Batwoman‘s kind of a strange character in Batman‘s world — a part of it and yet apart from it.
Kathy Kane first came our way in the ’50s, a love interest introduced to possibly/maybe/perhaps counter suggestions that the Dynamic Duo swung not just from rooftops but together between the sheets.
In any event, Batwoman — and, later, her niece Betty “Bat-Girl” Kane — made a series of appearances starting at the dawn of the Silver Age in 1956. The best of these adventures were “imaginary” tales of the future (borne of Alfred‘s fertile mind) when Batman and Batwoman were married with a son who, as Robin II, teamed with an adult Dick Grayson as the new Gotham guardians.
Then came the New Look of 1964 and gone she was, relegated to reprinted adventures. In the ’70s she was revived only to be killed off in 1979 in a scheme involving the League of Assassins. Early Silver Age, meet later Bronze Age.
All of this made her rather exotic to me, sort of an unfinished symphony of Batness.
(Of course, a few Crises later and she’s back as Kate Kane who, in a bit of karmic justice, is a lesbian. Still, Kathy Kane also seems to be running around the DCU, thanks to Grant Morrison.)
Anyway, you know what always gnawed at me about Batwoman? I could never figure out what color her outfit was supposed to be. There were red accents, but was her leotard blackish yellow or yellowish black? Because that’s not really a color that exists in the real world.
Who solved the problem?
Tweeterhead. And we’re giving you the EXCLUSIVE first look at the fully painted second maquette in their Batman Classics line that spotlights Gotham from the ’40s to the ’60s. The figure goes up for pre-order 3/13.
Check this out:
This is not only a good-looking sculpt and pose, the color scheme rocks. Ever since the ’70s, Batwoman Classic, as I’ll call her, has been shown in bright yellow, whether on the page or as an action figure.
That never sat right with me. That wasn’t what she was supposed to look like. And whoever heard of a yellow bat, besides?
But Chad Colebank, DC and Tweeterhead‘s designers have really nailed Batwoman‘s look. Judging by these pix, this is a really attractive maquette, a striking figure from the past.
So I asked Chad (and sculptor Mike Cusanelli) all about it:
Dan Greenfield: The classic Batwoman is a character with kind of a star-crossed history. What made you go with her right after the Penguin?
Chad Colebank: I really wanted to let the fans and my customers know that when we say Classic line, we mean it. As much as I think the Penguin reflected the art of Dick Sprang, showing Batwoman really makes people stop and take a second look.
I like the use of black on her. She’s often shown as primarily yellow, but she was originally drawn with a lot of black. Tell me about the color scheme.
The color of her costume is always up for debate, but for me and my team we always wanted to show the bodice and legs as black. I think it adds more drama… and to be honest, we did try her in all yellow. But, as in life, yellow pants weren’t very flattering.
What comics did you use for your main reference? Any specific issues?
No specific issues, but we did go through a few to find drawings where the “belt” was larger and looked a bit like a corset.
What kind of projected release date are you looking at? Price?
She will be up for pre-order in March, and should retail for $224.99.
Update us on where all the DC maquettes stand, now that Julie Newmar Catwoman is out.
Catwoman is out for some folks — but there are still some people waiting on her. The ship carrying her is just docking. We are still feeling the effects of the dock strike. Adam West Batman will be shipping soon and Robin is in production as we speak. The Classic Penguin is in production as well. We’re close to being finished with Classic Two-Face and Betty Kane Bat-Girl and will begin on Classic Batman in time to show off at SDCC.
We’re also cranking along with our ’66 line and we’re taking our Batgirl maquette sculpt in wax down to LA to show Yvonne Craig on March 14. From what I’ve seen so far on Batgirl, I am just flipping out. She was always a favorite and I think the likeness, pose and base we have established is really incredible.
And here’s sculptor Mike Cusanelli:
Dan: Describe your collaboration with Chad in coming up with just the right pose.
Mike: As I recall, Chad had a definite idea of the pose right from the start. He wanted her to be in a very classic “superhero” pose, proud with her hands on her hips. Then it was just a matter of getting the right reference together, which Chad is a whiz at finding. I believe we stayed true to what he wanted, the only variation was getting the cape to look like there was some motion in it, and then fiddling with various costume details.
Give us a rundown on how this went from concept to your final sculpt.
The first thing we concentrated on was the face and mask, getting the whole head to look as close to the artwork as possible, and her expression. After that, establishing a rough sculpt, lots of back and forth with pictures and drawings, until it was right. Then a lot of scraping and sanding, along with adjustments to various details, etc. Lots of elbow grease goes into these figures, especially when you are trying to reproduce a certain artist’s style of drawing, in a 3D sculpt. It’s always a learning experience, no matter how long you’ve done this, there’s always a challenge!