DC ICONS (DC COLLECTIBLES)
For today’s DC Icons Friday, I’m taking a bit of a leap back. The last three weeks have all been figures from ore towards the end of the line’s run, but for this one I’ll actually be going all the way back to the earliest releases of the line. I’ll be taking a look at the heaviest hitting of DC’s heavy hitters, Batman, in his inaugural Icons figure form. Strap in FiQ-fans; this one might get a bit bumpy.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Batman is figure 01 in the first series of DC Icons figures. Interestingly, though he’s numerically the first, he ended up hitting a week after the other three Series 1 figures, for unknown reasons. Batman’s packaging lists that he’s based on the “Last Rights” storyline, which was the follow-up to the “Batman R.I.P.” that deals with the various Bat-cast’s reactions to the death of Bruce Wayne. It’s an odd choice for a Batman figure, since, as you might have guessed, he spends the story…well, dead…ish (it’s a long, convoluted, complicated story. Best not to ask further questions). I think there’s a flashback with Bruce in costume at some point, but it’s brief. Odd choice of storyline aside, it’s really just a pretty standard pre-Final Crisis Batman, which is generally a good thing, since that’s a rather definitive take on the character. The figure stands a little under 6 inches tall…yeah, you read that right. Here’s what its hands down the greatest flaw of this figure: he’s too short. He’s one of the shortest Icons figures produced. And that just doesn’t quite work out, since he’s Batman, and he really shouldn’t be that short. And it’s not like he just missed a little height in his legs or torso or something; he’s actually just a smaller scaled figure, so he looks out of place next to most contemporary 6-inch lines, including the line he’s actually a part of. Looking at the positives, he’s got 29 points of articulation, and is without a doubt one of the best articulated Batman figures ever to be produced. Only the later Rebirth Batman really surpasses him. Some of the articulation could still be better, of course. The lack of any joints on his thighs continues to be the biggest flaw of any Icons release, and his neck joint is rather limited (and his head has an annoying tendency to pop right off the joint at a moment’s notice). Still, there’s a lot of great poses that this guy can pull off that no other Batman really can. This Batman figure has a unique sculpt, which is definitely one of the better Batman sculpts out there. Like the other figures in the line, it’s based on Ivan Reis’s work, and makes for a very satisfying Batman, at least from a design front. He’s less pouty than his Rebirth compatriot, which I like, and is in general one of the more realistically built figures in the line. I like the small details like the wrinkles in his costume, and I love how well the belt turned out. Even the cape is well done, and I’m the sort of guy that’s hard to please when it comes to capes. The only real issue I have is the gauntlets of his gloves, which have the “spikes” placed on the sides, when they actually should be running on the backs of his forearms. It’s a symptom of the gloves originally having a swivel joint above them that was later removed; they were just affixed in the wrong position. Paintwork on this figure is pretty decent overall. The colors match up well with the usual look of a mid-00s Batman, and the application is mostly pretty clean, aside from a few very minor spots of slop. There’s one slight oddity with the paint; for some reason he’s got a pair of black eyebrows painted on his cowl. Now, eyebrows aren’t uncommon on Batman designs, but the modern look mostly dispensed with them, so they can look a little goofy. Fortunately, they’re effectively invisible to the naked eye. Batman is packed with two sets of hands in fists and gripping poses, as well as an additional left hand holding a grapple, and a pair of batarangs. It’s a decent selection of extras, though I can’t say any of it’s terribly exciting.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t buy this figure when he was new, largely due to the whole scale thing. I thought he looked cool, but the size was a big obstacle. Cosmic Comix also never seemed to keep him in stock for particularly long, so it’s not like there was one there to tempt me. With the cancellation of the Icons line, I’ve been feeling a little bad for it, so I’m working on tracking down as many of them as I can. Batman’s value’s actually taken a bit of a jump on the after market, so I didn’t really think I’d be getting him soon. Then Cosmic Comix found one in their back room, and priced him at his original retail, so I figured why not? This figure is frustrating. Taken purely on his own, he’s possibly the greatest single Batman available. The problem is he sort of exists in this weird vacuum, where nothing really goes with him. On the plus side, I did remember that I had a similarly mis-scaled Tim Drake Robin from DC Universe Classics, so at the very least these two now have each other.