One year ago, DC Collectibles opened its "vault" of unproduced prototypes in celebration of hitting a social media milestone. Included therein were figures based on DC Universe Online, statues for Ame-Comi Mary Marvel and a Black Manta bust, among others. Instead of leaving all of these first-party collectibles locked away forever inside the archives, DC Collectibles asked fans to vote for which item they'd like to see finally be produced. Then there was silence... until today when the dull winter sky was broken by a glorious rainbow in the shape of Batman.
Yes, that's right; the Sheldon Moldoff-inspired Rainbow Batmen are coming and there's nothing you can do to stop it now. You had your chance to vote for 3.75" New 52 figures, and you blew it. Unless you voted for these, in which case, congratulations, all of your dreams are coming true in amazing technicolor fashion!
Did you miss out on the DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile when it released last fall? Perhaps you didn't have enough money at the time. Maybe you were just waiting for some shelf space to clear up. Or by chance you've just been waiting for it to be repackaged in a deluxe edition with a new paint job and a few figures to make it an even more special collectible. That might seem like a very specific instance, but it's one that is applies quite well to today's announcement from DC Collectibles.
Whatever mysterious circumstances kept you from adding the killer collectible to your collection, know now that you'll have another chance later this summer. DC Collectibles is revamping the animated Batmobile ever so slightly for re-release in August, and this time it won't just be sold all by its lonesome. You'll also be getting the dynamic duo, with new capes, and a Bat-signal to call Gotham's protectors to your aid.
The Earth One OGN initiative at DC Comics offered the chance for new origin stories to be given to characters like Superman and Batman without readers having to worry about any continuity beyond what happened in those pages. In addition to offering modernized takes on familiar faces, it also gave the creative teams a chance to inject new ideas and style into the mix. It's hard to shake-up characters like Batman and Superman too much without going full '90s, but with characters like the Teen Titans, there's a lot more wiggle room. That's where Terry Dodson comes in.
His redesigns were strong enough for DC Collectibles to turn them into action figures for its Designer Series line. Where Greg Capullo's held the fort firmly with his Batman family pieces, Dodson's figures give us a glimpse at the side of the DCU we don't quite often get to enjoy on the merchandise front, and it's a smart, successful inclusion.
It's hard to believe that it's been more than a year since we last saw any figures in the Greg Capullo DC Collectibles Designer Series. DC Collectibles has been busy with a number of Batman-related releases, as well as the Icon series and other artists in the Designer Series line, but after getting three waves in a year, the stark silence on the Capullo figures was a bit disheartening.
Though hardly the first figures produced in-house at DC to replicate the style of an artist currently at the employ of the comic publisher, the Capullo Designer Series featured some bold imaginings that captured the look and feel of the top-selling comic book in DC's stable. There was a strong connection between the figures and book, and it was startling to see just how well DC Collectibles' Jonathan Matthews was able to bring Capullo's linework to life.
Next year will be the 30th anniversary of The Dark Knight Returns, which for the three of you who have never heard of it, is considered one the landmark Batman stories of this generation. The story by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley not only shaped the way numerous creators and fans viewed Batman, but also opened a space in comics for more mature tales aimed squarely at the adult audience. There's also that new sequel coming, The Dark Knight III, which actually begins later this month. This time around, Frank Miller will actually be teaming with several other creators, including Andy Kubert and Brian Azzarello, to tell the third installment of the aged Batman's adventures.
To commemorate the anniversary of the seminal tale, as well as the latest chapter in the saga, DC Collectibles will be releasing two new pieces featuring this futuristic Batman. Both new collectibles were sculpted by Alterton, and manage to capture both the gritty intensity of Frank Miller's original design and the cleaner, imposing figure that Andy Kubert's linework provides in the upcoming sequel.
Numerous artists have had a crack at DC Collectibles' Batman: Black and White series over the years. The long roster of creators to have their styles translated into sculptures is filled with both classic and current favorites, though there is always room for that roster to expand. While we've seen some of the true masters of the form take their crack at the series, one of DC's brightest silver age stars is only now seeing his style make the leap. That's true of the characters included in the statue series as well. Where once Batman: Black and White was solely focused on the Dark Knight, recent years have seen the line grow to include the rest of the Bat-cast, such as the Joker, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, and now Robin as well.
Announced this week (via MTV), the Batman: Black and White statue series will soon see Carmine Infantino's Batman and Robin join the team. Previously, we'd seen the likes of Dick Sprang, Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli and Neal Adams get statues based on their immediately recognizable styles, but Infantino's interpretation of Batman had largely gone unappreciated in the line. Now, not only will his Batman be celebrated, but his Robin, too.
When action figures and vinyl collectibles based on your favorite DC heroes aren't enough, you can always turn down the more prestigious statue road. Sure, they're a bit pricier than a six-inch figure, but they bring a certain air of respectability to your collection. Anyone can buy an action figure. It takes a refined eye to know which statues will make a collection pop even more. Probably. I just usually buy the ones that look the coolest.
Today, we're debuting a few cool pieces from DC Collectibles upcoming slate of statues, courtesy of DC Comics. We've got the first look at three upcoming statues from DC Collectibles' Cover Girls, Icons and Super-Villains lines, featuring designs from Jim Lee and Stanley Lau. We've also got a bit more detail on the upcoming Wonder Woman: The Art of War by Bruce Timm statue.
In 2005, DC Collectibles (née DC Direct) launched a statue series of artist interpretations of the Dark Knight inspired in part by the Batman: Black and White comic series. For the most part, the line has focused exclusively on Batman himself, though in the past few years DC has expanded the roster of Black and White to include villains like the Joker and Harley Quinn. Now for the first time, another member of the Bat-family will join the ranks in the form of the all-new Batgirl.
Last year, Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr revamped Barbara Gordon to give her a new home, a new life and a whole new look. The fan response was immediate and loud, and the Batgirl of Burnside became a bright spot in the new DC Universe (and catalog) in a post-New 52 reboot world. However, as big of a success as this new Batgirl was, outside of the comics there was no merchandise to support the surprise hit. That changes this month. Thanks to the talented hands of sculptor Irene Matar, Babs Tarr's version of the character has been given life in collectible form for the first time, and the result is tremendous.
Two new Batman: Arkham Knight figures are on the way from DC Collectibles. After the success DC Collectibles has had with the action figure lines based on previous Arkham games, it's not all that surprising to learn the series will continue beyond those pieces already announced and released this year. It's also not surprising that one of the figures will be a Batman variant to go along with the standard armored version that launched in the first series.
Like the Red Hood figure that came out a month ago, the Battle Damaged Batman will only be available at GameStop. Normally, I'm not a big fan of retailer-exclusive figures, but as this is mostly just a repaint/variant of the figure widely available, it's not all that upsetting. According to Gamespot, the November-shipping figure will include a line launcher and batarang, and 25 points of articulation, for $25. The sculpt, by Gentle Giant, is quite detailed for the scale and size, and the distressing to the suit to replicate the damage done by the Scarecrow's goons gives the Dark Knight some nice weathering.
DC Collectibles kicked off San Diego Comic-Con 2015 with a preview event highlighting many of the bigger figures and series we'll be seeing over the course of the next 12 months. From continued support for the Icons and TV series lines to new Designer Series figures and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice pieces, there's a little bit of something for everyone in DC Collectibles' plans.
As cool as it was to see many of the new items on hand, the stars of the show were the characters getting the Darwyn Cooke touch as part of his Designer wave. Cooke's long been a favorite of mine, and his New Frontier figures from way back when are still some of the most stylish in my collection. Now that he's adding new takes on Batman, Supergirl, Adam Strange and Harley Quinn, I couldn't be happier. Combined with the expansion of the Batman: The Animated Series line to more obscure characters, 2015 and 2016 are shaping up to be a good time for clean, simple designs.
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