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DC Signature Collection
by yo go re

Let's see if promising a "hot Brazilian" will bring in more traffic.

Outgoing Brazilian beach model turned secret agent Beatriz Bonilla Da Costa already had a pretty unique resume before a pyroplasmic explosion granted her the power to exhale bursts of flame. Assuming the moniker Fire, she went on to become the longest-serving member of the Justice League International; where she became the friend and mentor to fellow crime-fighter DC Comics Ice.

Oh, for fuck's sake, Mattel - even if you have to call Ice "DC Comics Ice" on the packaging to sell the character, you don't have to do it in the middle of a biography for a different character! Just say "[Fire] became the friend and mentor to fellow crime-fighter Ice." You know, as if an actual living human being with more than a second-grade education had read the copy at some point before you blindly okayed it and printed it on the back of the box. Hell, the name of this figure is technically "DC Comics Fire," but you still just call her "Fire" in the bio, so what's going on? It's worse than saying "Blue Lantern THE Flash." Dumbasses.

Fire first appeared in the Super Friends comicbook, where she went by the name "Green Fury" and could breathe fire from her nose. It wasn't until the Invasion crossover in the late '80s that she became a green version of Johnny Storm. This figure shows her in her powered-down state (aka, "with pink skin") and her hair is just hair, not flame.

Bea is wearing her most iconic costume - almost. In the '90s, Adam Hughes redesigned Fire's traditional superhero swimsuit into an outfit meant to make her look like a rock star (or "a 'Madonna' look," as requested by writer Keith Giffen). It first appeared in Justice League America #31 and is definitely the way most people think of her - but, she's meant to be wearing a short jacket with it. Not as short as Black Canary's jacket, but still short. And still not to be found on this figure.

That may be because Fire has already gotten so many new pieces: new feet, since her stilettos are narrower than the high heels worn by other characters; new shins, to create her unique boots; a new mold of the second female body, since it has a hole in the side where her fancy new belt is glued in; new forearms, to accommodate her gloves (the high left glove could have just been a paint app, but there are sculpted wrinkles near the elbow that no Mattel DC figure has had before); and of course, a new chest, thanks to her fully sculpted bustier. The top button on the front is undone, and the rear is laced up. Her belt was hanging the wrong way when I took her out of the tray - going up instead of down - so I pried the plug out and now it's better.

Fire has the usual DCSC articulation, though the design of the boots keeps her ankles from moving more than a few millimeters. And her giant hair means the head won't turn very far at all. She is in that rare club, however, of characters who get an accessory. It's not much - just a small trail of green flame that snaps onto her arm - but it's better than nothing.

Fire's looking pretty awesome in the Mike Thompson portrait on the back of the box. She's floating through the sky (despite being mostly human), but to have her "flamed on" would mean the painting wouldn't reflect the toy inside the box, and we wouldn't want that. A plume of fire runs between her hands, and her hair fades into flames as well. Her pose feels a bit artificial - like she's actually posing, rather than being captured spontaneously - but you have to remember that the character was a professional model before becoming a superhero: it would make sense that she's a little bit stiff when having her picture taken (so to speak).

It's about time Mattel got around to doing Fire - she should have been in DCU Classics like Blue Beetle and Booster Gold were. Or, failing that, put her and Ice together in a two-pack! It's kind of ridiculous it's taken this long to get her, but at least she was done well. Now we have four more months left in the second year of the DC Signature Collection to see if Mattel was smart enough to schedule Ice as part of it, or if they've lived up to their reputation of doing everything wrong (in this case, by not having the common sense to include her). They couldn't possibly be that stupid, could they? Of course not.

-- 09/05/13

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