Now, before I touch upon the actual statue itself, there is something I have to clear up. I have never really been a fan of the New52. I derided its overbearing editorial direction (spearheaded by a relentless Dan Didio), lamented the loss of the pre-Flashpoint continuity, and ultimately abandoned DC altogether. I had lost Grant Morrison's superb and rejuvenating run on Batman, grown disillusioned with the spurious and problematic continuity alterations that had taken place, and all it really did was push me towards Marvel, Dark Horse, and IDW. Quite simply, I haven't had DC on my shelf for a long, long time.
If there was any one character in particular I felt wronged the worst by DC's fudged pseudo-reboot however, it would've been Barbara Gordon. One of the few characters in the comics medium to actually have a disability, Gordon's return to the mantle of Batgirl complete with fully-functioning legs justifiably left many a fan outraged. Her experiences as Oracle were, thankfully, touched upon heavily by the ever-wonderful Gail Simone, but one couldn't shake the feeling that Babs had shed a key part of her evolution - she had become the benchmark for the regressive industry trends the New52 had so immaculately embodied since its inception.
That was until Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr took the reigns on the book in 2015, showcasing a youthful Barbara rediscovering her academic passions in the hip suburb of Burnside. Continuity links continued to prove irksome, but on the whole, this was the one book I felt compelled to check out as a reader left burned by DC's disingenuous editorial. As a student myself, this Barbara was relatable, quirky, and represented what the New52 should have been when it started out in 2011. Plus her new look was pretty sweet too.
Which brings us to the statue - one of the few non-Batman statues to actually grace DC Direct's long-revered Black and White statue line, itself inspired by the much-adored creator-driven series that drew its strength from the multitude of talented artistry that graced its pages. Artists like Mike Mignola, Frank Quitely, and Dave Mazzucchelli have all had the privilege of having their seminal pencils translated to 3D, and joining that line up is Babs Tarr herself - the architect of the "Batgirl of Burnside's" trendy new look. An artist so synonymous with vibrancy and colourful panels may seem like an odd choice to find representation in a muted colour-pallet, but I'm more than happy to report that it works beautifully and then some.
Tarr's pencils have been sculpted lovingly by Irene Matar, who has managed to differentiate the various materials on Gordon's thrifty costume wonderfully. Barbara's Doc's are suitably glossy and her leather jacket is impeccably detailed, which only further imbues the figure with her cartoony yet realistic appearance. The pose Barbara sports harkens back to Tarr's original concept art for the new suit, and when displayed will feel right at home on either your desk or shelf of choice. At a respectable 7 inches too it's nothing too gargantuan, so you won't have to worry about it taking up what I imagine will already be highly contested display space in your home or office. Again, the price of the figure isn't all that unreasonable either (I managed to nab it at my local comic shop for £69.99), especially if you don't often invest in statues in these harsh, austerity-driven times.
I honestly can't recommend this statue enough, especially for fans of Barbara's exploits in Burnside. For someone who's eagerly anticipating Barbara's very own 'gap-yah' in Shanghai for DC Rebirth, this purchase really couldn't have been more timely. Definitely check it out if you're looking to treat yo' self.