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Batman Black and White - David Mazzucchelli

David Mazzucchelli Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct

There aren't too many statue series with the legs of the Batman Black and White line from DC Direct. We've seen mini-bust series done in the same style for the same license that lasted for years, but not many statue lines.

The latest design comes from David Mazzucchelli, and is sculpted by Jim McPherson. Mazzucchelli didn't work on a lot of Batman books, but he did do the artwork for Batman: Year One, working with Frank Miller on the influential four issue story arc.

This statue is done in a limited edition size of 5000, though that's stretching the 'limited' concept quite a bit. You can pick this one up for around $70, depending on the retailer. Don't forget to check the Where to Buy section for specifics!

Packaging - ***
The box the usual photos and basic text, but I really wish they'd add more background information. Inside is the heavy duty Styrofoam trays, but there's not Certificate of Authenticity. The box protects the statue extremely well though, doing the most important job it has.
David Mazzucchelli Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
David Mazzucchelli Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
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David Mazzucchelli Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
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David Mazzucchelli Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct
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David Mazzucchelli Batman Black and White statue by DC Direct

Sculpting - ***1/2
The overall sculpt is one of my favorites recently, but I have to admit that there are a few spots that are softer than I'd like. That's particularly true around the mouth and nose, where a slightly sharper, detailed sculpt would have added a little more to the heroic profile.

I really love the work on the cape though, which hangs very naturally and wrinkles just right. The key to properly translating this design into a visually interesting 3-D statue was the cape (which is pretty much true of almost every Batman statue), and McPherson did a great job front and back.

Along with the slightly soft face, I have one other issue that holds him back from perfection.  The head's a smidge small for the broad shoulders, although that does tend to be the superhero way. 

He's a little larger than most of the statues, which usually tend to be in the 6" scale range. He's about 6 1/2" tall, and a little bulkier than some of the statues, but it's a minor difference, and I prefer slightly larger to undersized.

Paint - ***
Paint seems to always be the bane of this line, but it's the quality has been pretty high on the last few releases. This time it's decent, but there's enough issues to pull it down slightly.

The edges along the face around the cowl are a little sloppy, and the lip color isn't really a good choice for him. He's more of a fall.

The belt and pouches were supposed to have additional highlighting ops, but they were dropped from the production statue. I miss them, as they highlighted some of the sculpting detail. Without them, the belt looks pretty dull.

The high gloss boots and glove look great, but the black across the back of the cape was a little inconsistent in color, with an oval area that looks like it might have brushed against something lightly while it was still wet. It's more obvious in bright light, so I'm not deducting as much as I would if it were obvious under normal conditions, but it's still worth noting.

Design/Quality - ****
While the final head is a little small for the body, I have to say that I really love this design. It amazes me that they can continue to come up with visually interesting designs, and finding ways to make the costume interesting over and over again.

Even though he's simply standing there, the design gives the impression of power, danger and intent. You're about to get your ass kicked, and you know it.

The statue is permanently attached to the base this time, so there's no need to worry about damaging the foot or the base with a metal peg.  On the bottom of the base is the edition number, same as past releases.

Value - **1/2
Sadly, around $65 is the current going rate for statues in just the 6" scale. You can actually pick this guy up for closer to just $60 if you shop wisely, but if you pay $70 or more, you can deduct another half star off this score.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
Another nice addition to the Batman: Black and White series. While Mazzucchelli isn't the most influential Batman artist, he did work on a key series in the modern version of the Dark Knight. The design is one of my favorites of the series - simple, yet compelling.

The paint work needs to remain at the best quality possible though, especially at this price point, and there's a few slip ups this time around.

DC Direct showed off a couple cool additional Batman releases at SDCC, including the Lee Bemejo version, and the Frank Quitely version, but I'm really looking forward to the next villain in the series, Catwoman! You can see all three in my SDCC coverage of DC Direct.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include:

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $68.

- Urban Collector has him at just $62.

- Things From Another World has him at $64.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $80.

- Forbidden Planet has it in the UK for 55 GBP.

- You can also always try ebay looking for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered a number of the statues, including 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.

Discussion:
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David Mazzucchelli 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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