The Batgirl of Burnside is the Black and White Hero We Deserve [Review]
In 2005, DC Collectibles (née DC Direct) launched a statue series of artist interpretations of the Dark Knight inspired in part by the Batman: Black and White comic series. For the most part, the line has focused exclusively on Batman himself, though in the past few years DC has expanded the roster of Black and White to include villains like the Joker and Harley Quinn. Now for the first time, another member of the Bat-family will join the ranks in the form of the all-new Batgirl.
Last year, Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr revamped Barbara Gordon to give her a new home, a new life and a whole new look. The fan response was immediate and loud, and the Batgirl of Burnside became a bright spot in the new DC Universe (and catalog) in a post-New 52 reboot world. However, as big of a success as this new Batgirl was, outside of the comics there was no merchandise to support the surprise hit. That changes this month. Thanks to the talented hands of sculptor Irene Matar, Babs Tarr and Cameron Stewart's version of the character has been given life in collectible form for the first time, and the result is tremendous.
Though Batgirl isn't in a particularly action-intensive pose, you still get a great sense of the character's personality. In fact, the pose plays a bit on the cover to Batgirl #35, minus the cellphone. The slight smile and tilted head hint at the attitude Batgirl has in her new book, and belies the youthful joy we see on the pages. There's also a confidence there, which we all know Barbara has in spades, but that same self-assured vibe has also led her into more trouble than she'd likely admit. In a world filled with statues and figures with grim and determined gazes, seeing one with even the slightest hint of happiness is a treat.
The rest of the piece is wonderfully rendered, as each and every detail of Batgirl's uniform is captured in great detail. The sculpted tailoring on her leather jacket is subtle, but shows off the smart design Stewart and Tarr created for the character. Matar is also able to bring sharp detail to the utility belt, as well as the zippers and clasps holding everything together. I love the way the small cape is flowing just enough to suggest movement, and isn't just hanging limply off her shoulders.
Despite only using some gradients to color the statue, there's also nice differentiation in the different fabrics and materials of Batgirl's costume. The patent leather in the boots and gloves is appropriately shiny, as is the utility belt. Her lips also have a nice glisten on them, making her face pop just enough versus the matte cowl and cape. Additionally, even though there isn't a ton of variation in color throughout the costume, the lines are tight and the paint app is solid top to bottom. It'd be easy for some bleed to occur in some of the smaller edges, but this statue is crisp even in the tiniest corners.
The size and scale of the statues is perfect, too. Coming in at just over 7" tall (including the standard Batman: Black and White base), Batgirl is fairly close to scale with most action figures DC Collectibles releases. At this scale, the statue can fit virtually anywhere in your collection, and is even small enough to adorn your desk without taking up drastic amounts of space. Plus, with the gray-scale paintjob, it's a lot easier to make the statue fit in at work, where her otherwise vibrant costume might call too much attention.
For a decade now, the Batman: Black and White line has been delivering some great statues of Gotham's greatest hero, but it's nice to finally see the line expand to more of the Bat-family. While it's true we've had some entries from the rogues gallery, making Batgirl the first hero outside of Batman to get the Black and White treatment was a smart choice. It gives the series some levity and diversity, and gives fans of Batgirl one of the best new and (relatively) affordable collectibles they can own.
The Batman: Black and White - Batgirl by Babs Tarr statue is available at your LCS or from DC for $79.95. This statue was provided by DC Collectibles for review.