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Star Sapphire Wonder Woman

DCD Blackest Night
by yo go re

You know, for a big space-fight story, Blackest Night sure spent a lot of time playing dress-up.

Like her fellow heroes, Wonder Woman has had to face friends and foes once thought lost - and now within the ranks of the Black Lantern Corps. After returning from the cold fingers of death herself, Wonder Woman was initially overcome by the power of the black ring. But through sheer will, force of character and the power of love imbued by the sapphire ring, she was able to fight her way back to the light. Now, as a Star Sapphire, Wonder Woman joins the ranks of the array of newly powered agents of the emotional spectrum to combat the rising darkness.

It's mostly forgotten now, but Diana died during John Byrne's run on the book. Since Byrne was at his hackiest at the time, she didn't fall in battle to some longstanding enemy or world-threatening foe, she was blasted once by flavor-of-the-week villain Nekron Neron and that was it. That's why she could be turned into a Black Lantern, and why it took the Pink Lantern ring to bring her back to life.

This figure, like Red Lantern Mera, is based on Blackest Night: Wonder Woman, which means it's inspired by the excellent artwork of Nicola Scott. Also like Mera, the figure was sculpted by Karen Palinko, so she looks very good. If you compare the figure directly to the art there are some differences you can't help but notice - the figure is lean and narrow, while the art looked more like a natural woman, and the costume covered more in the books - but this is obviously a specific look from a specific source, and it does a good job of duplicating that. Not perfect, but good.

The face is very nice. She's got the same look of hard determination she did when fighting Black Lantern Max Lord. It's interesting that Diana's tiara has never looked as martial as it does as a Star Sapphire: it's thicker on the forehead, has a strip of armor for the nose, and even a little protection for her cheeks. Why can't it always look like this?

Now, about the costume: the design is clearly a skimpier, "sexier" version of Wonder Woman's usual togs, but while it caught a lot of flak for its stripperiffic look, she's still wearing more clothes than the real Star Sapphires do! This figure doesn't help things, however, by leaving more of the arms and legs exposed. In the comics, the skin showing near her knees and elbows are more akin to large cutouts in gloves or boots, while the toy treats them more like strappy garters. It's up to you whether the comic or toy design is better, but credit still must be given for the edges of her costume being sculpted, rather than just painted on.

Star Sapphire Wonder Woman moves at the knees, hips, elbows, shoulders and neck. DC, why are there no wrists? The woman wears big silver bracelets, which present a natural border for the joint - either at the top or bottom! We don't care which, as long as she moves. It's shameful. Her head is balljointed, with a wonderful range of motion; the hair hangs away from the body far enough that even with the tall collar, her head can roll about at will. She's meant to be posed with one foot flat and the other up on the toes, but it's hard to find a position where the legs are the right length to make her stable.

She includes her lasso, which hangs on a hook on her hip, but since both hands are fists she can't hold it. Ditto the Pink Lantern - but as we said before, she shouldn't even come with one of those. Finally, there's the Star Sapphire logo base; unlike Black Lantern Womder Woman, who actually could stand centered on her base, this one can't; she's always off-center, and it's particularly noticeable since all the lines of the Star Sapphire logo radiate from the middle.

If you want Wonder Woman in her Star Sapphire costume, this isn't your only chance: days before this figure hit stores, Mattel announced they'd be doing their own version in DCUC Series 17. She'll have the same mistaken boots and gloves, but at least you know she'll have wrists. Still, if you're not interested in completing a build-a-figure, this is a very nice figure that does a decent job of re-creating this short-lived costume.

-- 06/04/11

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