SUPER POWERS (KENNER)
“Batman, The Caped Crusader. Powers: Accomplished acrobat, a keen detective’s mind, ace criminologist, martial arts expert. Has utility belt with scientific crime-fighting equipment. Weaknesses: Mortal. Enemies: Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, The Scarecrow, Two-Face. Secret Identity: Bruce Wayne.”
Kenner’s Super Powers is undoubtedly the greatest DC toyline ever. Yet somehow, I’ve only managed to review five figures from the line. Those are rookie numbers! I gotta pump those numbers up! To do that, I’m going to look at by far the most toyetic character in the whole line (though, amusingly, not the character in the line with two figures; that’s Superman), Batman!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Batman was released in the first series of Super Powers figures. With himself, his sidekick, and two of his villains, Batman’s corner of the DCU was the most fleshed out in the first series. He, like the rest of the standard DC characters in the line, was based on his Jose Garcia-Lopez-illustrated entry in the 1982 DC Style Guide. It’s Batman’s yellow-circled, capsule-belted, short-eared, light blue-shaded Silver Age design, which had been in use for 20 years at the time of this figure’s release. That’s a pretty good run, and a pretty good choice. The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation. Batman’s sculpt matches the rest of the line, in that it’s totally unique to him, and while it’s certainly a product of its time, it doesn’t look half bad under modern day scrutiny. As with both Superman and Wonder Woman, he’s a little wider than his Garcia-Lopez-drawn self. It seems most evident on Batman, since at the time he was usually depicted as rather svelte, especially when compared to the likes of Superman. That being said, I do like that he’s distinctively smaller in build than Superman; a lot of lines these days don’t observe that. The head’s probably the weakest part of the sculpt, being kind of squat, and having a chin that makes him look a bit too much like the Tick. It’s worth noting that when Kenner repurposed this sculpt for their Batman and Batman Returns lines, the head was the one part they replaced outright (though part of that was undoubtedly to add a more Keaton-inspired head to the figure). Like all the caped figures in this line, Batman had a cloth cape, attached by a rather bulky clip at the neck. Mine’s a little worse for wear; when he was new, the color of the cape matched the rest of the figure a bit better. I don’t think his cape worked quite as well as some of the line’s other figures, but it’s serviceable. Batman’s paint continues the Super Powers trend of being clean, and very bright. He definitely stands out on a shelf. Batman of course got an action feature, dubbed the “Power Action Bat Punch.” It’s the exact same feature used on Superman, down to having essentially the same name (though Batman adds and Adam West-style “Bat” descriptor to the name). Not particularly inventive or anything, but it works.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Batman came late in the game of my Super Powers collecting. I had plenty of other versions of the character, so he didn’t have the same appeal as some of the others. Like so many of the line, he was a Christmas present from my parents. I had specifically asked for him and Green Arrow that year. They both arrived, as part of a larger lot that also got me Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as a number of accessories I’d been missing up to that point. Batman was never really the star attraction there, but he’s always been a solid support figure, and he’s definitely one of the best versions of the character out there!