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Batman Black and White Mike Mignola - Take 2
DC Direct

Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct


When the Batman Black and White statue series first debuted, it had its fans amongst Batman collectors, but it wasn't yet the juggernaut for DC Direct that it became. The concept was solid, the quality of sculpt and paint quite good, but it needed that certain something something to really take off with collectors.

That certain something something turned out to be the 2006 release of the Mike Mignola statue, sculpted back then by Jonathan Matthews. A limited edition of 3800, it was (and still is) one of the coolest Batman statues ever produced, and put the entire series on the map. They've done some terrific statues in the intervening six years, but none have struck me quite the same way.

The statue sold out very quickly, and has since gone on to amazing after market prices on ebay. DC Direct took notice, and decided to re-issue the statue. However, it was a limited edition with a set edition size - they couldn't go back and make more and remain honest to the concept. And so they made a couple minor changes, called it a 'variant', and skipped the whole limited concept. They did stick with the same basic design, and credited Jonathan Matthews as the sculptor once again.

These are now shipping, and they run around $80, depending on the retailer.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct
Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct
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Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct
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Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct
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Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct
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Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct
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Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct
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Packaging - ***
They went with new graphics on the box of course, as well as dropping the edition size. It still says 'limited edition', but you have no real idea what that means since there's no set edition. The first statue was set at 3800, but with the last couple Batman Black and White releases they've forgone this aspect.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is almost the same exact statue that we had previously - almost. The main difference here is the bat symbol on his chest. The original went with the large black bat that was very appropriate to the Mignola comics. This time they went with the more classic bat inside the oval design.

It's funny how small details can make such a large impact. All the excellent sharp, blocky definition of Matthews sculpt is still here, as well as the craggy face and unique pose. And yet I don't like the look of this statue *quite* as much as the original. A large part of that is because of the symbol, although this is more of a paint issue than a sculpting one.

Because it's paint, I might have still gone with the full four stars though - I really still do like this pose and style - except for another minor nit that compounded the issue of the symbol. It's the batarang, small as it is, that caused my consternation.  On the original statue, the batarang hangs upside down on the string, with the wings pointed back toward Bats. That's how you expect it to hang for this batarang to be useful as a grappling hook. However, the new version has the batarang hanging tail down, head up, with the wing tips pointed downward and away from the string. Clearly this wouldn't work as a grappling hook, and is not the correct orientation.

In the marketing photos for this statue, it is not incorrect, so I'm betting this is a manufacturing error that wasn't caught. Some well meaning factory worker assumed it went head up instead of tail up - clearly they weren't geeky enough.

Like the original, this statue stands about 7 inches tall (including the base), fitting in well with the rest of the series in terms of scale.

Paint - ***1/2
Like the sculpt, the paint quality is excellent - but not quite as good as the original.

I have three issues this time around which drag this guy down that half star. First, it's that symbol again. This is the category that it truly effects. I just don't think this symbol looks right on this costume. Perhaps if we'd never had the bigger bat, this would be fine, but it's not as good in comparison.

The rest of the paint work is top quality, with no slop. It's the cool use of the paint with the sharply cut sculpt that gives this statue such a cool comic book feel, and it works here just like it did with the original.

However, they added some additional gray to the cowl, and I'm not sure it was the best idea. It's not working for me, and as I prefer the paint job on the original cowl to this, I'm docking him slightly.

My final complaint is one of pure aesthetics. The gray coloring on the belt has a tooth edge design, as did the original. This time, however, the teeth are much bigger with more spacing. It's another small thing, but when compared to the previous design, it comes up short for me.

Value - **
This was a tough call. Six years ago this statue cost $45. Now it's $70 - $80 at most retailers, a 70% jump. On one hand you can argue it's been a mighty turbulent six years for collectible pricing. On the other, you can argue that this bust required very little new sculpting, and unlike the first version, there's no real 'limit' to the limited edition.

I gave the recent Sergio a ** value score at an $80 price tag, and it seems fitting that the same holds true here. It's a Hell of a lot less than the current going price on ebay for the original version, but it's still a below average value for me.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
This is a variation on what is arguable the best statue in the entire series. That's a tough act to follow, and since DC Direct didn't want to do a simple re-issue, they had to find something to change.

The changes they made were minor, but unfortunately, not an improvement. That's not really a surprise if you think about it, since the first version was pretty much perfect.

Add in the higher price point and the upside down batarang, and this guy can't quite reach the same summit of personal nerd love that the original scaled. It's still a great statue, and certainly a better value than the ridiculous prices that the first version is now selling for, but it's not quite the four star perfection of it's ancestor.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Super Power Collectibles has him at $70.58.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $80.

- Big Bad Toy Store also has him at $80.

- Urban Collector has him at $95.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Of course, you'll want to check out the review of the first version of this statue, from back in 2006. I've covered plenty more of these statues since then, starting with the most recent, Sergio Aragones

- Prior to that there was the Gleason and Chiang versions, the Finch version, 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*

Discussion:
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Batman Black and White Mike Mignola statue by DC Direct


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

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