5 February, 2006 at 4:13 pm (batman)

My recent George Clooney post made me realize that I haven’t done a sufficient amount of blogging about Batman. How can this be? Batman was a key figure in my developmental identity, and continues to be an icon or totem for my romantic ideals of justice, efficacy, and solitude. If he affects my life so much, how is it that Akiva Goldsdigger’s appalling schlockhouse travesty was the first time I’ve mentioned him on my blog?

Well, it’s going to be All Batman, All The Time around here for a little while, just to make up for that. Then we’re resume our ordinary service of weekly diacritical commentary.

Lego figurines of the Penguin, the Joker, Catwoman, Batman, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze.

BATMAN LEGO! BATMAN LEGO!!! When the Star Wars Lego set were made available for sale, I cursed my age, swallowed my pride and picked up a couple of the medium-priced sets (Original Trilogy only, naturally). I tried displaying them in my office for a little while, but they were eventually replaced with Stikfas. When Spider-Man hit theatres, Spidey-brand Lego sets were sold with an accompanying stop-motion digital camera.

Keaton's makeup changes in BATMAN RETURNSSurrounded by all these corporate Lego tie-ins, it was easy to concede that had these been available when I was a wee sprat, I would have been captivated. Back in the day my stepbrother and I spent hours with Lego figures and Testors paint, customizing figures to be Ghost Rider, various X-Men, and comic characters of our own creation. And while we were all Marvel Zombies at the time, the ability to somehow create or customize a Batman cowl would have had me cross company lines in a heartbeat.

Of course, it rather looks like Lego themselves are having some trouble getting Batman’s mask quite right. It also amuses me to note that the head under the mask is going to have two blank white ovals where the eyes should be, so that the mask can have holes instead of eyes. Taking the mask off, therefore, will reveal a soulless dome of bizarre, inhuman construction. Sort of a reverse counterpart to the makeup Michael Keaton wore around his eyes so that they’d blend in with the black of the mask. It’s not noticeable until their sudden disappearance right before he rips his mask of in Batman Returns. Also worth noting is how they customized the legs of the Penguin figure in order to make him seem shorter and fatter than an ordinary Lego person.

Lastly, here’s a embedded QuickTime video of someone’s CGI Batman Lego movie, starring the voice talents of Mark Hamill, Dick Van Dyke, and even Adam West!

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