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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sideshow's Daredevil Comiquette stands above the crowd!

I don’t normally “rush” reviews - I collect and review at my own pace and am not worried about trying to get the first review out there - usually an impossibility due to my location and real life demands anyway. However, I was offered a chance for early shipping on the Sideshow Exclusive Daredevil Comiquette, and as the photos seemed to happen as I was unboxing, I decided I might as well get the review up while he’s new, so I’ve let Daredevil skip the queue for this evening’s review.

I first met Daredevil when I was given a huge box of Marvel Comics as a kid, and found the Contest of Champions Mini-Series (1982) amongst them. I particularly remember Daredevil’s role in this series, as his mission took place an in arctic snow storm, and his blindness and heightened senses assisted him in negotiating this environment and seizing the prize. It was a memorable introduction to a great character.

The first thing I noted when unpacking this statue was the exquisite detail in the sculpting. There is a great deal of detail in the base, which I’ll talk about in a moment, but an impressive amount of detail in Daredevil himself. Every seam, join and wrinkle of his costume is sculpted beautifully, as are both portrait options. The masked portrait is particularly impressive, with details such as ears sculpted to look just like ears under fabric - it’s captivating to look at. The pose is dynamic and very well thought out - when looking at the piece at eye level, one might think Daredevil’s head is a bit too stooped, but when you consider the height of the piece, and if, like me, you display your larger pieces on top of your cabinets, the lowered gaze makes his face clearly visible despite the tall base below him.

Daredevil sits atop a gravestone / monument which is an extensively detailed piece. It’s nice to get a break from the gargoyles so often used as bases for this type of character. The monument itself is huge, and the way that it is tilted at an odd angle and adorned with a skull create a suitably spooky feel. This is added to by a an old tree root which has wound its way around the gravestone. When I unpacked this I had visions of my Psylocke Comiquette and her cracked bonsai tree, but this isn’t as dainty, so there are no such issues here.

In addition to these details, there are three options for how the base is displayed, as the piece comes with three swappable name plates: one that is blank, one for Jack Murdock and one for Elektra. I’m going with the blank version, but these are all great option and another nice inclusion that allows collector to further individualise their display of this item.

This is the exclusive version of the Daredevil Comiquette, and it comes with an unmasked head and a swap-out left arm. The masked version’s right arm holds Daredevil’s trademark billy club, while the unmasked version holds his mask. I’m actually leaning towards displaying the exclusive version as the head is so well done, and I really like the loose mask being a part of the piece. The regular version is also excellent - I’ve noted the sculpting detail above.

The billy club is fine, but a seeming missed opportunity for a figure at this scale and price point. Daredevil’s billy club can do a great deal besides act as nunchucks, but that’s all we ever seem to get when it comes to DD toys and collectables. With Daredevil at this height, the possibility for showing the billy club in grappling hook mode with a wire cord could have been quite dynamic. Picky, but something that could have been considered. Still, this is one of the better Exclusive pieces in terms of the additional pieces and value for money.

Characters with a single coloured costume can be difficult to pull off, and red is a singularly challenging colour to deal with. Some sort of wash is required for adequate shading, but this can often end up making the red look dirty. A lack of shading is equally unappealing to look at. The balance is very well captured here, giving Daredevil the shadowy look that he needs. The work on the base is also excellent, and does a fantastic job of creating the look of different materials such as the stone and wood it is meant to represent. I’ve yet to be disappointed with a Sideshow paint job, and this is one of the best I’ve seen.

As Sideshow’s Marvel Comiquette line expands, so does the one issue that could turn some buyers off this piece, and that’s scale. Sideshow’s Comiquettes flow in different veins, and while they may not be intended to be viewed as a cohesive line in the way that Bowen’s Marvel Statue series is, it’s understandable that some collectors might want a consistent look scale-wise for their Sideshow pieces. I have to say this doesn’t bother me personally, but those that are concerned by it may feel that Daredevil himself is too small here. Indeed, the base does almost overwhelm the character here, and it could have been possible to reduce the size of the base and increase the size of the figure atop it to make him more in scale with other releases. Collectors wanting to display this as a set with the Elektra and Bullseye Comiquettes (which aren’t perfectly in scale with each other themselves) may be disappointed.

This is the first Sideshow Exclusive piece I’ve purchased that has included the exclusive print. I am still trying to get around to framing the few pieces of original art I’ve purchased, so these aren’t really drawcards for me. I have to say I was impressed, however, by both the print and its presentation. It comes in a sturdy folder which will make it easy to keep even if framing doesn’t happen. Not something that would cause me to buy an exclusive alone, but a very nice inclusion.

This piece was a Sideshow waitlist that converted. I initially hesitated on this piece due to concerns about scale, so I decided to cast my lot with the waitlist gods and see what happened. In the end, I’m very pleased to own this piece. I’m not always terribly fussed about exclusive vs. regular versions, but this is one case where I really feel the exclusive extras make the piece over all. While the scale issue is going to be a stopping point for some collectors, this works fine for me, and earns Sideshow my happy two thumbs up!

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum and comment on this post to enter the May AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

5 comments:

chrismandesign said...

sincerely this is a hell of a statue & definitely is something i willn’t own =)

jboypacman said...

Now this is a striking piece and i like it a lot and am not even a huge Daredevil fan. : )

fishmilkshake said...

That is the biggest bas I've ever seen! Beautiful piece though.

jeff said...

it's a good thing to add that he's not on a church this time. nice to see that even DD's taste changes overtime. :D

RiP666 said...

this daredevil was stunning.. and I love the way you review it..

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