“This should be agony. I should be a mass of aching muscle — broken, spent, unable to move. And, were I an older man, I surely would… But I’m a man of 30 — of 20 again. The rain on my chest is a baptism. I’m born again.” – Batman, The Dark Knight Returns (1986).
It’s hard to write reviews sometimes. Someone just really ticked me off before I set down to write this and I’m finding it hard to focus on the matter at hand. Maybe it’s a good to be in a grim & gritty mood for talking about the The Dark Knight returns and its impact on comics in general. I think DKR is well done. I think it’s a seminal work. I think it’s a comic that deserves the praise it gets.
And it’s a comic I totally don’t like.
Nearly all of my favorite Batman stories are from before DKR. My preferred Batman is more the bronze age, well-rounded, fatherly, detective Bruce Wayne that uses Batman as a mask. That’s the good stuff. I still have room for crazy-ultra paranoid Batman, Bruce-as-mask Batman, and Sci-Fi Closet Batman, but plop me down some 1978 goodness and I’d be most happy. I want Batman in his suit, cowl off, just chatting with Alfred about Dick’s studies. And then he go punch some jokers too. And Dark Knight Returns is not that. It is credited with kicking off many of the things about Batman that I don’t like (& that nearly everybody else seems to). It does make its case with a mostly good story, but it’s just not for me.
So when Mezco announced their One:12 line was kicking off with DKR Batman. I was excited – it’s Batman & it’s a crazy, new form factor, but I was tempered by it being this Batman. Mezco finally managed to get my attention with a Previews Exclusive though. I prefer blue over black and I’m so pro-oval that I can only name one time I really thought the lack of an oval looked way cool. The PX figure would be the one for me. I did wait a little too long and had to pick this up from a fellow collector (thank you!) and then I waited a little longer to review him, but he’s a good candidate to wrap up our Bat-Week.
The PX release came in a pretty cool package. Long-time readers know it’s cool because I never talk about packaging. It’s a little bit of a box in a box, as there’s a plastic slip cover over the inner box which features a flap covering window packaging. Once you get in there, the figure is front & center, neatly packaged with the stand appearing as a Bat-signal behind him and the accessories splayed around him. A second tray hides the behind-the-scenes accessories like the stand and a torture device used to aid in posing the cape (or designed by Joker to trap Batman, I can’t quite tell).
Out of the box, the figure does a great job of selling Mezco’s One:12 Collective. Mezco already created what I consider the greatest line on my shelves: Comic Hellboy. That line looks like Mignola’s artwork walked off the page. The sculpt & paint are fantastic, the articulation works great, it’s all around the best. The only flaw is that it didn’t last – I’m still dying for at least a Kate and a Ben while I’m ever thankful they pushed out an Abe to finish the main roster. The attention to detail on that Hellboy line has forever sold me on Mezco.
And they’ve done it again here. We’re basically talking Hot Toys 1:6 goodness in 1:12 scale. It’s right there in the name. “One:12 Collective”. To be fair, the figure clocks in at 6.75” which would make Batman about 6’ 9”, so it’s more 1:11, but who’s counting? Continue to Page 2…