Tag Archives: Batman

UnBoxing | Mezco BATMAN: Sovereign Knight

The third in a series of designs from the high-end collectible action figure designers at Mezco examines the legacy of the Dark Knight, the Batman: Sovereign Knight is fully articulating the hero for the 21st century

With everyone knee-deep in celebrating the 80th Anniversary of The Batman, the iconic DC property continues to stagger the imagination and inspire limitless iterations of the Dark Knight as he continues to evolve year-after-year to take on the most nefarious forces of Gotham City’s criminal underbelly. Whether in story form or animation, live-action big screen blockbusters or primetime dramas, the Caped Crusader’s always at the ready.

The high-end toymakers at Mezco have always developed the most sought after collectibles on the market; the fully articulated action figure line is among the more expertly crafted, with highly detailed accessories and carefully crafted cloth uniforms that enhance the creative playability and solidify the bragging rights of an avid fan on the scene. The One:12 Collective line remains one of the most revered of the adult collector toy lines to watch, and stands out among the rest, especially due to the 6.5” manageability of the figures themselves.

In celebration of the fandom of the DC comics hero, Mezco released its latest figure in an evolving line commemorating the evolution of the Dark Knight. Batman: Sovereign Knight realizes a very contemporary 21st Century look and feels to Gotham City’s most battle-hardened defender. The action figure appears modeled after DC Comics legendary artist Jim Lee’s reinterpretation of The Batman for “The New 52” publishing wide reboot, which remixed the established pantheon of heroes with a very modern twist.

Battle Up

The perfectly crafted action figure is heavy articulated with over 30 points of articulation giving collectors the ultimate in posable playability. Mezco warns collectors that they should play carefully, especially given the cloth overlay costume which is crafted to fit over the proportionately sized body frame, but it could pull or wear out depending on how the figure is positioned. The Batman: Sovereign Knight is ready for battle, in sturdy all-terrain boots and gauntlets, with a suit to simulate a protective kevlar armor and an all-purpose utility belt with a clip for a grappling gun.

Expertly packaged in a window box for proper display the figure comes equipped with an array of weaponry including multiple batarangs, grappling gun with hooks, a sonic gun and even a kryptonite-knuckled glove for mixing it up against an unruly Man of Steel, if necessary. The packaged also includes 3 different expressions: a battled damaged cowl, Batman unmasked as Bruce Wayne and an alternate version of the cowl with shorter ears. Mezco also includes an emblemed display stand so that you can pose your Sovereign Knight properly.

As far as collectible figures go, Mezco has (again) hit out of the ballpark with this release, which matches anyone of their others in the line. What sets this particular one above is its attractiveness to Batman fans, especially those happily in the midst of the 80th Anniversary hoopla, will be over the moon at the care given to bringing this Batman to the masses. It’s an awesomely looking design and has enough gear in the box to keep any of the Bat’s notorious rogues at bay! Mezco’s promise to quality is also met in spades which helps to validate the ticket price of this item.

Out Of the Box

It’ll be impossible to resist taking this handsome figure out of the box, though Mezco does make it easy to keep all the accessories intact and in the same place. The grappling gun attaches to the back of the figure’s utility belt for display and playability, and the cape is sturdy enough that it hangs securely from beneath the hood, though it does not have an inserted wired frame in case you are attempting to make that a part of the display story. The cloth coverings that simulate the character outfits maintain their durability but try to keep them out of direct light.

If you are concerned or deterred by the Mezco One:12 Collective ticket price, rest assured it’s worth every penny and can be purchased some certain retailers at a competitive price. The heavily sought after figure line is historically known for selling out online, and the toy makers do not immediately begin manufacturing additional quantities unless they have a sufficient demand via a Wait List. With Batman mania sweeping the social conscious at the moment, this may be one of the best ways to pay homage to Batman. 80 years later, he’s still kicking major ass!

Batman: Sovereign Knight from Mezco One:12 Collective is available now. Visit their website to order yours.

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iFeature | BEN AFFLECK Out as THE BATMAN

Warner Bros. cuts ties with another of its super-powered heavy hitters letting Ben Affleck out of his obligation to continue in the role as the Caped Crusader in the studio’s much anticipated The Batman directed by Matt Reeves. 

Another founding member of the league appears to be passing on the cape and cowl. Ben Affleck who had assumed the big screen mantle portraying The Batman in the blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and continued to star as the DC Comics hero in the team-up film Justice League will not be playing the hero in the upcoming solo film directed by Matt Reeves that will be perpetuating the long-time franchise favorite.

In the week following the announcement of Affleck’s departure, the trades readily reported that he studio cited it was moving in a different direction and wanting to cast a “younger” actor to headline  in Reeves The Batman which is meant to “reboot” the titular hero on the big screen. Affleck’s portrayal of a more weathered and seasoned combatant was lukewarmly received in the press, but fans had clearly begun to come around even though Justice League didn’t meet expectations.

Affleck had been attached to writing and directing The Batman’s eventual transition into the solo arena until the discussions with the studio arrived at a decisions that Reeves would be taking over the helm of The Batman as several script revisions were under way. The film is scheduled for a release date of 2021.

Affleck stepped into the kevlar armor of the hero after Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy which featured Christian Bale in the role, and perhaps the most lucrative of the franchise films. This is yet another setback for the studio which also parted ways with Henry Cavill who had played Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel introducing the connected cinematic universe much in the vein of Marvel Studios narrative and decade long dominance of the genre.

With the darker tone of Snyder’s take on the comic inspired commodities which continued into BvS and was followed up in Justice League (even though that film passed hands and was completed by Joss Whedon), the recent successes of Wonder Woman and Aquaman have suggested that the studio may be looking to rebrand their DC properties. The box office appeal of the most recent feature Aquaman with its lighter tone worked and the upcoming Shazam! will follow suit.

Though the future of the DC Cinematic Universe is still in much turmoil; though Aquaman proved successful at the box office it still only garnered a tepid response from critics, and the upcoming Shazam! may not hold its mettle against the likes of Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel and the next installment of Avengers: Endgame which will deal the climatic finale to this phase of the Marvel Cinematic empire and starting a new chapter.

Season Pass | GOTHAM Season 5 Arrives on iTunes

Entering into its final season, Gotham Season 5 has high expectations on keeping fans engaged long enough to wrap up the prequel series that backstories the arrival of the Dark Knight.

When it was launched five seasons ago alongside the largely booming DC TV primetime universe, Gotham was potentially appeared the easiest sell to fans who were excited that Arrow was about to spin-off The Flash and a certain magic wielder was also arriving on the scene on one of the most mainstream network on the air. The DC boom was about to blossom and everyone wanted a piece of the action. The FOX network landed the prequel series set in the darkest alleys of the DC Universe.

Gotham starring Ben McKenzie as a largely unseasoned detective James Gordon who is unprepared for the corrupt underbelly of his new beat on Gotham City, on paper sounded like the most daring venture but with the most inherit possibilities, especially under the watchful eye of producer Bruno Heller. The series opened with the murder of a wealthy and prominent couple who left behind a sole heir, a ten-year old Bruce Wayne played by David Mazouz who is then placed under the care of the family’s loyal butler Alfred, keenly reinvented by Sean Pertwee.

Jim Gordon begins a perilous journey to clean up the dank and dark streets of Gotham which are mostly all controlled by a colorful cast of underworld crime families, and when Gordon refuses to fall in line, even after the persistent suggestions of his new partner Harvey Bullock (played by Donal Logue) the tipping of the balance is set in motion — and the series begins its decent into darkness, even as Gordon is determined to save its soul. The crafty criminal element ascends to all new depths of villainy introducing the audience to the rise of the Caped Crusaders rogues gallery.

The original cast as they appeared when the show launched.

It’s Curtains! 

Outside of the established Arrowverse that has shaped itself into a formidable primetime powerhouse, Gotham continued to beat to its own drum, even as it began to round out the now adolescent Bruce Wayne and followed with great interest the growing attraction the millionaire boy has for the street urchin Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) destined to steal his heart as the jewel thief Catwoman, the insular world presented within the scope of the prequel banked on utilizing familiar landmarks like Arkham Asylum for instance to drive its story arcs.

Batman’s villains after all are really what makes his capers all the more interesting, though audiences did not necessarily appear all that into the diversity of many of those introductions even as the Penguin took over, the Riddler emerged, Poison Ivy was engineered or the Court of Owls were brought out of the shadows. Over the course of its run, even Jim Gordon took an alternate trajectory and dove into the shadows, eventually seeking redemption. Now entering its fifth and final season, all roads on Gotham lead to the formation of the Batman!

After the most jarring two seasons that brought the chaos and insidious rise of the city’s most devious agents out onto the main stage, Gotham ended its Fourth Season inspired by the “No Man’s Land” comic book arc and into “Zero Year”, a very current motive which depicts the origins of the Batman as he emerges from a Gotham turned urban war zone after a major power failure cuts the city off from the rest of the country. Anything can happen on Gotham and it has been allowed to reign insanity over the course of its run; now it has to tie up all its loose ends.

But fear not! The most diehard devotee can take some solace in the recent integration of Gotham City into the Arrowverse, confirmed with this season’s “Elseworlds” crossover event which also has launched the career of Batwoman as portrayed by Ruby Rose. Kate Kane has been left in charge of protecting Gotham during the mysterious disappearance of its most dedicated defender! As Gotham enters its final season iTunes has just released the Season Pass to Season 5 which features a recent interview with the cast gathered for New York City Comic-Con.

With most details surrounding Season 5 still mostly vague, fans can expect to see Bruce Wayne take on the famous cape and cowl, as the series promises that the final episode will propel the storyline forward 10 years into the future! Check out the exclusively bundled interview piece for some additional plot developments that might ensure this final season of Gotham should not be missed.

ICYMI | BATMAN The Animated Series Goes Hi-Def for Blu-ray Release

In Case You Missed It (that’s what the acronym ICYMI standa for) Warner Bros Animation kicked off the fall with the proper release of its award-winning BATMAN The Animated Serieson Blu-ray bringing the classic series into the 21st Century proper! The entire series in its HD presentation had been introduced as part of the launch of the DC Universe subscription service (check out DCUniverse.com), before the Blu-ray release.

Included with the Special Edition box set was also an accompanying redemption number for the entire Digital Download of the series. To the surprise of many fans when you redeemed the collection from VUDU you only accessed SD versions of every episode available from each of the 4 seasons. Fortunately WB and VUDUrealized the error and worked to fix the issue. Now all episodes are running in HD as well as the 2 bonus full-length features that were included with the box set.For any fan of DC this is among one of the best releases and each of the uprezzed episodes has never looked better! The Limited Series box set was extended with 2000 more made available, although the standard full box set is now also on the market.
Batman: The Animated Series Complete Box Set is now available through most retailers just in time for the holidays and the entire series in available in HD on Digital Download platforms including iTunes and VUDU.

iReview | BATMAN: Mystery of the Batwoman on Blu-ray

The Batman gets mixed up in a caper that reveals a new vigilante emerges from under the shadows of Gotham City’s skyscrapers with an agenda to take down the underworld operations whether the Caped Crusader likes it or not in the animated adventure BATMAN Mystery of the Batwoman.

Before she gets formally inducted into the Arrowverse during the upcoming new season of The CW hit live-action series’ much anticipated annual crossover event, Batwoman has had a storied existence that is almost as enduring as that of the Caped Crusaders. The character was introduced during the Silver Age of comics and brought into the Batman Family as an indicator to readers that Batman and his ward Robin, the Boy Wonder were not engaged in a homosexual relationship. Her active crime-fighting career was short lived.

Eventually she would be replaced by the resoundingly more popular Batgirl / Barbara Gordon who would continue with a significantly important role in DC Comics mythology through to the modern era, but it was in 2006 that the newest iteration of the character appeared on the scene and sent epic shockwaves throughout the fandom. Before Kate Kane’s reimagining in 2003, the celebrated Animated Adventures of The Batman continued a traditional of producing full-length episodes indulging audience demands.

Available in a hi-def presentation Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman reunites the talents from the Emmy®-Winning “Animated Adventures” including Kevin Conroy voicing the Dark Knight and leading an all-star cast that includes Hector Elizondo, Kyra Sedgwick, Kelly Ripa and David Ogden Stiers. Released in conjunction with the final episodes of The Animated Series run, the feature takes its lead and tone from that season’s much darker and more streamlined designs, though much of the art deco cityscapes are still extremely prevalent.

Who Is the Batwoman?

Unique in that Batwoman hadn’t yet been canonized for the new millennium and many fans were unaware of her origins, the mystery surrounding this silver-clad agent of vengeance is shrouded in secrecy. As Batman (Conroy) soon discovers there’s more to the Batwoman than meets the eye, and it’s up to him to learn the truth before she gets to her next target, or the Penguin cuts her down for good! With a story by Alan Burnett, Mystery of the Batwoman truly captures the endearing spirit of the much beloved Animated Series.

The third feature-length narrative inspired by The Animated Series, the film paved the way for the Dark Knight’s entry into the Justice League animated adventures that would soon follow. The Blu-ray itself comes with some engaging behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the film, including in-depth character bios and the dissection of a scene. Though it won’t give audiences insight into the upcoming player on the Gotham City rooftops that will be joining the Green Arrow and The Flash, it’s still a great introduction for the uninitiated.

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman in available now on Blu-ray and Digital Download from Warner Bros. Animation and is directed by Curt Geda with a story from Alan Burnett.

 

UnBoxing | JUSTICE LEAGUE Action Figures from MAFEX

There’s no end to the merchandising of JUSTICE LEAGUE but do the releases from MAFEX really capture the action in their latest figures based on the movie’s heroes?

The feature film may have polarized its fanbase, yet the endless marketing and branding of the Justice League has ensured the continuing proliferation of the characters that appeared in the movie that finally introduced the extended DC Cinematic Universe. With an endless opportunity to rake in the profits, the items that are most attractive to collectors are those that inspire the opportunity to bring the action home — action figures are inevitably the best way to do that, and based on the DC heroes the collectibility is boundless.

Japanese toy maker Medicom is among the licensees that have purchased the rights to produce movie accurate facsimiles of the league. The high-end line of fully articulated, intensely detailed MAFEX Action Figures are among the best available for the avid collector who wants to assembled a league of their own. Historically the on-average 6 inch figure line has experienced a share of product mishaps in early runs including those based on Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. The manufacture has listened to the consumer and made major improvements!

Those enhancements have made their way into the current Justice League figure line which features all 6 of the main cast members, including some alternate versions of some favorites that appeared in the film.

Assembling the League

Although the film was released theatrically in 2017, its enjoyed a significant momentum since its availability on Blu-ray and additional formats for home viewing. Merchandise continues to hit the market, including the MAFEX Action Figures which were introduced at the last Toy Fair and have now become widely available with the first in the series based on Batman hitting shelves in spring. Gotham City’s Dark Knight is captured in his current look, as portrayed by actor Ben Affleck. Since returning to full-on active duty, The Batman’s look in Justice League has been beefed up.

The action figure design by MAFEX is extremely film-accurate and captures the look of its star suited up proper in the darker and much denser color scheme than was first experienced in his theatrical introduction with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. This bat-suit has more polish and a bite to it that is apparent in the highly articulated figure, and also sports a leather-looking cape that helps to complete the silhouette. The detail and paint job on the utility belt are well crafted, as are the gauntlets which are a flat gold which pops beautifully against he black.

The Batman action figure is no. 056 in the series and is packaged with a multiple set of hands for added poses, including grips for handling Batman’s weapons and paraphernalia which includes his harpoon gun and “batarangs”. There’s also a more tensely expressive face sculpt that will make the Caped Crusader appear more than battle ready. The figure’s proportions are stylistically more flattering than other figure releases on the market, especially Mattel Toys more commercially playable sculpt and even the smaller, more tout looking from competitor S.H. Figuarts.

Following on the heels of the release of The Batman figure, is Superman based on Henry Cavill who has now starred as the Man of Steel in three feature films, including Justice League. This is perhaps the most the character has ever resembled his comic book counterpart. For Justice League Superman’s classic uniform was giving a major retooling which is most evident in the vibrant color palette and clearly makes the action figure itself appear to pop like neither of its predecessors.

Certainly the previous incarnation of the Last Son of Krypton which was fashioned for BvS proved unpopular with collectors who complained the figure fell apart and was impossible to pose. It certainly didn’t capture the actor’s appearance all that well either in the face sculpt and dulled when compared with other releases like the far superior version by ONE:12 Collective from MEZCO’s which incredible articulation and a fabric suit. For MAFEX Superman from Justice League the colors are outstanding, and the figure is much more solid in construction.

Superman is also packaged with multiple hands for various poses, and 2 alternate face sculpts to help recreate the action from the movie. Fans will also be happy with the cape which can be properly positioned whether the figure is floating in air or calmly assembled alongside his teammates. An additional feature of the MAFEX line is that each figure is packaged with a display stand so you can pose your action figure is interesting positions, and given the level of articulation the action is almost limitless. Superman is no. 057 in the MAFEX line.

In The Box

Compared to other high-end manufactures including the series from S.H. Figuarts by Bandai which sport a significantly lower price tag (averaging between $50 and $60 on shelves), the MAFEX releases have really lived up to the hyped and delivery a genuinely deluxe collectible experience to fans. The face sculpts are among the best for the comparable sizes of these releases, and very closely resemble their film versions in detail, and the accessories are also scaled to match.

The colors are also beautifully captured and appropriately fixed; when a detail is glossy on film, the figure will have a sheen that reflects, and when something is matte finished, it appears as such on the figure as well. With the rest of the Justice League line from MAFEX hitting specialty retailers over the rest of the season pretty soon the league will be fully assembled. Expect Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to round out the collection, along with a Batman in his “Tactical Suit” from the final act of the film.

Visit the Medicom Toy website here for more product information including details on the Justice League line of figures as well as others in the MAFEX inventory.