Retail runs around $15 each, although there's some places you can find them
cheaper. I have some suggestions at the end of the review as usual!
Packaging - ***
DC Direct continues with their usual boxes for the figures, although these are a
little more attractive than the Hush boxes. They won't hold up too well to
shelf wear, but seem sturdier to me than previous boxes as well. The big
problem here is that they really don't sell the figures particularly well - they
aren't likely to catch your eye, and blend in with the other lines.
Sculpting - Supes, Joker ***1/2; Bats, Robin ***
The artwork of the series was truly unique, but not particularly easy to
capture. They've done a decent job here, although there's a couple odd
choices in pose and stance.
Superman is my favorite of the bunch, and considering this is a Batman line,
that's not particularly good. Now, it's been a decade since the last time
I read the trade paperbacks, but he seems to capture the look of the comic
extremely well. The pose looks great, he stands well on his own, and his
hands are sculpted in such a way to work with the accessories.
Batman is probably my biggest disappointment, due to the pose more than
anything else. The detail and style are there, but the pose they've
selected is very difficult to work with, and leaves you very few display
My biggest complaint is in the ankle/foot sculpt. The are done in such
a way as to force Bruce to be in a crouch, dependent on the knee
articulation. I did find that if I straightened out the left leg more, and
crouched the front knee to match up the feet, he stood very well. It took
some playing around with, but eventually worked nicely. Still, why give
you knee joints when the ankles leave you with so few choices?
Add to that the head/neck position, and you get a lower score for Bats.
You can't do much with the head, and the cut joint leaves you with only one
position in which the head actually looks decent. Turn it at all, and he
ends up looking off at weird angles.
Robin has a similar problem with her neck. She looks best - yes, she,
as Robin is a teenage girl in these books - looking over her left shoulder
slightly. Looking forward tilts her head at an odd angle. However,
she stands great on her own, and the style and detail of the sculpt are
The Joker caused me the most confusion. First I liked him, then I
didn't, then I liked him again. He's the least articulated, and required
the best design because of it. It works fairly well, and surprisingly even
with the less articulation, has more options with his neck and shoulders.
He does have a rather odd stance, and the left foot is posed with the heel off
the ground, but you can get him to stand fine on his own. It takes a
little effort to find the sweet spot, but you can manage it with the arms in
I don't know though - I suspect I'll be going back and forth on the Joker for
The hand sculpts on all the figures are worth noting, as they've been done to
handle their accessories. This works particularly well with the Joker and
Robin, but both Supes and Bats are able to hold their accessories nicely as
Scale is unique on these, with much bulkier bodies and greater height than
most of the 'regular' DC Direct Batman lines. They'll look fine with the
Hush line though, if you're a fan of the books and understand the differences.
Paint - ***
The paint ops are solid across the board, with a consistency we have rarely seen
with DC Direct figures. While they have their issues here and there, the
quality is at least consistent from figure to figure.
All of them have some issues with the definition between colors, particularly
at the wrists and ankles. There were a few rub marks here and there, and
the occasional gloppiness. Still, these are better than some of the other
recent lines we've seen, and some of the details are really very well done.
I was particularly impressed with the eyes of Robin, since they are difficult
to see through the goggles, but still done with precision and quality.
The Joker has one issue that I'm not sure about - the washed appearance of
his face paint. The skin shows through the white face paint, and I believe
that it matches the source material, but my memory is a tad fuzzy. If it's
not intentional, then it's a huge problem, however, if it was done to match the
comic as I believe, then it's understandable.
Articulation - **1/2
Unfortunately, while the boxes claim 'multiple points of articulation', they're
being pretty generous.
Batman and Superman both have ball jointed shoulders, neck, elbow, hips and
knees. That actually sounds pretty good til you start to play around with
them. The shoulders are very limited due to the tight fit of the ball, and
the short post inside. The elbows are useful, but cut joints at the wrists
or gloves would have gone a long way to making the arms more poseable. And
while the neck joints are there, they are also very limited in use.
NOTE: I've heard from several readers that can get Bats arms to twist
at the top of the gloves, so mine are simply stuck.
The best joint on both figures is the ball jointed hips. I'm calling
them ball jointed for lack of a better term, as they move forward and back, in
and out, within the torso very smoothly. They joints
are painted to make the legs look good in any position, and they have a decent
range of motion.
The Joker is almost a statue, with just neck, shoulders, waist and
wrists. However, you can find a couple decent poses for him, and I like
how the articulation works with the sculpted pose.
Robin has neck, ball jointed shoulders (again, very limited range of motion),
wrists, waist, and hips. You can get the arms in a position where she is
'firing' her slingshot, although it's a little awkward looking. She stands
great on her own.
Accessories - Supes, Joker ***1/2; Batman, Robin ***
This is a category in which DC Direct usually has problems, but not this
time. They used the story and some creative thinking to include items that
make tons of sense.
All four of the figures come with a small base designed to look like a chunk
of sidewalk. These bases can hook together with small plastic connectors,
and include pegs for the feet.
That's the big problem with the bases - the pegs. I had a tough time
getting any of them to fit properly in either the bases or the feet.
Either they were too large (most of the time), or too small. It's a good
thing that the figures stand fine on their own, and the display stand do look
Robin's stand also comes with a two piece light post. Since Robin is so
small, it makes sense to boost her accessories, but the post is really the only
additional item. Okay, not really - the slingshot is a separate accessory
as well, and fits nicely in her right hand.
The Joker has three additional accessories - two guns, and the evil doll he
used in the comic books. The doll is excellent, with a perfect sculpt and
paint ops, and even an articulated neck, hips and shoulders! The guns fit nicely
in his hands, and this is a good example of sensible accessories.
Bats comes with only one accessory in addition to the stand - a batarang with
rope attached. That's light considering all the possibilities that could
have came right out of the books.
Supes does much better, with two very cool accessories - the Batman's cowl,
and the Kryptonite arrow used against him by Green Arrow. The arrow comes
apart to allow you to place it in his left hand, and he can grip the rumpled
cowl in his right.
At this price point, additional items with Batman and Robin would have been
nice, but DC Direct gets points for creativity with Joker and Superman.
Value - **1/2
The DC Direct toys continue to be some of the more expensive, although other
lines are catching up quickly. At $15 each, these are a couple bucks more
than they should be, but if you can manage to pick them up closer to $10 each,
you're getting a solid value.
Overall - Supes ***1/2; Bats, Joker, Robin ***
I'm a big fan of both Batman and Frank Miller, so I've been looking forward
to these figures. There are lots of people who don't like the style of
artwork, so it's not likely that they'll enjoy these figures, but for fans,
these match up to the source material extremely well.
At this price point though, and in today's market, these are only slightly
above average. Superman is the best of the bunch, with the best looking
combination of sculpt and articulation, and the best accessories to boot.
I'd like to see a second version of Batman, perhaps a final battle version,
without the forced crouch. And a one armed Green Arrow and retiring Gordon
would be great to add to the set.
Where to Buy -
Your local comic shop should have gotten these in last week. On-line
- Qwiksand Collectibles has
the best price if you're looking for them individually at $11 - $12.50 per
figure, but won't have them in for another week.
- Alter Ego Comics has the set for
$50, or individual figures for $13.
- Killer Toys also has the set for $50,
but different prices for different individual figures - ten bucks each for Robin
and Joker, $17 for Superman, and $16 for Batman.
- CornerStoreComics has the set
for $50, or individual figures for $13.