Psylocke from the Uncanny X-Men

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

When Kotobukiya introduced the world to their Marvel Bishoujo line, I immediately thought that Psylocke was an obvious choice for that series. She’s Asian, she’s hot, she doesn’t wear many clothes, she’s a perfect match. Kotobukiya took their time announcing her, but announce her they did and while I was thrilled, my happiness was tempered by the fact that Rogue and the Black Widow fell short of what they could have been. Regardless, Psylocke is my favorite Marvel Comics character, so there was never any question of whether I would acquire her.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

Like many of the major X-Men characters, Elizabeth Braddock has had a long and convoluted history. She joined the X-Men a couple of years before I started reading comic books and originally was a physically-frail British woman with powerful telepathic abilities. During the X-Men’s stay in Australia, when the team is on the run from the evil, cybernetic Reavers, she leads the remaining X-Men through the Siege Perilous, a teleportation device that, while saving them from their assailants, divides them and, in some cases, alters them substantially.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

Psylocke is perhaps the most substantially changed of all the X-Men. She reappears in Asia with no memory and falls into the clutches of Matsu’o Tsurayaba, who conspires with the six-armed mutant Spiral to swap Psylocke into the body of Kwannon, a female Japanese ninja and Matsu’o’s lover. The process is a success and Psylocke emerges as an assassin in the service of the Mandarin but is quickly rescued by Wolverine and Jubilee. She returns to the X-Men as a sexy, scantily-clad Asian woman with significant physical combat abilities.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

Her past is brought up again in the adjectiveless X-Men series. As it turns out, Psylocke’s old British body is still alive and well and is now being used by Kwannon, and as it further turns out Psylocke and Kwannon’s brains have been scrambled together, making it so that while they have distinct bodies, they share memories and skills. I thought there was a lot of potential for Kwannon, being that she was an interesting character and you can’t ever go wrong with having two sexy purple-haired women on one team, but unfortunately her return to the X-Men was quite brief as the writer then introduced the Legacy Virus into the storyline. Kwannon – now going by the name Revanche – falls victim to the disease and returns to Matsu’o Tsurayaba, who kills her at her request.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

Psylocke remains part of the X-Men for a long time, gaining a ridiculous red tattoo over her left eye in the process, until longtime X-Men writer Chris Claremont was given a new series titled X-Treme X-Men. He takes Psylocke and promptly kills her in the second issue of the series. She stays dead for a number of years of real time, until being resurrected in Uncanny X-Men #455. She joins the X-Men and then the Exiles team. She is then mysteriously captured by Madelyne Pryor, who has also exhumed her British corpse, and in a further indignity is strapped into bondage and forcibly has her soul sucked out and implanted back into her old body, her Japanese body being left as a drooling husk.

Of course, nothing in comics is permanent, and just a few issues later she manages to insert herself back into her Japanese body while her British body is destroyed. I have no doubt that future X-Men writers will not hesitate to resurrect her British body once more should it prove expedient, however.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

While I like Psylocke as a character, I don’t doubt that much of her popularity comes from her sex appeal. Her Asian image coincides with Jim Lee’s arrival as the regular Uncanny X-Men artist and his iconic rendition is still her basic character design. Some people decry that lack of change – she’s gone through several costume variations but has always reverted back to her blue high-necked leotard – but I hope she never changes, personally. Some comic characters look perfect the way they are – I couldn’t imagine Superman without the blue tights and red briefs, nor would Spider-Man look right without the full bodysuit and big white eyes and web design (although I suppose one could contend that the black suit that Peter Parker sometimes wore constitutes a major change). In my mind, Jim Lee’s design is what I think of when I think of Psylocke.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

She’s portrayed as a ninja with advanced combat training, but oddly, she loses a lot of fights. Off the top of my head, she’s neutralized by Magneto in X-Men #1, although admittedly, Magneto is an extremely powerful mutant and Psylocke probably had no chance anyway. She’s beaten by Revanche upon the latter’s return to the X-Men mansion, she gets knocked out by Gambit a couple of issues after that, she’s nearly eviscerated by Sabertooth, she gets killed by a mutant named Vargas (who scrawls a message on a wall using her blood), and then she somehow gets subdued by Madelyne Pryor’s sisterhood of mutants. I’m sure there are more that I don’t know about, being that I’ve only read comics off and on over the past twenty years.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

Anyway, on to the figure. Psylocke is by Kotobukiya and is the latest figure in their Marvel Bishoujo line. Sculpted in 1/8 scale, she’s barely 18 centimeters tall. She comes fixed to her base right out of the box. Her only accessories are a pair of swords that slide into her hands.

Psylocke by Shunya Yamashita

Like the other Marvel Bishoujo figures, Psylocke is based off of artwork by Shunya Yamashita, which I like very much.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

Unfortunately, I don’t think the sculpt is quite as impressive as the picture. Psylocke’s proportions seem off – her head is very long and narrow, her neck is also seems overly long and thin, and her hips are too wide. On the plus side, her ideal viewing angle – from the side, where her face is looking at the viewer – conceals these flaws. Actually, there are a few angles where she looks pretty good and a few angles – such as from the front – where she looks very strange.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

The paint is decent, although some of the blue paint on her arm and thigh bands isn’t completely sharp. You won’t be able to notice that from more than a foot away, though.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

I think that the biggest problem is her size. Like Rogue and the Black Widow, Psylocke is noticeably smaller than most of the 1/8 scale figures that I own. I really wish that Kotobukiya had elected to sculpt the Marvel Bishoujo figurs in a truer 1/8 scale or larger.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

So how do I feel about Psylocke? Despite her flaws – and they are obvious – I do like this figure a lot, but that’s mainly because of my fondness for the character. I’ve been a fan of Psylocke for years and I’ve been hoping for a decent Psylocke figure for a long time. Admittedly, this figure isn’t all that I hoped for, but it still looks okay if turned the right way. I’m not certain that the Marvel Bishoujo line is going to have much appeal to figure collectors who aren’t Marvel Comics fans, but those that are may find these figures desirable.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

While Psylocke’s general character design was set by Jim Lee back in the early 90s, the details of her design have varied by artist. Some artists give her multiple thigh and arm bands of differing width. Some artists give her leotard a thong back while others give her a bit more modesty. She’s had blue eyes, purple eyes, brown eyes … Kotobukiya’s figure actually gives her green eyes.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

I found this cover to be amusing; the ninja on the bottom looks like he’s trying to give her legs a hug, while the one in the back looks like he wants to give Psylocke a spanking.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

This is what she looked like right after becoming the Mandarin’s assassin. She didn’t wear this armor for very long, as I recall.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

After Psylocke was killed, Marvel threw her fans a bone by giving her a short story in X-Men Unlimited. The story in this comic was written by Adam Warren, who wrote American comic adaptations of the Dirty Pair and Bubblegum Crisis series.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

When Jim Lee jumped ship from Marvel to form Image Comics, many of Marvel’s best artists went with him, including Marc Silvestri. Silvestri was Lee’s predecessor as the artist on The Uncanny X-Men, and he created a comic book called Cyberforce, which featured cybernetic characters with many similarities to the X-Men. One such character was Cyblade, a female combatant who, much like Psylocke, can generate energy blades.

Silvestri later left Image to form Top Cow Productions. Their most famous property, Witchblade, was turned into an anime, and one of the Funimation DVDs features Silvestri giving a tour of the Top Cow studio and talking a bit about the series.

There are a number of Psylocke statues that are going to be available soon. Bowen Designs and Sideshow Collectibles have unveiled theirs, while Kotobukiya is actually sculpting another Psylocke figure, whose initial sketch is shown here. I’m not sure I dig Bowen’s or Sideshow’s; the former doesn’t really look Asian, whereas I think the latter could use a face redesign. I’m hoping that Kotobukiya’s second Psylocke figure turns out nice, and from the prototype sculpt pictures that I’ve seen, it looks like it could.

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

Kotobukiya Psylocke from The Uncanny X-Men Figure Review

This entry was posted in Figure Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

23 Responses to Psylocke from the Uncanny X-Men

  1. Aka says:

    Her waste is definitely too thick, it seems awkward and un attractive. Her clothing also seems to exaggerate her bum making it seem far too large. However, on a more positive note, her breastsa are a bit more managable than Hyper Nurse Victory Yuno. Overall though I feel the figure seems to be lacking in detail and appears fairly average in quality. Too bad.

    Also, wow… neeerrrdd! haha love the synopsis of the character, takes half the review and summarizes what appears to be her entire existance in the Marvel universe. Then maybe 2 paragraphs on the figure itself, then more comic book nerdery. Do you perhaps enjoy comics? I never got into them myself, a lot of which has to do with how it feels like there’s far too much out there already to catch up on.

    That sketch for Koto’s second Psylocke figure looks pretty good. I’d like to see that one sculpted, though I’m not a big fan of how American comics illustrate woman. Almost never a fan of the faces and builds of the characters. Too bad.

  2. Chag says:

    Wow, this figure’s face has a really different feel from the illustration. The missing lock of hair that runs down her forehead and and lack of colour on her face really reduces the seductive feel that illustration has. Now that I think about it, not many Shunya figures does the artist’s flushed style justice. The only one I recall that noticeably has the blushed cheeks is Max Factory’ Nida of the Shuraki series. I can’t help but to think there has been a lot of wasted potential in those small touches.

  3. Tier says:

    >> Aka
    I may in fact be a comic book fan! I’m not actually sure if I was a comic book fan or an anime fan first … I think I must’ve been seven or eight years old when I got my first comic book, I wonder if I had watched anime then. I think the first anime I ever saw might’ve been Voltron or Battle of the Planets, though I don’t remember anything of either and the first anime that I really watched were Tranzor Z (which I didn’t actually like very much) and Robotech; I’m not sure how old I was when I watched those.

    I’ve actually slipped on reading comic books for the reason you mention; Marvel loves doing all these dumb crossovers and I really only read X-Men books. And then they love doing these dumb big events which I don’t like. Then I get behind and don’t understand what’s going on and my desire to continue reading the books is diminished. I actually haven’t bought any new comics in a few months now.

    I really bought this figure for the character rather than for the figure itself, and that probably shows in the review XD I’d actually call it below average in quality, though I suppose I don’t have too many really bad figures to compare it against.

    I figure I can talk about sculpt quality or paint quality so many times before it becomes really hard to write (or care) about either. I think nowadays, I’m more interested in writing about what a figure or character means to me and why I like it rather than going over it with a magnifying glass, especially since pictures provide a far more comprehensive technical overview of a figure than my words can.

    >> Chag
    Yeah, not to mention she looks kinda cross-eyed from some angles. And you’re right, not too many figures do, now that I look at my collection. Daiki Kougyou’s 1/4 scale Saber does have flushed cheeks and I think it’s the only figure in my collection to have that. I’ve gotta review that figure one of these days, it’s been sitting on my shelf for a long time now.

    • Larry Davis says:

      I think she’s hot both ways but storm is always my first love of the x-men females.

      • Tier says:

        Storm is definitely cool too. I’m a bit surprised she hasn’t gotten a bishoujo figure herself, since she’s arguably one of the three most important female X-Men with Rogue and Jean Grey. She seems to have some prominence in the recent X-Men anime so maybe she’ll get a figure version.

  4. Aka says:

    The first anime I actually recall watching was Astroboy, it was on at 6:30am every day when I used to live at on a farm, seriously. I didn’t like it a lot at first but I watched it fairly frequently and eventually woke up early just to watch it. Back then we only had OTA channels so I was pretty limited with TV.

    I’d probably be more into comics and/or manga if I either owned more or had friends who lent ’em to me. I can’t stand reading them for extended lengths on a computer monitor. I figure if I had an iPad like device that’s what I’d use it for, manga.

    I think you’re right with your approach, I’m starting to find it’s hard to describe what’s good or bad about a figure. I mean it’s easy enough to point it out, but to do so in a manner with which people actually want to read? I’m not sure I’ve ever managed that. I think it’s probably better to say what I like about a figure, why I bought it, and point out any disappointments. But not do so in such a structured manner like I used to, or still mostly do.

  5. DaSaru says:

    ah..i expected as much judging from the rest of the line. doesn’t really follow the art and small scale and wasn’t surprised by now .
    i kinda like the hips though.
    green eyes? really?
    nice recap on her history. btw she got the face tattoo from being “resurectted” by magic after she got mauled by sabretooth. red dawn or something. would make for a nice 2nd version since almost all the rest got another version.
    that sideshow statue face looks a bit like kelly hu..
    adam warren did a psylocke story?! i need the issue number now!! how is it?i love adam warrens work! empowered is his best work and would recommend it to anybody.

  6. Ashlotte says:

    Thanks for reminding me why I stopped reading American comics so long ago…I may be sad when a Manga ends, but its a damn sight better then the monster our comics morph into over time requiring continuity resets constantly. >_<

    Ah but yea I do remember the Jim Lee days…

    Almost ordered this myself, but I have enough space problems without collecting western stuff (Although I did slip-up and order a Iron-man recently…damnit.).

    You gotta admit though whatever minor flaws this line has it still beats the hell out of those abominations the Ame-Comi or whatever the hell they call em from D.C.

  7. Foehamr72 says:

    U bring up a intresting point Tier.  What was your first infuence. Comics or anime.  In my case, it was comics. My Da used to swing by the salvation army store after work and grab old world at war comics.  I remember them being pretty gritty.  He would always read them 1st to make sure it was ok for us. I really did hate waiting on those comics.  There was also this comic about a haunted Sherman tank. Later on,  I would goto the grocery store with my mom n sit at the magizine rack and read comics until she collected me to go home.  When I could actually buy my own comics, I usually read x-men and the new mutants.  Then later on, xforce.  
      
    My gateway into anime was vampire hunter d and robotech.  I used to wake up at 6 on the weekends to watch.  I was hooked from the 1st time I watched. Since then it’s been an obsession. Anime n manga.  So, to have my favorate chars in a physical form to look at an display in my happy spot…  Also, I agree with DaSaru.  I like the hips.  I think this figure should fall under the “Epic Arse” catagory.  

       

  8. Tier says:

    >> Aka
    Back when I was a kid I only got one TV channel, which was the US Army channel … I guess we also got Korean channels but I never watched those, being unable to speak the language. It still annoys me that the Army TV station stopped showing Robotech at “Battlecry” in the Macross saga and “The Lost City” during the Invid Invasion part.

    I’d probably be more into comics if my local store stocked more of them … I’ve noticed they’re becoming more of a Magic the Gathering joint than a comic store.

    I sorta have this feeling that a lot of people just look at the pictures rather than read the text, and I’ll admit that I do the same thing on a lot of figure reviews that I look at. I have a bunch of figures in the review queue that I’ve been slacking on, and that’s partially because I’m kinda tired of writing the same thing on every review … virtually all the figures I own look pretty good from a quality standpoint (I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise) and unless there’s something unusual about it, it’s getting difficult for me to write about it. Maybe I just need to do something different for a review or two. I need that Alien xenomorph toy that I’ve been planning on buying.

    >> DaSaru
    I think they look green … I guess they could be aqua, or sea green, or some other color out of the Crayola box. I notice that Yamashita’s artwork gives her blue eyes, though.

    Yeah, I think that tattoo was from, hmm, the Crimson Dawn episode? Something like that. I’ve got a miniseries somewhere in the short boxes with her and Angel. That’s not a pairing I like all that much … I think she’d be a lot better paired with, say, Emma Frost. Upper class woman from England and upper class woman from New England … can you imagine the fireworks they’d light in conversation and in bed?

    Yeah, Adam Warren wrote a Psylocke story in X-Men Unlimited #47. I think it was illustrated by Rick Mays. I need to pick up Empowered, I liked Warren’s writing on Gen13.

    >> Ashlotte
    Yeah, I picked up X-Men again when Psylocke returned from the Exiles team and was like, “Huh? Why are they moving to San Francisco?” Not to mention that Marvel loves shuffling creative teams. It annoyed the hell out of me when the New X-Men writers were replaced by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, whom I regard as talentless hacks after what they did to that book (the book needed a kick in the ass, but it didn’t need to have its head blown off).

    I’ll admit that I have this probably-unfounded belief that white people don’t know beans about sculpting figures, but I’ve also ordered an American-made figure (from Sideshow). I’m hoping it comes out okay.

    Haha, yeah, those Ame-Comi figures, are, uhh, unconventional. I’ve seen a few of them in the local comic store and yeah, they’re pretty bad. Though Kotobukiya is supposed to be doing a DC Bishoujo line soon; I wonder if Yamashita will do the art there too?

    >> Foehamr72
    I used to go to the bookstore after school, where they had a little revolving rack of comic books. I think the first one I ever bought was Vigilante by DC … kinda odd that I don’t collect any DC comics now. A haunted Sherman tank sounds pretty cool XD I didn’t get much into X-Force since the Army bookstore never stocked it … that was pretty annoying during the X-Cutioner’s Song crossover.

    My dad used to tape the morning cartoons so that I didn’t have to get up early. I didn’t watch Vampire Hunter D until much later, though, when I was in high school. I remember thinking it was pretty good but I don’t remember much more of it.

    That’s a good reason to buy figures, and the main reason I bought Psylocke … she’s my favorite X-Man and I like having her here on my computer desk … it makes me happy and that’s what this blog is about.

    • Dan says:

      Ditto on the Favorite Xmen Character
      Looking forward to have this dispite the obvious flaws
      And of course the Bowen design NOW That is flawless!!

      • Tier says:

        Yeah, that’s a good-looking statue too, but I think I like Kotobukiya’s statue (the 1/6 scale Danger Room one) a little better. The Marvel figure I’m looking forward to most, though, is the Ms. Marvel bishoujo figure … it looks like Kotobukiya heard the complaints about figure size so they’re making her in 1/7 scale, and she’s looking absolutely fantastic.

  9. VF says:

    Psylocke is one of my favourite Marvel characters too and I had her on pre-order but decided to cancel it. I just couldn’t tell what kind of quality she’d be like from the promo pics and her mouth looked really weird in those photos. I got scared and cancelled. lol

    Even though I like the character, I’m not too keen on her background – reading this review was like taking a history lesson. =P Very detailed background on the character, it was definitely an interesting (good) read!

    I like the way her body is curved, but the figure doesn’t seem to have as much appeal as the illustration. I do like this figure but I think it’s one of those I can live without…

  10. Tier says:

    Yeah, I’d agree with that too. Her mouth doesn’t look too bad from a normal viewing distance but up close it looks like they tried to sculpt parted lips and didn’t quite pull it off. Still, I think this would be a decent figure if they hadn’t made her head quite so squished. And if they had made her bigger, but I suppose that would put her out of scale with the other Marvel Bishoujo figures.

    I had to check Wikipedia for details and how to spell certain names, but most of that writeup came from memory. I don’t think there’s any other comic character that I’m as familiar with.

  11. Fabrice says:

    Ha this i can show ^^
    to me it looks alright.
    id give it a 6/10
    the face seems different from the illustration

  12. DaSaru says:

    Strange how the eyes got to green when it shoulda been violet or purple or even blue..

    Ah yes, Crimson Dawn, not Red Dawn. That one.
    Psylocke and Emmma eh..well those two does have the same dress sense. Speaking of which, Emma is coming in figure form in this line as well, right?

    I like Adam Warren.
    I only got back to Gen13 when Adam took over writing, and did he finish it with a bang or what? Hehe.
    Give Empowered a try. You’d most probably like it. Even if you don’t like the first volume, give it another chance and read the second one as it gets better.
    I want a figure of the characters btw, even if they are of the small PVCs Dark Horse does.

    Ame-Comi..I like some of the design, but most looks like badly designed anime wannabe.
    Yes the DC Bishoujo line is drawn by ShunYama. At least Batgirl is. Wondering how Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Catwoman will look like..

  13. Halbred says:

    Meh. This figure doesn’t look like it gels with the other two. I have Rogue and Black Widow. They’re both in fairly dynamic poses, which I like, the sculpts are good enough, and the colors are nice. Psyloche looks a little bit like a downgrade, though. The face seems wierd to me, and the pose actually looks a awkward, especially the arms.

    I haven’t liked the Ame-Comi figures since Wonder Woman. I have her, Power Girl, and Batgirl. I think Batgirl and Wonder Woman have been their best efforts. The new green-and-purple old-school Catwoman is okay, though. Have you seen their recent take on Batman & Robin? They’re messing with the Dark Knight Returns. That is HALLOWED ground, folks.

  14. Tier says:

    >> Fabrice
    Yeah, that’s about what I’d give her, too. Though on the typical American grade scale, a 60% is failing.

    >> DaSaru
    Yeah, I think Emma is right after Jean Grey. The picture looks nice, although I would’ve preferred that she wore her White Queen outfit … or maybe the one that Greg Horn drew for her solo series … that would’ve been pretty cool.

    I’ll have to look around for Empowered, I liked Livewires, although I think I’m missing the last issue. I was looking through my boxes when I pulled these Psylocke issues and I kinda miss comics … maybe I’ll start picking up trade paperbacks since if I buy individual issues, I usually wind up missing one or more issue.

    >> Halbred
    It looks like they were going for more of a model-type pose, which Yamashita does a really good job with, but the sculptor did not. I gotta admit that I’m a bit disappointed with the Marvel Bishoujo line because any figure line that combines Yamashita’s art, Marvel’s characters, and Kotobukiya’s sculpting ability ought to be absolutely amazing, but these figures are just okay. I know I’m going to wind up getting Emma anyway though, because I’m dumb like that.

    I liked the second Batgirl, the one that was supposed to be Cassandra Cain, I guess. I guess it makes things easier if you don’t have to sculpt and paint a face. I haven’t seen their Batman figures; I’m not too familiar with their more mainstream statues, although I recall there was one of Wolverine that I really liked.

  15. I really REALLY tried hard to like this Psylocke figure as she’s one of my favourite X-men but I just can’t get over my general disdain for Shunya yamashita!!
    Still, it’s much better than the Sideshow collectibles design.

    Still, it’s not quite enough to make me want her…

  16. Tier says:

    Yeah, if you don’t like Yamashita’s artwork, then that’s a double whammy with the questionable sculpt and all. I’ve got fingers crossed that Kotobukiya’s other Psylocke is going to turn out nice; I found a picture of the Kotobukiya Wolverine that I thought looked cool and I think the same sculptor is doing Psylocke, so my hopes are high.

  17. vergonazo11 says:

    the problen with is her face and lips

  18. Tier says:

    Yeah, they could’ve done a better job with that; her lips look okay from a distance but up close, you can tell they didn’t do a good job trying to get that seductive Shunya Yamashita look. I guess they couldn’t have made her larger since it’d put her out of scale with the other Marvel Bishoujo figures, but they could’ve done a better job sculpting her face.

  19. Pingback: Marvel should make a Psylocke Movie | Geek Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.