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Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman Black and White Statue

Arkham Asylum Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct


Earlier this week when I looked at the latest heroine in the Cover Girls of the DCU, I mentioned that there was one other DC Direct statue series that I was a completist on - Batman Black and White. It seems fitting then to cover the latest release there as well, especially since both shipped on the same day.

This latest grayscale version of the caped crime fighter is based on his look in the hit video game Batman: Arkham Asylum. I have to admit that I have not yet played it, but the reviews have been so glowing that I've convinced myself to grab the Xbox version asap.

This Batman design is right off the cover from the game cartridge. It was sculpted by Dave Cortes, and as usual, is advertised as a 'limited' edition. They produced 5000 of them, but they seem to have sold well, particularly with retailers who had them in the $60 range with early pre-orders.
Arkham Asylum Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Arkham Asylum Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
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Arkham Asylum Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
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Arkham Asylum Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
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Arkham Asylum Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
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Packaging - **
Once again, we get the usual box, no window, no COA (but the edition size and number is on the bottom of the box and base), and sturdy, dense foam trays.

Mine came in two pieces though...and it's not supposed to. It looks like the head and cape are a separately sculpted piece, and there's a polystone neck post that slides down into the upper body to give it further strength. On mine, this post was snapped cleanly in half, allowing the head and cape to slip smoothly off the back. There was a little glue too, but not enough to keep him together in transit.

Since the break is clean and hidden inside the statue, I simply glued the pieces back together and you'd never know the difference. But if I had to guess, I'd say this issue is the fault of tray designs, and too much pressure was applied to the cape while the statue was getting jostled around in the mail, hence the lower than usual score.

There's no Certificate of Authenticity, and this series is one of those rare cases where I actually think it would have been cool, what with the designs generally based on actual artwork. There's some very cool things they could have incorporated into a grayscale COA.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Dave Cortes does a terrific job bringing the two dimensional game art to its full potential in three dimensions. He's captured the pose and appearance, and gives it the right amount of texturing and detail to fit the overall style.

Most of the cuts on this figure are sharply defined, with strong musculature and clear definition. This fits the art work, and while the pose is relatively static, he uses the cape to add some life and movement to the piece.

While this statue is still in the rough ball park of the 6 - 7" scale of the rest of the series, he is a bit bigger than some. Part of that is the bulky nature of the suit, part is the bulky nature of the man inside, and part of that is due to the style of the art.

This statue is one piece, or at least it was supposed to be. Batman does not come off the trademark base, so no assembly is required.

Paint - **1/2
While I really like the sculpt, the paint is not quite up to its full potential.

The body and costume work is good, and the bat symbol is very clean and sharp. There's a good use of a variety of blacks and grays throughout, and some of the pieces have a different finish to imply different materials. The overall look works well.

Most of my issues arise from the neck up. The eyes are sloppy, and there's a real lack of life in the skin and expression. He's got that mannequin look, and it's largely due to the paint operations. They even included catch lights on the eyes, which simply doesn't work well in this scale. There's also a bit too much slop between the face and the cowl, and a poor cut line here is fairly obvious.

Value - **1/2
Several places have this guy for $60, and that's what I paid. At that price point, you're getting a solid, average value. But if you pay $70 or more, you can drop another half star off this score.

Things to Watch Out For -
As I mentioned, mine showed up in two pieces. That may indicate an weaker than usually connection between the head/cape and body, so pay particular attention to this when handling him.

Overall - ***
DC Direct has got to make their production paint work a priority, especially when it comes to their Batman Black and White and Cover Girls of the DC Universe statue series. These are not cheap collectibles, and for both to continue their successful runs, they'll need to match the paint quality with the customer expectation at this price point.

Take away the paint issues, and this is a terrific version of Bats from a very popular game. It's nice to see them step away from the usual inspirations for this series, and I hope we get more of these types of selections in the future.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - **1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Fanboy Collectibles has him still on pre-order at $60.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him at $70.

- Capstone Comics has him at $72.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

- for the UK buyers, Forbidden Planet has him for 65 GBPs.

- Entertainment Earth has him listed at $73.

Related Links -
Other Batman Black and White reviews include:

- back before the holidays, I looked at the cool Man-bat.

- before that, we had the Quitely version of Batman, the Bermejo, the McGuinness version, the Dave Mazzucchelli version, 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. *whew*

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Arkham Asylum Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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