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Rebirth Supergirl

DC Comics Icons
by yo go re

Think of the big business the DC Universe equivalent of TMZ must do in "superhero upskirt" shots.

Teenager Kara Zor-El was rocketed to Earth from the dying planet Krypton. Faced with an entire world completely unrecognizable from the one she grew up in, she's the ultimate new girl in school - with a planet-splitting right hook. A lonely girl with astounding might, she struggles to find her identity on her new reluctant home. As the most powerful teenager on the planet, the Girl of Steel possesses all of Superman's powers - from superhuman strength, speed, and invulnerability all the way down to his flight and enhanced senses. Still learning to control her awesome powers and lacking her cousin's self-restraint, she may even be more dangerous than the Man of Steel. Disconnected from a world she's still struggling to comprehend, she'll find non-stop action and violence from her first minute on this planet.

You know, I never really thought about that before: Superman left Krypton as a baby, so every memory he has in his head is of Earth and his family here, but Supergirl had already lived a decent chunk of life in Kryptonian society - even on the Supergirl TV series, where she's had time to grow up and assimilate, at least half her history was spent living on an entirely different world! The moody 2000s version of Supergirl may not have been tremendously popular, but you have to admit the attitude makes sense.

This, thankfully, is not the Michael Turner design, nor is it the unfortunate vagina-highlighting "New 52" suit - rather, it's the costume Brian Ching designed for Rebirth, DC's semi-walkback of the New 52 continuity. It draws a lot of influence from the '90s "Matrix" version of Supergirl (the protoplasmic shape-shifter, not the movie), which is a fine choice, since that's the best costume the character's ever worn. Or, it was: this one may be better. Like her cousin, she wears a long-sleeved blue shirt, though instead of red trunks, she gets a red skirt. Makes sense. This does take a cue from the Turner design, by giving her sleeves that come down onto her hands slightly, but the super tall boots are a new invention. Her cape falls in front of her shoulders, and her S-shield is a sculpted element.

Unfortunately, this figure makes the same mistake a lot of comicbook artists do: it forgets that Supergirl is supposed to be a girl - a teenager, not an adult. She's in high school, she's taking her driver's test, all that. To make her feel younger, her face should perhaps have a bit more roundness to it, and the eyes should be larger - exaggeration, to sell the point.

To her benefit, however, this figure is part of the DC Icons line, which means she's done in a strict 6" scale - that makes her slightly smaller than most superhero toys. It also means she gets the kind of articulation a current action figure should have: balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed torso, hinged waist, balljointed hips, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Her hair, cape and skirt are all soft PVC, with the hopes that they won't impede her movement, but just the fact that her hair exists means you won't be able to have her look up.

And honestly, that's a little bit disappointing because of her accessories. In addition to the fists she has when you buy her, she's also got an extra pair of gripping hands and an extra pair of flat hands, themselves ideal for flying poses. She also gets a new kind of flight stand, which is a clear cylindrical chunk with an angled platform and a single footpeg on top. Basically, it's a way to have her hover above the ground, and it's a really clever idea. The only downside to any of this, really, is that the blue paint scrapes off the wrist hinges when you move them, exposing the pink plastic.

Supergirl also comes with an alternate head, and at first glance it's creepy AF. This one has the hair blowing back, so it looks more dynamic (it still features the S-shaped part in her hair, though, a cute little design element), but the idea is that it's meant to show her using her heat vision: the set even includes two bolts of red energy that can plug into her eyes to demonstrate that - pieces that will probably be very easy to lose track of, but never mind that right now. Look at what we just said: "plug into her eyes." That means there are holes in her eyes where the effects attach. Those, coupled with the red paint around them, make it look like Supergirl has had her eyes gouged out. Gross!

Despite that, DC Icons Supergirl is a terrific toy, and definitely the best version of the character available.

-- 12/21/17

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