It is tempting to call Black Canary an apology figure. Apology figures are newer versions of released figures with major improvements in areas such as sculpting, articulation, plastics and more. The first DC Direct Black Canary suffered of excessive poor articulation and some scale problems. The Birds of Prey Black Canary suffers from none of this.
On likeness, Black Canary looks like the comic book version, or at least one of them. The scuba look used for the figure has been phased out in favour of an amalgam of the classic fishnet look, the butch look and the scuba look. I have serious reservations about the mismatch with the comic book and the action figure. I doubt DCD will release another Black Canary action figure that matches her new look.
The sculpt is very good. This Canary's arms are slim but cut. Her buttock is round and large. The character is posed in a defence stance with one fist ready to hit and the other to counterbalance and opponent. Her weight is distributed on her right leg while the other one is spread apart.
The face's sculpt is the same simple style used for Oracle. Her hair is an hair piece glued to the base of her face. The Canary's head makes her look down a bit. Her hairs are spread on her back, shoulders and breasts. The Canary appears to look down at her opponent or looking for weaknesses before she can strike a deadly blow. Even if she appears to look down a bit, it is not a problem.
Again the paint job is standard and simple. Thick yellow paint is used for the pads on the character's uniform. It does not bleed, but some sections seem to lack proper coverage. There is no shading on the rest of her body. Fortunately, her hairs have great blond highlights and her cheeks, unlike the Oracle, have some reddish hues. The application of the light blue tone in the middle of her costume is not clean.
The Black Canary is a petite woman. She is slightly shorter than the Huntress and much smaller than the Hard Travelling Heroes Black Canary. In fact, the two figures look so different, that I had to move the classic Canary in my Justice Society Section and use her as a stand in for the Golden Age Black Canary. The scales here are way off. By just comparing the size of the two figures heads, you'll see that.
However the Canary fits nicely with the Silver Age Batman and Robin, Blue Beetle, the Silver Age Flash, Metamorpho Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner. Other female figures which I considered petite at the time look bigger than the Canary. Hawkgirl, Phantom Lady and Wonder Girl look a little bit beefier. As for Black Canary's pal, the non petite Power Girl, except for the face proportions, every thing else is off.
The Black Canary stands up well on her own, although she comes with a large base that can fit two figures. Because her left leg is pulling forward and her feet are small, her balance could be a potential issue when the figure is used without the stand. Fortunately, the Canary comes with two peg holes. This is new for DC Direct action figures. It extends the display possibilities of the figure.
Black Canary sports a loose belt on her waist. It cannot be removed. There are no other props for the figure, aside the stand. A pair of night vision goggles and some canary bombs would have been a good touch. A removable jacket, like the one used for the previous Black Canary would have been a good idea.
The articulation for the figure is great. Like Oracle, she also has ball jointed shoulders and . Her elbows, hips, waist and knees are articulated. Her wrists should have been articulated to at the base of her gloves. The main articulation problem with this figure is with the hair on the shoulders. They limit twisting of the figure's neck.
The Birds of Prey Black Canary figure is a vast improvement from the previous version. She contains the same soft plastic most DCDirect figures are made from.
Update February 6 2005:
This figure has sold out from Diamond Comics, the exclusive distributor of this action figure.