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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 03-03-2016, 10:17 AM

    PHOTO REVIEW: Batman The Dark Knight Returns 30th Anniversary Bust

    Commemorate The Classic Frank Miller Tale...

    2016 is a big year for DC Comics, not least because of some very important anniversaries. Just one of those is the 30th anniversary of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns! In 1986 Frank Miller’s unique vision and Klaus Janson’s art of a suffering Gotham City and its beleaguered protector took the comics world by storm, and both the themes and the character designs from that original mini-series are immediately recognizable in spiritual successors including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With the anniversary happening now DC is providing readers with three generations of stories that started with the original and continue into brand new tales happening right now. A new 30th anniversary edition of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns hit stores just last week, and it includes the mini-series and lots of bonus material. From 2001-2002 comes the sequel Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, also currently available. Then just last November Frank Miller returned to Gotham with Dark Knight III: The Master Race (along with Klaus Janson, Brian Azzarello, and Andy Kubert). This story is still ongoing, and you can pick Collector’s Edition hardcovers of each issue with the final one (#8) coming in September with a slipcase to hold them all.

    If you’re a fan of the solid and brutal look of the hero from Miller’s original work, check out the brand new Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 30th Anniversary Bust. It comes packaged in the standard DC Collectibles box with crisp photography and all the info you need including the dimensions (5 inches tall) and sculptor (Alterton). [Note: for some reason my camera gave the packaged photos a somewhat purplish tinge. In person it is blue and white as you’d expect.] The back panel shows off two other DC Collectibles Dark Knight Returns statues, while the front is emblazoned with the commemorative 30th anniversary logo.

    The bust may be only 5 inches tall but it packs a ton of character into a small size. Batman is older and grittier than in most stories, not to mention thicker. He’s a man who has seen it all and has suffered much, and that weariness and anger shines through in his grim expression. Batman includes a triangular section of his upper body with the Dark Knight Returns specific costume: blue on gray with a huge black bat symbol. Over the hero’s shoulders flow the costume’s cape, and while the cowl covers the top part of his face as usual it has uniquely tiny “ears.” Bruce’s eyes are covered by white lenses, but his stocky lower face and jaw are revealed with their accompanying scars and ferocious snarl. The sculpt on this bust is phenomenal, bringing out every crease and wrinkle in the aging hero along with the intricate texture of his costume and more. There’s an added bonus of a 30th anniversary commemorative plate on the back side of the bust, and each Batman is numbered on its underside.

    For many fans the Dark Knight Returns is a quintessential piece of their view of the Batman character, a logical endpoint to the hard life of Bruce Wayne and the bleak existence of Gotham City. If you count yourself as one of them (or if you’re just now discovering the classic story through the re-issued anniversary edition) you should check out the new bust. It’s eye-catching, it’s fierce, and it gives you a unique version of Batman for your collection. It’s also a great size at 5 inches tall so it won’t take up a ton of space, and at around $45-$50 it won’t break the bank. The Dark Knight Returns 30th Anniversary Bust from DC Collectibles will hit stores and online retailers in the next couple weeks, so keep your eyes out for it along with the trade paperbacks of The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again and the Collector’s Editions of Dark Knight III: The Master Race!

    Review and photos by Scott Rubin

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