SON OF BATMAN (DC COLLECTIBLES)
Pretty much since his inception, Robin has served as a stand-in for Batman’s son. It adds to the whole surrogate family aspect that the creators built over the years. And, in classic TV Sitcom fashion, when said son grows up and starts to grow up and become less cute and adorable, they just bring in a younger model. Hey, those dark-haired, similarly built, already athletically trained orphans all need a home, right? Eventually, there came a point where they dropped the “stand-in” bit entirely and just gave Batman an actual, biological son to serve as the next Robin. Okay, it was more convoluted than that, but just trust me here. Anyway, his son was named Damian and also had the notoriety of being the grandson of Batman villain Ra’s Al Ghul. Damian’s whole story was adapted into one of the more recent DC animated movies, titled Son of Batman, and said movie got action figures, which included the Damian figure I’ll be looking at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Robin was released as part of DC Collectibles’ four figure assortment for Son of Batman. Said assortment was actually part of DCC’s larger DC Animated line of figures, which includes Justice League: War, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, and Batman vs. Robin. Damian is figure #08 in the overall line, making him the third figure in the Son of Batman assortment. Which is weird, what with him being the title character and all. Oh well. The figure is about 4 ¾ inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. The articulation is rather on the stiff side here. You can get some decent poses out of the arms and legs, but the neck (despite being a ball joint) isn’t good for anything more than side to side movement, leaving him perpetually staring down. While the rest of the animated figures are built from mostly shared body parts, Damian gets his own unique sculpt. Not terribly surprising, since his build is so notably different from the others. What’s interesting to me is that this sculpt doesn’t seem to have been sculpted with any real re-use in mind, since just about every piece has a character specific element to it. What’s more interesting is the amount of details not present in the sculpt. Despite it clearly being a unique piece, things such as the straps holding his arm and shin guards in place and his belt buckle are just painted on. Maybe they wanted him to look like the rest of the figures in the line? Slight oddities aside, the sculpt is fairly well handled. The proportions are nice, and what sculpted details are there are sharply defined. One frustrating thing is the figure’s copyright information, which is stamped onto the interior of his cape. While the figure hides in from most angles, thee fairly obvious lettering does jump out at you occasionally. As noted above, a certain degree of Damian’s costume details are handled via paint. The paint here is a marked improvement over the prior animated figures I’ve looked at. The lines aren’t fuzzy, he doesn’t have any obvious scuffing, and bleed over is minimal. There’s still room for improvement, but he doesn’t look half bad. Damian is packed with one accessory: a Katana. It’s reasonably well-sculpted, and he can hold it alright, though it’s not particularly imposing.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got this figure from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix, during the annual “Biggest Sale of theYear” event. I picked him up in part because he was reasonably cheap, but also because I kind of like Damian, and I didn’t yet own a figure of him. Despite being the son of Batman, and serving as Robin for a few years, the figures of Damian Wayne are rather limited. To date, he’s had five, counting this one. DC Direct made two: one was from before he was Robin, and the other, while a nice figure, had a hefty aftermarket price. The next figure was from Mattel, and was….how do I put this? Abysmal. Like, they gave him bulging muscles and stuff. That left me two options: the super cartoony Lil’ Gotham version, or this one. I think I chose well. This figure’s got a handful of drawbacks, but the overall result is pretty good.