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The Batman Who Laughs

Dark Nights: Metal
by Shocka

Exceptional sculpt, bizarre scale.

That's the best way to summarize McFarlane Toys' take on the DC property, jumping on the expansive comic and TV franchise to deliver an odd selection of beautifully sculpted, wildly oversized figures that don't really fit into one's already sizeable DC collection. Fortunately, there's one exception: the Batman Who Laughs, the tall creepy antagonist from the (typically DC) crossover "Dark Nights: Metal."

Born from the nightmares of the Dark Multiverse, the Batman Who Laughs is a hybrid version of the Batman and The Joker from Earth-22. This twisted version of Batman was created when nanotoxins from The Joker's heart were released into Bruce Wayne's bloodstream, causing the Dark Knight's perfect mind to merge with the warped psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime. He soon became part of an attempt to plunge the entire Multiverse into ultraviolence, chaos, and utter darkness. After being initially defeated, the Batman Who Laughs managed to survive and remains a threat to the greatest heroes of the Multiverse.

Standing an impressive 7¼" tall (counting the ears on his mask), McFarlane Toys have knocked it out of the park for the sculpt; this is a creepy figure decked out in leather garb that would make Marilyn Manson proud, complete with shoulder pads and a thick Batman-inspired helmet that covers his eyes, leaving only the leering grin visible.

It looks great, the kind of figure that'll fit in with your existing DC figures courtesy of his towering size, but would also look great fighting with your Mythic Legions or dueling with Pyramid Head. Paint is solid, with good detail bringing out the blacks on the leather and the horrible smile.

Once upon a time McFarlane Toys were synonymous with statues; thankfully, that time has passed, and The Batman Who Laughs features an impressive 22 points of articulation, same as the Fortnite murderers: balljointed head and neck, balljointed and swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, Revoltech-style wrists, a balljointed chest, a balljointed waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, Revoltech ankles, and hinged toes. It's notable that his arms and legs have a full range of motion, and the coat hangs behind partially in the air to add to the effect of action poses.

Accessory-wise, this is a step down; the Batman Who Laughs includes two bladed weapons, which he can wield appropriately, a "collectible" card no one in their right mind will ever care about, and then a piece for the bizarre Batmobile "Build-A-Thing."

Who is this supposed to be for? It doesn't make sense as a bonus accessory or really something that goes with this figure, and we already have so many Batmobile toys, it would have made more sense for McFarlane Toys to have tried doing a standard Build-A-Figure, jumping on any number of other DC characters who could make for a good toy.

The Batman Who Laughs continues to be a popular character in the recent DC output, and for good reason - this is a great design, and McFarlane Toys have done a good job bringing this to plastic. Recent reveals have shown off more good, unusual characters instead of the stock DC fare, meaning fans have plenty to look forward to with McFarlane's DC figures!

-- 10/07/20

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