McFarlane Toys Digital Batman Year Two is the world’s first digital collectible designed by Todd McFarlane himself. It represents another way for people collect and own a part of comic history.
Batman: Year Two was a story that ran in Detective Comics #575-578 (1987). Written by Mike W. Barr, Batman: Year Two was originally intended to be titled Batman 1980, but the name was changed to coincide with Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s masterpiece Batman: Year One (1987) which ran in Batman #404-407 the same year.
The story took a step back into the Dark Knight’s early years and presented him with the ethical dilemma that would challenge him for years to come – what lines would he cross to uphold the law? Faced with The Reaper, a costumed vigilante who uses lethal force, Batman’s also forced to work with Joe Chill, the man who murdered his parents all those years ago in that infamous alleyway.
Penciling duties were split between superstars Alan Davis and Todd McFarlane, representing a rare opportunity for McFarlane to work on the character. While he went on to gain fame for his run on Spider-Man and creating Spawn, his visual flare was all over the comic, not least Batman’s cloak which filled panels with its size and the pointed trim that emulated the wings of a bat.
One panel in particular demonstrated McFarlane’s style, whilst also encapsulating the moral theme of the story. Batman visits the gravestone of his parents and stands in contemplation while his cape is swept around him in the wind. There’s a statue of an angel with wings outstretched, and the moon’s not only full, but seems to fill the sky.
In 2021 McFarlane Toys released an action figure to commemorate this moment with surely the biggest cape in Batman action figure history. With the extra visual McFarlane signature of the hook affect Batman’s shoulders, it was a stunning recreation of the original image, it’s also very hard to get hold of now. In answer to the demand, McFarlane Toys Digital have given fans the chance to own a specially created digital version of that iconic image.
Two thousand editions have been created, each of them uniquely identifiable thanks to NFT technology. Better than a mere reproduction of the original image, the digital version is animated and many carry Todd McFarlane’s signature. While some may feel the need to keep an original figure in its box, or behind glass, to protect it, a digital asset exists in a digital wallet which means it’s safe from real world harm (including careless hands!) More importantly, it also means that you can carry it with you to admire wherever you are and… let’s face it, show-off, assuming that you’re never far from a digital device.
The McFarlane Toys Digital website also acts as a platform to not only buy, but also sell digital assets. While McFarlane Toys have released the McFarlane Dragon and Spawn collections, the digital Batman: Year Two is the first asset to be taken directly from a Todd McFarlane design.
The scene captured in McFarlane Toys’ digital Batman: Year Two represents an extraordinary journey indicative of the times. This is a significant moment in Batman comic history, which has evolved into an action figure, and now a collectible digital asset. It’s accessible, portable and won’t be damaged in an accident. It’s a new way of collecting! If you haven’t already got one, it may be time to get yourself a digital wallet.
McFarlane Toys digital Batman: Year Two designed by Todd McFarlane is available now from McFarlane Toys Digital.
Based on the iconic look from the Batman Year Two comic, this is the first ever digital collectible designed by Todd McFarlane himself. The digital collectible is fully animated, and a few have been digitally signed by Todd McFarlane. In the comic, after failing miserably to defeat the Reaper, Batman must consider fighting fire with fire, which unfortunately puts him at deadly odds with the Gotham City Police Department. Forced to then work with Joe Chill as a result, the man responsible for killing his parents, Batman must do what he can to put an end to the Reaper’s tyranny, even if it goes against his best interest.”
Images and press release courtesy of McFarlane Toys