When DC Collectibles first released their Lee Bermejo designed Joker statue last year, I kept wondering when I’d get to see a Brian Bolland version. When this Joker first debuted later that year at a convention, it was more than I could ever hope for. Not only did we have a Bolland Joker, but it was from the cover of Legends of the Dark Knight 50 with his cat! After waiting what felt like 5 months for it to show up in Previews for preorder and even longer for it to come out, the newest Batman Black and White figure is in my hands and I can show it to you!
Each statue in the Black and White line showcases a different classic representation of Batman by some of the best artists to tackle the books. They’re smaller statues, Joker stands 9 inches high including his base, but they make a big impact! Judge for yourself how well sculptor Brian Fay captured Bolland’s Joker.
There’s a bit of detail lost due to the smaller size, but the spirit is definitely still there! Brian Fay has spent a lot of his career doing action figure sculpts for McFarlane studios, and the level of creepy found in many of Todd McFarlane’s lines is definitely felt here.
I’m not sure I’m a big fan of the new packaging style that DC Collectibles has adopted since changing the logo. It definitely takes away the impact of pretty much any figure I’ve gotten, and at times feels like it cheapens the statue inside. I hope this is a phase they grow out of soon, as I usually keep many of my figure boxes so they’ll be easier to move later and these are just unpleasant to look at.
Since almost every promotional photo of this figure shows him from the side, I was actually expecting him to be standing on his base a bit differently. It throws off the balance a little bit when you look at the full figure from the side, which is possibly why most promos also seem to cut off the base.
Somehow I think it works in the case of the Joker, as his outlook on life is always a bit twisted anyway. Why should his figures conform any better? I wonder if this skewed view was what Mr. Fay had in mind the whole time.
The nice thing about the Black and White statues is that they bring out the quality of the sculpts so much better, as you’re not distracted as much by a factory paint job. I love the detail in the folds of clothing, and how you can still make out the muscles in the Joker’s back through his coat. This strikes me as being very true to Bolland’s detailed style, despite the limitations due to the size and material the statue brings.
I’ve said it before, but I think DC Collectibles would really benefit from moving toward more plastics production like companies such as Kotobukiya have done. There’s a lot of detail that just can’t be captured in a cold cast statue without fear of warping or breakage. If you’re not sure what I mean, look at a figure like this next to some of the other work Brian Fay has done for McFarlane. He brings some amazing realistic detail when he has the freedom of acction figure material to work with, and DC’s figure lines would really benefit from that quality boost, and wouldn’t have to include distracting things like Joker here’s distracting fabric bow due to casting difficulties.
Overall this is a great little figure, but at a $79.95 MSRP it could have had even more detail in a different material and been a better value for its small stature. For a big Batman fan on a budget, the Black and White line delivers in spades with its shelf appeal and different options but there are definitely better things to spend your Batman dollars on, like Kotobukiya’s superhero lines. Still, this Joker succeeds in being creepy as can be and is a great addition to our Halloween!