REVIEW: Medicom Batman HUSH RAH Figure
Jim Lee's Dynamic Artwork Comes To Life In Action Figure Form...
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Beginning in October 2002, Batman scribe Jeph Loeb and penciler Jim Lee brought to life a dynamic 12-part story which featured a wide-variety of the caped crusader's rogue gallery as well as a mysterious saboteur called Hush. The year-long run entitled Batman: Hush would become one of the most popular in the character's recent history, receiving both fan and critic acclaim as well as the #1 spot in sales in October 2002. Since then, various versions of the story have been reprinted to ensure everyone who's a Batman fan would have Batman: Hush as a part of their collection. Now, 10 years after the original comic's release, collectibles manufacture Medicom Toys has brought to life an impressive 1/6th scale figure based on the dynamic Batman character design by series' artist Jim Lee.
The figure's packing includes eye-catching graphics and lettering to ensure potential buyers will give this figure their undivided attention. The exterior features images of the figure posed as well as the series' "HUSH" type running vertically (front) and horizontally (back). Additional information regarding the figure is also included on the back. The interior of the package includes the "HUSH" title die-cut into the packaging with Jim Lee artwork inside the gate fold cover. The figure itself is visible through the interior clear plastic, which helps protect the figure. The figure is held in place as are the figure's miscellaneous hands thanks to the black molded plastic tray which also protects the figure. The collector-friendly packaging allows collectors who wish to play with their figures the option of later replacing their figure inside the packaging for display should they so chose.
Lee's artwork has always had a flair for the slightly surreal; gorgeously posed muscular super heroes featuring tight rippling muscles and large flowing capes. Of course, that's true here as well as Medicom looks to capture the massive upper body, thinner legs, and flowing cape featured in Lee's artwork.
The first thing worth mentioning here is the impressive head sculpt, which is spot-on to Lee's Batman. The short bat ears, wide face with deep set white eyes and furrowed forehead looks perfect here and captures everything Lee's Batman should be: stern, committed and determined.
The 1/6th body used here is unique to this figure and includes a larger-than-normal upper body atop a thinner lower body, again capturing the look of Lee's Batman design. While it's difficult to translate the specific nuances of Lee's various character design traits, the Medicom artists have done a fairly impressive job of capturing the look originally seen in the comic, to include the large biceps, massive chest, and thin waist. Unfortunately, from some angles, the body can seem too large, especially through the upper chest when compared to the thing waist. That said, the legs and lower body (the abdomen and waist specifically) also seem too thin in comparison to the upper body. However, when looking at this figure, collectors have to remember it's based off of Lee's stylized artwork, which often rendered the character in this manner.
The gauntlets, hands and boots are all expertly sculpted to ensure accuracy, each cast to complete the comic character's look come to life in plastic. The gauntlets and hands provide an impressive 3D representation of Lee's Batman; the gauntlets featuring the three wide blades along the forearm and the three sets of hand sculpts providing a number of opportunities for different looks. The hand sets include open hand, closed fist and fingers spread (a signature look of Lee's Batman).
The one-piece bodysuit fits tightly over the 12" body to ensure the sculpted musculature shows through the suit. Unfortunately, this also means the bodysuit limits the articulation due to its tight design. The bodysuit's color scheme accurately captures the Lee design and includes the the light gray bodysuit accentuated by the black bat symbol and shorts, the bright yellow utility belt, and the dark blue cape.
The cape, which features a wire armature throughout the outside hem (allowing for dynamic posing) is well made and is reminiscent of Bob Kane's original Batman design. The cape attaches to the shoulders using velcro which thus allows for the figure's cape to flow in unique ways similar to the look of the character in the comic. While each artist draws Batman's cape differently, Lee's signature style - large, draping and wind-blow - is, thanks to the wire armature, able to be fairly well replicated here.
As previously mentioned, the 12" body used for this figure by Medicom is unique. Featuring a variety of joints, the body itself offers a solid amount of poseability. Moveable joints include ball-joint neck and head, bi-pivot/twist shoulders, pivot elbows, cut biceps, cut chest, twist waist, ball-joint hips, and pivot knees. Unfortunately, due to the molded boots, there's actually no ankle joint poseability. Also unfortunate, the tight bodysuit limits the rest of the body's movement. While the figure can (obviously) strike numerous poses, the entire range of movement from the joints isn't possible.
COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION
With a suggested retail price of $199.99, the Medicom Batman HUSH RAH figure is overpriced to any but the most avid Batman fans. Thankfully, BigBadToyStore.com has the figure available for $164.99, a discount of almost 20%.
Collectors looking for the same level of detail, poseability or accessories as other, more expensive figures will find this figure disappointing. With a fairly simple design and outfit, few accessories, and a body that's different than the norm, the Medicom Batman HUSH RAH figure will find itself unique among your collection.
For fans of Batman, this is a solid buy. While movie versions of Batman are fairly easy to find, a comic version of one of DC's most popular characters is much more rare. For fans of the Batman comic - and specifically, Jim Lee's stylized version - this is it. If you're a fan of Lee's HUSH Batman, do yourself a favor and add this figure to your collection.
- photos and words by Jess C. Horsley
- sample courtesy of BigBadToyStore.com