“Its my… Precious?!”-The Madness of Arkham

On StripTease’s first anniversary, I’d like to congratulate the creators and contributors of this webzine for their relentless enthusiasm for the comic cause, and thank them for having me as a contributor.

Today it wont be a review of a specific figure per se, but rather a retrospective look at one of the lines which I can safely say is the one I religiously collect.

 

Arkham Origins

Welcome to my Arkhamverse.

The Arkhamverse, as monikered, is the version of the DC Universe based on the Batman Arkham franchise. It includes at its core the interpretation of the DC characters as portrayed in the video games: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Origins and the upcoming Arkham Knight. It also holds in canon the various downloadable contents, and expansions along with comic book spin-offs based on the respective games.

Most Bat-fans who have played the games will attest to the fact that one of the highlights of the franchise was the fresh character designs merging comic art to hyper-realism, and I knew from the moment I started playing Arkham Asylum, that if they ever released figures from this video game, I was surely going to get them all.

Arkham Asylum

And how I did.

What was adoration turned into an obsession. That first wave which came out sometime in January 2011 – if I’m not wrong – made me wonder as I displayed them on my shelf how cool it would be if every character in the game ended up like this.

Seems like I wasnt the only one. The Arkham Series figures turned out to be the highest selling and most successful franchise for, DC Direct, now DC Collectibles. They rewarded loyal collectors like me by bringing out more and more of the characters in plastic.

From Arkham Asylum, the figure waves continued to its sequel Arkham City (which boasted the most diverse number of characters released as figures) and now most recently Arkham Origins – my favourite character designs.

While writing this article I realised I have been buying these figures since 2010! Its been four years! And neither me nor DCC seem to be showing any signs of stopping this madness.

But there is a method to it too.

As a rule, I never buy an iteration of the same character unless it is from a different instalment of the franchise. For example Arkham Asylum had two releases of Batman in its two waves. The First wave had the normal Batman, the second had him in his armoured avatar. No prizes for guessing I went for the normal one. The next time I bought Batman again was from Arkham City and picked the one which represented him in his normal appearance (Arkham City had close to 4 different variants of Batman)

There have been marked evolutionary changes in production and it shows on display with the progressing line of figures. Some of these changes range from the subtle – like the change in moulding plastic colour – to the more striking – e.g., now most of Arkham Origins figures seem to be electronically sculpted as opposed to the more traditional hand-sculpting which was employed for the figures from Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.

 

Arkham City

After being in this hobby seriously for over 5 years now, I can safely say that a major part of my collection is from the Arkhamverse. The sheer number of figures I have simply based on them is telling (I have 35 of them, 4 more are scheduled to be added as they release later this year)

Funny thing is today morning, I got an email update that the Arkham City: Two Face I had pre-ordered months back, had finally come in stock and is ready to ship.

Coincidence?