In which I am astounded to find a LEGO Batman set to related to a relatively recent storyline from the comics. In putting the set together, I reach new highs, new lows and breathe a sigh of relief as I get my hands on a colour I hadn’t seen for a while…
Batman, Batwoman and OMAC. (Oh My!)
The 76111 Brother Eye Takedown set is part of the DC Superheroes line, and was released in the second half of 2018. I was intrigued by the existence of this set: while an ongoing part of the DC (comics) Universe continuity, Brother Eye and OMAC are not necessarily widely recognised by the non comics reading public. In it’s current guise, Brother Eye comes across as a DC satellite equivalent of Marvel’s Ultron: an artificial intelligence with the ability to take down Earth’s Greatest Heroes. I was even more intrigued by it’s presence here as I was reading the ‘Lonely Place of Living’ as well as the ‘Batmen: Eternal’ storylines in Detective Comics when I saw the set announced. Brother Eye, the OMACs and Batwoman play an important part of these storylines. Beyond this I shall not elaborate, as I don’t want to hit you with too many spoilers, and I don’t want to give away the fact that I have misplaced a couple of issues, making a complete rereading of the storyline impossible for me at present.
Of course, it might not be completely canonical: The specific Batjet featured in this set might not have been featured in these series, and indeed the Brother Eye Satellite was not directly included either. But we did have Batman, Batwoman and several thousand OMACs. Good luck if you wish to start army building…
This set comes with 269 pieces. It is in a medium sized box, which is perhaps not quite as solidly packed as it could have been. It costs about $50AUD, but I picked it up discounted somewhere. There are three bags included: each with a single minifigure and part of the individual builds.
Lets look at the minifigures: we have three.
Batman is presented in medium stone grey, with a gold belt printed front and back. The Bat Symbol on his chest also features gold outlining. His double sided head print features both grim and determined facial expressions, stubble and a the obligatory white headband. His black cowl has no chinstrap, but looks good in context.
Batwoman also features great front and back printing, including a red belt, as well as strong muscular definition. Her white head features goggle prints on both sides, which are obscured by her cowl, but make this a potentially more reusable head than that of Batman. She has a smile and a determined look. I really like her dual moulded cowl and hairpiece. The red hair captures Batwoman’s look quite well, I feel.
OMAC is essentially a blue muscular figure with an eye on his chest, and a single eye in his head. Gold ‘wiring’ lines radiate outwards. The ‘fin’ on its head is achieved with a the collectable minifigures punk’s hair piece, recoloured in blue. He features a couple of power blasts, which look dramatic in place on his hands, but also fly off into the corner of the room when you apply a little too much pressure in just the wrong place for a little too long.
The Build: Brother Eye
We start by building the Brother Eye satellite. featuring five articulated ‘limbs’ there are also four antennae around the perimeter and this represents the lowest part of the build for me. These antenna involve pushing an antenna through the back of a headlamp/washing machine/Ehrling/’modified 1×1 with headlight’ Brick. The overall effect is great, and the antennae can be moved slightly on the platform. Unfortunately, I found it challenging to remove the antenna after I had pushed it through. I was about to embark on a long rant about how it could not be done, but after a night’s sleep and renewed determination, I had another try. This time I was successful. But it might be a little challenging for smaller hands.
The overall appearance of Brother Eye is of a lightly squared off circle. There is no real discernible detail on its back, just the bottom of a round plate. While most of the satellite has complete curves, at the bottom we have a brick missing to allow you to push the button on a light brick. This is difficult to do while playing with the set, however a brick can be placed over the ’empty studs’ to keep the button pressed and leave the lamp lit, hands free. Just don’t forget to release it before the battery runs down (for the record, this takes around 4 hours. I’ll let you guess as to how I worked this out…)!
The light itself shines through a transparent 4×4 radar dish with an eye printed on. A 2×2 red dish on top of it makes the light look just a little more sinister.
Brother Eye can balance on the two ‘lower limbs,’ and the others have a degree of articulation to allow for some posing. Admittedly, the balance is not without challenge. but easy enough.
The Build: BatJet
The Batjet is a remarkably complex build, perhaps needlessly so, but it incorporates some interesting SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques, particularly with the wings. I particularly like the way in which the curved bricks on the side rest on top of offset plates: if they were resting on regular plates, the thickness of the writing on top of the studs might affect the way the bricks lie.
It also features a pair of stud shooters, some copper metallic Batshaped elements, and some printed 1x2x2/3 sloped, printed with a Ninjago radar screen. The weakest part of the build would be the Bat-symbol elements on the wings held on by a single stud.
The Copper Metallic Batsymbols, the creatively named ‘Mini Accessory, No. 7’ in the Brickset database, come as a set of 11 parts, in their own bag. This is their only appearance in this colour, and indeed the first outing for metallic copper in 2018. I had secretly been concerned that this colour might have been discontinued following the reappearance of teal in this year’s sets, but my fears have now been allayed. Copper metallic didn’t appear in the discussion there as it was a new colour in 2017, and didn’t appear on the 2016 colour chart.
HOWEVER, as I look back at this build I realise that there are NO Stickers and NO ‘Bat Logo’ Printed elements (Other than the minifigures themselves). This joy almost offsets my disappointment with not being able to readily disassemble the satellite. Almost.
The final result here is quite robust and extremely swooshable!
Is This Set A Big Deal?
There are a number of things that I feel are significant in this set:
It is the minifigure debut of Batwoman. Arriving during the Countdown and 52 Storylines in 2006, she has had a significant role in Detective Comics during the last few years, as well as now having her own title since the the DC Rebirth, eighteen months ago. Arriving in the DC Universe, and being announced to be a lesbian character on debut, she represents efforts to increase the diversity in the comics community to match that of the society in which we live. Next year, there will be a live action television series.
Likewise OMAC and Brother eye have never featured in LEGO form previously. First appearing in 1974, The concept initially revolved around a character named Buddy Blank, who was given powers by the Brother Eye to become the One Man Army Corps. In more recent times, the ‘official history’ has been altered to be a response by Batman, after discovering his memory had been altered by members of the Justice League in ‘Infinite Crisis’. OMACs are now created subsequent to a nano virus infection, enabling anyone who has been infected to be activated as an OMAC by Brother Eye.
The villains in year’s Batman sets: Brother Eye Take-Down, and Attack of the Talons – are both relatively recent additions to the Batman mythos, appearing in their current forms around 2006. They represent the only ‘villains’ in Batman’s Rogues Gallery to have been represented in LEGO form, despite no significant outing on live action television, or on the big screen. Can you think of any others?
For many years, the LEGO Batman minifigures were limited to the classic villains: Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy and Two Face. We have seen some newer villains portrayed on the big screen: Ra’s al Ghul and Talia, Scarecrow, Bane and then some characters who had been limited to the comics and animated series: Harley Quinn and Killer Croc – both of whom finally got big screen representation in Suicide Squad, back in 2016. A few other characters made their screen debut at this time including Captain Boomerang and Deadshot, but they have not been considered ‘Bat-Villains.’
There have been a few other Minifigure villains that have appeared as minifigures independent of releases related to the LEGO Batman movie: Deathstroke, Manbat and Killer Moth spring to mind. The latter two did, however appear in small roles in that film. Deathstroke might be more commonly considered a Teen Titans enemy, than one of Batman.
Brother Eye and OMAC (but in a slightly different form) were both featured in series one of The Brave and the Bold.
The Talons have now also been featured in the Fox TV series Gotham, as well as the animated movie Batman vs Robin. Brother Eye, and an earlier form of OMAC appeared in series one of The Brave and the Bold.
So: a new hero, who in herself is a significant addition to the DC Superhero lineup, a debut appearance for a new antagonist, who has been mainly limited to the comics. I’m going to call this one of the more significant DC Superheroes sets, particularly Batman sets, of recent years.
I really enjoyed this set. It is refreshing to get a new hero from the Bat Family, and Batwoman is a great choice. (Seriously though, how long until we see Spoiler or Orphan? – Okay, I guess they need a mainstream screen appearance I guess).
The Batjet has some interesting construction techniques, nice greebling and is extremely swooshable. The Brother Eye satellite has its pros and cons: the printed element is great, as is the overall look, but I felt a little let down by the difficulties in posing it in my photo box, as well as the difficulty in dismantling the Ehrling brick -Antenna connection. The light brick is a great addition, and is used very effectively here.
I was excited to see the new OMAC figure, as it has not received a great level of awareness generated outside the comics community.
Finally, I was delighted to see that all of the details in the set were achieved without the need for any stickers at all. I award this set four out of five Arbitrary Praise Units (4/5). It loses marks for challenges posed in dismantling the satellite, and a relatively poor price per part value in Australia.
What do you think of this set? Are the minifigures or builds at all enticing for you? Why not leave your comments below, and sign up to follow the Rambling Brick for more news, reviews, unsolicited opinions and nostalgic flashbacks.