Batman Black and White - Frank Quitely
DC Direct

Batman Black and White Frank Quiteley statue by DC Direct

One of the longest running successful statue series is the Batman Black and White line from DC Direct.

What is it about this series that has made it such an on going hit?  This sort of success is rarely created or facilitated by any one factor, and such is the case here. Three factors - the Batman concept, the black and white color scheme, and the same approximate scale - allow collectors to display a large number of them and get an interesting consistency. The scale also allows for this large number, because at a 12" or bigger size, display space would become a problem all the sooner. The scale factors into price as well, keeping these at a cost that most collectors can afford, yet not being so cheap as to be viewed as childish.

It also helps that Batman has had so many interesting and unique looks over the years, as portrayed by different artists. While the theme might always be the same, the design and style of each statue is unique enough to provide some visual interest.

This is also one of those collectibles that works best as a group. Sure, if you have one of these based on your favorite batman artist, your friends will come over and say 'neat'. Put two dozen of them together on the shelf, and they'll say 'wow', at least to your face.
Batman Black and White Frank Quitely statue by DC Direct
Batman Black and White Frank Quitely statue by DC Direct
Batman Black and White Frank Quitely statue by DC Direct
Batman Black and White Frank Quitely statue by DC Direct
Batman Black and White Frank Quitely statue by DC Direct

This one is a 'limited' edition of 3500. I don't think the word really applies til you get into the sub-1000 range, but it's a common marketing gimmick. These guys are running around $70, but you can find them closer to $60 with a little work (and by checking out my sponsors in the Where to Buy section below).

Packaging - ***
The box is much like past releases, with photos of the included statue but no window. The interior Styrofoam is the solid, non-shedding kind, and supports the statue safely. There's no Certificate of Authenticity, but there is an edition number on both the bottom of the box and the bottom of the statue.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This pose and style are based on the art of Frank Quitely, or more specifically, the artwork of Batman and Robin #1

One of the neat features with this statue is that it's not Bruce Wayne under the cowl, but Dick Grayson. The average person won't know the difference, but you and your closets geek friends will certainly know and appreciate it.

Paul Harding did the sculpting duties, and he translated the original artwork extremely well. The pose matches nicely, right down to the wrinkles and folds in the cape.

The head is a smidge longer on the statue that it is in the art, but Quitely does tend to put an elongated head on Bats. I think it's the cowl that does it.

Quitely doesn't overdo the musculature, and Harding has matched that look. While the body is beefy and solid, it isn't an art school interpretation of the human muscular system - thank goodness.

When I first saw the design, I wasn't too excited. The basic stance is far less dynamic than other recent releases, and I wasn't sure it would add a whole lot to the shelf. But in hand, I found myself drawn to the power and respect that this simple stance exudes. It looks best from just one angle - turned slightly to his right, face head on toward the front - but from that angle it rocks.

Scale has been a bit of an issue with some releases in this series, but generally that means the statue is a tad too small. Not this time, and in fact, this version is a bit larger than most. The line is usually in a 6" or 1/12th scale, but this statue stands  7.5 inches tall without the base, more in line with a 7 - 8" scale.

It's also worth noting, although it has nothing to do with any score, that the figure is permanently attached to the base, and not a separate piece as has been the case with some past releases in the series.

Paint - ***
Most of the paint work is acceptable, and certainly on par with a collectible statue in this price range. There's not a ton of ops, and of course the colors are muted (that's sort of the point), but they do use various finishes to their advantage. The bright matte look of the gloves, boots and symbol are offset nicely by the matte appearance of the rest of the uniform.

The eyes are a little sloppy though, and some of the edges, like around the cape and chest, or the gloves and arms, are not as sharply defined or cut as they could be. These are very minor details though, and most fans will have no real issues with the paint job.

Value - **1/2
You can still pick these statues up sub $70, which is decent considering the rising costs just about every where else. I think the days of $60 is gone, but you may find a deal with a little hunting around.

Things to Watch Out For -
The very small ends on the cape can easily break when handling or when removing from the package.

Overall - ***1/2
It's really no surprise that we've gotten so many dynamic, aggressive poses in this series - it is called Batman Black and White after all, not Alfred Black and White. But getting a pose with a bit less action and yet just as much power and control is a great addition to the shelf. Personally, I much prefer this over the more odd poses like the McGuinness version.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector has him for $64.

- Mike's Comics N Stuff has him at $66.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $68.

- Things From Another World has it for $72.

- Entertainment Earth has him for $75.

- for the UK buyers, Forbidden Planet has it at 65 gbp.

- or you can search ebay.

Related Links -
I've covered a number of these in the past:

- there's 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.

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Batman Black and White Frank Quitely statue by DC Direct

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

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