Back at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, one of my favorite new series from DC Direct was the set of statues called Cover Girls of the DCU. At the time, they were showing off Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Catwoman, Power Girl and Zatanna, and all looked exceptional in the approximately 9″ tall scale. I knew it was a series I’d be picking up.
And then a strange thing happened. Some how I lost track of them all together, and it wasn’t until late in 2009 when Black Canary was released that I realized I was already two statues behind. Both Wonder Woman and Zatanna had already come and gone, and I had to catch up.
Thankfully, both Wonder Woman and Zatanna were going to see a second shipment from DC Direct at the end of 2009 or early 2010. I received Wonder Woman a couple weeks ago (with Catwoman), and now Zatanna has hit my porch, making me feel all warm and fuzzy once again.
These collectibles are the combined efforts of the talented artist Adam Hughes, who designs the statues, and Jack Mathews who brings them to life in all their three dimensional glory. Each is a ‘limited’ edition, although with numbers like 5000 (the edition size on Zatanna) I think they’re pushing the concept of limited a tad.
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Cover Girls of the DCU - Zatanna statue
DC Direct is already in for several more statues, with some other strong rumors as well. Power Girl is up next and shipping very soon, and Harley right on her high heels. We’ve seen artwork for Poison Ivy, and both Batgirl and Supergirl are pretty much a given. After that, there’s still somewhere in the neighborhood of 352 more excellent choices for female DC characters, and while the line originally used actual covers for the designs, they’ve now said that Adam will be doing some of his own designs for the series as well, opening up the potential list even further. Bring on the ladies!
Packagiing - ***
These come in boxes, just big enough to keep the precious cargo safe and sound. Inside, the statue is packed in a solid styrofoam insert, and DC Direct has included a large Certificate of Authenticity. As I said, the run is 5000 on this particular statue, although I’m not quite sure how that worked with the two shipments. Did they always have a run size of 5000, and they just didn’t ship the second half right away? I suspect that’s the case, but I haven’t confirmed.
Sculpt - ***1/2
DCD has hit on a winning team with Hughes and Mathews. Jack has the talent to translate Adam’s designs properly, with perfect proportions, scale and style.
While these statues are generally smooth surfaced, with little texture or fine detail, there is enough to give them some level of realism and take them just a notch about a straight comic book style interpretation.
My only complaint with Zatanna is a complaint I’m likely to have with the entire series, since it’s clearly an aesthetic decision and not one of skill or quality - the hair lacks a lot of fine definition and detail. It’s less of an issue here on Zatanna than Wonder Woman, where the hair was done up in dynamic action pose, but it’s still annoying to me. I suspect I’ll end up favoring characters like Harley and Catwoman overall, where the hair is covered by a cowl, largely because of this issue.
Paint - ****
DC Direct has brought it when it comes to the paint quality on this series. I did have one statue - Black Canary - with some sloppy work on the eyes and lips, but that appears to be the exception, not the rule. The other three, Zatanna included, have had exceptional paint ops for this price range and this scale.
Cut lines are generally sharp and clean, skin tones are smooth and consistent, and small details are well done. They’ve added some variety by employing different finishes, and the overall final effect is one of a high quality statue.
Design - ****
Each of these, whether it’s based on a comic cover or it is one of the future Hughes designs, is intended to be quite dynamic. They’re shooting for a lot of personality here, which is always a big risk. It can pay off huge when done well, but crash and burn if the execution is poor.
So far the only design that’s questionable for me is Black Canary. For other folks, Wonder Woman was iffy. But I think Zatanna has universal appeal, with a very sexy, sleek dancer’s stance and coy expression. Like Catwoman, every aspect of the pose, from the tilt of the head to the angle of the hips, brings out her best qualities. There are times when Hughes’ ladies are a bit, uh, disproportionate, and yes, a bit sexist in their portrayal. But there’s simply no denying that they are always a) actual women, not little girls and b) hotter than asphalt in Texas on the Fourth of July.
Value - ***
Yep, even at around $80, I’m giving these ladies an above average value score. Considering that the much smaller (around 30% smaller) Batman Black and White statues are already pushing $70, and considering the level of production quality on most of the releases so far especially with regard to the paint ops, the price tag is more than reasonable.
Things to Watch Out For - Nada. As long as you refrain from juggling her over a concrete floor, you should be fine.
Overall - ****
I still like the Catwoman the best of the four releases so far, but that might be due to my affinity towards Batman villains, especially those wearing uber tight all black costumes. Zatanna is certainly right up there with her though, and these two are unlikely to be unseated by Power Girl, at least for me. Harley on the other hand…
Scoring Recap -
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Design - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****
Where to Buy -
You have a number of online options if your LCS doesn’t carry these:
- Alter Ego Comics has Zatanna in stock for $85, with pre-orders for the next two at the same price.
- Urban Collector is out of Zatanna, but has the next two on pre-order for around $75 each.
- Big Bad Toy Store has all the ladies listed as pre-order for $85.
- Mike’s Comics N Stuff has most of the ladies for around $90.
- or you can hunt ebay for a deal!
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