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Batman Black and White
Bruce Timm version

Bruce Timm Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman. Not many characters manage to remain popular and viable for that kind of time frame. For Batman, one of the key features has been adaptability.

As the times and tastes have changed, so has the character of Batman. From gun toting vigilante, to comic buffoon, to angst ridden crime fighter, he has altered over the years...and yet managed to remain true to the archetype that at its core has made him timeless.

One of the key character adaptations occurred in 1992, when Bruce Timm co-created Batman: The Animated Series. His simple, angular designs gave the show a very retro, art deco feel, which resonated with kids and adults alike.

The latest release in the DC Direct statue series Batman: Black and White is designed by Timm, and sculpted by James Shoop. It's a limited edition of 4000, although I think they are using the term 'limited' here to merely mean the opposite of unlimited.

Bruce Timm Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Bruce Timm Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Bruce Timm Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Bruce Timm Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Bruce Timm Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct

Packaging - **1/2
As usual, the box does it's job of protecting the statue just fine, but doesn't do much else. Without a window, you can't see what you're buying, and while the graphics are decent, it's nothing to write home about. One of the extras of the last statue in this line was a COA - there's none here this time.


Sculpting - ***1/2

From the neck down, the work here is pure four stars. Some of the angles (like around the knees and thighs) are a bit sharper than they were on the original show, but it's clearly Timm's style.

There's also a bit more heft to this sculpt. The last few Batman: Black and White statues have been a tad on the lean side, and in some cases, fairly short. This one clocks in at 7 1/4 inches tall, and takes up a nice amount of volume as well.

The work from the neck up pulls the score down slightly, but only slightly. At certain angles, there's something off about the placement of the eyes and the shape of the head. The eyes seem too wide set, with a very wide bridge on the nose, making the head sculpt almost look deformed. It's more of an issue from a straight on look, rather than slightly from the side, and you can tell this difference by looking at the very first photo at the top of the review and comparing it to the one at the left.

I'm usually not one for gritted teeth, but I think it works well this time, and fits with the attitude and style of the character. A simple closed mouth grimace would not have worked as well with the extremely dynamic pose.

BTW, this statue comes to you completely assembled. You won't have to worry about chipping the edges with the pole, or with the statue toppling over because you have the center of gravity off. They've permanently placed him long wise on the base, and he stands up great.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are nice and clean once again, an improving trend we've seen over the last two or three releases. I'm very happy about this, since the paint work is key to the appearance of this simplistic style of art.

They've used a high gloss black on the gloves and boots to make them stand out, and to add some variation to the basic black and white scheme. Since the show itself was very film noir in style, the black and white color scheme fits perfectly with this character.

Design/Quality - ****
With dozens of statues now in this series, it is becoming harder and harder for the designers to come up with unique and interesting designs. This time they've gone with the most dynamic so far, with Batman completely in the air, mid jump and mid punch. He's on the attack, and his intentions are obvious in every aspect of the pose.

One of the dangers to a highly animated (pun intended) pose like this is that it can easily fly past cool town and into awkwardville in a heartbeat. That's not the case here, thankfully. They placed the post in his right thigh, which was a smart move visually, and designed the position of the arms, legs, cape and torso in such a way to look very natural and fluid.

I mentioned with the Gotham Knight 2 statue that I wasn't quite sure if he was taking off or landing...but this time it's clear. Bats is landing, and when he does, somebody is getting smacked.

Value - **
Last year, DCD raised their prices on these small statues to $80. That's SRP though, and there's no reason to pay more than $70 for it. I have several suggestions below where it can be had for under $65.

Even at $70, it's still overpriced, unfortunately. This is really a $55 statue tops, maybe $60 if you're a serious fan. Get it for under sixty, and you can add another half star here, but anything above that is only two star worthy.

Things To Watch Out For
Not a thing. Since it comes completely assembled, you don't have to worry about chipping anything while putting it together.

Overall - ***1/2
While there have been a ton of statues in this series, only a handful have been truly iconic. This is one of those. It took them an awfully long time to get to one of the most popular looks for Batman in the last twenty years, but I'm thankful that they finally did.

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

Where to Buy -
Options include:

- Urban Collector has him at $59.

- Corner Store Comics has him at $60.

- Alter Ego Comics has him at $63.75.

- Things From Another World has him at $67.50.

- Entertainment Earth has it at $68.88.

- or you can search ebay for a possible deal.

Related Links -
I've covered a number of these guys:

- the most recent was the Gotham Knight 2 version.

- prior to that is the 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.

- And there is also the cool Joker, the first of the villains in this style.

Discussion:
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Bruce Timm 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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