DC and Marvel Heroes Add Depth to Kotobukiya’s SDCC Roster
It's easy to get lost in the sea of companies offering statues, figures and other collectibles at San Diego Comic-Con, but it's awful hard to miss Kotobukiya's bright green banners wherever it sets up. With a display full of statues, the company's SDCC 2015 showings introduced new items a range of sizes and from a variety of licenses.
The biggest, and arguably best, surprise was the new Fine Art Black Panther. T'Challa has been woefully under-represented in collectible form over the years, but with a major role to play in upcoming Marvel Studios' features, it seems the time is now for Wakanda's king. Koto's statue of the Panther is a stunner. It perfectly captures the presence of one of Marvel's most brilliant and powerful heroes, while also looking incredibly clean and crisp. If the final piece ends up looking as great as this early painted prototype, it might just be worth its weight in vibranium.
Likewise, the DC Comics Fine Art line, already rocking the Trinity, will see the Flash join in on the fun. Even though he's standing completely still, Koto captures the essence of Barry Allen with ease. The pose is heroic, but also makes it seem as if he's just come to a stop after a nice long run. The classic costume really pops in the bright red paint app, and Barry has almost never looked as sharp has he does here.
Elsewhere, we got glimpses at the Red Hood and Red Robin ArtFX+ statues, which will fit in with the rest of the Batman line Kotobukiya's currently focused on. There's also a new Villains Forever wave coming based on DCU characters, with the first being Lex Luthor in his New 52 green and purple power suit. The Adi Granov Uncanny X-Men ArtFX+ line will also continue with Magik, whose prototype was on display. It's a decent looking figure, but this early in it's hard to tell just how it will look. The Uncanny line has been decent, but not quite as impressive as the Avengers Granov designed last year.
Not so surprisingly, there were plenty of Bishoujo pieces on display. The line has been a big hit for Koto, which incorporates comics, games and films. Only a few new pieces were actually on display, including Mass Effect's Tali'Zorah, which faithfully renders the character with decent detail. As her face is obscured by the mask (as it should be), you don't get a traditional Shunya Yamashita "beautiful girl" portrait, but the spirit of the line is there. The other was Lady Deadpool, which looked spot on, and should make Deadpool fans happy.
I'll admit that even though I think Koto has done a nice job of late dialing back the exaggerated sexuality of the pieces and putting a more mature spin on characters like She-Hulk, Wasp and Black Canary, I'm a bit concerned about some of the teases for the Bishoujo series.
While Harley Quinn has already had a shot in her Batman: The Animated Series style costume, next up will be a more current outfit based seemingly on her New 52 appearance. It's already an extremely suggestive costume, and the Bishoujo style will exaggerate that further, which may not be a great thing. Spider-Gwen will also be joining the line, which just screams "No!" to me. The character is too new, too young, and the over-embellishments usually attributed to Bishoujo figures go against the grain for her design.
Time will tell however, and perhaps Koto will continue to surprise me. Regardless of the Bishoujo line's future, Kotobukiya had plenty of other great statues on display that give characters that haven't had much time in the limelight some time to shine.