The biggest complaint about the original Bishoujo X-23 (review) was her face: some people thought it didn’t fit her character well. While X-23 shows off a much softer side in her self-titled comic, I think most people are familiar with her just as Wolverine’s killer clone, and they wanted a more angry feel for the figure. Well, ask and you shall receive, since Kotobukiya announced that one of the SDCC exclusives would be an angry-looking x-Force version of her! So will this version appease fans of X-23′s angrier side? Hit the jump to find out!
The box used for X-23 is the same as the original one, only with a fancy sticker. This is par for the course with their exclusives, though every once in a while one will get an upgraded box. I kind of wish we could see Shunya draw and angry X-23, if only because it’s so far from what he usually does!
Like her predecessor, assembly for X-23 is simple, you just put her in the base! Hers is actually a different color than the original, which was dark grey. This one looks more… well, dirty, fitting for the more “gritty” take on her character.
Before we get into the details, let’s compare X-Force X-23 with her previous incarnation. The main difference is obviously in the faces, the rest of the changes are more subtle. She’s in a variant of her X-Force outfit, so she’s swapped the all-black ensemble for a black and grey one, along with a silver belt instead of the usual gold.
You can also swap their heads! So if you want a pissed-off regular X-23 or a calmer X-Force version and happen to have both, no problem! I may be one of the only people to prefer her original face, but I do like the grey-paneled outfit better so I found head-swapping pretty fun.
The main draw of this version is obviously the face. Not only is it perhaps more fitting for her “original” personality, but it’s pretty unique. Angry figures are usually “pretty angry” where they look more like they’re posing for a photoshoot than actually angry. X-23, though, has a huge snarl and narrowed eyes, and it definitely doesn’t feel like she is “acting.” Of course she’s still lovely-looking, and from a few angles she looks downright beautiful despite her obvious annoyance.
The other big change is her outfit, which while not exactly like her X-Force ensemble is pretty close. I think the grey paneling adds some nice contrast, though on the other hand it does take away from the perfectly sleek look of the original. In some ways I prefer it, especially the silver belt which I think is an improvement from the gold.
The rest of the figure is pretty much the same as the first release, including her gorgeous flowing hair. This was my favorite part of the 1st release, and I think she has some of the very best Bishoujo hair, second only to Ms. Marvel.
I think the most interesting thing about this variant is how the expression changes the context of her pose. In the first version it was as if she was looking out over the city peacefully, or maybe taking a bit of a break in battle. Though the pose hasn’t changed at all, she now looks like she is charging into a fight, weapons at the ready. This makes me wonder how different some other figures would feel with a simple expression swap!
I’m torn about which X-23 I like better: I think both offer very different perspectives on the character, though the changes appear to be minimal at first. One one hand you’ve got a pissed-off, battle-ready version, and on the other a more calm, relaxed and serene take. Of course if you want this version you’re going to have to do a bit of hunting: she sold out both at the convention and online!
Thanks to Stephen for taking these lovely shots of X-23. She’s definitely one of the more photogenic Bishoujos, and the bonus of being able to pose her without a base can’t be overlooked. And given her “current’ residence in NYC, shooting her here seems very fitting!
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Plastikitty with this review sample]