DC Direct Batman Black and White
George Perez and Neal Adams

Batman Black and White George Perez statue

DC Direct has had great success with their line of Batman Black and White statues, so much so that next year we'll see the line expand beyond just Batman and into the bat-villains. Not sure how well a Penguin will sell, but DC Direct is taking the gamble.

The two latest releases are based on artwork by George Perez (sculpted by Karen Palinko and limited to 3800), and another based on the artwork of Neal Adams (sculpted by Jason "Spyda" Adams
 and limited to 3500). The sculptor of the Adams bust is the son of Neal, making this one particularly cool.

We must be what, 20 statues in so far with this series? That makes coming up with designs that are both true to the artist and provide some visual pop to set them apart from the rest quite a challenge. The last few have left me feeling rather uninspired, and the new price point (SRP of around seventy bucks!) is likely to be putting some folks off as well. Keeping any long running series alive is an effort in itself, but with the added pressures of the current market conditions, I'm sure DC Direct is happy to see these still moving off the shelves. Me, I'm a completist with this series, so they know they have me by the black and whites.
Batman Black and White George Perez statue

Batman Black and White Neal Adams statue
Batman Black and White George Perez statue
Batman Black and White Neal Adams statue
Batman Black and White George Perez statue
Batman Black and White Neal Adams statue
Batman Black and White George Perez statue

Packaging - ***
The boxes do job number 1 (keeping the statue intact) extremely well, and they do it without a lot of extra space. They lack the Certificate of Authenticity that many other manufacturers provide, but the do put that type of information (bust name, edition size, etc.) on the bottom of the base.

Sculpting - ***1/2
I like the sculpts on both of these quite a bit, and these have actually revitalized some of my waning interest in the series.

Both have an appropriate amount of detail for the art style, and have captured the signature aspects of the particular artists - musculature, cape style, dynamic flow - quite well.

I do wish that the exposed face on the Adams was a smidge more defined and detailed. I much prefer the look of the Perez face, with it's chiseled lines. The Adams has a smoother look to not just the skin but the lips and chin as well, allowing it to all blend in together a bit too much.

On the Perez side, the belt pouches could have used a bit more detail added in as well. Nothing major, but as it stands the pouches look too clunky and thick, especially the flaps, which look like they have tootsie roll edges.

These are all minor nits though, and I think these are two of the best in the series this year.

Paint - Perez ****; Adams ***1/2
Both of these have better paint ops than we've seen on the last few releases. That's a good sign, and much appreciated considering the higher price point.

The Perez is pretty much spot on, with almost no slop or poor cut lines. These statues often have their biggest issues around the face and cowl, where the edge is often sloppy. You see some of that with the Adams statue, but absolutely none with the Perez.

The work on both bodies is excellent. They've used the usual high gloss black on the boots and gloves to differentiate them from the cape and cowl, and the emblems are clean and straight on both.

Design - ***1/2
Ah, this is where it gets to be about 'art', and art is mighty subjective. For me, both of these designs represent the artist extremely well AND I like the look of them on my shelf.

The Adams Batman looks like he's just taken off from the blocks to run the 100 yard dash. This is not an unusual look for Adams, and is actually right off one of Adam's covers on the  Batman Illustrated series of books. As the DCD solicits like to say, it's the exact pose that first appeared in "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge".

Adams helped define the Batman of the 60's and 70's, and the statues design, in concert with the quality sculpt, captures the look and feel of the period extremely well.

Perez is probably best known for his work in the 80's, although he's remained active in the industry, especially in the last few years. His Batman (as well as most of his characters) has a thicker, more solid look from head to toe. The design is an odd one for me - half the time I love it, and half the time I'm not quite sure.

Doing something different with the cape is very difficult after all these years. Here, Batman has grabbed it in both hands at his sides, and the bottom is blowing up, almost like Marilyn Monroe over the steam grate. It's dynamic, it's different...and most of the time I love it. But sometimes I look at the lower cape, and it just strikes me as...odd looking. Clearly, your mileage will vary.

Value - **
These aren't seventy dollar statues. At $40 or so, they were an average value, and you were getting pretty much what you were paying for. But at almost double that price, you are going to feel pinched.

Fortunately, the paint ops are better on these two than they have been on the last couple, making your pain at least a little less than it could be.

Things To Watch Out For
These statues have metal rods that attach them to the base. For the Adams statue, those rods are in his feet and you insert them in the holes on the base. The Perez statue works in the opposite way. But a common problem is getting the holes and rods to line up, and often you have to put pressure on the feet and legs to accomplish it. I found it more of an issue with the Adams than the Perez this time around, but both required a little effort. Remember that those rods are a lot harder than the resin around them, and it's very easy to end up with broken feet if you aren't careful. Also remember that if you have to squeeze the legs together to get the pegs to fit, that when you remove the base the sudden 'pop' as the the legs come free can break them as well.

Overall - ***1/2
Both of these statues are a huge improvement over the other recent releases, and have managed to re-ignite my interest in the line. I love the designs and sculpts on both, and the paint shows improvement as well. Sure, I'm having a tough time stomaching the higher price point, but the quality and artistic appeal of these two makes that bitter pill a little easier to swallow.

With quite a few more statues already announced, including another Gotham Knight, a Bruce Timm version (FINALLY!), and both the Joker and Penguin added to the mix, it looks like this series will be lasting for quite some time.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - Perez ****; Adams ***1/2
Design - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
There's a few online options amongst my sponsors:

- CornerStoreComics has the Adams for $60, but is sold out of the Perez.

- Urban Collector has Adams for $65, and Perez for $60.

- Alter Ego Comics has both for about $64.

- Things from Another World has just the Perez, and he's $67.50.

- Circle Red has just the Perez at $70.

- for the UK fans, you can pick up the Adams for 45 GBP, and the Perez for 50 GBP at Forbidden Planet.

- or you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
I've covered a fair number of these statues, including the recent Gotham KnightBob Kane, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Matt Wagner, Mike Mignola, and Kelley Jones.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  Averaging the two scores together and then converting to a five star system for comparison is: 4.375

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Batman Black and White Neal Adams statue

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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