BATMAN: ANIMATED (DCC)
Batman: The Animated Series is in many ways a defining take on the Batman mythos, with a particular definitive trait being the voice actors portraying the characters. Of course, everyone knows and loves Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill’s Batman and Joker, but it goes beyond the two of them. I’ve written before about how Lorren Lester is the only voice I hear when I read Dick Grayson’s dialogue in a comic, but beyond him, there’s one actor who epitomized my view on the character he portrayed: the late Bob Hastings* as Commissioner Gordon. Hastings got down both sides of Gordon perfectly, playing him as a strict and confident leader, who was still capable of being a warm, fatherly figure to his men (and his daughter…and Batman. He was very fatherly), something Hastings’ predecessors never quite got. As a rather normal looking guy in a trench coat and tie, Gordon wasn’t privy to many action figures. He got exactly one during the run of the Kenner/Hasbro Batman: The Animated Series lines, and even then it was based on his later New Adventures look, of which I was never a huge fan. Fortunately, DC Collectibles’ ongoing line of Animated figures is proving to be far more complete than earlier attempts, meaning we finally got a proper B:TAS Gordon figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Commissioner Gordon is figure 23 in DCC’s Batman: Animated line. The numbering places him in Series 6, I believe, alongside Zatanna, Ra’s Al Ghul, and the Etrigan/Klarion two-pack. It’s a little hard to keep track, especially since DCC doesn’t solicit them with Series numbers. He’s new. That’s the point. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. One of the more notable features of the early Batman: The Animated Series designs is the certain level of fluidity they all possessed. Sure, Batman was fairly consistent, but a lot of the other characters would have little changes in design from one shot to the next. This was especially true of Gordon, which makes this figure sort of an amalgam of his best looks so to speak. His body was always pretty consistent, so the sculpt has a pretty easy time capturing it. He’s appropriately stocky, which is a nice change of pace when compared to the others in the line. Gordon actually looks like a pretty normal dude (well, by Bruce Timm standards, anyway). The area with the most artistic license is definitely the head. While the face is a pretty good recreation (it varies depending on the angle you’re viewing from), the hair is where things are really off. In the show, Gordon had this pretty crazy cowlick at the front of his hair, which had a tendency to move around in relation to the rest of his face depending on how he was angled in any given shot (it was allegedly hard to work with, which is why his redesign removed it entirely). Here, rather than pick a definite side for the hair, they just kind of put it roughly center and scaled it down. It’s alright, but it means that no matter the angle, he never looks quite right. The glasses are also a bit off, mostly due to the scale of the figure, and them needing to be permanently attached to his face. That being said, on the show the lenses were very definitely rectangular, and they aren’t at all rectangular here. How did that happen? The paintwork on Gordon isn’t anything spectacular or amazing. It’s actually rather drab, truth be told, but that’s accurate, so kudos to them on that one. There is one issue in regards to the chosen colors: his pants are sort of a pale beige here, when they really should be a slightly darker warm tan. The prototype actually had a much more accurate coloring, so I’m not really sure what happened. It’s hardly enough to ruin the figure (and, quite frankly, it’s the sort of thing that 99% of people will never, ever notice), but it’s just a little weird. Gordon is packed with three sets of hands (fists, trigger finger, and normal grip), a revolver, a megaphone, and a display stand with his design sheet on it. It would have been nice to get something specific to one of his episodes, but what’s there is pretty reasonable.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Gordon was purchased from Cosmic Comix, making use of a pretty nice coupon. Of the three regular figures in this set, Gordon was the one that jumped out at me, which is kind of a bit surprising, since he’s really rather average looking. As it stands, he’s really one of my favorite figures from this line, even with his slight inaccuracies. Here’s to more figures like this!
*Fun fact: back in the 60s, one of Hastings’ earliest roles was as Superboy on Filmation’s cartoon of the same name, so he was with DC for the long-haul.