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DC Bombshells
by yo go re

Pretty bird.

The Bombshells version of Hawkgirl is not Kendra Saunders, but rather Shiera Hall. Well, probably not "Hall" - the normal Shiera may be the alien reincarnation of an Egyptian princess, but Bombshells Shiera grew up in an orphanage in Mexico City and a charity school in Rio De Janeiro, so maybe she's Shiera Pasillo or Shiera Entrada, if that's not too lazy a first-pass idea. Given her fascination with the past and ancient civilizations (she became an archaeologist so she could see the shape of human history), it's possible her origin is still intact.

Since there are no male heroes in the Bombshells world (the closest thing being Wonder Woman's boy-toy, Steve Trevor), there's no Hawkman for Shiera to play off of - instead, she hooks up with someone who can help her get in touch with the animal within: Vixen! Believing that Vixen's Zambesi amulet is not a mystical totem but instead some form of forgotten technology, Shiera plugs herself into the hawk god statue, and finds out that aliens just might be real after all.

Since giving Hawkgirl big wings might have ruined the illusion of period-appropriate pin-up art, she is instead a Rocketeer-type jetpack girl. That's not exactly a strong pin-up archetype the way "sporty" or "underwear" is, but think of her as a dirty mechanic, and it makes more sense. The initial idea would have cast her in the "caught undressing" genre, but that may have been too much for DC to approve. It definitely wouldn't have worked as a toy! There's still a hint of that origin in the final product, as Shiera wears her green jumpsuit undone to the waist, Chell-style. This also allows the figure to retain Hawkgirl's traditional colorscheme: green pants, yellow top. Her boots are reddish brown, with a yellow stripe down the front, furthering the connection to the comicbook design, but the goggles she wears around her neck are just a nod to her job as a mechanic.

There's something about Shiera's face that makes her feel very tomboyish - maybe it's the beautiful lopsided smirk, maybe it's the thicker-than-usual jaw and chin... it's still totally cute, and it's nice to see how much variety Paul Harding is putting into the sculpts, not making all the girls look alike. She's got two red stripes under her right eye, but they seem to be paint or makeup, not scrapes.

Obviously Shiera wears a helmet for protection, though if she crashes out of the sky, is that really going to be of much help? It can be useful on a motorcycle, because there you're not going to reach terminal velocity and slam directly into the ground at a perpendicular angle, but rather slide parallel along it. The helmet is black and silver, with golden eyes, and her red hair spills out from beneath it. There's a golden clasp on the harness she wears, featuring the traditional Hawkgirl emblem, with a similar symbol on the jetpack. Neither of them get any paint, however, just a sculpted shape.

The rocket is Hawkgirl's only accessory. It really does look like the Rocketeer's pack, with two engines mounted on a central frame. No gum, though. The original art (and the statue) had Hawkgirl blowing a big bubble, probably for that exact reason, but the toy doesn't follow suit. Because no toy could possibly come with a bubble of gum, right? The detailing on the pack is chosen smartly, with panels making it look like an actual piece of machinery. Small stylized wings stick off the sides at an angle, and a pair of control arms reach around her sides. In the artwork, the rocketpack has "The Hammer" and an image of a mace painted on it, but that gets skipped here.

In the Batgirl review, we told you that the second series of Bombshells figures cut back on the articulation, losing the thigh swivels and only moving at the swivel/hinged ankles, wrists and shoulders; double-hinged elbows and knees; swivel biceps; hinged waist; and balljointed hips, chest and head. And at the time, we said this change "undermines the usefulness slightly." The more you play around with the toys, though, the less "slight" that undermining becomes. She may still have the extra hinge to extend her legs, but not being able to turn them really does limit the kinds of poses you can give her.

I know these figures have cut way back on the accessories, but it would have been awesome if DCD had included an exhaust cloud base that could have plugged into the jetpack to allow her to hover, like that old Boba Fett did. And maybe some extra hands, so she's not stuck in a permanent "thumbs up" look.

-- 12/13/17

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