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DC Multiverse
by yo go re

Warning: Spoiler's ahead!

Recruited by Batwoman into boot camp, the Violet Vindicator joins forces with the top heroes in Gotham City.

Spoiler had a long hard road in the Old 52 continuity, to the point where it was almost a relief when she was absent from the New 52. Then, in the year-long Batman Eternal series, she showed up in a role similar to her earliest appearances: Stephanie Brown learned her father was a third-rate villain called "Cluemaster," he and his villain friends tried to kill her, and she decided to spoil his plans. She first tried to do this via her "Spoiler Alert" blog, but when that failed to attract the law enforcement attention she hoped it would, she opted for direct action. It worked out pretty well for her. (The stuff about Batwoman came later, and only lasted a little while until she thought Tim Drake had been killed. She was wrong.)

Steph's costume was redesigned for the New 52, losing the entirely purple bodysuit in favor of a fancier black-and-purple one that clearly draws influence from her old Batgirl suit. At least the old one looked like something a teenager could make by herself, you know? It was basically purple pajamas with a hood. This suit may not have the "armored plates" look other New 52 suits do, but it's still more complex and "costumey" than the original, especially with the utility belt, sash, and the strap of pouches around the thigh.

An additional change is the mask. Now, rather than hiding her entire face and head, this one just covers her from the nose down - the idea is she's more concerned with filtering out the gas her dad sometimes uses than with concealing her identity, but it still would have been nice if Mattel had included an alternate fully masked head, since there's never been an "Old 52" Steph. No, the costume wouldn't be right, but it would at least be an okay stand-in, right?

The last time Mattel tried making a teenage girl figure, it was greatly oversized. Spoiler, on the other hand, is a tiny little slip of a thing! She doesn't even reach the 6" mark, which definitely makes her look like a kid. She doesn't get all the improved articulation other figures have sported - only single knees instead of doubles, for example - but the chest is a balljoint and the sash is a separate piece so it doesn't get in the way. Even the bright yellow hair falling out of her hood sticks out far enough that it won't be a problem.

Spoiler comes with one accessory, a three-section nunchuck staff. It's fully molded, so don't expect functional chains, but it's a unique thing for a Bat-family character to carry, and makes sense for a waif like her to use: it not only gives her more striking power, but also keeps her a little farther back in combat.

Like fellow Walmart exclusive Harley Quinn, she's got an alternate piece for the Lex Luthor Build-A-Figure: a secondary head with a different design.

This isn't the first Stephanie Brown action figure there's been, but it is the first Spoiler. The old style costume would have been better, and we'd still love to get one of her as Robin, but this toy is good. Dang it, Mattel, why did you wait until the very end to start being a quality company?

-- 09/04/19

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