The Batman Knightfall 7″ action figure is the latest release from McFarlane Toys’ DC Multiverse toy line, featuring a classic version of the Dark Knight in one of the most notorious storylines from his long, illustrious history.
Even by the start of the 90’s, Batman had been involved in some brutal action and suffered some traumatic injuries, but 1993 saw the start of a storyline which surpassed them all. I’m talking, of course, about the moment Bane broke Batman’s back.
Vividly drawn by Jim Aparo, there was something so horrific about the act, as if it was truly a fate worse than death.
It came at a time when it felt like Batman best reflected the darker side of superhero comics. The eighties had seen the shocking and narratively complicated events of Crisis On Infinite Earths (1985), and with Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986), Frank Miller had shown the world how the character could be used to tell adult, relevant stories thanks to his absence of powers, the iconography of his world, and the dark streak to his backstory.
Leading into Knightfall, Bruce was beginning to struggle. Physically, he feared that he wasn’t keeping up with the demands he placed on himself. His world had also seen the death of Superman and Jason Todd, the second Robin. Both Alfred and Tim Drake, the new Robin, found their attempts to advise Bruce spurned, leading to Alfred’s resignation as Bruce’s butler (always a term used loosely).
By the time the biologically enhanced super-soldier Bane arrived on the scene, instigating a breakout of villains incarcerated at Arkham Asylum, and discovering Batman’s secret identity, Bruce was a man close to burnout. His clash with Bane, therefore, proved to be the physical and metaphorical breaking point for the character.
As important and memorable as this was, what was more important is what came next. Bruce’s slow, torturous recovery and eventual return to the cowl, meant he also had to defeat Jean-Paul Valley, the man who he’d picked to replace him as Batman.
The Jean-Paul Dark Knight was a direct response to fans who clamored for a darker Batman that would kill his enemies if they “deserved” to die. While the Azrael character was popular in his own guise, fans despised him as Batman (as they were supposed to) and DC proved their point. There can be only one, true Batman, and Bruce came back from seemingly impossible odds to reclaim his rightful place.
Christopher Nolan recognised the significance and dramatic effectiveness of the Knightfall story with his third and final Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises (2012) which not only saw the introduction of Bane, the jailbreak, his deduction of Batman’s identity, and the fight which culminated in him breaking Bruce’s spine (not to mention Alfred’s resignation).
So it’s the Knightfall version of the Dark Knight that McFarlane toys has chosen to celebrate with this DC Multiverse 7″ action figure. The blue and light grey coloring represent the era leading up to Knightfall, which now also seems to be the version that reflects the more innocent Silver Age of comics. The figure even features little stretch marks in the costume as a way of highlighting the thinness of the fabric. This is the lightest that Batman’s costume got, with a vibrant blue and the palest of greys. There’s a wonderful innocence to it. Post Knightfall, Bruce had learned a valuable lesson and he would employ a darker suit with protective padding.
The figure comes with a second pair of hands, a Batarang, base and art card which also includes character biography.
The Batman Knightfall 7″ action figure is a classic-looking piece, in every sense of the word. It captures a bygone era and the important storyline that proved to be a turning point. The Knightfall story ultimately showed what series of events could take place that would essentially defeat Batman. But ultimately it didn’t. And we all know the adage about what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It became the subtle but dramatic shift in the character which could now be referenced for years to come as a true test of mettle, as well as a warning to heed the advice of those closest to him.
The Batman Knightfall 7″ DC Multiverse action figure is available from McFarlane Toys.
- Incredibly detailed 7″ scale figure based on the DC Multiverse.
- Designed with Ultra Articulation with up to 22 moving parts for full range of posing and play.
- Knightfall Batman includes batarang, extra hands and base.
- Included collectible art card with character art on the front, and character biography on the back.
- Collect all McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse Figures.
Images and press release courtesy of McFarlane Toys