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DC Direct JSA
by yo go re

We've come a long way from the days of the original Justice Society, when Wonder Woman - easily the team's most physically powerful member - was relegated to serving as secretary. You know, because that's what girls did. I guess we're just lucky they didn't show her in the kitchen making sandwiches for the boys. Modern comics recognize that having external reproductive organs is not a pre-requisite for kicking ass, which is why the latest incarnation of the JSA was such a great showcase for the new Hawkgirl.

Hawkgirl Orphaned as a young girl and surviving a troubled youth, Kendra Saunders' life was turned around when she was taken in by her grandfather, Speed Saunders. Trained to be the new Hawkgirl, Kendra has been reincarnated hundreds of times to be with her true love Hawkman. Unfortunately, this time, she has no recollection of her past lives.

After Mr. Terrific and Hourman (especially Hourman), it's a relief to get Hawkgirl. This is a good figure. By comparison, this is a great figure. She stands 7¼" tall at the tops of her wings, and about 6½" at the head. Her neck and shoulders are balljointed, she has hinged elbows and knees, and pegs for the hips and wrists. Even her wings are articulated - ball and socket joints where they connect to her shoulders. This isn't substantially better than any other DCD figure, but it could be worse.

ruffle those feathers The sculpt, meanwhile, is very nice. Hawkgirl was sculpted by Sam Greenwell, who's done a lot of good work for both DC and Marvel. Kendra is neither overly exaggerated nor too soft, striking a fine balance between detail and reality - she never looks like something that's been sculpted. There are tiny wrinkles around her joints, and her costume looks like she put it on in layers. The wraps on her forearms overlap nicely, and the feathers on her wings are absolutely beautiful.

Although there is no change in my patrician facade, I can assure you my heart is breaking. Hawkgirl's helmet is removable, revealing Kendra's face beneath. Both head and hat are of decent size - neither looks like it's been fudged to make the toy work. Kendra does seem a little old; she's fairly young in the comics, but the toy has a few years on her. Maybe it's the slight bags under her eyes. Maybe it's her generally austere, Katharine Hepburn-like demeanor. Whatever the case, it's not a deal-breaker.

time for smashing! Paint is good, which should go without saying, but DCD had a real problem with that for a while. The green of her costume is slightly metallic, and the yellow accents are crisp. She's wearing an awful lot of makeup under that vibrant helmet of hers. detail There's a nice wash on the wings that really makes those feathers stand out. In addition to the removable helmet, Hawkgirl has a free-floating belt (which I'm sure some people would claim is removable because you can boil and pop her legs off) and a triple morningstar flail with real chains. She can hold the weapon in her right hand, which is strange: her left looks like it was sculpted to hold something, while her right almost looks like the hole was drilled through as an afterthought.

When DC had its Crisis on Infinite Earths, Hawkman and Hawkgirl were two of the characters who got royally screwed up. The JSA comics not only managed to fix the characters and set things right, but also to make the Hawks popular enough to be big stars again. Hawkman got his own comic only a few months after being re-introduced, and it changed its title to Hawkgirl after 50 issues. Kendra's even joining the re-formed JLA. This girl's all over the place! And thankfully, this figure from DC Direct - her first ever - is a really nice one. Definitely bring this bird home.

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