First Look At McFarlane’s Azrael Armor And First Appearance Batman Action Figures
7 mins read

First Look At McFarlane’s Azrael Armor And First Appearance Batman Action Figures

McFarlane Toys is celebrating its 30th year and while it started by making toys only for Todd McFarlane’s comic book creations, it’s become a powerhouse in the toy industry. For the past five years, the company has been delivering high-end figures for DC Comics to rival Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line. While it has been criticized that McFarlane is mostly in the Batman business, the company has provided figures based on classic DC stories and has spread across DC’s pantheon of heroes and villains.

That being said, when McFarlane does do highly desired Bat-characters or designs, the clamor intensifies. The pre-orders for the company’s latest offerings, Azrael Armor Batman and First Appearance Batman, dropped last Friday and went through several sellouts at Amazon and Gamestop. Fans have wanted that classic Azrael armor since the White Knight Azrael figure came out a few years ago in Wave 3. The First Appearance Batman is the latest figure to join the first appearance line with Superman, and Alan Scott’s Green Lantern having been released late last year.

These won’t be out until mid-May, but McFarlane Toys have provided GameSpot with an early sample of both versions of the Azrael Armor and First Appearance Batman. So let’s dive into this set.

First Appearance Batman:


If we’re talking about a design that hasn’t been made a lot throughout the years, it would be this one. There was a Mattel toy and DC Direct but those were more than a decade ago–DC Direct was 2004! There was also the Black and White statue based on the design, but not a whole lot of action figures. It’s a weird design at first glance, but there’s also something instantly classic about it.

Like most McFarlane figures, this Batman has 22 points of articulation and stands 7″ tall. The figure comes with three sets of hands: open palm, closed fist, and a weird claw position, with the ability to mix and match. The accessory he comes with is a wrench in a pastel blue color, a nod to a scene in Detective Comics #27 where Batman uses it to smash out of a glass gas chamber. It’s a deep cut, but none of the hands given really hold the piece well enough to look right.

It’s got nice flat colors, outside of the yellow belt standing out. The biggest upgrade with this figure is the wired cape. It’s not cloth, like you would expect from Super 7 or NECA, but a polyester so it’s more lightweight and easier to sculpt. The glove sculpt is really nice, too with creases and folds for that homemade look for a billionaire that hadn’t discovered body armor yet.

The figure sculpt itself is great, and has more balance than previous entries to the line.

First Appearance Batman (Platinum Chase Variant):


So this is the exact same sculpt as the First Appearance, but a different paint job. It has more of a classic comic book coloring look with the blue highlights down the boots, atop the cowl, and inside the cape.

The wrench stands out in a bad way, as it feels too much of the same color as the rest of the figure. The yellow belt still stands out, but maybe painting the wrench a different color could have made things more striking visually. By themselves, both figures look great, but there’s something about the blue cape that would look great on the non-chase.

Platinum Chases are 1:6, so that means one in every box compared to the regular.

Azrael Armor Batman:


A lot is going on with this figure. Originally appearing in Batman: Sword of Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley became the second Batman during the Knightfall, Knightquest, and KnightsEnd storylines in the early ’90s. There have been a couple of iterations of this Batman look, the most famous being designed by Joe Quesada with the Knightfall costume. That figure was released back in 2022 and is very hard to find.

This version for KnightsEnd simplified the design that was supposed “to grow with Jean-Paul” as Quesada put it, and evolve as his time as Batman went on.

It’s very similar in sculpt to the Knightfall figure with the legs, torso, and under armor being exactly the same. Where it differs though is where it counts.

The chest piece that has the stylized bat symbol is completely new as well as the helmet and the gauntlets. There’s also the cables that stretch from his back to his wrists, completing the look. The bat symbol is sculpted onto the chest piece instead of painted or a decal, which gives it a good sturdy feel that armor should.

The red visor in the red helmet could have used a minor outline, but it blends together in the comics. If that was the goal here, mission accomplished. The chrome silver used for the gauntlets is a nice touch and breaks away from the blend of matted red and grey.

His bat “wings” have a nice detailed sculpt to them, but the one thing missing is an extra set of “slash” hands that the White Knight version of Azrael had. Instead, we’re given a set of just two closed fists. This guy has talons, let him rip! His articulation isn’t bad either, but you can’t rotate his wrists due to the armor sculpting. His hands can rotate and his elbows can bend. Still, the loss of wrist movement stands out.

This Batman is a weighty figure and suffers the same fate as a lot of others in that there’s no real ankle support. It’s better than the White Knight Azrael or the animated series figures that were released in the first wave, but it should warrant a case for double-pegged bases for stability on display.

Azrael Armor Batman (Platnium Chase Variant):


This guy.

If you’re talking about a figure fans have been wanting for the past five years, this guy would rank in the top five. When people think of “Azrael Batman” they will point to this guy in a lineup. The dark blue and gold echoing Batman’s colors but are remade into this incredible image.

This is a great looking figure. The small hiccups aren’t a dealbreaker, but they are noticeable up close, especially with the paint application.

For some reason, the paint looks more smudged on the chest piece and gauntlets. It’s a different application and has a heather blue color that’s matted rather than the chromatic one of the regular version. The visor doesn’t look as clean either, but sticks out more among that sea of blue. The metallic gold pops more with the blue wrists as well. The tactical gear yellow matches well with the gold, making it a perfect adaptation of the original design.

Again, one of these versions needed open claw hands to really show off ole Jean-Paul’s intensity. This being a Platinum Chase Variant, it will also be a 1:6 release.

Source link