For the better part of the last decade, Kotobukiya has been releasing statues in its Bishoujo line based on a number of licenses. The Marvel and DC versions might get the most attention, but fighting games like Tekken and Street Fighter, and even films like Ghostbusters and Star Wars have had dalliances with Koto's "beautiful girl" series.

While there were indeed more Bishoujo on hand at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, and some rather nice ones at that, the surprise of the show was Kotobukiya's announcement of a new statue series that shows the opposite side of the "beautiful" coin. Yes, after eight years, Koto is finally giving us a "beautiful man" series, and it all starts with comic's most handsome acrobat, Nightwing.

The Ikemen line will be based on designs from artist Ricken, and will actually cover the men in the Bat-family first. Nightwing is an excellent choice to kick things off, as he's widely regarded as one of the best-looking men in comics. The concept art shows off Nightwing in an alley, hinting to any onlookers that they should be quiet while observing his finely toned backside.

I'm curious to see what the final statue ends up looking like, and I'm eager to see how the rest of the characters are handled. The wave concept doesn't give much insight beyond a few general shapes, though I'm a bit concerned Damian is being included. I don't like when Koto includes younger characters in lines like these, but it'll all depend on the final design.

I have given the Bishoujo line its fair share of criticisms when the statues tip from cute and lovely to overtly male gazey, but the comic book characters shown at SDCC this year were fairly solid efforts. The Jane Foster Thor is captured is a terrific power pose, while Loki provides a nice counter-balance with a pose ripped straight from a dime store noir novel. Whichever detective takes her case is surely in for a bad night. The Squirrel Girl is adorable, though she's only in the concept art stage at the moment. That was one I was a bit worried about, but Koto appears to have dialed in on what makes Squirrel Girl special and not turned her into something like the Starfire or Lady Deadpool messes.

Both ArtFX+ lines of Spider-Man and the DC Villains United got smaller updates, with Miles Morales lined up as the next entry for Spidey and Gorilla Grodd bringing the noise for DC. Miles' statue looks okay, but I wish Koto was just a tad more experimental in its posing. There's no flash, and Peter Parker is already squatting. Having the two of them in similar poses is kind of a bummer. Grodd on the other hand looks larger than life, and you can feel the power and presence of the character in this pose. It's a strong addition to the Villains United set.


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