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Stargirl

DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

It's good to see more minorities in comics - at last there's a hero who can show us the plight of the upper-middle class suburban blonde girl!

Courtney Whitmore was a happy, All-American girl when her mother married Pat Dugan (formerly the hero Stripesy) and abruptly moved the family to Nebraska. Irritated by her new stepfather, Courtney found the Star Spangled Kid's Cosmic Convertor Belt and decided to do some adventuring of her own. Dugan responded in kind by developing a robotic suit and accompanying her as S.T.R.I.P.E. Ultimately, Whitmore thrived in her new identity, becoming a principle member of the new JSA.

It's nice when new(ish) characters get toys, but it does present a problem for us as reviewers. This is the third Stargirl figure we've reviewed, and we've already blathered on about everything interesting about her! We talked about how Geoff Johns created her in honor of his dead sister, we talked about how she's basically cosplaying a gijinka version of the Amazing Zoo Crew... everything! And now we've even talked about how we've talked about everything, so something interesting better happen with her before someone releases another figure or we're screwed!

Stargirl is a teenager in the comics, which is good news for this figure because it means the girl it represents still has a chance that her facial features might change. She's got a wide smile, which is both accurate to the character and a nice change of pace for DCUC, but she's also got a chin that even Reese Witherspoon would find unnaturally sharp and pointed.

[I think you're missing another possible inspiration --ed.]

The body below the neck is new too. For the most part, it's good: she's less than 6" tall, suiting a teenager, and though she's as developed as an adult would be, this is a comicbook toy, so if her chest is smaller than Power Girl's, then she's just "average." The laces on her boots are sculpted well, as are the wrinkles on her bike shorts and the cuffs of her gloves. The disappointing part? Her waist is far wider than her narrow hips, and even wider than the belt it rests against. Think about that: the belt she's wearing is smaller than the body it's meant to be worn around. Maybe she's just retaining water this week?

The articulation just exacerbates the situation. Her hips are the sort with no visible construction on the outside, so when you move the legs to the outside, the upper part of the legs tip way to the inside, and thus the portion of her torso below the belt looks even narrower than it already did. Either some part of her was molded at the wrong scale (which seems unlikely) or someone thought the belt looked too big around her waist and wanted it reduced. Whatever happened, it was a bad choice.

And speaking of bad choices, Stargirl comes with the same Cosmic Staff accessory that Starman (the good one) had. That sounds ideal, right? He gave her his staff when he retired from adventuring, so of course it should be the same one, right? Well, yeah, but that's not the problem. The problem is that it's inexplicably molded from translucent yellow plastic. It may be that this was meant to simulate the way the Staff glows when it's in use, but it just looks like she's been inducted into the Sinestro Corps. Throwing a coat of golden paint onto the staff (but leaving the tip bare) would probably do worlds of good.

The figure includes the right arm of the Series 19 Build-A-Figure, S.T.R.I.P.E. It's basically the same as the arm with Hawkman, but on that one the wrist joint was stuck so hard I didn't even realize it had one - this one moves much more freely.

It's nice that Stargirl got a DCU Classics figure before the line ended, but the execution feels... incomplete. There are no major problems with her, just a bunch of little ones that add up to a disappointing whole.

-- 01/12/12


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