The nineties were a strange time from comics. Actually, the 90's were a strange time, period, but their effect on superheroes is particularly relevant to this review. The decade was an extreme one, or at least it pretended to be so. In reality, the years were probably more melodramatic and angst-ridden than anything else, but, in hindsight, they're good for a few laughs.
In fact, this guy might be good for a lot of laughs. Yes, Azrael, the assassin turned crime-fighter who took on the mantle of Batman when Bruce Wayne was crippled by Bane: is there anyone more extreme?
Mattel has made at least one version of Azrael previously, but I think this is their first Batman-Azrael (or Bazrael, for short).
Truth be told, I've never had much interest in this guy. He's ridiculous, absurd, and - well - stupid. But, looking back, he's also kind of fun. There was an unintentional campiness about him and his era that wasn't really evident at the time, but now it's impossible to miss.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that this is an absolutely fantastic action figure. The sculpt and paint work is top notch (though the legs are a bit bland). The added bits of armor, along with the utterly ridiculous number of spikes and pointy bits, add to the overall impression. Sure, Azrael's trying too hard, but you don't name yourself Azrael if you have a healthy sense of self.
I don't think I need many reminders of the 1990's (living through it was enough, thank you), but I'll happily take this one. That cape/wings/apple slicer on his back's a great example: what the hell is that supposed to be? What's it's purpose? And, frankly, who cares? It's a hell of a lot of fun.
Articulation is unusual this time. From the abs down, he's a normal DC Universe Classics (other than having double-pins on his knees, but even that's pretty common these days). But the top part of his body is a whole new game. His elbows and wrists are ball-jointed to take advantage of his gauntlets. His head's technically still a ball joint, but won't get much movement at all due to his suit.
The only accessory Bazrael comes with is one of Bane's legs. Jeeze, I know Bazrael got violent towards the end, but that's a little dark, isn't it?
I'm kicking myself, because I once passed this guy up for something like $12 or $13. I wound up paying twenty at a shop here in Queens and calling myself lucky: he's going for $40 and up online. In part, I bought him for the leg - I do want to finish Bane - but I'm also loving the figure. He's not a part of DC history I'm fond of, but I really dig the toy.