Vault Review: Batman Inc.
Knight and Man-Of-Bats

Grant Morrison’s run on Batman has produced a trove of terrific characters, and thankfully DC Direct has finally started adding them to their plastic roster.  So I’m ending this week, and wrapping up my Batman Incorporated reviews, with a look at two of my favorite characters:  Knight, and Man-Of-Bats.

Cyril Sheldrake began his superhero career early in life as Squire, sidekick to his father, the original Knight.  He took over the mantle of Knight when his father was killed by his arch enemy, Spring-heeled Jack.  Although just as skilled as Batman, the death of his father set him down a dark turn where he even doubted his own competency.  This is when he met Beryl Hutchinson, the girl who would bring him out of his depressed state and eventually become his Squire.  Together they make an incredibly effective duo, publicly fighting off the threats to England from their Castle base in Wordenshire and having a few drinks with their “arch-villians” at the pub in their off-time.

Knight’s suit is a complexity of real armor infused with technology, and as usual DC Direct did a great job of capturing its look.  The armor’s padded and smooth appearance really makes the wrinkled and textured fabric of his cape, loincloth, and boots really stand out.  There’s even raised leather straps all around his body, showing how the armor is held on.  They even sculpted the bottom of his nose so you can see it underneath his faceplate.  Unfortunately there are no eyes behind his mask though.

Cyril’s paint job has also been applied in expert detail.  Each light gray armor piece has a thin rim surrounding it.  Most of these edges are incredibly thin and surprisingly there is almost no paint slop.  They were also able to give his cape and loincloth a dark gray wash, which does a great job bringing out all the textures and highlights from the sculpt.  There were even little buttons added to his right gauntlet, showing off the tech aspect of his suit.

The low score on this figure comes from his articulation.  His shoulders and head are on ball joints, but his head mostly moves like it’s on a swivel.  He’s got swivel biceps, wrists, a waist, hips, and calves.  His elbows and knees are hinge joints.  Unfortunately the articulation he does have is severely limited by the sculpt of his armor, making him incredibly difficult to pose in any kind of action stance.

Knight comes with a stand but no accessories, which is fine because he uses swords sometimes, but nothing as specific as a Batarang.  The real problem here is the lack of his sidekick Squire in this wave of figures.  These two characters go together perfectly, and seeing him alone on the shelf just feels weird and wrong.  Continue to page 2…

17 thoughts on “Vault Review: Batman Inc.
Knight and Man-Of-Bats

  1. Both Man-of-Bats and Knight look cool as hell, and I agree with Vault about the articulation issue. DC Direct needs to modernize and at least try to match the DCCUC line in terms of articulation. That’s always a big issue w/me, because I prefer the range of articulation on DCUC figures to the DC Direct line.

    1. Yeah, me too. I like being able to pose my figures and not just have them standing there constantly.

  2. Personally, I don’t think DCUC are articulated enough, they need double jointed knees, rocker joints, and all of the elbows are too restricted. Not to mention the general uselessness of the ankle joints they still get.

    That’s why I switched to only collecting four inch figures. You pay half as much, get more articulation, more accessories and better quality control. Even Hasbro tends to have trouble with articulation and quality control on six inch figures. Of course, there’s no good four inch DC figures, but there’s no good DC Comics any more, so it’s okay.

    Thanks for the great review and pictures. I still like to keep my eyes on anything to go with my current six inch collection and if it weren’t for the articulation problems you revealed, I probably would have ended up purchasing Knight at some point.

    1. You have a point to an extent concerning DCUC’s articulation. For some reason Mattel has decided to downgrade the articulation factor of the newer figures, robbing them of the rocker joints as you pointed out. The Bane line seemed to show improvements as Robin received the amount of articulation he needed, but yeah there could still be improvements, especially on The Creeper, which I believe Noisy pointed out. Even with all those issues you mentioned, I still prefer the DCUC line in basic terms of articulation. Now if you want to discuss the sloppy paint jobs on certain DCUC figures, I’ll give you that.

      Also, if I was a fan of the 3-4in figures as you clearly are, I might see your point concerning more articulation for less money. Trust me, the rapidly increasing prices of these DCUC figures is a major reason I cherry pick instead of buying complete waves, and why I’m retiring from collecting figures altogether. In this economy, and I believe I’m not alone on this, it’s getting harder and harder to justify buying 6 in or whatever size you like due to budget restraints.

  3. Knight is tempting. I’ve always liked knights in general and he looks great, but the articulation and lack of a weapon is a turn-off. If my friend were here, he’d point out that “he’s a knight wearing heavy armor, so it makes sense he wouldn’t be very flexible and fast,” to which I’d reply, “yeah, but he exists in a universe with Cyborg and S.T.R.I.P.E. They can make flexible armor plates!”

    I have the sword from DC Direct’s armored Donna Troy lying around. I wonder if that would fit in his hand…

    1. DAMN. Now I gotta buy more Spy Monkey swords…when they re-open…

      How does he hold it? Pretty good grip?

      1. There’s a little wiggle, but it stays in place on my figure. The opening between the thumb and fingers is a wee bit small, but I was able to work it in there carefully and not damage anything.

        I was pretty happy with it. The colors are a great match. And yeah, dem boys need to re-open soon! 😀

  4. knight looks spiffy, but MoB… i just don’t see the appeal. but again, the do-dang DCD articulation makes me furious. they’re so close to marvel select in terms of sculpt quality, but the movement just isn’t there to make them purchasable for moi.

    that said, we once again see why SMC are geniuses. that sword looks tight in knight’s fist. i’m mondo curious to see how the SM emerges from it’s chrysalis. i expect big things.

    1. I think a large part of Man-of-Bats appeal comes from his characterization under Morrison. His appearances in the Batmen of All Nations and the particular issue of Batman, Inc that Vault pointed out. He’s almost stole the spotlight in all the issues in which he’s appeared.

  5. I tend to agree that a knight needs a sword, but reading about this character, I can’t help but wonder if a mace or flail or some other kind of blunt impact weapon would be more fitting.

    Man Of Bats bothers me because it just seems stereotypical in some manner. It’s a cool sculpt and everything, and I guess the public is onboard with him, so what do I know?

  6. A bunch of my DCUC figs have elbows and knees that don’t move 90 degrees either. I think designers like sculpt and look more than movement. You take those little chunks out and it does mess with the flow if the sculpt, but it’s worth it to me. Go play with your DCUC Question and see what I mean.
    Knight is a great looking toy and he does need a Squire. I’ve liked him in the books, might like that toy. I certainly like the sculpt and detail in it. DCDirect destroys DCUC in that regard, but not in articulation. If only we could get both in one toy.

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