So I recently got a box of Batman: the Animated Series and Batman Beyond goodies from Diamond Select. I expected to like the PVC Gallery figures (like this Laughing Fish Joker I reviewed last week), but I wasn’t too excited about the resin busts—an SDCC-exclusive unasked Batman, and an Old Bruce Wayne. What am I supposed to do with half a statue?, I asked myself.
Substantial (and substantially awesome)
I’m woefully inexperienced with Batman Beyond. So when I share my thoughts on these two busts inspired by the show, keep that in mind. It wasn’t my show the way that it may have been for some of you, so I might be more lenient on character likenesses than you would.
With that disclaimer out of the way, I have to say, these things are great! They’re a lot heavier than I expected, which means they’ll have no trouble staying in their proper position. That also means that if you drop them, they probably won’t survive the fall, so handle them with care—even and especially when taking them out of the box. I tweaked one of the blades on Terry’s gloves, which isn’t the worst thing that could have happened, but still hurts.
Here’s where your mileage may vary. I look at these and think: they look pretty darn close to Terry and Bruce from the show. But fellow Batman News writer Jay Yaws thinks Terry is a little bit off. I’ll let the rest of you break the tie.
At any rate, the poses are fantastic, and the characters do look great. I’m not 100% sure what the bases are meant to resemble, but they’re reminiscent of the top of a building, so I’ll go with that. The purple color of the bases is a nice look that seems to fit with the overall aesthetic of Beyond’s world, to boot. Purple is the future, folks.
I like Terry’s pose a lot. It’s a very Batmanny look, but his narrower frame and unmasked face make him seem less intimidating than Bruce, which, honestly, is exactly how I see Terry even when he’s fully-suited up and fighting criminals.
I love the simple aesthetics of the suit—no cruft, clean lines between features, and no extraneous grooves or doodads. It’s just a good design, and Diamond has reproduced it beautifully.
Bruce’s mold is also very well done. As far as I can remember, he looks very much like he did on the series, and his resting pose is strangely very dynamic. It’s great. The only downside—at least on my unit—is that his cane is too long. The base actually doesn’t sit completely flat on all four corners, because that silly stick is reaching the desktop first. I suppose I can file it a bit, but I’m nervous that I’ll take too much away, or just snap it before I get very far at all. Hopefully, this is just a defect on my particular unit. Thankfully, even mine stays still when I put it on the desk, and you wouldn’t know there’s a problem unless you look very closely.
Paint by (the) number(s)
The phrase “by the numbers” implies stagnation or boredom—something done the way you would expect it to be done, without any flair or innovation. Well, when you’re trying to reproduce iconic characters from a beloved series, that’s kind of exactly what you need. Diamond’s paintwork here is excellent, just like on the Laughing Fish figure. The lines are very clean, making the costumes look just as perfectly minimalist as they did on the show. The detail work on the Terry’s belt, and on both of their heads and faces, is likewise carefully applied and clean. The results are pieces that not only look like the characters from the show, but at times uncannily resemble the experience of watching them on screen.
It’s a bust (but it’s not a bust)
You may—just as I did—wonder what the heck you would do with half a statue. Take my advice and go see some of these in person. Your local comic shop may keep a few around, or you might be able to find them in a hobby shop or a Barnes and Noble. Once you see these in person, and get a feel for the quality, I suspect you’ll come around, just as I did. Terry was an SDCC exclusive this year, but you can pick him up for $55 on Amazon right now (and you can get the same exact bust, but with the mask on, for a few dollars less). Amazon says Bruce is coming out in February, but you can preorder that one now for $60. You’ll likely be able to find him in comic shops sooner than that, too.