BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN
A few of Batman’s foes have a tendency to go back and forth across the line of friend or foe, but none more so than Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. She’s one of the Bat’s oldest enemies (debuting in the same issue as the Joker), but she rarely stays on his bad side for too long. In addition to switching sides a lot, she also gives the Wasp a run for her money in terms of number of costumes. She’s been in the leather catsuit for a while, but before that she seemed to be changing costumes just about every week. She did manage to keep roughly the same look for most of the 90s, and that look’s gotten a handful of figures (including my very first Catwoman figure). Let’s look at one of those figures, shall we?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Catwoman was released in the first series of DC Direct’s Batman: The Long Halloween. The series was based on the comic of the same name, which featured the work of artist Tim Sale (who’s one of my favorite Batman artists). It follows that Catwoman is based on Sale’s interpretation of the character, as she appeared in that series. She’s essentially wearing her purple bodysuit costume from the 90s, with a few tweaks. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. That’s not a lot of movement, but it was above average at the time of this figure’s release. Still, she’s not going to get into any poses more creative than a basic standing look. Catwoman featured an all-new sculpt, which has remained unique to this particular figure. DC Direct definitely had some trouble translating Sale’s artwork into three dimensions on several of the figures in this line, but Catwoman actually ended up with a pretty great sculpt. She manages to capture Sale’s style without being too cartoony or odd looking. The head is probably the most stylized part of the figure. Sale had a fairly distinctive take on Selina’s mask, and it’s been translated very nicely here. She’s missing her whiskers, but those probably would have looked silly in three dimensions, and they were absent from a lot of the silhouettes. That face is definitely a Sale face. The proportions of the body are pretty decently handled; she’s still somewhat stylized, but not absurdly so. The boots and gloves exhibit some of the best work on the figure, with some of the best sculpted wrinkles I’ve ever seen. Seriously, those wrinkles are fantastic. It’s a weird element to focus on, but it really impresses me. The bracelets on the wrists are actual, metal rings, which is a cool touch (though, I seriously have to question the practicality of such accessories on a burglar…). The tail is really the only part of the figure that’s just “ehh,” and that’s really just because it’s not in any way posable. Catwoman’s paintwork is pretty straight forward, but it’s nicely handled. The face paint does a nice job of accenting the “Sale-ness” of the sculpt. The glossy paint on the gloves and boots is also a nice way of breaking up those parts from the rest of the body, so that’s cool. Catwoman was packed with a pair of night vision goggles, a whip, a calendar page (February 14th, for those who are curious), and a display stand that looks like a section of pavement. Of course, I’ve misplaced all of those over time.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When this figure was first announced, I didn’t want it. The prototype shots looked really odd, especially the head. Then my comic book store was running a sale on DC Direct figures, and she was marked down to like $5, at which point I realized I didn’t yet own a Catwoman in this scale and figured I could do a lot worse for five bucks. Oh boy could I have done worse. In hand, this is probably one of the best Catwoman figures out there. Sure, the articulation could be better, but the figure is just a great looking figure.