Hawkgirl’s Wings – Don't Let Me Down
By Hervé St-Louis
August 19, 2008 - 06:00
One of the major problems with action figures with wings is how they hold up on a character. Hawkgirl being a female character has a smaller build that gives less support for wings on her back. I’ve looked a all my Hawkgirl action figures to see which one had the best set of wings and what I wish the other action figures inherited.
Hawkgirl is better known as the partner of the hero Hawkman. Something special about Hawkgirl, is that as a female comic book character she appeared before Wonder Woman who is usually considered the seminal female super heroine. Hawkgirl made her first appearance in Flash Comics #1 published in 1940 as Shiera Sanders. She later appeared as costumed heroine in All-Star Comics #5, in 1941, a few month before Wonder Woman.
There has been four Hawkgirl / Hawkwoman. Shiera Saunders the first, was the girl friend of the hero Hawkman. Also known as the Golden Age Hawkgirl, she was a member of the Justice Society of America, and later the Justice League of America. The second Hawkwoman was Sharon Parker, a human married to the undercover Thanagarian spy Fel Andar and both became Hawkman and Hawkwoman. They also gave birth to the future Titan called Golden Eagle.
The third Hawkwoman was the Thangarian woman Shayera Thal who along with Katar Hol, went to Earth as ambassadors of Thanagar. The latest Hawkgirl is Kendra Saunders, the great niece of Shiera Sanders. The only active Hawkgirl, she was a member of the Justice Society of America, before being recruited into the Justice League of America.
Of the four Hawkgirl action figures released by DC Direct, two are based on Kendra Saunders, the Alex Ross version is mostly the Silver Age version of Hawkgirl which is considered out of continuity and the first one, released in 2000, is about the Golden Age version, Shiera Sanders. Whereas the first Hawkgirl action figure was sold with an Hawkman action figure, the other ones are sold separately.
My favourite Hawkgirl action figure from DC Direct is of course the first one released in 2000. Of all the versions released, the wings were the best and the sculpt was the sharpest. That figure had limited articulations and did not come withe her own weapons, or had to share some of Hawkman’s. I’ve given mine a whip that comes from Danger Girl action figure. The figure of the Golden Age Hawkgirl is slender and she has two helmets that reveal her beautiful face. Although she lacks articulations, her wings can move freely and thanks to a push buton on her back, can fake a flying gesture. The wings can extend and unfold. Each wing is longer than her entire height, giving the strong impression that she could really be supported in mid air.
It seems that DC Direct favoured cutting down costs, because the next Hawkgirl action figure, came with the JSA action figure Series 1. Although her helmet can be removed, to reveal a beautiful Kendra Saunders, her wings are problematic and one of them broke off a few minutes after I inserted it in the peg hole in her back. She has ridiculously long high heels and a set of morning stars as a weapon. A utility belt also floats around her waist. Although the wings look large enough to support her, they do not unfold. She has more articulations than the Golden age Hawkgirl, but the fact that her wings broke off as soon as they came out of the package is not good at all. Sure, it can be fixed with strong commercial glue, but shows that DC Direct did not properly design this action figure.
I don’t have the Alex Ross version of the Hawkgirl action figure. The wings seem odd with four pieces. The sculpt looks good and the helmet can also be removed.
It seems that DC Direct learned from the poorly designed wings from the JSA Hawkgirl action figure and gave the Justice League of America version strong pegs that are inserted into very large holes on the back of the action figure. Although this helps with durability, the wings easily pop out. Moreover, the wings are ridiculously too small even for Hawkgirl. I was interested in buying this action figure to compare it with the other Kendra Saunders from the JSA. I was under the impression that DC Direct would borrow parts from it. They haven’t. The helmet is not removable and although she comes with a gigantic mace, it looks out of place on her. Her size is larger than most action figured from DC Direct.
In all, I prefer the first Hawkgirl action figure although it has long been out of sales and is a rare item in the collector’s world. Best of all, her wings are the best designed.
Hawkgirl’s Wings – Don't Let Me Down
Hawkgirl # 59
Hawkgirl # 55
Hawkgirl # 52
Hawkgirl # 51
Hawkgirl # 50