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Zatanna

DCD Identity Crisis
by Artemis

Why would you ever stop wearing fishnets? More to the point, if you're working on a comicbook character who's worn them since her creation, and therefore has all the historical license she needs to keep wearing them, how dumb would you have to be to change her costume?

Dlrow-denwoner naicigam dna enioreh Annataz desu reh cigam ot etalupinam eht sdinm fo repus-snialliv dna tsum ecaf eht secneuqesnoc.

Thankfully Zatanna's back to her good old stage magician's outfit nowadays, and Grant Morrison (in one of the rare moments when he wasn't riding the ganja express so hard he'd lost all common sense) firmly entrenched the character's wardrobe (and the rationale behind it: she's a performance exhibitionist) in DC lore in Zatanna's segment of the the recent Seven Soldiers of Victory uber-crossover, so with luck we won't have to deal with any more smart-arses trying to make her look more "serious" any time soon. But let's look back at a time when some idiot thought they could beat top hat, tails, and sexy tights.

Identity Crisis Zatanna Zatara bears the hallmarks of the late Michael Turner, who provided the covers for the miniseries - she's tall, slender at the waist, with long, shapely legs and a haughty, aristocratic face. The action figure (bafflingly) opts for the old costume she wore in the flashback time period, an unremarkable spandex get-up with vague references to her original outfit - she originally wore a blue coat and top hat, rather than black, and the costume's torso pattern is reminiscent of an unbuttoned tail coat - and a few random elements, like the generic "magic user" loose sleeves, and the superhero-standard cape (with a faux collar design) and thigh boots.

It's a smooth sculpt, all clean lines and unadorned surfaces - there's a little bit of contouring in the fabric of her sleeves, but the rest is all skin-tight, over a comicbook physique. All the colour divisions on the costume are sculpted as well as painted, so there's little slop - a minor bit of deviation from the line at one of the "coat" pattern corners, but nothing you'd notice without close inspection. As a consequence of the articulation the crotch of her swimsuit looks a bit wide at the front, but it makes up for it by showing off quite a lot of her bottom - Turner would've been proud, bless him.

She's got a Turner face, too - all sharp lines, with long eyes and sculpted lips, and a triangular face shape. Her eyes are quite fine work, with highlights painted into the irises, and very fine eyelash lines at the corners. The head and hair are all one piece, but the fringe is painted very cleanly, especially given that it's not a smooth line, but instead lets short strands fall over her forehead before the bulk of it is swept back. She's got this bizarre segmented... thing on her head, painted metallic red - I assume it's meant to mark her as a sorceress of some kind, but it mostly just looks like she's wearing a miniature sandworm.

She's not a well-articulated figure, but there are some possibilities with what she's got. Her neck is a balljoint, and her hair is sculpted to sit up from the (soft) cape, letting the head turn quite a bit before it makes contact - furthermore, if her head is tilted forward to get more turn out of the joint, her eyes still look good, as if she's staring up from beneath her brows. Her arms have ball shoulders, pin elbows and swivel wrists - both hands are sculpted open, the right with an especially "spell-casting" posture. There's no waist, and her legs have peg hips and pin knees - not good for much beyond standing around, maybe getting one foot slightly in front of the other.

Her only accessory is a standard Identity Crisis base, a quite sizeable oval with a single peg in the top of the "R," for the hole in her right foot. Her stance - which can only be altered a little via leg articulation - is quite narrow, so she'll invariably stand a bit off-center on the base, but it's not too bad.

She's a pretty old figure these days, but still not that difficult to find, mainly because the costume makes her look a bit of a twit - if they made a really good figure of her current appearance, she'd sell like hot cakes. Still, the spandex costume is (regretfully) a stage Zee went through, so it's not such a terrible thing to have a figure like this in your collection; even without her proper sexy wardrobe, you'd still be crazy not to want Zatanna.


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