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DC Direct has been extremely successful with their line of 6 - 7″ scaled statues based on Batman, done up in moody black and white paint schemes. The Batman Black and White series has given us Bats based on the artwork of artists old and new, classic and contemporary, and DCD knows they’ve got a good thing here. But how do you try to make it better? Why not move into Bat villains!

His Rogue’s Gallery is large and famous, but I doubt they had much trouble deciding who would get the monochromatic treatment first. It’s his arch nemesis of course, The Joker. More will come, including the Penguin, but the clown prince makes perfect sense as the first non-Batman statue in the series.

For the artist, they selected Jim Lee’s rendition from the Hush story line. Sculpted by James Shoop, the statue will run you around $60 or so at most online dealers. Your LCS experience could differ greatly, since the SRP is $75.

If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at mwc@mwctoys.com, or head over to my site at Michael’s Review of the Week for lots more collectibles reviews.

Batman: Black and White - The Joker

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Packaging - **1/2
Hey, it’s a box. Unfortunately, the box has no window, so you won’t be able to see your specific statue till you get it home. That means any issues with paint are a crap shoot. That’s not new for this series, as all the statues have been boxed this way, but it’s still disappointing for me.

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There’s no Certificate of Authenticity, but they did print the edition number and size on the bottom. The Joker is limited to 5500, which is not much of a limit.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This statue is based on the classic look from the Hush series, with the wild eyed and clearly insane Joker posed with his ‘bang’ gun. This is one of the more detailed sculpts we’ve gotten in the series, because the face and hair of the Joker allow for much sharper and extreme work than the rather staid Batman.

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Comparing this to the previous DCD action figure based on the same art, I’d say they’ve done a better job here capturing the comic representation. It’s a little extreme, but I think that’s something the overall Batman Black and White series needs.

He stands just shy of 6 inches tall with the base, and fits in nicely with the rest of the series. There has already been a Jim Lee Batman, and this statue goes fairly well with him.

Paint - ***
While the sculpting is strong, the paint is a bit on the sloppy side. Fortunately, the eyes are done quite well, and I like the choices of blacks, whites and grays that they used to translate this character into this color (or lack thereof) format. They’ve also mixed the finishes again, with some high gloss black on the lapels, but a matte finish most everywhere else.

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But they did get a bit wild with the paints here, and you can see pretty obvious slop on the teeth (the big discolored round spot dead center on his lower teeth is really annoying), and the white of the face is dirtier and grayer than I’d like. I’d prefer a brighter, more consistent white on the face and hands, more like the package photo.

Design/Quality - ***
The first thing worth noting about the design is that the figure is permanently attached to the base, something that is usually not the case with this series. I suspect that this was done to avoid damaging the feet or the thin ‘bang’ flag.

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My only complaint about the design is one that could have also been put in the sculpting section, but since I’ve lumped ‘quality’ in here, I’m including it in this category.

The positioning of the gun and flag makes it appear as though the barrel is bent, warped toward the front. In fact, it is slightly bent, but it’s really the design that exaggerates this bend.

Value - **
The price on these went up a year or so ago to an SRP of $75, which translates to $60 - $65 at most retailers. I’m not sure they’ve done any that really rate that kind of price, especially considering that Gentle Giant is still able to produce their mini-busts at around $45.

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Shop around, and you might be able to get this closer to $50 (or perhaps on ebay), and at that price you can add another half star.

Things to Watch Out For -
Nothing you wouldn’t expect. Obviously, he’s breakable - he’s a resin statue, duh - but there’s nothing particularly weak or fragile here.

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Overall - ***
This is a decent first villain entry in the series, but it could have been even better with a bit more care on the paint. Had the paint ops been as solid as the sculpt, I would have been more inclined to ignore the high price and awarded this crazed clown another half star overall.

If you have the Jim Lee Batman in this series, I highly recommend picking this one up, paint issues aside. They make a great set together, and pay a nice tribute to Lee’s ability.

Where to Buy -
Online retailers include:

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $63.75.

- Urban Collector has a great price at just $56.

- Things From Another World has him priced at $60.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $63.

- for the UK collectors, Forbidden Planet has it in stock for 50 GBP.

- CornerStoreComics has him at $60 as well.

- or you can always search ebay.

Related Links -
I’ve reviewed quite a few of the Batman Black and White statue:

- most recent was the Ethan Van Sciver version.

- before that was the Aparo, which I wasn’t all that keen on.

- prior to that, there was the Neal Adams and George Perez versions, the Gotham Knight, Bob Kane, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Matt Wagner, Mike Mignola, and Kelley Jones.

- and it’s worth nothing that DCD also did an action figure several years ago based on this appearance.

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