Mad Magazine was a staple of my childhood, the forbidden fruit of the newsstand that we secretly bought, read and loved. And even though the magazine was filled to the brim with raunchy comedy, ripe for my adolescent mind, my first impulse was to skip to the Spy vs. Spy cartoon. Watching these two opposing forces try to outwit each other with elaborate death traps. It was always a surprise at who would best who as these short cartoons offered plenty of intrigue, comedy, violence, and death to keep me coming back each month. My love for these characters only deepened as the magazine’s antics made their way too television and I could to see these dueling counter terrorist come to life in glorious black and white animation thanks to Mad TV.
Now that the magazine is making a comeback we thought it was a great time to check out this Spy vs Spy inspired DC Collectibles Batman Black & White by artist Peter Kuper. Sculpted by Irene Matar and standing at about 7.47″ tall this figure features the signature Black & White color scheme synonymous with both the character and this line of collectibles. Holding a Batarang and stick of dynamite this Spy vs. Spy Batman is ready to take down his enemy with a barrage of weapons at his disposal.
This DC Collectibles figure is a walking personality disorder, as it blends features of the Good & Bad Spy, plus our caped crusader. The hat that normally comes to a single point, now comes to two, in order to emulate the Bat ears of Batman’s cowl, unfortunately, this is my least favorite part of this costume/design. It looks cheesy and forced. It’s not appealing to the eye at all and throws off the rest of the design. I understand what they were going for here and the need to split this area like the rest of the design but it looks bad.
As we move down the face features the classic Spy vs. Spy pointed nose, wide smile and huge eyes, but with split Black & White Color scheme. The grimace is the highlight here as his smile has this uncomfortable happiness about it. As we move down the details become more prominent. The “Bat-symbol” on his just is changed to match his pointy hat and more playful demeanor. As we move to his utility belt this is where the real fun happens. The belt is lined with Spy vs. Spy gadgets, ever prepared to take down any foe. My personal favorite it the old-timey bomb that displays some explosive artwork just in case, its user forgets what weapon he deployed.
The cape is rather plain as it flows straight back behind our Spy, and features little movement. Its design also is a little too bulky and cartoonish for my taste as it just doesn’t seem to sit right with my eyes. Past the utility belt, there is little to talk about as the statue’s legs aren’t worth a mention until we get to the pointed shoes, which again highlight the cartoonish nature of this design. The base is the classic Black & White Batman Statue stand as it features the familiar bat-symbol with the B&W color scheme.
As a longtime fan of the Spy vs. Spy comic, this statue makes me happy every time I glance at it pointed face. I really like the way the black and whites are divided and the detail in the weaponry and utility belt but outside of those fun nods, this design just isn’t for me. The dual pointed hat really is unappealing and since its one of the more unique features of the design really stands out and is the first thing you notice. Even as a fan of the comic this piece is just a little too over the top and idea heavy for my liking. In the future, if DC decides to do a straight up Spy vs. Spy figure I may be interested but this display of dueling personalities maybe too much for most collectors and fans.