DC Universe Action League Review: Batman & Joker

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Not every Action League set is about the Rainbow Corps even if it seems like it. The other part is full of classic pairings and I don’t think it’s possible to get a pairing more classic than Batman and the Joker – even if a very similar pack was already released.

Batman and the Joker are legendary foes, destined to clash over and over again.

My feelings towards most of the Batman in the Brave and the Bold Action League ranged from utter annoyance to mild disdain. I didn’t love any of the figures and Mattel made a new Batman that is easily the best one yet – this figure is near perfect.

Based off Jim Lee’s design of the Batman during Hush, Bruce Wayne looks good, really good. All the classic elements are there from the utility belt, the cape and cowl and a Batarang clutched in the left hand. His face is stern, stoic and exaggerated just enough for the style. The cape is swooshing in the wind and the belt is covered in little pouches.

Even more amazing is the articulation. Batman moves at the waist, shoulders and neck like all the other Action League figures. But this time, his shoulders are actual ball joints! The combination of a swivel and a hinge, it doesn’t allow for a crazy amount of extra articulation but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Just be careful because the joints really don’t seem to like moving.

Batman’s coloring is muted with dark blue and gray on his suit. It’s simple and works well. His belt is mustard yellow while the emblem on his chest is just a simple black bat. That last part makes less sense because the whole point of the bat on his chest originally was to act as a target since that’s where he had the most armor – thus protecting him more!

The peanut butter to Batman’s Fluff and the yin to his yang, the Joker got his first Action League figure in the third wave. That figure wasn’t bad, but felt kind of weird with the bulkier proportions. The new Joker is clearly inspired by his Silver Age appearances.

Wearing a dapper purple suit with coattails, the Joker looks well dressed even with such a hideous palette. His limbs are skinny, his body is small. It’s a much better look overall for him. In his right hand he’s clutching an oversized revolver that seems to be stuffed with a cork. Oddly though, the angle he’s holding it at means he can’t actually aim it at anyone!

Joker’s head is topped with tousled green hair. His face is sporting a terrifyingly large grin showing off his yellow teeth and empty white eyes. And for some reason, his ears seem to be slightly pointy. Joker moves at the shoulders, neck and waist but his coattails prevent his waist from doing much.

The paint on the face looks great. The white skin, green hair, bright red lips and yellow teeth all work very well. The rest of the figure is cast in purple and is painted with varying levels of success. His glossy shoes look great and his gun is decent. The yellow flower is fine but the shirt, tie and vest all turns into a muddled mess. His vest is lacking proper coverage and his tie doesn’t seem to know if it is purple like his jacket or green like his shirt since the knot is green and the dangling parts are purple! His green cuffs are kind of weak too.

Much like the last Batman and Joker pack, this is a fantastic set to test the waters with to see if you like the Action League style. Worst case, you spend $7 for a tiny Batman and Joker to battle it out endlessly on your desk. Joker isn’t a bad figure, but the paint could have used another five minutes of checking before getting applied. Batman though, he’s just about perfect.

DC Universe Action League Wave 2
Green Arrow & Prometheus | Batman & the Joker
John Stewart & Atrocitus | Tomar Re & Low

Written by jestergoblin

March 28th, 2011 at 12:00 am

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