This article contains affiliate links through which DrunkWooky.com may earn a commission. Learn more from our disclosure statement here.
What’s up, Everywookiee! It’s DrunkWooky here again with another action figure review! Today, I’m taking a look at the brand spanking new McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse Animated trio of Batman, Superman, and John Stewart, Green Lantern!
I have to say, these three figures in particular have been a roller coaster of emotion. When they were first revealed, I was so, so, so pumped! I could give or take Superman and Green Lantern, but I’ve wanted a good 1/12 scale or 7″ animated Batman for some time and I just haven’t gotten around to getting one.
Then, I got my hands on the figures. I actually found these in the wild at a Wal Mart. The packaging was big and bright and I was still riding that nostalgia high from the press release.
Then I got to opening and posing them and the problems started. I won’t spoil it, but at the end of the day these figures are enjoyable. Not perfect, but fun. There are some majorly frustrating shortfalls that seem to be easy to overcome, but, alas, these are the figures we got.
These figures are available online at the following fine e-tailers:
Like I said, Batman was the figure I was most excited for from the animated wing of the McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse wave 1 releases.
Like I said in my review of Harley Quinn, these boxes are big, with bold, clear text, and nice big windows to view the figure inside. There’s a nice bit of art from Batman the Animated Series on the back and there’s some cross-sell of other figures below with their own artwork. The outer box is decently collector friendly. It has between 2 and 3 pieces of adhesive you need to undo in order to get inside. Batman is tied down to his tray with a plastic restraint that you’ll need to cut or feed out of the plastic tray, and finally, the figure’s base and trading card are blister packed to the back. I really don’t like that. As we’ll get to a little later, you’re going to need that base to balance Bats and you’ll need to wreck that back of the package to get it off.
Ah, this is the Bruce Timm Batman we all know and remember. Giant, chunky chest, bulking biceps, and the whole stature looks like an icicle getting narrower and narrower as it goes down. The head is pretty much dead on with that wide, Mt. Rushmore-looking chin and tiny bat ears. The cape is nice and thick and draped far down the front of Batman’s shoulders and chest just like in the cartoon.
If the goal was to capture the iconic and instantly recognizable Timm-verse style, McFarlane nailed it. This is the Bruce Timm Batman from Batman: the Animated Series without question. There is some debate among the dedicated about the fact that the utility belt is actually closer resembling Batman’s belt from the New Batman Adventures as opposed to his simpler looking belt from Batman: the Animated Series, but I don’t really care or mind. It looks good and it’s not a big enough piece of accuracy to detract from my enjoyment of this figure.
One critique is that the eyes seem a bit too far recessed. From most angles you can barely make out his eyes and you can never really see the triangular white shape. His eyes probably could have been better captured by simply painting them onto the black cowl.
The whole figure is a study in simple, bold, shapes of color. There’s no shading to be found and any of that is left to the actual light the sculpt is under. This makes the figure very dynamic in its appearance. A two-dimensional drawing of Batman is now cast in 3-D and is subject to the light of the real world. Very cool possibilities if you ask me.
Batman’s face is painted fine considering it’s a simple black line for a mouth and white eyes. Again, i just wish the eyes weren’t recessed so far so we could see that white.
Apart from that, the one downfall would be his yellow belt. The yellow paint is thin in places and looks very faint. Also, there are some errant splotches on his underoos.
This is probably the category that leaves the most to be desired. I’ll start out talking about balance. Now, I could put this issue either under sculpt or articulation I think, because it’s a function of both combined. In order to get the Timm-verse Batman style, the legs needed to be very slight and skinny. That’s not wrong, it’s accurate. However, this leaves Batman (and the rest of the animated DC Multiverse figures in this wave for that matter) prone to top-heaviness and real issues with just about any pose. I’m not talking about a deep crouch or a running pose. I’m talking about a standard out-of-the-box “A” pose with feet set shoulder-width apart. There is a small center of gravity you need to find and, unless you do, he will fall down. This leaves you relying on his figure stand. That’s not a bad thing necessarily, but something nags at me that using the base is kind of like cheating. Once you get over that, though, you’re free to pose Batman as you please and enjoy him.
Batman’s cape is connected to the lower portion of his head which connects to the joint at the base of the neck. Beyond that, there are also little pegs on the top of Batman’s shoulders that connect to the soft plastic of the cape. In theory, yes you could disconnect and swivel the cape around, but in practice it’s pretty hard to remove and I’d wager to say there’s a risk of breaking the cape, neck, or head. Assuming you’ll leave the cape alone, you’re left with the swivel of the upper portion of Bat’s head and mostly his face. There’s the slightest amount of upwards tilt to the chin, but most of the work will be done by leaning the ball waist joint. You get a fair amount of side to side face movement, but mostly, he’s impeded by the cape.
Bats has a butterfly joint at each shoulder to allow small amounts of extension and flexion toward and away from the middle of the chest, but not much. You’re not going to get a cross-body double-handed grappling hook pose.
He has a ball and hinge shoulder that provides really good range of motion and a rotating bicep that enhances that range of motion. Sadly, Batman’s elbows are a single swivel joint and it didn’t need to be this way. The joint has a nice ratchet assembly that keeps the tightness of the pose, however. Finally, Batman has a ball and swivel wrist joint that provides tons of motion to aim his batarang or grappling hook.
Batman has a ball jointed torso joint and a cut joint at the waist, each of which give him complete 360 degree swivel. There’s a small amount of tilt to that torso joint under the ribs, but nothing near an ab crunch.
Batman’s hips are a simple, single ball joint, he has double-swivel knees, a ball and swivel ankle joint, and a toe hinge.
When you add all this up, you get a decent amount of range of motion, but nothing near what could have been. Notably, Batman is missing a rotating thigh joint and a second elbow swivel joint. In general he feels a bit stiff and stunted at the head, moving down into the torso, and it seems that his arms and legs are where you get any type of real motion.
Batman comes with his figure stand, trading card, grappling hook, batarang, and two interchangeable open hands to swap out his fists and hold either of his weapons.
I could take or leave the trading card. It’s nice. I don’t dislike it. There’s just not much added value if you ask me.
Batman’s weapons are bulky and stylized, just the way they should be and both fit perfectly in his open hands (either one). Maybe the batarang is slightly too bulky, but it looks pretty good.
In a vacuum, sure this figure is worth the $19.99 price tag. I mean, he’s a pain in the ass to pose and balance, but once he’s posed he looks good, and you can get him into some decent bat poses. The problem is that these figures are not in a vacuum. they were released along side the “1000” DC Multiverse Batman and Superman who each have superior range of motion and balance. Hell, Harley even came with a double elbow joint. It’s hard not to feel like there was more to offer here.
From here on out, what applies to Batman pretty much applies to Superman and Green Lantern. They have very similar, if not identical, body sculpts and articulation. I’ll just point out what’s different and notable about each figure (good or bad).
Ditto from the rest of the DC Multiverse line. I strongly dislike the blistered base and trading card. I like the big window and package graphic design.
What’s nice about Superman is that his cape is not connected to a cowl on his head like Batman. Other than that, I love the embossed “S” symbol on the chest. they could have just painted that on, but they went with a sculpted symbol which really adds to the whole presentation. Again, this is another figure that really captures the Timm-verse style very well.
No splotches, no smudging, clean, crisp and clear.
Superman has the same suite of articulation that Batman does, but Superman’s neck moves a whole lot more freely. You can get quite a bit of upward tilt, downward tilt, rotation and general expressiveness from Supe’s neck joint.
Superman comes with the figure stand, trading card, a bent steel I-beam, and some open hands. The hands are the exact same hands as Batman’s but cast in skin-tone. They even have the trigger finger lifted. This is fine, I guess, but they’re not terribly well-suited for actually gripping the I-beam.
Again, we know that this line can offer more because figures with better articulation, balance, and range of motion were released at the same time. Sure, Superman’s worth $19.99, but that’s stretch.
I thought Green Lantern was going to be my least favorite of the three figures, but he might be number one.
John Stewart has a great sculpted head with raised eyebrows and a goatee. In fact, this figure probably has the most expressively sculpted head of the three. Besides that, the recurring body sculpt of the three figures has these deep lines cut into it. I’m not entirely sure where these come from, because they’re not really present on the animated model, but they look decent and they don’t really intrude and busy up the design so I’ll let it slide.
Just like Supes, the Green Lantern’s symbol on his chest is an embossed sculpted number and it’s a really nice touch.
There’s a little bit of faint white showing through the edges of the lantern symbol on his chest, but John’s pupils are painted crisp and centered on his eyes and there’s not much in the way of errant smudges and paint splotched. That’s really all that needed to be accomplished to get such a simple design to come across well.
Same as the previous two figures, but John’s left hip was real loose. That meant added frustration getting him to hold a pose because his foot would slide out from under him.
John comes with the stand, trading card, then a giant ray gun of the lantern ring’s manifestation, and finally what I though was a visor, but turns out to be a sort of headset microphone.
What can I say, I’m a sucker for translucent plastic. Neither accessory does much, but they sure look cool as hell. To the best of my investigation the gun fits on either hand, you just need to push harder than you’re probably comfortable with to get the gun attached on John’s arm.
None of these figures really blew me away. Green Lantern got off to a rocky start with me, but then ended up being one of my favorites. If you’re a Justice League collector or a Timm-verse collector, you’ll probably pick these up, but just don’t expect to be bowled over by their features. Arguably these should be $17.99/$16.99 figures.
Each of these figures is available at the following e-tailers: