Fans often complain about the over-reliance on Batman and Superman, but it's not just toy lines that hit these characters up all the time - even the books do it. Just look at the Elseworlds stories: alternate takes on established characters, but those charcters almost always turn out to be the big two, in one way or another.
At the turn of the century,
England is ruled by a man rumored to be Jack the Ripper. Raised on London's streets to become a circus performer, Diana Trevor must break society's bonds placed on a woman to stop him.
Since most Elseworlds stories focus on Batman or Superman, getting one solely about Wonder Woman was a real oddity, but that's just what happened with William Messner-Loebs' Amazonia in 1997. Dropping a feminist icon like Wonder Woman into a repressive, patriarchal society (yes, even though it's named for Queen Victoria, smart guy) is a great recipe for conflict.
In the promo shots, WW doesn't look so good. Her eyes seem sleepy, half-closed beneath heavy lids. However, that's a much different story when you see the figure in person. Karen Palinko has done a great job with this figure, crafting a Wonder Woman who looks completely in control.
We'll begin with the face. Rather than the caffeine-deprived countenace of the prototype, the final product is more... austere. Her eyes are still partially closed, of course - they weren't resculpted or anything - it's just a paint difference. Her irises have been brought down the tiniest fraction, so more of them is visible beneath the lids. She's not sleeping, she's staring, calm and self-assured. Her hair is bundled up onto the crown of her head, and a long ponytail falls down between her shoulders.
Some folks out there on "teh internets" have complained that this figure is too sexy, that she's showing off too much. That it's exploitative. Uh, sure. Not only is her garb entirely in line with Victorian fashion, she's also wearing more here than the "real" Wonder Woman does. You're just thrown off by the fact that this outfit looks more blatantly like underwear than a costume. She's wearing a dark red corset emblazoned with a large golden eagle, black panties, high-heeled boots, opera gloves, a choker, a golden tiara and silver bracelets. The corset has a bit of a skirt at the lower edge; the front is pinned up by a pair of golden stars, while the back flows nealy down to the ground.
The sculpt does a good job of mimicking the art style of the book.
In order to help suggest the late 19th Century setting, artist Phil Winslade added a lot of hatching and shadows to his work, which, combined with the muted color tones, gave the whole thing the feeling of a woodcut print. Though her skin is porcelain smooth, Diana's costume is very textured and wrinkled. The strands of her hair are carved thick and deep, but even the tiny buttons on her boots are captured well. And check out the detailing on the bracelts, which makes the repeating star patterns almost look like lace. Nice design!
One has to wonder if Palinko had a bit of an advantage working on this figure: WW's breasts behave exactly the way they should in a garment like this. While a Wonderbra works by pushing everything together in the middle, a straight-fronted corset of this sort pushes everything straight back, flattening the chest but making the exposed parts visibly rounder. If you're still confused, ask your girlfriend to explain it to you. In any case, would a male sculptor have delivered such a realistic portrayal of anatomy, or would the figure have been more "comicbooky?"
Thanks to her bouffant hairdo and high-heeled mukluks, Amazonia Wonder Woman stands a good 7" tall, and she moves at the knees, hips, elbows, shoulders and neck. The boots are separate pieces, but attched by square pegs to her legs - no movement there. And no movement at the top of her gloves, either. The legs look a V-crotch, but are actually a T. Thanks for that, at least. DCD totally could have given her a waist under the frilly edge of her bodice. It would have been completely hidden from view, as they like, but still functional. Even with her extremely wide-legged pose, she looks a bit pigeon-toed - something that could have been helped by swivels at the boots.
Diana has no accessories, other than the ubiquitous Elseworlds base. With her foot on the peg, she's a bit off-center, but the figure stands fine on her own. Overall, this WW is a decent figure. Her poseability isn't much to write home about, but the design is nice and the sculpt really delivers. Amazonia delivered a very exotic look (compare her to the relatively tame Red Son incarnation), but one that is still recognizably Wonder Woman. And really, that's what Elseworlds is all about. Heck, with the Ripper connection, pair her with your Gotham By Gaslight Batman and have one weird crossover/team-up.