The Batman: Black and White series of statues remains one of DC Direct’s most popular series. It says something about the lasting power of the character as well as the overall beauty of grayscale, when done properly.
The latest release in the series is based on the art work of Ed McGuinness. He’s been popular lately, with the Public Enemies cartoon drawing heavily from his unique style as well. His characters tend to be bulky with exaggerated musculature, and a shorter, stockier appearance. DC Direct had great success with several waves of action figures based on the style, and have now translated it into their popular line of statues.
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Batman: Black and White - Ed McGuinness
While the art style is all McGuinness, the sculpting work was handled by James Shoop this time around. As always, it’s a ‘limited’ edition, although with 4000 statues produced, it’s treating the definition of limited like a fat woman treats lycra - stretching the Hell out of it.
Packaging - ***
It comes in a box, like most statues of this type. Bats himself is not permanently attached to the base, so there are two pieces inside the styrofoam insert. There’s no window to see the quality of the paint on the shelf, which is always a negative, but at least the box is easy to store for MIBers, keeps the contents very safe, and can be reused when necessary.
And in case you were wondering, there’s no Certificate of Authenticity, although the edition size and number are both on the bottom of the box and on the base of the statue.
Sculpting - ***
If you’re a huge fan of McGuinness’ original Public Enemies style Batman, then you’re probably going to like this quite a bit. It stays true to that style, and my only issues are really with the style combined with this pose.
There’s plenty of sharp detail in the sculpt, perhaps too much at least for me. From the waist up, I love the look - the extended claw-like hands in back, the short cape flowing between, and the cat-like landing pose all look terrific. My only real issue is that the very large, highly detailed, extremely muscled thighs are exaggerated even further in this particular pose. Maybe it was just that blind date back in college with the West German female Olympic weight lifter that went places I’d rather forget, but the large thighs throw off the overall look for me.
The scale is creeping up on some of these statues too. Originally they were all very much in a six inch scale, but this statue (along with a couple of the other recent releases) is getting much closer to a 7″ scale. DC Direct has always had issues keeping scale clean within a series…Hell, within a single wave.
Paint - ***1/2
While there’s nothing exceptional about the paint ops here, the quaility is solid and in line with your expectations considering the price point. Cut lines are clean and neat, there’s a good use of high gloss finish on several of the black areas, and the large bat symbol is centered and even.
Design - ***1/2
As I mentioned in the sculpting section, I really do like the basic concept of the design, with Batman landing on the ball of one foot. The back stretched arms and talon-like fingers really add to the dynamic nature of the pose, and it’s unique enough in a sea of black and white Batman statues to add some pop to the display.
I deducted more for the thunder thighs in the Sculpt section, but because I think the basic design concept is solid, I gave the higher marks here. Don’t get me wrong - I realize that the large thighs are very much a part of the McGuinness style. It’s just that in this particular pose, they are a bit too obvious and eye catching for my tastes. Your mileage may vary.
Things to Watch Out For -
Don’t forget that this guy isn’t attached to the base (like I did) and pick him up willy-nilly. You’ll be mighty sad if the base falls free (like mine *almost* did) and you end up with pieces on the floor.
Value - **1/2
The reality - and a bit of a sad one it is - is that statues in this 6 - 7″ scale are running $50 - $70 now. In fact, plastic statues of simlar style are running just as much, like the new Marvel Bishojo series by Kotobukiya. Here you’re getting the heavier poly resin, and extra weight always adds an impression of value, whether it’s right or wrong.
Overall - ***
This is another solid entry in the overall series, fitting in the middle of the pack. Fans of the McGuinness art style will enjoy it quite a bit, and my only real quibbles are how the thighs are front and center, and the slight increase in scale.
Where to Buy -
Online options include:
- Urban Collector has him at just $60.
- Alter Ego Comics has him for $68.
- Big Bad Toy Store has it for $70.
- or you can search ebay for a deal.
Related Links -
Other Batman Black and White reviews include:
- Dave Mazzucchelli, the Penguin, Gotham Knight 2 version, the Bruce Timm version, the Ethan Van Sciver version, the Aparo, the Neal Adams and George Perez versions, the Gotham Knight, Bob
Kane, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Matt Wagner, Mike Mignola, and Kelley Jones.
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