There may not be enough superlatives in the thesaurus for this one. Prime 1 Studio are celebrating their 10th anniversary with the release of an extraordinary new sculpture, the Batman Tactical Throne diorama based on a design by illustrator Gabriele Dell’Otto.
The initial image of Batman slumped in his large chair at the centre of the Batcave was created by Dell’Otto as a variant cover for Batman (volume 3) #111 (2016). At this point in time, the comic was building a pressure cooker of political machinations that led to the Fear State crossover storyline.
Predominantly a cover artist, known for a dramatically dark takes on superheroes, Gabrielle chose an image that managed to evoke the impression of the Batman as a weary King, or overlord. His cape could be a regal gown, and the height and breadth of his chair evoked a throne. The mask looked almost demonic, the face was serious and uncompromising, but was at odds with his slouched posture, as if he was weighed down with the burden of his role. Of course, his is in a tough, never-ending battle/reign.
Prime 1 Studio have translated the image into a statue in the best possible way, adding new layers of depth and nuance, making use of the advantages that three-dimensional sculpture provides, and even allowing for subtle adjustments to the body that communicate equally subtle variations in mood.
On first inspection they have captured the spirit of Dell-Otto’s image perfectly, in the body sculpt, posture, and relative size of the chair. With the computer screens more pronounced, Batman still looks like a physically powerful man, but the source of his power is also represented by the wealth of information at his disposal. This aspect is important enough to accentuate with screens that actually light up.
The sculpt copies the classic blue and grey coloring of the Batsuit, adding texture to distinguish between the different materials. This ultimate edition of the statue also comes with customizable options which are subtle but surprisingly impactful. The first, as you may expect, is a version of the head not wearing the legendary cowl- a reminder of the man behind the mask, humanizing the icon and making it truly feel like we’re seeing the Dark Knight at his most unselfconscious.
Then there are two versions of the masked head with a slight change in the eyebrow section of the mask. In an astonishingly realised, slight change in the sculpt, Batman goes from looking fiercely uncompromising to troubled. It changes the effect of the diorama, pulling at the strings of sympathy and reminding us of the tragic core to the origins of this character.
Other variations include a left arm which is on the arm rest, angled closer to his chest, or raised towards his face giving Batman a more contemplative pose, which will also be affected by the choice of head part. There is also a variation of the left leg so that his cape can be to one side or regally covering his leg as in the original image.
Turn the diorama around and you’ll find a further treat. The background stalagmites allow for a change in height perspective as the reverse presents a totally new statue of Batman stood next to the Batmobile. Below what now seems like an enormous Bat symbol, the Dark Knight pulls on his glove ready for action. It’s a wonderful way to counterbalance the private moment of contemplation with the ever-readiness for whatever it takes to battle the forces of evil.
Based on these images, the Batman Tactical Throne diorama is a triumph of interpretation and execution. It has the emotional impact of the original image by Gabriele Dell’Otto, but the closer one looks at the statue the more impressive it becomes; due to the detailing, variant limbs, and second statue on the back. It’s a fitting way for Prime 1 Studio to celebrate its birthday and honor a popular culture icon.
The Batman Tactical Throne diorama is available to pre-order from the Prime 1 Studio website.
- One (1) Batcave-themed base with four animated monitors
- One (1) Batcave-themed base Diorama
- LED Illumination on monitors and base
- Three (3) Swappable left arm parts
- One (1) Swappable cape part
- Two (2) Swappable head parts
- One (1) Swappable Bonus head part [BONUS PART]
Images and press release courtesy of Prime 1 Studios