Nope, your eyes aren't deceiving you: Throwback Thursday is moving and getting a name change to Tomopop Throwbacks. Now, instead of one day, Throwbacks can happen any day of the week (thus, why we had to change the title), so hopefully, you'll be seeing a few more of these. To start the whole thing off, it's only fitting that we throw back to something that could end up being a fun review, no?
Longtime Tomopop readers probably know that DC Direct and I haven't gotten along in the past. Still, the company continues to put out some fairly good products, and well, given the opportunity to pick a few of them up on sale, I took advantage. That's especially the case when it's a bust of Amanda Conner's Power Girl. The series that she, husband Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray helmed in 2009 pretty much sucked me back into the DC universe, so I knew I had to have this as part of my collection.
But the question is, perhaps, would my experience with DC Direct be a good one, or would I get bit by those nasty quality control gremlins that sometimes appear? I guess you'll just have to follow after the jump to find out!
So, where to start? The box, of course. The front of the box is pretty simple: the Women of the DC Universe logo is there, along with all the info and a nice shot of the bust. One side features a nice close up shot of the bust along with the dimensions of the piece, letting you know it's hand-painted and coldcast, and a short little bit of descriptive text. So far, nothing too offensive or exciting.
But one side of the box features the original sketch that the bust is based off of, and frankly, it's AWESOME. I'm glad DC included this on the box because not only does it make me love the box a whole lot more ... it gives me something nice to judge the finished product with. Speaking of which ...
Oh, guess we ought to get it out of the styrofoam packaging first.
Here we go! Power Girl stands about 5.5" tall, which isn't too tall; it's about the size of the average figma or Revoltech, for comparison's sake. Her flexing pose has been sculpted by Jack Matthews, who has done a number of DC Direct's releases in the past, and he's done an A+ job here. The one thing you'll notice on this bust is not only that there's a lack of defects with the sculpt, but there's actually quite a bit of detail, from the seams of Power Girl's costume to the contours of her body shape. It's just gorgeous to look at this piece from every angle ...
Speaking of which, here's proof it looks just as good from other angles, too, with her shoulder cape flowing in the breeze. Again, nothing out of place on the sculpt here; no pockmarks, no highly visible seams, etc.
Taking a look at Power Girl's face, the one thing I noticed is that this is painted accurately to reflect Amanda Conner's art style. She's always had a very distinctive style, and just from how her face is painted alone, you can tell its her artwork this is based off of. There's also no real major issues with the paint lines on the face, thankfully. But you might notice something here ... her eyes are looking up instead of off to the side as they should be in the box shot and the illustration. The good news, though, is that both are looking in the same direction, and this really isn't too much of an issue. There's a little issue with the white paint on her left eye being a little off of where it should be; you can kind of see the outline up close where that's supposed to be.
Her hair's well sculpted as well, though you can see the paint isn't totally even across it in its application. The good news I have about this is that from a distance, you won't really notice it, so it's not as much of an issue as it would be. On the plus side, the color is not only correct, but for the most part, it's uniform on the piece as well.
Hey ... down here. Let's talk about her outfit, shall we? Because it's detailed pretty much to a T the same way Amanda Conner drew it. It's also nice to see the actual fabric wrinkling didn't get buried by the painting process. The glossy paints they've chosen also really make the piece pop in the light, despite a little bit of paint bleed on the shoulder strap and the glove.
There is a tiny bit of a seam where the base and legs meet on the bust, but truth be told, this isn't something I noticed until I was looking at it close-up, and it's not causing any stability issues or anything, so it's perhaps nothing to worry about. Again, like on most other parts of the bust, there's a nice, even paint application here, and on the legs, no paint bleed, thankfully.
The paint issues really rear their ugly head in some of the harder to reach crevases and other narrow points. The palm of Power Girl's left glove has some serious bleed issues, as do a few of the stars on the base where the stars themselves intersect. If there's one good thing, it's that you can't see the glove issue when she's being displayed facing forward.
The bottom of the bust's base hides all the info on the figure, letting you know the line, series and character features, as well as the year it was produced and the number in the series it is. I've got number 928 out of 5000 that were made in total, which tells me ... well, it tells me there's probably quite a few of these left for collectors out there!
So we reach the end of our journey. And now comes the part where I tear into DC Direct for the little things I just spent this review pointing out ...
Except that's not the case at all. Perhaps for the price, the quality control could still have been a little better, but overall, it's a wonderful bust and I'd advise anyone who loved the Conner run on Power Girl to pick this one up, period. The mistakes here are perhaps noticeable only if you go hunting for them, and Jack Matthews' sculpting job still shines through here as being superb. Know that since these are hand-painted, though, that your experience may be different than mine if you decide to add this bust to your collection.
This bust is definitely proof that you should never judge a book by its cover, as despite some of the issues DC Direct had in the past, they've done a wonderful job here and absolutely deserve all the praise they're getting from me. Hopefully, that'll be the case next time I review one of their busts ... which will be a bit sooner than you might think ...
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