DC Collectibles is kicking off its 20th year with a Batman Black and White design based on John Romita Jr.’s All-Star Batman: My Own Worst Enemy, a five-parter written by Scott Snyder with inks by Danny Miki and colors by Dean White. The story was Midnight Run starring Batman, Two-Face, and a seemingly unending parade of DC’s baddest bounty hunters. Romita was tasked with drawing a new Batman suit that had just been devised by Greg Capullo in the pages of Batman and was one of the more talked-about aesthetic shifts in the transition from New 52 to Rebirth. However, this time the suit would be featured in a story set primarily in the daylight and in open fields so that drastically vertical nose (most artists ditched this detail of the cowl almost immediately), bright purple-lined cape, and other unique elements would be on full display with no shadows to hide them. Romita pulled it off nicely too and even added his own personal flair by broadening the chest, adding a few extra pouches for Bat-gadgets, and even slimming down The Dark Knight a bit to make him more agile while at the same time embellishing the size of the gauntlets so every strike looked like it hit just a little harder. Everything you liked about Romita’s pencils can be seen in the Black and White statue. And yes, that means sculptor Paul Harding made sure to include the giant batarang that came in so handy during the train-top brawl as well.
Romita’s statue comes in the same style of box we saw with the Kim Jung Gi and Amanda Conner figures, but this time it also comes with some decent copy printed on the back panel explaining the inspiration behind the collectible, its limited run (only 5,000 will be made), and it gives credit to the sculptor. The box also deviates from the traditional monochromatic artwork and shines with an all-new sticker of bright gold foil celebrating DC Collectibles’ 20th anniversary. Inside the box you’ll find two-piece Styrofoam packaging that holds the statue firmly in place during shipping.
The statue (standing at 7.69 inches tall) presents us with a Batman in a rather casual pose, which keeps with the more upbeat portrayal of the character in Snyder’s All-Star Batman run. A threatening Bat-grimace and furrowed brow on the cowl are to be expected, of course, and the look clearly says “I’m on the lookout for crime and I’m angry about it” while his hips say “or I could be getting a little impatient in the Costco checkout line.”
All the many, many sharp scallops you may be accustomed to seeing of the cape are absent, which instead only displays three points for a soft look that makes Batman appear more relaxed and…dare I say “approachable.” It’s kind of nice, really, especially for those of us looking to add variety to our Bat-showcase. However, if you pay closer attention to the suit itself you’ll notice the many lines tracing the armor, a clue that even Casual Batman is still built for combat. And then there’s the batarang– it’s huge. As it should be. The over-sized batarang was such a prominent detail of the All-Star cover and memorable weapon from the series itself that I would have rioted in the street had it not been included.
The durable polyresin construction is great (Harding did a fantastic job translating Romita’s art from 2D to 3D), the paint application is excellent, and the easy-going pose actually makes the figure stand out in a crowd of collectible Batmen flapping their capes and raising their dukes. All the Rebirth suit’s details are there plus all of the character John Romita Jr. brought to it, including the over-sized batarang, so fans of All-Star Batman won’t be disappointed. I’ll also point out that it’s the only Rebirth design that the Black and White line has right now and collectors who want to see a variety of different Bat-eras represented on their shelf would be wise to pick this one up.
You can find the statue for $80 and below at your local comic shop and various online retailers. Only 5,000 statues will be made.