The Penguin
Batman Black and White by DC Direct

Penguin Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct

For a long time, the Batman Black and White statue series from DC Direct was extremely predictable - it was always Batman, always in a monochromatic style. But this last year, DCD has decided to mix it up, bringing some villains into the mix.

I bet you can guess which was the first villain, since it seems like he's always first. It was the Joker, who was released last March. They've followed this up with the Penguin, one of Batman's most classic rogues.

Just like the Batmen, the Penguin is based on a specific artist's work. This time Brian Bolland did the design, based on a panel right from the comic BATMAN: BLACK AND WHITE #1.

These started shipping to comic shops last week, and they run around $65 - $70. As always, they are a 'limited' edition, at a run size of 3500.
Penguin Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Penguin Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Penguin Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Penguin Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
Penguin Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct

Packaging - ***
The box shows the statue inside through photos, without a window. That's always a negative for me, but at least the interior foam is very well designed, ensuring the safe arrival of the baddie. There's no Certificate of Authenticity, but the edition number is printed on the bottom of the figure's base.

Sculpt - ***1/2
This version of the Penguin is right off the pages of the original BATMAN: BLACK AND WHITE comic. He's in full attack mode, looking as threatening as a short, fat villain that dresses up like a flightless bird possible can.

There's some excellent detail work on the teeth, nose and eyes, and the various wrinkles and folds in the clothing look appropriate.

There's not as much detail work though in some areas, like the hair and skin. The sculpt is a bit soft in some of these areas, bringing down the score a smidge.

He stands just under 6" (not including the base) and he fits in nicely with the other statues in the series. These are all done in a roughly 1/12th scale.

Paint - **1/2
Recent Batmen in this series have been showing much improved paint ops, but the Penguin takes a step back.

There's sloppy cut lines in a number of places, including the hat brim, the hair line, and even the jacket and gloves.

There's also a wash used on the face to bring out the harsh wrinkles around the eyes, and this is a bit over done and heavy handed. I'm hoping that this slip backwards isn't indicative of the future.

It's too bad that the quality of the application isn't quite there, because the colors and variety is excellent. With most of the Batmen, there might be only a couple versions of gray with the basic black, but here we get several gray colors on the way to an almost full white on the face, gloves and spats. With the striped pants and multiple layers, this statue proves that even without color, you can create a visually interesting collectible.

Design - ***1/2
The pose and expression are excellent, and I love that they've gone back to the actual comics for this particular design.

The base is the standard style and paint, but this time the Penguin comes permanently attached.

Value - **1/2
I haven't been a fan of this over $60 price tag for these small statues, but at least this one is a bit more substantial than some of the others. Also, this price tag is becoming more the norm, making the value a bit more average.

Things To Watch Out For
Not a thing! There's nothing to assemble here, as the Penguin and base come as a single piece.

Overall - ***
I've been a huge fan of the Batman Black and White series from the start, and I'm thrilled that they are adding classic villains to the mix.

Had this Penguin had a better paint job, he would have pulled another half star easily. I love the sculpt and design, and he fits in great with the other Batmen on the shelf. But DC Direct has got to make sure that they paint quality remains high, especially at this price point.

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

Where to Buy -
Options include:

- Urban Collector has him at $56.

- CornerStoreComics has him at $60.

- Alter Ego Comics has this one for $63.75.

- Things From Another World has him at $67.50.

- Entertainment Earth has him for $68.88.

- UK collectors can pick him up at Forbidden Planet for 56 GBP.

- or you can hit ebay.

Related Links -
Other Batman Black and White reviews include:

- the most recent was the Gotham Knight 2 version.

- then there was the Bruce Timm version, and the Ethan Van Sciver version.

- before that was the Aparo, which I wasn’t all that keen on.

- prior to that, there was 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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Penguin 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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