Batman has had a variety of looks over the years through film and television, but there’s one look that pops into most peoples’ heads when you ask them to describe him: blue cape, boots, and gloves; grey outfit, and yellow accents on the symbol and belt. The Batman they’re probably picturing is Neal Adams’ take on the character: super-fit, with tall ears and a dynamic cape. Adams’ version might be the most enduring, and that Batman makes for a great statue. Case in point: Diamond Select’s Classic Batman diorama statue.
This statue isn’t tall, but it is substantial. It measures in at 7-inches tall thanks to his raised arm, but his footprint is more like 8.5×10 inches including the base and his flowing cape. Designed by Sean Knapp and sculpted by Jean St. Jean, this 1:8 scale statue is available for $49.99 from Diamond Select and Entertainment Earth or 40 cents less from their store on Amazon as of the time of this writing.
First, let’s get this out of the way. If you clicked any of the retailer links above, know that the preview images on both sites are not quite accurate. The pose matches the photo, but the pronounced shading doesn’t. There’s almost no shading on the statue. The base is much darker, too, and doesn’t feature shading either. It also has a trio of bats on the tallest pillar. The flow of the cape is a little bit different, too, I think. None of these are criticisms–just differences.
Generally speaking, I actually prefer the version we got over the version in the photos. The shading in the photos seems to try to imitate Adams’ own style. The unshaded version feels a bit more subtle and actually more lifelike to me, as it’ll make its own shadows based on how you light it up. There are hints here and there–the front of his cowl and back of his neck–but it’s otherwise a matte finish.
The colors are classic Batman, with a slightly muted blue and bright yellow. The paint is, by and large, super clean across the statue. That keeps highlights like his belt, white eyes, and bat symbol clean and clear. The bat symbol is not perfect, but it’s also fairly well-hidden by the pose the creators chose, and it’s really something I only noticed once I had the close-up photos in front of me–much like the ’90s Catwoman we looked at previously.
The pose and base work great together. With the exception of the aforementioned Catwoman, these statues have had rad bases, with Bane’s base standing out as the best so far. Batman’s is closer to Bane’s than Catwoman’s, thankfully. The stalagmites around Batman are suggestive of the Batcave, and the bats of course confirm that. I do miss the shading here, but I wouldn’t have known to look for it if I hadn’t seen the preview photos. Little touches like the red eyes on the bats make the base feel like a crucial part of the statue rather than just a support to stand it on.
The pose is dynamic, a great freeze-frame moment. Is Batman fighting someone in the Batcave, or is he training? Some hint toward which would’ve been nice, but that doesn’t take away from it, either. There are lots of great details here, too. Batman’s furrowed brow, the bend of his toes as he winds up to throw the Batarang in his hand, and the way the left side of his cap is flipped over to double up all serve to bring the statue to life.
There are a few spots on the statue where you can see imperfections; there is a bit of bubbling on one part of the cape. The glue points are pretty obvious in certain places, like at his shoulders, and his legs are actually thicker around than his… bat undewear? I’m not sure what to call them. The paint on his left shoulder is a little splotchy. Again, the camera seems to really highlight these imperfections in a way that just looking at it with your regular human eyes wouldn’t.
These are subtle things, though, that did little to dull my enthusiasm for the statue. I’d happily take another pose of this character from the same designer and sculptor. The word Classic is often slapped onto things that don’t really deserve it, but this is classic Batman. It’s a great buy for the price.
Disclaimer: Diamond Select provided us with one DC Comic Gallery Classic Batman PVC Diorama to photograph and examine before writing this review.
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