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by Artemis

Remember Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books? Okay, let's play. Are you sick of Hal Jordan pedophile jokes? If you answered "yes", the Supergirl 1:6 scale PVC statue from Kotobukiya is well-designed and sculpted, painted with only a couple of fairly minor errors overall, and outstanding work on the face, and being a statue she's unarticulated, has no accessories, and will fall over if detached from her base. She's expensive, but not uncommonly so for this scale and medium, and cheaper than many, and overall is a suitable centrepiece-type collectable for any fans of her current incarnation.

If you answered "no", let's get to work.

Like her celebrated cousin Kal-El, Kara Zor-El was also rocketed to Earth to escape the destruction of the late great Planet Krypton. However, Kara's starship became embedded in a Kryptonite meteor and tumbled off-course in an elliptical orbit that would not cross paths with Earth until many years after the infant Kal-El's arrival. Kara grew to adolescence within her stasis pod, her education provided subconsciously by Kryptonian memory tapes within the starship. Thus, when her Kryptonite-covered pod splashed down in Gotham City Harbor and was discovered by Superman and Batman, the teenaged Kara emerged speaking only Kryptonese!

Her body energised by Earth's yellow sun, Kara quickly developed the same powers as the Man of Steel, including super-strength, invulnerability, and X-ray vision to name but a few! The subject of much superheroic debate given her amazing abilities - second only to Superman's - this Maid of Might quickly learned Earthly ways and was schooled in the use of her powers by Wonder Woman and her Amazon sisters. As Supergirl, Kara now wears a costume inspired by her courageous cousin and serves the cause of justice as a teenaged superheroine-in-training!

If you hadn't guessed, the non-italics would be everything DC wants to claim copyright on; they may be trying to suggest that Krypton with a capital K is legally distinct from krypton the element, but I don't think anyone's buying it, since there are TV shows and programming languages and missiles and a Romanian pop-rock band with the same name. By a startling coincidence, the age of consent in Romania is 15 - the same age as Supergirl. Very convenient, that. Makes you wonder if someone, say someone with a power ring, might've done some favours for the government around about when they were revising the relevant legislation.

Anyway, if you're horny and your tastes run to teenaged blondes, Kara Zor-El is pretty much the be-all and end-all of the matter - and let's be honest, if you're in your mid-teens, it's probably a lot more healthy to be masturbating to Supergirl than to the kind of freaky stuff freely available in the seedier corners of the internet (the internet being about 98% seedy corners), so at least for someone, Kara's doing the right thing; it's only creepy if you're older than that. Old enough to be a test pilot, for instance. And if Supergirl is deliberately trying to be a teenaged honey pot (so to speak) luring the bees away from more potentially damaging erotics, she's sure giving it her all in this statue. She's a bit under 10" tall, and there's damned little of her that's not sending out come-[get]-me signals to her adolescent fans (and any passing Lantern Corpsmen).

She's not just letting her costume, with its high-cut midriff-baring skintight top, woefully inadequate skirt, and fuck-me boots (never more accurately named) speak for her, either, nor is she content merely to stand in a convenient updraft that's making her cape billow alluringly around her legs, and tossing her skirt up above her waistline. Take a look at those tits - yeah, Hal, I know you already did - they're not just perky, they're pointing straight up. I put it to you, gentle readers, that she's actually using her flight powers to levitate her breasts - Superman's going to want a word with her about frivolous use of powers. Even if you tilt her waaaay forwards, to undo the effect of her arched back, her nipples are still aiming above the horizontal. Ye gods.

Once you get over the silliness of it all, there's a sculpt worthy of some praise there. Kara's unsurprisingly rocking pretty much exactly the body guys with Barely 18 DVD collections dream of: slim but not thin, with petite but evident muscles in her arms, a toned stomach on a waist that's impossible but will have wannabes puking up their meals in an effort to achieve anyway, prominent hips supporting a perfect bubble butt (they even remembered to have the tiniest sliver of butt cheek peeking out of the bottom of her panties - I think the sculptor may be one of those DVD collectors), and sizeable but not overblown thighs. Every element of her costume is sculpted, even just the cosmetic stripes and "S" logo and so on, so there's no lack of sharpness.

Sadly, just like Green Lantern Corps regulations apparently do, the paint lets her down a bit. For the most part it's excellent work - strong blue and red, quite clean delineation at the joins, and a fresh, healthy skin tone with just a hint of shininess to give Hal impure thoughts - but there's one big error, and it's unfortunately in about the most obvious place it could possibly be: the yellow coverage on the bottom edge of her top is woeful. Seriously, look at it - it's not even vaguely the same shade as elsewhere; it's damned near green. How everything else got accounted for, and that one paint app was left to fail, I can't imagine, but it hurts an otherwise professional job.

Her face is spot-on, not necessarily to any particular artist, but to the image of what Supergirl should be - girl-next-door but very pretty, with a playful smile and a beguiling innocence to her gaze. You can easily imagine her giggling "Why sure, Mr. Jordan, I'd love to see your secret superhero base! Tee-hee!" All the facial paint apps are clean and precise, with outlining where necessary, such as around the eyebrows and inside the lips, to keep them visible despite their pale shades. Her hair is intricately sculpted, blowing in the wind in the aesthetic way her hair does in comic books and dirty old men's imaginations, with several layers used to allow strands to pass over each other without having to be connected in the sculpt. There's no paint detailing on the hair, no ink or highlighting, but the sculpt is very sharp, and enough of the crevices between strands of hair are deep enough that the detail shows up well, even under indifferent lighting.

Since she's a statue, articulation is nil - that's her pose, take it or leave it. Still, she does have one obvious area where she can be altered, and that's her skirt. It's an entirely separate piece to her body, and - possibly because they knew it's what half her fans would do anyway - is really, really easy to detach from its mounting points, two very shallow depressions on the sides of her hips. There's no actual way to get the skirt off of her, short of cutting it, but removing it wouldn't damage the body in the slightest; covering up the remaining hip ports would be child's play (so to speak) to anyone who's got the slightest interest in figure customization. And - of course - her underwear is fully detailed underneath, a tiny little pair of panties of the kind Hal keeps in his wardrobe just in case she ever wants to stay over (at least, that what he claims they're for).

Her base is the Superman logo - the Kryptonian symbol for hope or peace or roofies or something - with all its detail sculpted in, and painted in colours that are clean and bright, but just a touch dimmer than those on Kara's costume. She fits onto it by three foot pegs, two for her left foot, flat to the base, and one for the toes of her right, where she's lifting the heel a bit to show off her figure even more, as if she's not looking available enough already.

There are legitimate reasons to own one of these - you might be a collector of superhero figures and statues generally (like me), you might be a Supergirl fan (not me), or you might just get it because it's the three-dimensional equivalent of an off-colour joke (me again). Or possibly you're worried that the Guardians of Oa are keeping an eye on you, and you want something that'll serve as a masturbatory aid, but which also preserves your plausible deniability should they raid the joint. Everything there is to dislike about the statue - apart from that damned yellow stripe - basically boils down to the fact that she's the current Supergirl; you can't really buy her knowing that and then complain that it's a statue of a teenage slut in spandex. For what she is, she's good work - repaint the stripe and she's perfect.

Or if you're a superhero pervert, ditch the skirt and she's perfect. Take your pick.

-- 03/31/09

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