Monday, September 5, 2011

Batman: The Long Halloween

While I was attending Fan Expo last week I snagged this lovely collector's set inspired by the Batman: Long Halloween graphic novel for only $35.00! I was terribly excited.

This set comes with a Batman figure, a Joker figure, and accessory for each, and the trade paperback of The Long Halloween. How does it come out? Discover my impressions and more pics after the jump!!

I'm always looking for a decent Batman figure. I never find one that really captures *MY* ideal version of the Dark Knight quite right. This one comes close to my ideal, although he's not quite there. The Joker figure is just icing on the cake. Truthfully, I would have easily spent 25-30 bucks on the TPB alone, so in my mind I got both figures for 5-10 dollars and for that price, they are certainly more than worth it!

Batman has extremely tall pointy ears and far too many muscles in his stomach area, but looks great otherwise and a very cool representation of the comic version. This Batman is set early in his career, back when Two-Face was still Harvey Dent and Jim Gordon wasn't the commissioner yet. He also hasn't gone blue quite yet or got the cool shiny containers for his utility belt. He DOES have a batarang. It's oversized and has a rope attached to the end for no apparent reason. He also has a hard time holding it so be prepared to constantly have to try and get it back in his hand should you ever purchase this figure. One thing I really enjoy about this figure is that his cape, sculpted from a soft, rubbery plastic, is very ragged looking and falls far below his feet. When he's on a flat surface the cape trails the ground behind him, and if you pose him on the edge of a table or shelf, you can have his cape fall down below in grandiose fashion. Small things like this amuse me.

The Joker figure is very cartoonish and hard to picture as a "real" person. Particularly his oversize, orange, giant shark teeth of DOOM! He looks good though. Spooky. His suit has a lot of great sculpted detail and I'm very impressed with his tie as well. He comes with a goofy, oversized "joke" pistol that is straight out of the TPB and overall is a decent version of the iconic character, if a little over-exaggerated.

Neither figure has exceptional articulation. They're both along the lines of standard Star Wars figures (although in a larger scale). The sculpts really only lend themselves to a few poses. You can move the arms or head, but don't bother trying to get any dynamic poses from the legs. What you see in the box is what you get on the shelf. Each figure comes with a stand as well, but they do little. Batman is a rebel and refuses to even put both feet on his stand at the same time. It gives a nice feel of movement, but also somewhat bothers me. Either way, the stands are unnecessary as the figures also stand well on their own.

The TPB itself was something else. The storyline is very entertaining. A young Batman has to figure out who is committing murders on the streets of Gotham City every time there is a holiday, starting on Halloween. He goes through the usual rogue's gallery, but has a difficult time pinpointing the identity of the killer, whom the media dub (oh-so-creatively) "Holiday" and an even more difficult time stopping the killing spree. To make matters more complicated, most of the murders are connected to Gotham's leading crime boss du jour, and for reasons known only to herself, Catwoman is involved. Joker of course has to get his nose into it as well, jealous of the attention that this "Holiday" murderer is receiving.

Great story and art, in a "Year One" sort of style. I was super impressed. I only had one BIG problem. The binding on the TPB was SOOO cheap. The book falls apart basically as soon as you open it. This could have been only my copy, but it sure does explain why this set was only $35.00 and not the $50.00 or so that I would have expected. Regardless, I got through the comic and managed to keep the pages in order and I'm glad I bought the set. It's far from perfect, but it's a great addition to my collection and the figures will grace my shelves long after I've forgotten how annoying it was to turn the pages of the defective book.

1 comment:

  1. I picked up this set a couple years ago and my copy also had the same cheap binding and began falling apart the moment I opened it. It's a great set otherwise.