As we said before, Jeph Loeb's concluding arc on Superman/Batman, "With A Vengeance," involved a lot of skipping around between alternate realities. Or, as they're called at DC, Elseworlds. One of the most unexpected was the world visited by Batman, in which gender roles were reversed, and the world's greatest detective was Batwoman.
In Batwoman's alternate universe, the Dark Knight is a "she." When Batman shows up in her world courtesy of a Boom Tube, the two join forces to wipe the smile off the Joker's face.
As far as alternate realities go, swapping the characters' genders isn't exactly groundbreaking. In fact, it's a pretty standard thing. But really, that's okay: in the context of the story, we didn't have time to take in subtle differences; we had to absorb the new worlds in a flash, so big blatant changes were the order of the day. Changes like giving Batman boobs, for instance.
Batwoman doesn't use the same generic body sculpt as the men in this and the "Public Enemies" line. Thank goodness. She's still based on Ed McGuinness' artwork, though, so she has a slightly cartoony look and will fit in with the other McG figures nicely. In fact, since the animated influence is most evident in McGuinness' faces, and Batwoman's face is almost entirely covered by her cowl, she could almost pass for a "plain" figure - it's not like female figures have a ton of muscle detail to begin with, after all.
One place Batwoman does have pronounced muscle development is her thighs. Her Rectus femoris (that's the big muscle on the front outside of your thigh) is absolutely huge, so from some angles it looks like the poor girl's got thunder thighs. But this is plainly muscle, not fat. She's toned under that batsuit.
Since this is Batwoman, rather than Batgirl, she dresses like Batman. Confused yet? It's important to note that this isn't Barbara Gordon, this is Bruce Wayne. With a vagina. Brusilla. You can imagine that Dr. and Mrs. (Mr.?) Wayne had a baby girl, and she was the one orphaned in Crime Alley that night.
The girl underwent intense training to become a dark avenger of the night, took on Richelle Grayson as the first Robin, and eventually ran into Bob Gordon, son of Commissioner Jane Gordon, working solo as Batlad. Or something. Like we said, there was (almost) no backstory provided.
Batwoman moves like all the other McGuinness figures: not enough. She has hinged knees, peg hips, hinged elbows, balljointed shoulders and a swivel neck. Yeah. No boots, no wrists, no waist (duh)... and as always, the fact that the head isn't balljointed is incredibly stupid! DC Direct! Get your act in gear, and quit with the sub-par toys! Batwoman doesn't get any accessories, and she's smaller than all the other figures (6½" at the top of the ears), so there's no excuse for short-changing her on the articulation. Oh, wait, they couldn't cheap out by recycling the same body endlessly. I guess that makes up for it. Continue with your half-assery unabated, DC Direct. All is forgiven!
So here I am, railing against DC Direct for their Batwoman figure, but I still dropped the $15 on her. So what's the story? The figure is easily on par with the average DC Direct release, so you know exactly what to expect: it's perfectly up to the toy-making standards of seven years ago. The design is nice, if not overly imaginative. It's cool to have a female Batman rather than a grown-up Batgirl. There are no flaws, other than the articulation, so if DC ever gets that major hurdle worked out, they'll really be one of the best in the industry. We just have a long wait before they do.