Chaos! Comics: Lady Demon by Moore Action Collectibles

While we’ve spent the last two entries hobnobbing with obscurity, that’s certainly not the case today with the team up of Brian Pulido and Clayburn Moore. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s hard to argue with Pulido’s prolific bibliography that ranges from the kind of indie stuff we’re looking at this weekend to his efforts with more mainstream pop culture horror franchises. Not to mention his works have graced the pages of Marvel and Dark Horse comics. He may not be the heaviest of hitters in the comic market, but he’s been pretty darn successful at something I, and lots of other comic book nerds, would love to do.

Today’s figure ushers from the pages of Chaos! Comics, an indie press with a sad little history that carried it for a mere six years before going belly up over legal and financial problems. I’ve thumbed through a few issues of Lady Death, one of the characters that survived the demise of Chaos!, but can’t confess to ever having been a big fan of anything other than the artwork. I am, however, a pretty big fan of Clayburn Moore of Moore Action Collectibles and CS Moore Studios fame, and his efforts at sculpting various action figures, statues and other icons of nerdom. And that brings us to the last, and my favorite, of this weekend’s indie comic figure trifecta… Lady Demon.

Lady Demon’s package doesn’t have the “in your face” comic art that the last two figures had. In fact, it’s the same kind of downplayed and serviceable cardback that we saw the last time we looked at a Moore figure. It may not be as exciting, but then there’s something to be said for letting the figure speak for itself, and Lady Death here certainly does that. She’s displayed very nicely under the bubble with here figure stand and accessories beside her. The Chaos! Emblem, engulfed in tendrils of lightning, is printed on the card to serve as a backdrop for the figure and bubble. The back of the package features a nice piece of character art, a little bio blurb on Lady Demon, and photos of some of the other figures available in the line. Again, the package here isn’t as flash as what we’ve seen this weekend, but it feels more polished and professional.

Lady Demon stands about 6-inches tall and she’s in perfect scale with Moore’s other figures, including the Ariel Darkchylde figure that I have standing on one of my shelves. She stands in a pretty neutral pose and she looks fantastic. Her outfit is a mix of sculpting and paintwork, which really accentuates her killer body. The giant demon skull that sits atop her tiny loin cloth is pretty outrageous and her skin tone has a very cool brownish, slightly ethereal tone. Her skin has a glossy plastic finish, and while some may prefer a more flesh painted finish, this look works fine for me.

If you can draw your eyes away from her other assets, Lady Demon’s head sculpt is worth scrutinizing, because it really is excellent. The full, smirking lips, the large pupil-less eyes are great and the unexpected giant devil horns that protrude from her forehead really make for a distinctive looking figure. The whole ensemble is capped off with a cascade of sculpted white hair and two large detailed earrings, because even hellspawn chicks need to accessorize. When you compare her to the other indie comic figures we looked at this weekend, Lady Demon’s head sculpt really separates her from the passable efforts of the Rendition figure and the downright hack performance of the sculptors at Skybolt, and that’s all thanks to the talents of Moore.

If you’re familiar with Moore Action Figures, you know not to expect a lot of articulation. Lady Demon features the old standard five points, with arms that rotate at the shoulders and legs that rotate at the hips. The head actually does have a ball joint, which surprised me a little and allows the joint to work better with the sculpted hair. There’s not a lot you can do with her articulation, and I’m fine with that because elbow and knee joints would have detracted from her sculpt. It is, however, a shame the figure doesn’t at least have wrist cuts.
Lady Demon comes with three accessories. You get a very nice figure stand with the Chaos! Emblem sculpted into it. You also get a sword and some kind of little skull scepter. I absolutely love the sword. Not only does it have a cool sculpt and actually look like the kind of sword that a hell-bitch might wield (unlike the swords of Sinthia or Ravyn), but I really dig the metallic red paint job. The scepter is a nice little sculpt, and while it isn’t as cool as the sword, the lack of articulation in the figure means that I’ll probably display her with the scepter. As good as the sword looks, she just can’t be posed so that she’s holding it that convincingly.

So, guilty pleasure or not, I love this figure and I’ll be anxious to pull some of the other Moore Action Figures out of the tote and check them out. Perhaps I’ll save some of those for when we get closer to Halloween. It’s good to end this weekend on a high note, but make no mistake, I’ve got a ton more of these figures and I plan on photographing a bunch of them before consigning this tote back to the dark reaches of storage, from whence it came. In the meantime, tomorrow starts a new week and I really need to start chiseling away at my pile of new arrivals.
Transformers… Thundercats… World of Warcraft… Marvel… DC… it’s going to be a crazy week!

Darkchylde: Ariel Chylde Figure by Moore Action Figures

If you haven’t read any of the Darkchylde comics, you may want to pick one up and have a go. I stumbled upon these a while back when I saw some random panel and I was immediately pulled in by the excellent composition and storytelling. Or maybe it was the fact that it featured a sexy blonde heroine who was scantily clad and happened to have demon wings. Either way, I had found a new guilty pleasure! I never knew if there were any Darkchylde figures produced, until one day when I was on vacation and happened upon this figure in the discount bin of a comic shop. I picked up quite a few figures from that cheap figure bin, but today we’re here to look at one particular witchy-woman, Ariel Chylde.

I’m not going to get into the whole figure vs statue thing with this piece. In spirit, This collectible is more a statue than a figure. She has a diorama base and not a lot of useful articulation. On the other hand, she does have the same five points of articulation that many of the vintage figures I grew up with figure had (plus two more in her demon form) so technically she’s a figure. Whatever the case, Ariel is mainly designed to stand on your shelf and look pretty, and so long as that’s all you’re looking for you shouldn’t be disappointed. She’s produced by by Moore Action Figures. Are they even still around? I don’t recall to have seen anything from them in recent years. They did have a pension for making figures based off indie comics and TV series with sexy female stars, including, Witchblade, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Fathom, Heavy Metal and Vampirella, to name a few, so Darkchylde was the perfect fit for them.

The cool thing about Ariel is that she comes with all the parts to display her in either her purely human form or in her half-demon conversion. The demon parts include arms (which are sadly not appearing in this review because I have inconveniently misplaced since I opened her) that have hinged elbows, and a pair of magnificent looking wings. The arms can just be popped off and interchanged and the wings peg into slots on her back.

While I wouldn’t have expected it from a figure found buried in a deep discount action figure bin, the sculpting on this figure is actually quite outstanding, especially considering her scale. She’s only about 7″ tall without the wings, but she’s got a sculpt good enough to compete with larger statues. They did a great job with her muscle tone and the tiny details on her denim shorts and bikini top are amazing. They’ve even sculpted a toe ring onto her left foot! But what’s really great about the sculpt is the likeness. Its not always easy taking 2D character designs into a 3D model, but these guys really nailed the character’s face quite nicely, even if the expression is a little bewildering.

The paint apps vary a bit on my figure. The details on her shoes, shorts and bikini top are all excellent as are the paint apps on her face. I particularly dig how well they painted her eyes. There’s some slop on her hairline, and on her hair itself, but fortunately its in pretty inconspicuous spots. The coloring on her wings is extraordinary and they’ve even painted in her anklet tattoo. The only thing I would really change on this figure is to have given her skin a less glossy finish. Yeah, it gets that from being sculpted in bare, flesh-toned plastic, and I’m probably asking a lot to have the whole figure painted over, but as it is it looks like Ariel is having a very sweaty day.

I already touched on her articulation a bit. Her head technically has a swivel joint, but her hair restricts it from moving. Both sets of arms rotate at the shoulders. Her human arms have no other articulation, but her demon arms have hinged elbows. Her legs both have swivel cuts all the way up at the hips, but unless you want to sit her down in an awkward and unnatural looking way, these joints don’t do the figure a lot of good.

Besides her demon parts, Ariel comes with the aforementioned base. Its also very nicely sculpted with details of the forest floor, including a tree stump, some tiny shrooms and a rather suspiciously placed ribcage. They clearly put a lot of work into the sculpt and paint and it’s appreciated. She pegs into the base and it’s definitely the optimal way to display her if you don’t want her taking a shelf-dive every couple of hours.

That’s pretty much all I have to say about Ariel here. I was really glad to find her and add her to my collection. If you’re interested in obtaining one, she shouldn’t set you back too much. $15 seems to be the average going price, although I got her in a 5 for $10 deal, so I’ve got no complaints. I have a special place for her on my shelf right beside my three Danger Girl figures by McFarlane. She is actually available as a harder to find variant with demon colored skin and I like this figure enough that I may try to hunt that one down later on.