In the pantheon of comic books, The Dark Knight Returns might just be the medium’s Citizen Kane. The four part miniseries was released in 1986, having been written and illustrated by the illustrious Frank Miller (Klaus Janson also illustrated the series).
It was infamous for its portrayal of an aged (55 year old) Bruce Wayne/Batman in conflict with Superman (Dawn of Justice, anyone?). Also, the story features a much grittier look at Gotham, as Batman battles with an army of thugs called the Mutants. There are also several memorable events, from The Joker (I don’t want to spoil things…but the comic was released 30 years ago) being killed by Batman to Selena Kyle now running an escort service. So, yeah…gritty.
Being that The Dark Knight Returns celebrates 30 years this year, and that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seems to glean some plot points from the comic, we’re seeing an uptick in DKR related collectibles. One of those collectibles is from the folks at Mezco Toyz. They’ve released, from the One:12 Collective series, a 1/12th scale Mutant Leader.
The Mutant Leader was, quite obviously, the leader of the gang known as the Mutants. In the comic, there was a pivotal battle between Batman and the leaders of the Mutants. Mezco released a now sold out set that featured both Batman and the Mutant Leader, however, the stand-alone Mutant Leader features some accessories that the guy included in the set did not.
The One:12 Collective Mutant Leader includes two sets of hands - a pair of fists, a right hand for holding weapons, and a left hand that appears to be grasping for something. The weapons that can be placed in that hand are a torch and a crowbar.
But what’s great about this guy is that he includes three different swap-out heads. You have the angry face with glasses and spikes on the crown of his head. There’s the yelling face with glasses and no spikes. And there’s one with his broken nose all bandaged up, minus those glasses. Each one is worthy of being displayed. And, speaking of displaying, the Mutant Leader includes a display base where you can place a peg into the bottom of his foot or use the posing stand for some aerial poses.
I like the figure sculpt. It’s tough to duplicate the Mutant Leader from the comic book, since the drawings were often rough. But he’s got those creepy elongated orange nipples, and the spikes on his wrists and ankles almost appear to be coming out of his skin. Also, the paint shading on the figure’s body is another impressive aspect of the piece.
Although I’ve covered plenty of figure announcements, I had never seen one of Mezco’s One:12 Collective pieces in-hand. After checking out the Mutant Leader figure, my initial impression is that they have a burgeoning line. Will 1/12th scale be able to compete with 1/6th scale? Price-wise, you’re looking at about 1/3 to 1/4 the price of your higher quality 1/6th scale figure. (Enough fractions for you?) Traditionally, that smaller size meant that quality would often suffer. But Mezco is proving that good things do come in 1/12th scale packages.
Positives: Including three alternate head sculpts with a figure is impressive. The suggested $65.00 price point sounds about right.
Negatives: Watch out for those spikes! They’re pretty darn sharp, and the last thing you want to do is trying to explain to a coworker how you were impaled on a toy.
Series: DC Comics’ One:12 Collective
Manufacturer: Mezco Toyz
Material: Articulated plastic body
Dimensions: 6 inches tall
Points of Articulation: Over 30 points
Outfit: Black, faux leather pants
Accessories: Alternate head with broken nose; Alternate head with gritted teeth and glasses; Alternate head with open mouth and glasses; Set of fists; Holding hand; Posing hand; Torch; Crowbar; Display base and posing stand
You can pick one up at the following: