Initially, I thought I’d be buying this figure as a “generic policeman”. It was cool to get a Joseph Gordon-Levitt figure and all, but who in the heck was John Blake anyway? Speaking of, there could be Dark Knight Rises spoilers, particularly in the comments, please proceed at your own risk.
I’m going to do my best to not spoil any Dark Knight Rises because it’s not even been out a week yet. So I have to kinda get through this review without really talking much about John Blake himself or what he does because he’s essentially a character created for the films and there’s not much detail about him that some folks might not consider a spoiler.
Well, there is a John Blake in the comics, Johnny Blake anyway. He was a little boy that appeared way back in 1942’s Batman #13. In that comic, Joker had changed his ways and set out to commit crimes that made people cry (makes you wonder what he thought he was doing up until then…). Anyway, among his victims is one Johnny Blake, a young school boy who had just received his grade card. Blake had proudly gotten all A’s and was happy to show his parents… until that dastardly Joker stole the report card! Blake sits crying as Joker gleefully makes his escape.
In the movie, that brief comic snippet really has nothing to do with anything. I doubt if Nolan even knew about it. In the film, John Blake is a sharp, well-trained police officer that quickly finds himself thrust fully into the middle of the film’s plot that I can’t talk about. I will say that the movie is as much about him as anyone else. I absolutely loved it, but the folks calling it an ensemble piece more than a Batman movie are pretty much right. As for Blake specifically, I enjoyed both the performance and the character. It made my purchase of this figure go from my wanting a generic police officer to my wanting John Blake specifically.
Now, this is a Movie Masters figure so I paid my local Walmart $16.50 for a lot of the same parts again. Thankfully, I realized Blake has a few more new bits than I initially expected. The dividing line is basically the ab crunch. Below it, all re-use. Above it, all-new. The new torso features a film accurate collar, while the new slipover and arms create a believeable bulky jacket. Top that off with another good likeness for the line and any fan of the film looking to collect John Blake should be a happy camper.
The other great thing about all these new parts is that no articulation was sacrificed. Below the ab crunch is obviously standard and everything above that has been retained, including the bicep swivels. There’s great range in the neck articulation; everything on the figure pretty much works how I want it to. Continue to Page 2…