Saturday, March 16, 2013

Batman Unlimited Dark Knight

I found this Batman Batman Unlimited Dark Knight figure last Monday at Target. Now I've said a lot of the new DCUCs just hadn't interested me due to Mattel's refusal to give us any accessories or base, but I did love the Penguin from this series. Like that figure, this Dark Knight Batman has a more unique buck, using the arms and legs from Mattel's MOTU figures. This works well emulating Frank Miller's bulky rendering of Gotham's middle-aged guardian, called out to bring justice to streets overtaken by crime. Miller's Dark Knight Returns  was the book that highlighted my fascination with comics during my teens. I'm unsure how many times I read it, but I was obsessed with it for awhile. The humanity of the story made it so real, and the depictions of government, authority figures, politics, and the like were sweetly cynical. Batman is the anti-hero almost- a wanted vigilante that uses extreme violence to intimidate, injure, and sometimes kill to stop Gotham's criminals. I later got the same feeling reading Neil Gaiman's The Watchmen just three or four years ago, unaware I would really get back into comics and start this blog just a year or so later. These weren't happy books, but they are probably two of my all-time favorites. 

 This figure was a must-get for me, and Mattel did an inventive job cobbling him together with the MOTU limbs and lots of newly sculpted parts. He looks like a DCUC, but is noticeably larger, like the Batman in Dark Knight Returns- wide chest insignia, heavily pouched utility belt, short ears, and square jaw/clenched teeth.

I'd been curious about the MOTU articulation, and it's a little different than the DCUCs in it's hinge/swivel combo at the hips. It doesn't have quite the range, but it works very well- the shorts are a more rubbery plastic that can flex to accommodate leg positioning. He has bicep, and wrist swivels, hinged ankles, and a ball-jointed head that's pretty expressive as well. His hinged abdomen and swivel waist help this bulky figure out with posing, and though he doesn't have rocker joints on his hinged ankles, the swivels at his boot tops promote balanced posing. DC Direct/DC Collectibles has released a Dark Knight Batman two or three times, but I'm happy with this Mattel version.

Batman appears to have a new cape on this sculpt, which has a heavy, leathery look to it I really like. And unlike some of the other recent Mattel Batmen, we at least get a batarang, which looks like the character's weapons in the book- a crescent with scallops on the underside. His boot soles have combat tread, furrowed cowl and subtle paint apps on the grey bodysuit round out the details on this great action figure homage to Frank Miller's unique art in Dark Knight Returns.

The scenes of Miller's Batman leaping over the Gotham skyline exhilarated me as a teenager, and his murdering of the Joker in the Tunnel of Love at the amusement park haunted me! To this day, all other Batman books before and after are measured by Frank Miller's apocalyptic vision of the Dark Knight Detective. I've heard he is shortpacked in this wave, and have only seen him once. I'd love to see a Carrie Kelly Robin in this series, but I seriously doubt Mattel will make one. I like the New 52 Batman Mattel recently released, but have been turned off by the lack of accessories, and spotted an Injustice Batmen from this series when I found the Dark Knight Batman- they both looked good too, but I have resisted so far. Pick this one up if you see him.

Batman Unlimited Dark Knight with my Legacy Edition Golden Age Batman and my DCUC All-Star Batman...

More Later-Make It FUN!


  1. Wow this Batman is BUFF! But he actually looks pretty cool! I sorta dig him. Although on the last picture, I prefer the one on the far left the most.

  2. Still waiting for my pre-order on this one and the Batman of Zur-en-Arrh. So excited to get them, I can hardly wait!

  3. Neil Gaiman's Watchmen? Now that would be an interesting read.

  4. I would have been all over this as a kid. I love the DKR books too. I bought them when they originally came out!

  5. Bat's is extreme thick here lol! Looks great Super-D and I feel bad for the Joker in that one pic. : )

  6. The only way to do a DARK KNIGHT RETURNS figure is to really bulk up his body and I am happy to see they solved that problem by making this guy just the right size to interact with the other figures and not look like Gorilla Grodd.

  7. I love the look of this Batman figure. I'd like to find one for myself. Hopefully, they release a Carrie Kelly Robin to go along with it. I also loved the the Dark Knight Returns as a teen too and loved being able to see it in an animated form.