Batman Black and White
Jim Aparo Style

Jim Aparo Batman Black and White statue from DC Direct

I'm in for the long haul when it comes to DC Direct's line of black and white Batman statues. They are awfully popular, so I must not be alone.

The latest release, which just hit comic shops last week, is based on the artwork of Jim Aparo, sculpted by Mike Locasio. Aparo was a contemporary of Neal Adams, and his artwork was similar in many ways.

This statue is a 'limited edition', with a run of 3300.  I'm not sure that really is all that limited these days, but it shouldn't be too tough to find one. The suggested retail on this guy is the newly increased price of $75, but with the current economic picture, a lot of retailers are selling this for well below that.  Shop around and you might pick him up for as little as $55.  I have some excellent suggestions for buying him at the end of the review.

Packaging - **1/2
I like boxes just as much as the next guy, but these are the usual basic versions. Fortunately, they do keep the figure safe, and there is an edition number on the outside.
Jim Aparo Batman Black and White statue from DC Direct

Jim Aparo Batman Black and White statue from DC Direct
Jim Aparo Batman Black and White statue from DC Direct
Jim Aparo Batman Black and White statue from DC Direct
Jim Aparo Batman Black and White statue from DC Direct

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpt is a pretty decent representation of the general Aparo style. While his Bats was muscular, he was more svelte than today's artist's tend to portray him. The utility belt is minimalistic, and the cape covers the shoulders.

He also has a very angular, sharply defined face, and medium ears. There's an appropriate amount of detail and texture for the particular style.

Proportions are good, and he fits in pretty well with the rest of the series in terms of scale, standing about 6 inches tall in the crouched position.

Paint - **
The paint quality is a bit hit or miss, as well as being not to my particular artistic liking in some ways.

The majority of the slop is around the face, with a bit down on the belt as well. The cut lines are a bit fuzzy at times, especially the added lines to the face and belt.

Speaking of the face, that's one of my major aesthetic issues.  They've added finely painted wrinkle lines, as well as highlighting the lips and eyebrows with these lines.  I don't like it, and it goes a long way to dropping the score in this category.

The other thing they've done that I REALLY don't like is they've used a different black for the face of the cowl and inside of the ears.  This is a much darker, glossier black than the rest of the cape and cowl, and it's really obvious even in person and in true scale.

They've outlined the whole face with this glossy black, giving him a weird line around his lower face.  Perhaps they thought this might approximate the look of the comic art better - it doesn't.

Finally, the gloves and boots are not a consistent color or finish.  It looks like they've tried to add some shadowing or natural variation to these areas.  Again, it really doesn't work for me.

By the way, any small white spots you see on the cape or cowl are just dust.  I had one Hell of a time keeping the statue dust free when I was shooting it. It was a regular dust magnet!

Design - ***1/2
While the paint let me down a bit, I really do like the design. Rather than restrict the design of the pose to small size of the base, they've allowed Bats to step off, increasing the potential for stances.

I also really like the dynamic flow of the cape.  It looks great, and yet doesn't overpower the overall look of the statue. It's also different enough from the rest of the line to stand out nicely.

Value - **
I'm judging these in the $60 - $70 range, and at this higher price, these statues are a tad too small, with a few too many issues.

Get it closer to $55 or less, and you can add another half star.

Things To Watch Out For
You'll want to take care inserting the metal pegs on the base into the foot, since it's quite easy to break it. Once it's in place, you're good to go.

Overall - **1/2
This one is really a mixed bag.  I really like the sculpt and design, but the paint takes away quite a bit of the enjoyment for me.

If you haven't noticed, DC Direct just announced the black and white Penguin for sale, the second villain in the series. And yes, I already ordered mine.  What can I say, I'm in for the long haul on this series!

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

Where to Buy -
There are a number of sponsors carrying him:

Urban Collector has him for $56.

- Things From Another World has him for $60.

- CornerStoreComics has him at $60 as well.

- Collectors in the UK can find him at Forbidden Planet for 50 GBP.

.  Your other choice is to search ebay, and you can do that using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
I've covered a number of the statues in this series:

- very recently I looked at the Neal Adams and George Perez versions.

- prior to that, there was the 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.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.13

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Jim Aparo Batman Black and White statue from DC Direct

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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