Thursday, April 6, 2023

Action Figure Review: Gladiator Batman (Dark Knights: Metal) from DC Multiverse by McFarlane Toys


   It's time to jump in to some more new DC Multiverse reviews and today I'm looking at Gladiator Batman from Dark Knights: Metal. It's been a few years since I read Metal but I loved this look for Batman from when he and the rest of the Justice League enter Mongul's arena. Would you be surprised to learn that this isn't the first Gladiator Batman I've reviewed? About 10 years ago I reviewed the 1996 Gladiator Batman from Kenner's Legends of Batman line! This new take on Gladiator Batman is way cooler, though. I love Batman variants and McFarlane keeps releasing some of the best we've ever seen. I don't have all of the Dark Knights yet (I'm missing four of them) but I'd love to complete the set to have an amazing Dark Knights: Metal display. Ready to see if Gladiator Batman is a champ in the arena? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 7 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Hinged toes, double swivel hinged ankles, double hinged knees, mid-thigh swivels, swivel upper thighs, swivel/hinge hips, balljointed waist, balljointed mid torso, swivel/hinge shoulders w/ ballsockets, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, double swivel/ hinge wrists, and a barbell jointed head.
Accessories: Axe, collector card, and display stand.
Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars
The Positives:

* Want to know the benefits of an action figure line with mostly unique sculpts? Just take a look at Gladiator Batman. Holy smokes, this is an amazing looking figure. Even if you haven't read metal, or don't collect DC stuff, or even if you don't like Batman, this is just an amazing figure and I'd be hard pressed to believe anyone could walk by it. There's so much cool armor plating with a bit of rust and grime on it, wrapped legs covered in dirt, and so many cool decorative flourishes designed to look like bats. This might be the Batman figure with the most bat elements on his costume ever. That black, silver, and purple color scheme is also just fantastic. 

* Rather than a traditional cowl, Gladiator Batman is sporting an armored helmet complete with bat ears, iron spikes, and some cheek protection. Bats' eyes are still all white, which looks pretty intimidating, and he's sporting some pretty serious stubble. 

* Batman's pauldrons look like Bats with their wings draped over their bodies. They are somewhat flexible and are actually attached to the biceps, so they move nicely with his arms and don't impede the shoulder articulation. There's lots of dents and dings all over the armor, particularly on these shoulder pads. 

* Batman's gauntlets are just wicked looking. Each gauntlet has three blades which look like they'd do some serious damage in close quarters fighting. His hands are also well protected, like he's wearing armored gloves. 

* Check out this belt. Not only does it sport a really cool relief of two crossed axes but it also has a utility belt-like design all the way around. Oh, and the protective leather braids hanging down over Batman's thighs and such? Each of these protective leather braids has a small bat shape at the bottom, adding extra style.

* The purple cape is really cool looking with an interesting texture. It definitely looks like it's made of a thick, rougher material, but there are cords of some kind holding the material in place and giving it shape. It's molded in a fairly solid plastic without much give, but it definitely looks nice with it's sideways "swoosh."
* These boots aren't made for walking; they're for stomping, slicing, and smashing scum. Besides looking like armored metal boots like you'd see on a knight they're also sporting some serious blades. Blades on the sides and blades on the back. Seriously sharp looking footwear, Batman.

* Oh, and Batman's kneepads? They look like bats. I count 26 bat logos on this version of Batman, which is pretty extra.

* Gladiator Batman has incredible articulation. Even with all of his armor and such he has plentiful joints, all of which have a fantastic range of motion. The mid-torso and waist joints move wonderfully as do his shoulders. He even has true thigh cut joints and a swiveling upper thigh where the leg connects to his hips. This is a sturdy figure who is incredible fun to pose.

* Batman comes armed with one of the coolest axes I've ever seen as an accessory. This is a very nice piece with great sculpting and some nice paintwork. It really looks pretty impressive. Definitely a quality piece.

* I'm always glad that McFarlane includes a stand with each of their releases these days. It's just a simple disc stand with the DC logo on it but it works well and keeps the figure standing upright in most poses.

*  A collectible card is also included with the figure sporting an image of Gladiator Batman from Dark Knights: Metal. I also love that there's a bio on the back. It's even specific to this storyline. 
   Gladiator Batman is one of the most Epic Batman figures out there. Seriously, not only is he actually from a storyline but he's like a scaled up, better articulated version of one of Kenner's Legends of Batman figures. The sculpt is just so impressive here and the paint applications keep up pretty well, too. Plus, that axe. That axe is crazy! I found this guy at GameStop during one of their 25% off sales, but considering he's only 20 bucks at retail normally, he's one heck of a figure. 

I've reviewed so many figures of Batman that he has his own review archive. Check out the Dark Knight Gallery for all of my reviews of Bruce Wayne/ Batman.

For more DC Multiverse reviews check out the following:
Harley Quinn (The Suicide Squad)
Man-Bat (DC Rebirth)
Nekron (Blackest Night)


  1. Wow. Just wow. That is an intense looking character.

    1. Yeah, he's insanely cool. He can ride that Joker dragon figure, too.

  2. MekaneckfrenchiefrogApril 9, 2023 at 7:11 AM

    Speaking of McFarlane, I've just bought 2 figures from the Mortal Kombat line that have caught my attention some time ago : Shao Kahn and Kotal Kahn. Not every character in Mortal Kombat tickles my fancy (far from, in fact), but these 2 guys kind of fit in with my current D&D/MOTU obsession. Kind of exotic looking gladiators/warriors with armors, helmets and medieval weaponry.. and they're the same size as Masterverse too. Mandarin Spawn kind of fits in too - and there are several versions of that character, which is always cool - so this guy will probably join my collection soon, too..

    1. The McFarlane figures are built really nicely and I can definitely see the too you picked up fitting well into a fantasy setting. And, yes, Mandarin Spawn is really cool. All three versions actually have unique sculpted elements, too, so they're not just repaints.


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