend of making you regret paying such high prices for a figure with almost no accessories. Catwoman comes with some really awesome night vision goggles that fit snugly on her head (although I'd avoid using them too much as they might scratch the paint on her face). They can rest on her forehead or fit perfectly over her eyes, and the lenses are painted red. All in all, a really great accessory, and if she had come with only the goggles her accessory score would be higher than 90% of the figures in the DCDirect catalogue.
But that's not all she's got. She also comes with a kooky listening device, which you can sort of shimmy into her left hand if you so desire. Like all the other figures in this series, she gets a calendar page (February 14th), which is extremely flimsy and probably best left in the package. Still, it's a nice thought that ties all the figures in with the storyline. Finally, she gets a sidewalk base that's pretty much exactly the same as the bases that came with DCD's Secret Files and Dark Knight Returns figures. It's annoying to see this base used so often, but I guess if you were so inclined you could connect them all together and have a huge sidewalk display for all your Bat figures. And hey, if re-using bases means we get more accessories with our DCD figures, I'm all for it. Who cares about a base anyway, when you've got such awesome night vision goggles?
Where her whip is, though, is anyone's guess. Still, I'm not complaining. Despite the size discrepancy between this and other DCD figures, it's still a wonder Catwoman figure, with an awesome sculpt and some nice accessories. Plus, it showcases a giant step forward in DCD's paint apps, which are usually extremely spotty. This is definitely my favorite DCD Catwoman figure, and will probably remain so, at least until that huge-breasted "Knightfall" Catwoman sees shelves.
Who draws your favorite Catwoman? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge