In the midst of the chaos and excitement that is San Diego Comic-Con, DC Collectibles reached a milestone as its long-running Batman: Black & White line released its 100th statue.
For the past 15 years, Batman: Black & White has been all about representing the Dark Knight’s comic book legacy in high quality, three-dimensional form…sans colors. The line, which is based off of the Batman: Black and White comics from the mid-90s, is an homage to some of the greatest comic book artists and designers of the past eighty years, representing their visions of the Dark Knight in a diverse series of 7” statues.
As Lee Bermejo, one of the artists represented in the line, puts it, “ so many different styles, different points of view, different aesthetic choices…all unquestionably Batman.”
While all the statues in the line are special, DC Collectibles knew they had to do something truly remarkable for the 100th statue, which they accomplished when they announced that it would be based on the art of legendary comic book artist, Todd McFarlane. The dramatic statue, which features a brooding Dark Knight enveloped in a billowing cape, reflects McFarlane’s cover to Batman #423, with a few key differences—for example, there is no woman in Batman’s arms in the Batman: Black & White statue.
But, while McFarlane’s contribution may have been the star of the show, it was far from the only Batman: Black & White statue at Comic-Con. In fact, all one hundred statues were on display in celebration of Batman’s 80th Anniversary and DC Collectibles’ milestone Batman: Black & White achievement. “The Batman Experience,” an impressive, multi-media celebration of all things Dark Knight at the new Comic-Con Museum in San Diego’s Balboa Park, featured an eye-grabbing display of the statues that took fans through the history of the line, from its very first statue—based on the art of Eduardo Risso—to the 100th.
“The one hundred Batman: Black & White statue collection is the culmination of many years of fantastic synthesis between 2D and 3D design, truly showcasing all the talent that makes DC Collectibles shine,” explains DC Collectibles Creative Director, Jim Fletcher. “Seeing all of the statues together for the first time was one of the proudest moments of my professional career. I am very grateful to all of the art directors, sculptors and painters that have contributed and continue to keep this series the ongoing success story it is today.”
During the Wednesday night gala that opened “The Batman Experience,” DC Collectibles and Batman fans alike were thrilled when a life-sized version of McFarlane’s statue was unveiled. Crafted by Monster City Studios, the impressive recreation loomed over the crowds of people that came to visit the museum. The piece was eventually auctioned off, with the proceeds going to support the new Comic-Con Museum.
The celebration moved to the convention center proper the following day, as McFarlane appeared on Thursday’s DC Collectibles panel. Fans in attendance were able to hear from the artist, who is also a noted toy and collectible enthusiast, about the process of making the statue a reality and were able to ask him questions about the piece. While McFarlane spoke about the statue, a video of sculptor Jonathan Matthews played in the background highlighting the sculpting process.
DC Collectibles also instilled their corner of SDCC’s mega WB/DC booth with a celebration of the Batman: Black & White milestone. Aside from showing off an impressive array of new reveals, DC Collectibles also dedicated a special case in the booth to the line, which highlighted a statue from each year that Batman: Black & White has been in existence, as well as the new 2020 statues for the line. The WB/DC booth also featured a clever tribute to another popular Batman: Black & White statue. DC Collectibles repainted their life-sized, formerly full color, Bruce Timm-designed Harley Quinn statue in black and white. Timm’s 7” Batman: Black & White Harley Quinn statue remains the best-selling statue in the whole Batman: Black & White line.
Over the years, DC Collectibles has focused on many different initiatives and created a wide, diverse variety of statues and action figures, but the Batman: Black & White line has remained a perennial favorite. It is the cornerstone of what makes DC Collectibles stand out as a company. Various creators have praised the line over the years, from Scott Snyder, who said, “It’s more than a great statue line, it’s an inspiring testament to the enduring appeal of Batman,” to Frank Miller, who stated, “It’s Batman tried and true.”
But to fans of Batman and his gallery of rogues, it’s DC Collectibles’ Fletcher who perhaps sums our thoughts up the best: “Here’s to 100 more!”
For more info or to pre-order Todd McFarlane's Batman: Black & White deluxe statue, click here.
Amanda Levine covers collectibles, cosplay and pop culture for DCComics.com.