Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pick of the Crop: Sideshow's Psylocke Comiquette

Having had a long break from comics from about 1989 – 2003, one of the most startling changes I struggled to comprehend upon my return was what had happened to the X-men’s Psylocke as a character. When I stopped reading X-Men she was a mild mannered, conservatively dressed telepath just finding her feet, and it took me awhile to realise that the scantily clad ninja lady on the team when I started reading again was actually the same character. It’s taken me a while to grasp her evolution as a character and appreciate her place in the Marvel Universe.

Regardless of that, she looks pretty amazing when cast in plastic or resin, and there has been no shortage of Psylocke collectibles lately. She’s been transformed for the Bishoujo line by Kotobukiya, cast as a Full Size Museum statue by Bowen Designs, and produced as the latest in Sideshow’s Mark Brooks Comiquette series, which is the piece I’m reviewing here today.

The Bowen and Sideshow Psylocke pieces were both solicited around the same time last year, and I was torn as to which I would buy. I ended up ordering the Sideshow piece, and then while waiting for it to be released got the Bowen piece for a good price as well. It’s not my favourite Bowen statue, mainly because the face is a bit small and nondescript, but it is a part of completing a Bowen X-Men display and serves a purpose there.

The Sideshow Psylocke, however, is an absolute beauty. She sits on an Asian-themed base, slightly reclined, with a knowing and confident expression on her face. One of the things that I think the larger scale and elaborate bases of Sideshow’s Comiquettes affords to the sculptor is the ability to really convey personality or humour in their work. I really like this pose and base, as it conveys something about the background of the character and is very attractive but not overly suggestive. The concept and design is a real winner for me.

One thing that I don’t think the Bowen Psylocke statue got quite right was the colour choices, which were a bit dark and murky. There are different purples and blues at work in her hair and costume, and the choices made here are excellent and supported by very good paint apps.

The sculpt work here is brilliant. I simply love Psylocke’s head – the way her hair has been sculpted and her facial expression. I don’t know that this will please fans who favour her Jim Lee – style look, but I love it. The lines of her body, the balance of her pose and the intricate work on the base demonstrates amazing skill.

As with many of the Sideshow Comiquettes, there are a number of parts to unpack and assemble to get Psylocke together, and a couple of things to watch out for. There are some small bonsai trees that are separate pieces, and one of mine came out of the box with a crack in it. This was easy to repair even with my limited gluing skills, but I could have broken it completely apart while removing it from the box if I hadn’t noticed it right away. The other thing that is a bit challenging is the attachment of Psylocke’s sash, which is designed to cascade over the pillars she’s sitting on. It’s a clever look, but the attachment from the sash to her belt is a bit loose on mine, and it kept coming out every time I moved the statue. As I imagine the sash would break pretty easily if it fell on a hard surface, I’ve had to secure it by putting a very small piece of Blu-Tac into the hole in her belt. These are not major issues, just a couple of things worth being mindful of when unpacking this piece.

Now that Psylocke has been released, Sideshow seems to be moving on to a new series of Women of Marvel Comiquettes, the first of which is the upcoming Sue Storm / Invisible Girl Comiquette designed by Jelena Djurdjevic. It will be interesting to see how these pieces stand up against the Hughes and Brooks incarnations of the line. The larger scale of these Comiquettes makes them something I can’t be completist about, as I simply won’t have room to store or display them all!

You can see more pics of this and my other Sideshow Comiquettes at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the February AFB Comment of the Month Contest.

Until next time!


slangards said...

I think the piece looks great, but it doesn't feel like Psylocke at all. After her transformation to a ninja, she was all about movement. There was this comic at the end of the Mutant Massacre that was from her perspective and she expressed then that she wished that she could do more to help, that she felt people thought her to pretty, to dainty to help with the heavy lifting of superhero-ing. That's part of the reason she started wearing that demon armor get up from what I remember.

When she got her new body, she was supposed to have rejoiced at the fact that she could finally hold her own, that she was someone that could stand her ground. I remember her as THAT character, the one crawling through air ducts with a gun, or slamming "the focused totality of (her) telepathic power" into someone's head. Seeing her just sitting there feels wrong some how.

chrismandesign said...

i’m used to the sensual semi anime look of Psylocke in Marvel vs Capcom videogame series, so this version seems pretty fine for me... though she’s a sort of warrior (as every mutant heroe) her human side claims for calm instead of fight & i think this is well captured here... the size/price issue keeps me away of this kind of pieces (fortunately...) =)

fishmilkshake said...

I'm actually quite taken with the pose. I like it! Nice review Andy.

Highskull´76 said...

Although it´s a nice piece overall, I think the sculpt could be better on her breasts(and the clothes around them)and butt. She´s quite sitting but her gluteus don´t deform at all.

Polarboy said...

I really like the colour and finish of the costume and really hate the colour they have done her hair.

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