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Rebirth Harley Quinn

DC Multiverse
by yo go re

You wanna get nuts? Come on, let's get nuts!

The unpredictable Harley Quinn is free from Mr. J's mind games and finally calling her own shots.

During the New 52, Harley Quinn got her own comic for the first time in a decade. After a few foolish negative reactions before the first issue even came out, the series was generally well-received and even got a spin-off anthology title. Its numbering was reset when the "DC Rebirth" branding event reboot thingy hit, but the storyline - which saw her leaving Gotham City for Brooklyn, dumping Joker for good, and picking up her psychology practice - continued right along without a reboot of its own. And while DC Direct has already made a Harley based on the New 52, it has fallen to Mattel's DC Multiverse line to create the Rebirth version.

It's easy to peg this as "Rebirth" Harley, because the figure (and the art on the packaging) is based directly on the cover to issue #1 of the comic. Her costume is still red and black, because tradition. She's kept the same booty shorts as before, and the kneepads, but the rest is new. Her bustier fits like an actual garment, making her breasts look anatomical instead of cartoony. She's traded sides on her socks and shoes, and is wearing a jacket that unfortunately makes the toy's neck look too short - like, they needed to account for the jacket and the collar when they were sculpting her torso, even if it would have looked goofy without the jacket on. Even tiny details, like the bullets on her belt or the fact that her heart-shaped choker is twisted slighty off-center, have been captured by this sculpt.

The face does not seem to match the cover art as strongly as the rest of the figure does. Oh, her hair may fall in exactly the same way, with a small strange dangling between the eyes, and a larger lock framing the left side of her face, but the shapes of the features - eyes, nose, mouth, etc. - do not try very hard to immitate Amanda Connor's art.

As we said, Harley is wearing red and black, because those are her colors. The lines between the areas of color are crisp, with no spillage, even including the various star and diamond patterns scattered about her body, and the white laces on her shoes. Technically the red band on the left bicep should have "51 50" in it, not a diamond, but perhaps Mattel thought that would be insensitive to anyone with mental health problems? Her skin is white, because the new continuity saw Joker dousing her with chemicals just like he was, and her hair is dip-dyed pink and blue, because the Rebirth comic came out the same month as Suicide Squad.

The figure's articulation is actually quite good. She has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists, a balljointed chest, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. That's as good as a real company might do! The chest joint really doesn't move too far, but the range it does have is fairly natural. It's more annoying that her head is the typically limited Mattel style, and so really can't look up. She does have swivels for her ponytails, though, which is neat. And for once, the fact that the interiors of the joints don't necessarily match the colors around them works: her shoulder rings are red and her elbow rings are black, so they just end up looking like more asymmetrical decoration on the jacket.

Harl's accessories include a big mallet with "POW" painted on the ends, a revolver with a removable BANG flag, and two... things. They look like balls on a string, but Harley doesn't use bolas, so that doesn't make any sense. One set of them is black, and the other red, and the "strings" are white. So what are they? Well, going back to the cover this toy's based on, she has pom-poms on her shoes. Pom poms this toy is lacking, unless you wrap these accessories around her ankles. WT-hecking-F? Why would they make them separate and not just sculpt them onto the shoes in the first place?

Although this figure is a Walmart exclusive, it still gets a piece of the Series 6 Lex Luthor BAF - or, at least an accessory for it. It's not a bodypart, but rather a Mother Box, which of course ends up looking like Harley's got a Hellraiser cube. Physically distorted, pale-skinned people who enjoy inflicting trauma? Eh, she'll be fine.

This is easily the best Harley Quinn Mattel has ever released - and we're counting comics, videogames, and movies in that tally. Perhaps she's too tall (at 6⅜", you could knock an inch off this figure and she'd still look fine), but that's it. Mattel should have been delivering this kind of quality years ago; maybe if they had, they wouldn't have lost the license.

-- 05/01/19

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