#2595: Commissioner Gordon

COMMISSIONER GORDON

BATMAN: DARK VICTORY (DC DIRECT)

“A epic tale of mystery and suspense that takes Batman deep into the underworld of gotham City!

James Gordon leads a police force besieged by a calculating murderer, and Batman is the only one that he can trust.”

As a follow-up to their wildly popular Long Halloween storyline, writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale sequelized the story with another mini-series, Dark Victory.  While it doesn’t have quite the same notoriety or staying power as The Long Halloween, Dark Victory is still quite critically renowned, and gave us some more time in the world the Loeb and Sale had built.  Much like the creators of the story, to follow-up on their Long Halloween toy line, DC Direct followed up with a Dark Victory line, which they used to help flesh out the cast a bit.  Jim Gordon is a major player in both stories, and was finally granted a figure via this second line of figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Commissioner Gordon is one of the four new figures offered up in DCD’s Dark Victory line in 2006 (the fifth figure was a re-release of Batman from the prior line).  While Gordon spends most of Dark Victory (and The Long Halloween, for that matter) in his standard suit/tie/trench coat combo, this figure opts to mix things up a bit and go for a slightly the more toy-etic design of Gordon’s tactical gear seen late in the story.  They had just done a trench-coated Gordon in Hush, and this is a pretty decent design in its own right, so it’s not a bad choice by any stretch.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  Not a ton of movement, but certainly not a bad selection for a DCD figure of this era.  He’s actually one of the most posable figures in the Sale lines, so that’s not bad for a Gordon figure.  His sculpt’s all new, and also probably one of the best we got in these two assortments.  It manages to get Sale’s interpretation of Gordon down pretty much pat, and doesn’t really suffer from any of the oddities that the other sculpts did in order to get that Sale look down.  It also does a great job of just making Gordon look like an average guy, as he should.  The detail work is pretty impressive, even in areas where you might not expect it.  His clothes have a solid amount of texturing, which breathes some real life into this design, and really helps to make it work in three dimensions.  There’s a bit of pre-posing to this guy, but it’s ultimately fairly minor.  He’s in a bit of an idle stance sort of pose, which works well for this design.  Gordon’s paint work is pretty basic for the most part.  It’s not a ton of color, but that’s right for Jim.  They opted to go with opaque lenses on the glasses, which works very well.  There are also no eyes beneath them, but that’s not terribly surprising.  Gordon is packed with a pistol, a flashlight, and a display stand (which is the same as the one that came with Two-Face).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve read my Long Halloween reviews, then you kind of know the song and dance on this one.  I hadn’t read the story when this figure came out, and subsequently didn’t have quite the same appreciation for Gordon that I do after reading the stories.  He actually came into All Time a few months before the other three, but I passed on him at the time because I didn’t know when I’d be able to get the others.  When they came in, he was still at the store, so I picked them all up in one fell swoop.  I’m glad I went back for him, because, much like Gordon in the story, this guy’s probably my favorite of the set.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1071: Commissioner Gordon

COMMISSIONER GORDON

BATMAN: ANIMATED (DCC)

comgordon1

Batman: The Animated Series is in many ways a defining take on the Batman mythos, with a particular definitive trait being the voice actors portraying the characters.  Of course, everyone knows and loves Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill’s Batman and Joker, but it goes beyond the two of them.  I’ve written before about how Lorren Lester is the only voice I hear when I read Dick Grayson’s dialogue in a comic, but beyond him, there’s one actor who epitomized my view on the character he portrayed: the late Bob Hastings* as Commissioner Gordon.  Hastings got down both sides of Gordon perfectly, playing him as a strict and confident leader, who was still capable of being a warm, fatherly figure to his men (and his daughter…and Batman.  He was very fatherly), something Hastings’ predecessors never quite got.  As a rather normal looking guy in a trench coat and tie, Gordon wasn’t privy to many action figures. He got exactly one during the run of the Kenner/Hasbro Batman: The Animated Series lines, and even then it was based on his later New Adventures look, of which I was never a huge fan.  Fortunately, DC Collectibles’ ongoing line of Animated figures is proving to be far more complete than earlier attempts, meaning we finally got a proper B:TAS Gordon figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

comgordon2Commissioner Gordon is figure 23 in DCC’s Batman: Animated line.  The numbering places him in Series 6, I believe, alongside Zatanna, Ra’s Al Ghul, and the Etrigan/Klarion two-pack.  It’s a little hard to keep track, especially since DCC doesn’t solicit them with Series numbers.  He’s new.  That’s the point.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation.  One of the more notable features of the early Batman: The Animated Series designs is the certain level of fluidity they all possessed.  Sure, Batman was fairly consistent, but a lot of the other characters would have little changes in design from one shot to the next.  This was especially true of Gordon, which makes this figure sort of an amalgam of his best looks so to speak.  His body was always pretty consistent, so the sculpt has a pretty easy time capturing it.  He’s appropriately stocky, which is a nice  change of pace when compared to the others in the line.  Gordon actually looks like a pretty normal dude (well, by Bruce Timm standards, anyway).  The area with the most artistic license is definitely the head.  While the face is a pretty good recreation (it varies depending on the angle you’re viewing from), the hair is where things are really off.  In the show, Gordon had this pretty crazy cowlick at the front of his hair, which had a tendency to move around in relation to the rest of his face depending on how he was angled in any given shot (it was allegedly hard to work with, which is why his redesign removed it entirely).  Here, rather than pick a definite side for the hair, they just kind of put it roughly center and scaled it down.  It’s alright, but it means that no matter the angle, he never looks quite right.  The glasses are also a bit off, mostly due to the scale of the figure, and them needing to be permanently attached to his face.  That being said, on comgordon3the show the lenses were very definitely rectangular, and they aren’t at all rectangular here.  How did that happen?  The paintwork on Gordon isn’t anything spectacular or amazing.  It’s actually rather drab, truth be told, but that’s accurate, so kudos to them on that one.  There is one issue in regards to the chosen colors: his pants are sort of a pale beige here, when they really should be a slightly darker warm tan.  The prototype actually had a much more accurate coloring, so I’m not really sure what happened.  It’s hardly enough to ruin the figure (and, quite frankly, it’s the sort of thing that 99% of people will never, ever notice), but it’s just a little weird. Gordon is packed with three sets of hands (fists, trigger  finger, and normal grip), a revolver, a megaphone, and a display stand with his design sheet on it.  It would have been nice to get something specific to one of his episodes, but what’s there is pretty reasonable. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Gordon was purchased from Cosmic Comix, making use of a pretty nice coupon.  Of the three regular figures in this set, Gordon was the one that jumped out at me, which is kind of a bit surprising, since he’s really rather average looking.  As it stands, he’s really one of my favorite figures from this line, even with his slight inaccuracies.  Here’s to more figures like this!

*Fun fact: back in the 60s, one of Hastings’ earliest roles was as Superboy on Filmation’s cartoon of the same name, so he was with DC for the long-haul.