Ok, we’re on the final leg of this Marvel Trifecta. After today, I promise no more Marvel until next Monday. Hey, speaking of Marvel… people who know me know that I am driven by my undying love for The Fantastic Four. If you put a gun to my head and told me to pick only one comic that I could read for the rest of my life, I would instantly say FF. Well, that’s not entirely true. I would beg and plead a lot to not make me choose between my many children, but I’m pretty sure Fantastic Four would win the day. It’s the one comic that I’ve followed most consistently throughout my life and in the end, it’s the one that I can always get the most enjoyment out of, no matter who’s at the helm. That having been said, today’s Bishoujo statue has been on my want list for a very, very long time. Coincidently Koto’s treatment of the lovely Sue Storm has also been sitting at my local comic shop for a very long time. And so, I decided the time was right, and I went down there to pick her up about a week ago AND THE FILTHY BASTARDS HAD SOLD HER!!! So I tossed her in my Pile of Loot at Big Bad Toy Store before shipping it out.
If you’ve seen one boxed Bishoujo statue, you know what to expect from most of them. Sue comes in a white window box that lets you get a little peak at the goods, but because she’s wrapped in plastic and trapped between two plastic trays, you don’t get that good a look. The panels feature the wonderful character art by designer Shunya Yamashita and the back of the box has a little blurb about the character and statue along with a photo of the actual piece. Sue Storm is a great character. She’s strong, smart, beautiful, a wife and mother, and she does it all without sacrificing her independence. Oh yeah, the box also trolls me by reminding me about the Jean Gray statue, which I don’t own and which is slowly making its way into the three digit price range on the collector market. Bastards!
Starting out with the portrait, Sue’s face is extremely angular and the sculpt is quite soft, even for a Bishoujo. She’s got her head cocked a bit, she’s looking off to the side, and she’s twirling her windblown hair with one hand. It’s ok, but I think Sue deserved better. I’m tempted to tell myself it’s an older statue and Koto has come a long way, but there are plenty of older Bishoujo’s that can hold their own with the current crop. I guess what I’m saying is Sue’s face is a little disappointing. It’s not a deal breaker, but it could have been better. Maybe it’s me… maybe I just hold the character up to higher standards.
The body on the other hand is fantastic. Her pose is pure cheesecake with one hand on her hip and leg bent in front of the other. It looks like she just pwned the enemy and is striking a pose while Reed takes a shot for their scrapbook. Just the silhouette on this piece alone is dead sexy. Her costume is pretty simple, as it’s just the traditional long sleeved version of the Fantastic Four outfit, complete with the “4” painted on her chest, but it’s the coloring on the costume that blows me away. Koto used a gorgeous, deep iridescent blue that I can’t possibly duplicate with my shite camera and non-existent photography skills. Suffice it to say, you really need to see this piece in person to appreciate the coloring. It’s like nothing I’ve seen before.
Of course, one of my favorite things about this piece is the way Koto utilized the clear plastic to depict Sue phasing into invisibility. The effect is most apparent on her feet and hands, but there’s also a tiny bit on the tips of her hair. It’s an amazingly successful effect, particularly the way the clear parts blend with the opaque.
Every time I look at this statue, it reminds me of Botticelli’s famous “Birth of Venus” and I think it’s partly the pose, but mostly the base. Of course Botticelli’s Venus was painted emerging from a clamshell and Sue is standing on the dying, broken hand of the Mole Man’s giant monster, from the cover of Fantastic Four #1, with the shell of her forcefield dissipating at her feet. It’s almost too close not to be intentional, but either way it gives me a chuckle. The giant sculpted hand for the base is very cool and nicely detailed. I’m not entirely sold on the forcefield shell, the plastic is a little too heavy and opaque to drive home the effect one hundred percent. It was a nice try though.
If it’s fair to judge the popularity of retired Bishoujo statues on their aftermarket value, than The Invisible Woman is probably one of the least popular. She was released back in 2011, where a number of her peers have increased in value, while she still lingers at around $45-50. It could be that The Fantastic Four isn’t as popular these days, but I’m also tempted to think it’s because this statue is rather tame by Bishoujo standards. Let’s face it, for a lot of collectors, the appeal of this line is in the titillating skin and cleavage, and Sue is fully clad from head to toe. But I think this piece shows that you don’t have to dress like a slut to be sexy. Sue pulls it off. And maybe that’s why she remains my favorite MILF of the comic world.