Sunday, 12 February 2017

Minifigures - The Lego Batman Movie, Villains Part 2

Tidying up the bulk of the 'villain' figures in the blind bag series, so largely another collection of background no-marks that were highly unlikely to get a Minifigure official or otherwise had not some brilliant maniac decided to make absolutely certain this was the most fun Batman movie ever (no, the Adam West stuff is shit).


Thanks to several distinct looks - comic book, drug suicide guy, guy out of 30 Seconds to Mars - there's already a plethora of official and unofficial Joker figures out there and the character gets a further more exaggerated redesign for The Lego Batman Movie, with more clownish make-up and a huge messy swept-back mop of hair plus Zach Galifianakis as voice actor, a fantastic move in that it's managed to upset fans of Heath Ledger, Jared Leto and Mark Hamill all at the same time (which is a good thing) and this despite the thing being a comedy. There are versions aplenty in the boxed sets, most featuring longer coat tails. The blind-bagged version comes in an Arkham Asylum uniform and is obviously present so the film's major villain can be presented in the series without robbing a big money set of a selling point. However, the minor genius is that apart from the head and hands there's absolutely no unique marks on the overalls, which means in ten seconds flat you can whip up an Arkham inmate version of basically anyone.


Unlike most of the characters featured King Tut actually originated from the sixties TV show, being belatedly brought into the comic by some hack or another who liked the show's repetition, heavy-handedness and laziness. Presumably. As with Orca or Catman the figure being a recolour probably helped get King Tut into the film and onto the shelves as he's effectively a repaint of the early blind bag Pharoah figure. However, there's no corners cut on the extensive paint masks including lots of luxurious gold trim and to be honest if you wanted to model an Egyptian scene with realistic skin tones you could do worse than recruit this guy as an actual Pharoah. Lego thrown in a snake and a sceptre too.


That Mime was created in 1987 explains a lot about her look; while there's whiteface to justify the Mime thing with her dark purple mohawk, fishnet top and black/dark pink outfit she looks more like a villain from Jem and the Holograms than super-serious Batman comics. If anything this makes her even better; the new wave look is a rare one on official Minifigures and it adds some fun visual variety. Once again heavy painted details really help bring the look off while she has two energy bolts for whatever her powers actually were. One of the coolest things about the range is the spread of eras, with daft Batman villains from most decades getting roped in rather than a focus on just, say, the sixties stuff.


The Red Hood has a convoluted past - the criminal originally became the Joker maybe but later was a largely unseen separate villain whose costume was used by the guy who became the Joker while years later the same title was taken on by Jason Todd, the second Robin, on his return from death. This is basically why DC reset their universe every few years. The figure is present in its' original Golden Age form with the gigantic opaque dome over the head, cloak and evening dress, right down to a printed bowtie on the shoulder armour. But he can't be the Joker because the Joker's in the film so not for the first time Lego have a bit of fun - popping the dome off reveals the head of the Jason Todd version of the Red Hood. Nice. And with the dome in place it's a fitting tribute to a villain who was one way or another crucial to the relationship between Batman and the Joker but still looked absolutely ridiculous.


A sixties creation following the standard template of the era - find something vaguely topical, make a supervillain who uses it for crime - Zodiac Master was naturally all about astrology, initially using it to apparently predict disasters he was actually responsible for, selling his apparent premonition as a service to various other criminals. So the Minifigure gets his cool (well) zodiac-symbol suit covered with paint apps, plus a crab for Cancer and a fish for Pisces. It's about as good as Zodiac Master is going to get; let's just be thankful DC contained their astrology tie-ins to this one guy unlike Marvel doing all 12.

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