Toy Review: Black Lantern Batman (Blackest Night Wave 5)


I think I've developed an affinity for collecting weird Batman figures. I'm not talking about the Batmen that you often see in the animated lines that are colored in a kaleidoscope of random hues, packaged with whatever uncongruous accessory some toy exec thinks will appeal to kids. I'm talking about Batmen that are thematically and fundamentally strange, drastic deviants from the usual Batman characterizations. Two-Face as Batman is a great example of this (in fact, my review of the figure here probably jump-started this new collecting obsession), as is Batzarro and Composite Superman. And to continue my exploration into Bat-weirdness, I decided to pick up Black Lantern Batman, which is basically a zombified Batman. Let's check him out!



Stats

Company: DC Direct
Size: 7"
Price: $16.99 (from BigBadToyStore)
Packaging: Clamshell


Appearance

This Blackest Night Batman figure depicts Batman after he was resurrected from the grave by the Black Lantern ring, and the sculpt looks the part. The musculature is emaciated, with a pronounced rib cage and pelvis. The hands are veiny and spindly. And the face looks like worms just went to town on it. I also love Bat-zombie's expression, his tongue hanging from his brains-savoring mouth. And let's not forget the wonderful texture on the cape created by the sculpted wrinkles and tears. Even the gauntlets and shin guards have a cool texture.


The paint apps are awesome too. Batman's costume has brown stains, freckled with dirt, that make him look like he just dug himself out of his grave. His face is layered in tan and green paint washes, and sharp detailing denotes his pockmarks and green teeth. Fortunately, there isn't any slop around his tongue that would have ruined the look. And I love the beady glint off his black eyes.


Articulation

Zom-Bat has 17 points of articulation:
  • Ball-socket neck: This joint is imperative for creepy zombie poses, and there's a good range of movement here.
  • Ball-socket shoulders: Unfortunately, the movement here is limited for some reason.
  • Swivel biceps.
  • Hinge elbows.
  • Swivel wrists.
  • Swivel forearms: This seems pretty repetitive since we already have swivel wrists.
  • T-swivel hips.
  • Hinge knees.
  • Swivel shins.
Bat-zombie's movement is efficient, if not as hyper-articulated as other figures like DCUCs. And thankfully, there is no ankle articulation to ruin the standability (and therefore the displayability) of the figure. Whew!


Accessories

Black Lantern Bats only comes with a stand. Fortunately, unlike Two-Face Batman, the stand is large enough for the figure and is specific to the character. The stand is all well and good, but I would have liked something else to be included. Some other undead artifacts, like a gravestone, would have been awesome.

Value

At $17, this figure eclipses the similarly-priced DCUCs in terms of quality of sculpt and paint apps. I would have preferred more accessories, but I'm very happy with the craftsmanship of the figure.

The plastic is harder than DCUC figures, which might make it more brittle. Battlegrip.com's review of Blackest Night Superman reported that Supes' elbow broke right out of the package. This Batman doesn't have the same quality control problems, but it's worth staying frosty so you don't get a lemon.


Coolness

I love zombies, although I'm relatively new to the genre as I've only been actively watching zombie movies for the past decade. But these days, zombies are getting more than a little over-exposed with everyone wanting to get on the undead bandwagon. When Natalie Portman is cast in a zombie movie, you know the genre is becoming too mainstream.

As for zombified superheroes, I guess Marvel Zombies were the first. The concept was cool to begin with, but Marvel just drove it into the ground. The Blackest Night storyline is DC's attempt to get on the zombie gravy train. I haven't read the story yet, but from what I can tell, I like the concept better than Marvel Zombies because at least it's working within the normal mechanics of the DC universe by utilizing Black Lantern rings (as opposed to MZ, in which the zombie universe just seemed to come out of nowhere). I just hope DC doesn't over-do it.

Anyway, to sum up: Batman = Cool. Zombies = Cool. Batman + Zombies = 2 times the Cool. But Batman + Zombies - Zombie Overexposure < 2 times the Cool, depending on your perceived level of Zombie Overexposure. Mine yields a coolness score of 4.


Overall

Blackest Night Batman is yet another solid figure from DC Direct. The excellent sculpt and paint apps make an undeniably awesome-looking figure, with a surprising amount of detail and precision. He's no slouch in terms of articulation, either. The lack of cool accessories, conspiring with the increasing overexposure of the zombie genre, keeps the figure from the ever-elusive perfect score. Still, this Zom-Bat is a great addition to my Batman freak show.

DISCLAIMER: All items reviewed on Dork Dimension were purchased by the reviewer unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed on Dork Dimension are solely those of the author and are presented for entertainment purposes only.