Mezco One: 12 Collective Batman: Supreme Knight ReviewJose Lopez
IN THE BEGINNING
Mezco Toyz finally gives us their take on an older, grizzled Dark Knight with this Batman: Supreme Knight action figure. Revealed for pre-order almost exactly a year ago, this figure will receive at least one variant with the Previews Exclusive version releasing at a later date. However, we’re here to take a look at this standard release. Spoiler warning: It’s awesome.
Mezco Toyz never gets tired of Batman. Their One:12 Collective line is loaded with variations of the character, and while, yes, it can feel tiresome at times, you have to admit that they always do a stellar job. While there are plenty of costumes and iterations from both the comics or the films that they could base their figures on (which they do plenty of), Mezco Toyz decided to do something a little more unique. In 2017, they revealed the Ascending Knight Batman, the first in a trilogy of Batman action figures that would tell Mezco’s own story of the Caped Crusader’s career. In 2019, the Sovereign Knight Batman dropped, to much collector acclaim. Following up on that second installment is this final chapter of their figure trilogy: the Supreme Knight Batman.
While the Ascending Knight took its design cues from Bill Finger’s original 1939 design for the Batman and the Sovereign Knight borrowed plenty of inspiration from more modern iterations such as Jim Lee’s Hush storyline and Rocksteady’s Arkham videogames, the Supreme Knight is a direct homage to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic book series.
Nothing new here. This is the standard Mezco One: 12 Collective box with removable slipcase cover. The figure is revealed through a display window and everything is easily placed back inside, making it extremely collector-friendly. The trays containing the figure and accessories are all sturdy, offering plenty of protection. It should be noted that the design of the packaging is basically identical to that of the earlier Ascending Knight and Sovereign Knight releases with the exception of a new Bat-symbol on the front. It’s a nice way to tie this trilogy of figures together even on the packaging.
Mezco Toyz has done an excellent job giving Batman’s costume a story of its own. Taking a look at the earlier figures’ outfits really accentuates the differences evident in this version, creating a sort of roadmap of the Dark Knight’s decisions and needs over the years. Where the Ascending Knight’s younger hero wore no armor at all, the Sovereign Knight’s experienced fighter incorporated some into his gauntlets and boots, even adding a seemingly tougher texture to his bodysuit. By the time we get to the Supreme Knight’s tired old man here, the character has practically more armor than fabric.
The chunkier gauntlets, kneepads, and boots really pop out, hinting at the necessity of added protection for someone who’s late in his career of fighting bad guys. The chunky design continues onto the belt and, very pointedly, the Bat-symbol on the chest. There are also vinyl applications along the torso and biceps that give the impression of a heavier duty outfit without sacrificing the range of movement, which is a clever touch. I’ve never been a huge fan of the modern infatuation with putting more and more armor on Batman, but it works here, both design-wise and narratively.
There are three portraits that the Supreme Knight is included with, all of which look great. The cowled heads are definitely taken from the Frank Miller DKR school, with the stubby “ears” and beady eyes. The grimacing head and the gritted teeth head are quite similar, though I prefer the angrier one, which just seems to compliment the “cranky old man” tone of this figure. The unmasked Old Man Bruce head looks good too, with no paint slop that I could find. Credit should be given to Mezco’s sculptors, as they did a great job building from the younger Bruce Wayne heads that were packaged with the earlier releases in the trilogy. This older Wayne actually looks like the same man, which can be more difficult than you’d think with 6” plastic toys.
I spoke about the armored parts of Batman’s outfit earlier, but they’re worth applauding one more time. The sculpt does an excellent job making this Caped Crusader feel heavy and slow. All of the added weight to things like the Bat chest symbol and his boots immediately get across what and who this Batman is now: a weaker, older man that needs more protection to do his job. The various nicks and dents make everything look weathered and used, which is a nice touch. Like I said, this sort of armored Dark Knight isn’t any preferred Batman, but they’ve done a hell of a job making him look good and I can’t deny that.
There isn’t a lot of paint that isn’t black to speak of, but what is present looks just fine. I would have preferred some heavier weathering on the armored bits like the boots to sell the damage a little better. The sculptors added plenty of damage, but the painters didn’t capitalize on what was given to them, which makes those additions get lost in the sea of black. The paint on the portraits is solid work, with little to no slop that I could find. My angry Batman head had a small nick on his chin, but its nothing that will keep me up at night. All in all, a solid if not stellar paint job on this figure.
Pretty much every Batman that Mezco Toyz has produced in their One: 12 Collective line has had excellent articulation, no matter what sort of material the company has gone with for his costume. The Supreme Knight is no different, with very little restriction in any movement you’d need to pose this guy. While I could use a tiny bit more tilt and lean via the ball-jointed neck, I have managed to make his head movements look fairly natural. The shoulders, double-jointed elbows and knees, along with the various cuts in the thighs and biceps, all offer a Batman-worthy amount of articulation. The two-piece boots, as a result of the chunky design, offer limited ankle pivot.
I’ve already gone over the three interchangeable portraits that were included. There are nine swappable hands, which all snap on easily and stay on just fine. As has been pretty standard with Mezco’s Batman releases, there are plenty of tiny Batarangs to use, along with a combined version that has three of them sculpted together for Batman to brandish. These tiny brushed gold Batarangs match the design of the Supreme Knight’s bat symbol, which is a nice touch. Batman is all about the branding, after all.
Continuing the Batarang trend, there is a large gunmetal-colored Batarang and a bladed weapon apparently called a “Karambit” that can come apart, which allows for easy inserting into the Batman’s holding hands. A grappling gun with an open and closed grappling end, both insertable into the gun’s barrel, is easy enough to place in the figure’s hand. There is also a grappling hook that comes with a coiled string. A large cannon is present as well, which I’ll just assume is some sort of sonic gun or something. Even in his crotchety elder years, I can’t imagine Batman using an actual gun of any sort.
The biggest addiction in the accessories category, one which was absent in the earlier two releases, unfortunately, is the added wired cape. Collectors can now swap out a loose-hanging cape for a wired, posable cape by removing the neckpiece from the torso, which is held together by magnets. The execution of this is spectacular and the magnets make it feel very secure but doesn’t sacrifice the ease of use to keep everything fun. I hope to see this included with every Batman and caped hero release moving forward.
Finally, there is the standard Batman-branded base and articulated arm that come with every Mezco One: 12 release.
IN THE END
I’m extremely burnt out on Mezco Batman figures. I’m no big fan of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns or any iteration of an old, tired, cranky Bruce Wayne. I particularly dislike overly-armored designs for the Bat-suit. Yet, despite all of those biases, I love this figure. Mezco Toyz has stuck the landing with the conclusion of their unique Caped Crusader trilogy in a way that feels of one piece with the earlier releases but avoids being too repetitive. I would definitely pick this fun action figure up if you’re even the tiniest of Batman fans.