Black and white is a color scheme that works so damn well on Batman. It’s not because most bats are black, or because he uses the shadows to take down enemies. No, it’s because Batman embodies noir. “Film noir” is a term coined by French film critics in the 1940s which translates to “black film.” It was their way to describe the types of film coming out of post-World War II America that tended to be dark (due to post-war budgets) with a cynical look at the world as a whole. Many of the plots revolved around detectives working cases because the police were corrupt or nowhere to be found. Sounds like a genre that needs a bat-man, doesn’t it?
Not only is Batman a detective, but he has a nihilistic worldview after losing his parents and has taken up vigilantism, which in itself creates a sense of moral ambiguity. As Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan aptly put it, “The biggest thing about noir is moral ambiguity, characters who are not easy to pin down – who is good, who is evil.” Noir is in many ways the study of the darkness in society and ourselves. That’s Batman, and that’s partly why I’m so excited for the black and white Batman action figures coming out June 2018 from DC Collectables.
There are many different iterations of the Batman costume and many of them come in different colors. It was once just black and grey with a yellow utility belt and purple gloves (I s--t you not!), but then the yellow symbol made famous from Tim Burton’s iconic film was emblazoned on the character, adding a bit of color across the chest. Greg Capullo recently even added some purple to the cape. To me all the costumes are great in their own right, from the ’80s blue to the more recent purple, but you can’t deny how casting the character in black and white has a way of strengthening his dark noir tone.
DC Collectables has a plethora of statues in black and white and they’re all very striking. Just take a look below and see:
Which brings us to the big news this week as DC Collectables revealed they’ll be turning three of the coolest Batman costume designs into posable 6.75″ action figures!
The first wave features designs by Jim Lee, Greg Capullo and Bob Kane. Given how perfect the black and white look is on Batman, these are going to be must buy for Batman fans come June 2018.
Batman from BATMAN: HUSH by Jim Lee
Batman from BATMAN: DEATH OF THE FAMILY by Greg Capullo
First Appearance Batman from DETECTIVE COMICS #27 by Bob Kane
The figures will be priced at $30.00 each and give off that noir look and feel admirably. Which figure is your favorite? Sound off in the comments.