By Hervé St-Louis
March 19, 2005 - 09:02
Being published by several publishers complicated the Phantom Lady's wardrobe. The action figure is based on the design DC Comics adopted when they reintroduced the character in 1973. That costume is an amalgamation of Matt Baker, whose Good Girl art made the Phantom Lady such a success. Instead of being green and yellow, it is red and blue. Baker's character has no high heels. The goggles are a modern addition.
The action figure is less voluptuous and appealing than the way illustrators draw the character. When looking at her, although all the details are right about her, it doesn't feel like we're looking at a bombshell that makes men's mouths water. Next to the Hard Travelling Heroes whose character is as enticing, the Phantom Lady looks like a plain Jane.
Her paint application is simple. Except her hair, there are no toning or highlights anywhere on her. It has dark blue highlights. She does have pink eye shadow, but it's difficult to perceive behind her yellow goggles. The green of her cape looks off compared with that of her wrist shooter and her boots. As her entire skin is a painted coating, it gathers dust easily and darkens the figure with time.
Phantom Lady looks great next to the other figures from her wave such as Blue Beetle and the Question. Next to JSA action figures like her cousin the Golden Age Starman, the Golden Age Flash, the Golden Age Hourman, she looks great. She really is in the early DCDirect Silver Age scale. She is too small next to similar characters like the Hard Travelling Heroes Black Canary. However, with the Birds of Prey set, the Modern Super Girl, Power Girl, there are no problems.
Phantom Lady is stable enough on her own, but is not very solid because of her high heels. Putting her on her action figure stand is best. It's a modified Zatanna stand with two peg holes. It is the best way to pose the figure and believe me, in three years, she has not fallen once. Unlike many DCDirect action figures, she has two peg holes in her feet, keeping her on feet continually. DCDirect should drill two holes in all figures' feet.
Phantom Lady is in PVC, like all DCDirect action figures. Her stock is sturdier than newer figures, like those from the Teen Titans' wave. Her cape is in similar stock. A soft rubber cape would have been better, but at the time, DCDirect didn't use them. Her goggles in clear translucent plastic. Considering her light weight, and many summers with weather variations, Phantom Lady is very resistant and her shape has not bended. This is great.
Except her action figure stand, Phantom Lady doesn't come with any props. Some ropes, like those displayed in her many adventures would have been a bonus, as they would have added to the background of and frequent sexual themes of the characters.
Phantom Lady came in a card with a clear plastic bubble. The card featured artwork of figures from the other Classic Heroes on the back.
Phantom Lady costs anywhere from $12 to $25 depending on the retailer. DCDirect does not suggest any prices for its action figures to encourage retailers from ordering. They can thus set their own prices. Competition continues in the marketplace as some retailers were willing to take lower margins for this figure compared with others. Sometimes, retailers even adjust prices according to figures' popularity.