Gotham City Five: Batman

There have always been figures of Batman. Both standard outfits and silly variants as far as the eye could see. Some of the best have come from Mattel, in the various DCU lines. Does their latest addition take the top prize?

After witnessing the murder of his parents as a child, Bruce Wayne dedicated his life and fortune to protecting the lives of the innocent while striking fear into the hearts of criminals. Armed with an arsenal of gadgets, Batman patrols the shadows of Gotham City keeping the streets safe from crime.

This is more than likely what most people think of when they think “Batman”: black/grey outfit, capsule belt, medium length cape, etc. As such, it’s obviously an outfit many fans like, and would likely be in demand for a figure. Despite that, this may be the first time the outfit has shown up in one of Mattel’s collector oriented lines (It’s shown up in the Super Friends line, but that’s more kid-focused).

They pulled it off well, re-using the sculpt from the Classic Detective Batman from the first series of DCUC. This is the “larger” body uses most DCUC figures as well, and it’s inclusion in the 5-pack makes sense as far as re-use goes. Everything is the same from head to toe, same head, same belt, same gloves, same everything. While I admit I hate the large number of re-use for new characters, re-using the body from the earlier Batman figure gives a good sense of sameness on the shelf.

The body is articulated well, with a good mix of aesthetics and pose-ability. The figure features a double ball/socket neck, ball-joint shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged knees, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, ball-joint hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees and hinged ankles. My only complaints are the lack of swivel shins, and the waist was a pain to move at first, but it’s loosened up. All the joints are nice and tight, allowing for good balances in deep poses.

The paint work is also exceptional. The grays are gray, the blacks are black, and everything is where it should be. The only slop is on the belt buckle, which despite the central location isn’t too distracting. Most of the pieces are cast in color, with paint on top, but that’s what’s become standard lately.

While the figure shares the sculpt of DCUC 1 Batman, he doesn’t share the accessories. Or any accessories. At all. Come on, Mattel! We aren’t asking for anything new, but when you have 10 different Bat-a-rang molds, we expect something!

All in all, if all you want is a Batman in his gray/black/oval symbol outfit, wait a bit. There’s going to be an All-Star re-release of both Bats and Superman. And they have accessories. The set figure? It’s nice because it’s a bit new, but not really cool for any other reason.

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