FIRST REVIEW: DC Collectibles’ Batman and Talon by Greg Capullo

Greg Capullo’s Batman and Talon make the leap from page to plastic, in this special edition of GOTHAM TRIBUNE.

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All photos by Sam Greenfield

Since the New 52, DC Collectibles’ primary, 6-to-7-inch comic-book action figure line has generally centered on a broad range of characters with a generic sensibility.

The figures, such as those in the Justice League or the Crime Syndicate have been based on the art or designs of, say Jim Lee or David Finch (or even in the case of the Joker, Greg Capullo), but they’ve been cultivated and marketed in a very broad way.

It’s been more about This Is the Modern Superman Action Figure. And that makes all the sense in the world. DC has worked feverishly over the last three years to redefine who their characters are and what they look like in general terms. The auteur theory has taken a back seat to the company line. (Statues, on the other hand, have continued to celebrate a broad range of artistic interpretations.)

Now, DC Collectibles, which by year’s end will have produced figures for just about every major character, is taking a page from the erstwhile DC Direct’s playbook and going back to producing action figures with a specific artist’s eye in mind. Hence, the DC Comics Designer Series.

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And where better to start than with Capullo, who’s been the biggest art star at DC since the companywide relaunch in 2011.

Some artists’ styles translate better to three-dimensional, poseable plastic than others. Capullo is a master in both forms.

The Batman figure is a perfect rendering of Capullo’s Dark Knight. There’s the chin, the cowl that seems to be both featureless and stirring at the same time, and the combination of sharp lines and rounded edges of Batman’s anatomy. The paint job is a smart combo of matte and gloss, capturing the textures in the artist’s printed style. He poses exceptionally well, and looks very much like a Capullo drawing from all angles. Included are three small Batarangs.

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The first-ever Talon figure — straight out of Capullo and writer Scott Snyder’s Court of Owls saga — is nearly as good. On a computer screen it looks fine. But up close, it’s a particularly striking figure, from golden (brass-colored?) beak to bladed bandolier. Plus, it comes with a scale version of a Court of Owls mask, which is a dynamite touch, removable swords and two knives. (Careful getting those knives out of the plastic packaging, though: One of mine snapped in two right away and I’m a pretty careful guy.)

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DC is also trotting out its new package style, which we’ve already seen on the “Arrow” Oliver Queen/Deathstroke 2-pack. The box design is even sharper on the singles. The characters are displayed cleanly with slick labeling on the plastic. Plus Capullo’s connection to the line is very much front and center.

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A note about articulation: DC’s begun producing figures with more articulation than the original New 52 line. I didn’t think it worked quite well enough with the recent Crime Syndicate release. Those characters seem awkward and knock-kneed. Whether it’s a design improvement or whether the added articulation is better suited to Capullo’s style, these figures are a marked improvement: Batman can even look up at a pretty high angle, for example.

These will be in stores within a couple weeks. I can’t wait to see the second half of this first wave in May — the first comic-book Nightwing and Riddler figures produced by DC Collectibles since the New 52. Because Batman and Talon are just about as good as they get.

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Author: Dan Greenfield

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15 Comments

  1. Man I’ve missed DC’s signature creator figures. I haven’t seen ones like these in years. The box design is so nice to I don’t know If I’d ever even take them out.

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  2. These are great looking figures! I can’t wait to include these two in my collection. I am very enthusiastic about DC’s shift in direction for their Collectibles range of products, especially the increased points of articulation. I have two questions regarding the ankles:

    Are they ball-joints?

    Do the ankles have a good range of motion?

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    • Hi, Edwin:

      They look to be ball joints, yes, or at least some kind of hybrid, if that makes sense. I’m not an expert in that area. I generally judge more from an aesthetic and durability point of view. The ankles do have excellent range of motion. They turn 360 degrees. The forward-backward motion is more limited but nothing really problematic (just stiff, so be careful).

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  3. Thanks, Dan. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this particular Batman figure, especially with the more advanced articulation system. Perhaps you can answer a question for me?

    The one problem I have with DCC figures in recent years is their tendency to cast parts in clear plastic. While it’s not a major problem for most of the actual body parts, it IS a major concern when it comes to the joint system of pegs and pins, due to the inherent brittle nature of the plastic. Last year’s Arkham Origins Batman figure was quite possibly the best Batman DC’s ever done, but the hip pegs and the knee/elbow pins were all clear plastic, which leaves me with a sort of “ticking time bomb” feeling.

    Does this Capullo Batman have clear parts in the joint system? The hips should be easiest to check. I’m most likely going to buy this figure anyway, since it looks fantastic, but I’d greatly appreciate any advance word on the matter. Thanks!

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    • Hi, Geof:

      From what I can tell, the hip joints in Batman are clear and the Talon they are not, or at least they’re painted over. Tough to tell elsewhere on the figures. I will tell you this: Both figures feel solid and stand and pose well. If you’re posing and displaying them, I imagine they’ll suit you just fine. This is actually a case where they look better in person than in the photos, even the ones we published.

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    • Huh… I wish *my* Origins Batman figure had been as good as you make it sound. His beard covered his entire face, the metallic paint was peeling off, there were huge white patches on his cape… the list goes on.

      I buy all my stuff online (no other option) and of the 30-odd DCC figures in my collection, only 2 came without some kind of ugly manufacturing flaw. Same goes for Play Arts – I had 3 mangled Catwomen in a row before giving up on them entirely.

      It pains me to see all these reviews of pristine figures when I know I’m gonna receive a plasic mess. And yet I’ll still end up buying Talon I’m sure…

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  4. I also wanted to ask a bit about the articulation. How is the elbow joint? Can it bend to at least 90 degrees? The sculpt and pictures look like it might fall short a bit, but I’m not sure.

    Thanks!

    Good review by the way, and kudos on getting the scoop on this!

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    • You should check out my review on youtube. I tell it like it is and I am not sponsored.
      Many of the latest DCC releases have been sloppily done and suffer from huge QC issues from limbs falling off right out of the package, to figures having 2 left thighs, biceps etc.
      I was lucky with this particular figure.
      After the issues I had with Origins Deathstroke and Crime Syndicate Owlman, I was set to swear off DCC until the QC issues become a thing of the past. So believe me when I say, many of my fellow reviewers had all the above listed issues with these figures. Batman was the only figure in this line that I picked up out of fear of the QC curse. He does have clear pegged joints all around.
      It’s really a roll of the dice.
      Be careful.

      DCC DS Greg Capullo Batman review
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsPpXHIDE-0

      My channel
      https://www.youtube.com/user/STRYDENT

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      • Thanks for the dissenting opinion. The more the merrier. Keep in mind, however, that our reviews are not sponsored. And we don’t pretend to be definitive in our approach. We just generally tout what we dig.

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  5. Hi, can you tell me how you obtained these figures? I thought they weren’t out yet….

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      • Any chance you’d be willing to sell them? I need them early for my nephew’s birthday. I’d be willing to pay a significant premium…

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