Batman Black and White
Jim Lee Version

I buy plenty of DC Direct goodies, but I have to say that the Batman Black and White statues are the most consistently enjoyable.  There's been the occasional hiccup along the way, but even the weaker links are better than average.  They've just released the latest in the series, based on the art of Jim Lee and sculpted by Erick Sosa.

Lee has produced some terrific comic art, first for Marvel and then for DC.  His work on Hush was some of my favorite, and his clean, crisp style has always been at the top of my list.  This statue has an exclusive edition size of 5600, and runs about $50.  

Packaging - ***
The boxes do the most important job - keeping the contents safe - and the photos on the box look terrific.  I prefer a window to see the actual bust to review you're getting in person.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The bust was designed by Lee, and is an excellent dynamic pose.  Bats is preparing to pounce, with the large cape billowing out on either side.  There's generally the right amount of detail for his style, and Sosa has done an excellent job getting the same look in 3 dimensions as Lee does in two.

If I had one issue, it would be around the back of the cape.  The cape is largely devoid of detail, and being so large, this stands out a bit too much.  There's a few folds sculpted in the back, but they are pretty harsh, and the lack of detail stands out a bit too much for me.  Still, it's important to know that this is a fairly minor issue, and not the kind of nit that will hurt the overall statue too much.

These are done in about a 6" scale, and this statue fits in quite nicely with the others in the series.  One of the best features of the Black and White series is how terrific they look together on the shelf, and this one will add nicely to the shelf.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work supports the great sculpt, with clean lines between colors, and almost no slop.  The small white eyes are very clean, and the skin and lip color look terrific.  They also used a nice gloss black on the gloves, boots and symbol, making them stand out from the huge cape.

There could be a bit more paint detail on the belt, where everything is all the same color with nothing to make the detail stand out, but again, this is a minor nit.

Design - ****
One of the things that kills a lot of statues for me are over done poses.  Too often the designer goes overboard on how dynamic the pose is, trying to capture a moment of tremendous action.  In the end, it usually looks weird, like a nekkid chick coughing.

Lee and Sosa have pulled off an excellent pose, with implied movement through the use of the flowing cape.  But while the cape is flowing in the wind, Batman is not.  He's posed ready to attack, with an expression to match.

Value - **1/2
At $45 - $50, these run about the same as most statues and busts in this scale.  I can't complain, and the average value score will have no overall effect on the final score.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not a thing.  Since you won't see the statue til you get home (unless the store/dealer has it out on display), it's good to know that the paint work is probably quite consistent.

Do take a little care handling him though, because the small tips on the cape would break quite easily if you bump them against anything else.

Overall - ***1/2
The design really sells this one for me.  It's a terrific pose, and captures Lee's style and art extremely well.

This one still doesn't quite take my top spot, but it's certainly in the top 5 of the line so far.  I suspect this one will be one of the more popular in the series over time, particularly since Lee is such a popular artist.

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

Where to Buy -
Check out these recommended online options:

- CornerStoreComics has it for $47, as does Amazing Toyz.

- Alter Ego Comics has him at $48.

- Related Links -
I've covered a few of these, including the Wagner version, Mignola version, Kelly Jones version.

Share this review with others!
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!     Reddit

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour