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Batman Black and White - Sergio Aragones
DC Direct

Sergio Aragones Batman Black and White statue Mad Magazine by DC Direct


The Batman Black and White series of statues has covered an awful lot of Batman looks over the last few years. We're somewhere in the neighborhood of 30, all distinct and unique.

But I'd hazard to say that none are quite as distinct and unique as the latest release, based on the classic style of the great artist Sergio Aragones. Mr. Aragones has been a staple at Mad magazine since 1963. Perhaps the most prolific cartoonist of all time (and certainly the fastest), his own book, Groo the Wanderer, has survived the demise of numerous publishers to remain a fan favorite. He also killed Marty Feldman, but that's a story for another day.

I had the chance to meet Mr. Aragones at Comic-Con a few years ago, where he signed a couple books for my youngest son. He was warm and personable, and very friendly. We often hear about the bad encounters with various 'celebrities', so it's nice to meet someone like Sergio, a regular guy with a great personality and tons of talent.

This statue is sculpted by James Shoop, and everything I've seen claims it's a 'limited edition'. I haven't been able to find any actual production number on it, however, and there's nothing on the statue or the box that would indicate the run size.

With the release of this statue, the price on Batman Black and Whites has jumped $10. If you get lucky, you can snag him for around $70, but you are more likely to end up paying around $80.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Sergio Aragones Batman Black and White statue Mad Magazine by DC Direct
Sergio Aragones Batman Black and White statue Mad Magazine by DC Direct
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Sergio Aragones Batman Black and White statue Mad Magazine by DC Direct
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Sergio Aragones Batman Black and White statue Mad Magazine by DC Direct
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Sergio Aragones Batman Black and White statue Mad Magazine by DC Direct
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Sergio Aragones Batman Black and White statue Mad Magazine by DC Direct
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Packaging - ***
As with the recent Pat Gleason release, there's no Certificate of Authenticity and no numbering of any sort on the box or the base of the statue. Unlike the Gleason statue, this time there isn't even the words 'limited edition' on the box at all. In the marketing documents, DC Direct does say it's a limited edition, but I couldn't find any mention of the run size.

Inside the box is the usual double foam trays, made from a reasonably dense material. The statue is all one piece, so no need for you to attach the feet to the base.

Sculpting - ***
Because of his rather portly torso, this is a Batman with a lot of surface area. And most of that surface area is untextured, smooth, and somewhat boring due to the cartoon style.

I'm fine with that, but I would have liked to see a bit sharper definition to the details that are here. Things like the teeth and utility belt pouches (and buttons) are very soft, with almost no definition. This exacerbates the feeling of little to no real detail.

On top of that, there's something weird about the face. If you look at my photos from straight on, you'll notice that the nose is crooked off to the right, while the upper jaw sticks out oddly to the left. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be that way (photos on the box seem to confirm it's not), so it may be more of a manufacturing issue. Either way, there's just something odd about it that throws off the look of the statue in person.

This statue does fit in pretty well scale wise with the others, depending on how big you think he is supposed to be next to 'real world' versions. From bottom of base to tips of fingers, he's about 6 1/2" tall.

Paint - **1/2
The paint quality isn't atrocious, but it is certainly below what I would expect considering the price hike.

The worst of the work is around the belt, where the color of the uniform and color of the belt ride into each other with equal determination. There's some slop around most of the cut lines in fact, including the black and gray of the costume. The logo isn't as sharply defined as some we've seen, and the bright glossy cape, cowl, gloves and boots - while appreciated for their shininess - aren't as consistent in coverage or finish as they should be.

Value - **
With the last couple releases, the price was creeping up from the mid-60's to just over $70. Now the price has jumped a whopping $10 at most retailers, with an SRP of $90. I'm not sure if this is due to the anticipated demand for the Aragones version, or if $90 is going to be the regular rate now (which usually means a street price around $80), but either way this guy loses a half star off average.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - **1/2
This was a statue that I was really looking forward to, and I think a lot of the fanbase was as well. When you have high expectations, it's sometimes even tougher to face the less than stellar truth.

This isn't an awful statue, and I'm glad I picked it up. I can't really tell if it will sell out, since DCD seems to be keeping us somewhat in the dark on the actual edition size, but it is going to be a popular statue, no doubt about it.

But with a $10 price hike and lower quality work with the paint, there's no way this guy can end up with solid overall marks. I'm hopeful that this paint aberration ends up being just that - an aberration. If it turns out to be a trend instead, then we'll all be pretty unhappy campers.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector has it at $71.

- Alter Ego Comics has it for $77.

- Mike's Comics N Stuff has him at $79.

- Big Bad Toy Store comes in at $80.

- Things From Another World has him at $81.

- Capstone Comics is at $81.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $83.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
I've covered my share of Batman Black and White statue:

- most recent was the Gleason and Chiang versions.

- before that, I covered the Finch version, which I liked quite a bit and was a very nice surprise.

- there's also the Bermejo Joker, the Tony Daniel Batman, and the Arkham Asylum version.

- further back I looked at the cool Man-bat, and don't forget the other black and white Joker by a Lee - Jim Lee.

- 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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Sergio Aragones Batman Black and White statue Mad Magazine by DC Direct


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

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