The first Thrillkiller series focused on Batgirl and Robin, with Bruce Wayne just in the background. Because you know that could never last, the sequel, Thrillkiller '62, saw Brucie donning the cape and cowl. Since DC Direct declared 2005 to be the Year of the Bat, guess who showed up in Series 1 of the Elseworlds figures.
In Elseworlds, heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places - some that have existed, or might have existed, and others that can't, couldn't, or shouldn't exist. In this case, the strange time was the 1960s and the strange place was Gotham City. Not that there wasn't a Batman in the '60s - this is just a different world, steeped in the counterculture of the decade.
While Batgirl got a fairly massive redesign from artist Dan Brereton, Batman looks pretty standard. At least, he does at a glance. Once you start examining the details, there's a bit of newness to him. The costume is all black, which we've seen before, but the remarkably bright orange for his symbol and utility belt are what set him apart. We've never seen a Batman wearing thigh-high boots or gloves that come up to his armpits before, either.
The paint is good, which may seem like a no-brainer for a figure that's predominantly one color. However, the body of the suit is flat black, while the boots, gloves, cape and cowl are gloss, to make them stand out. The orange of the belt doesn't spill at all, though it would have been very easy. Same goes for his silver eyes and the exposed skin of his face.
The sculpt is mostly good. The musculature is detailed nicely, and the odd shapes of his boots and gloves are done well. The mask's crazy angular eyebrows are perfect, but the edges of the mask are too far back on his cheeks - they should come straight down from the outside corner of his eyes. His bat-ears are quite tiny, as they should be. His legs start to look quite odd below the knee; the calves don't seem to be quite the right shape, and the feet are too square. For some reason, he ends up looking rather knock-kneed.
There are no surprises in the articulation: it's head, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. No waist, no wrists and, although the design would support it, no ankles. At least Barbara moved at the tops of her gloves; Bruce has nothing. We're not asking for Marvel Legends levels of movement (though we'd happily take that), just enough to give the figure more than one or two poses.
Batman doesn't have any accessories - which is fine, since his hands are balled into fists - but he's supposed to include the same Elseworlds logo base as the rest of this line. I say "supposed to" because mine didn't. However, he stands fine on his own, so I'm not going to worry about it. The base is visible through the blister, though, so if you're worried about whether or not you have one, you can take a look before you buy.
Thrillkiller Batman is really a nice figure. Sure, the articulation could be better, but the paint is great and the design is really nice. Even if you're not a fan of the Elseworlds series, this Batman is plain enough to fit in your collection. His color scheme will set him apart nicely, but he's not so crazy that he'll look out of place.
What's your favorite Elseworlds take on Batman? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.