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Lady Deathstrike

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

It's hard to predict which changes will stick.

With adamantium-infused bones and cyber-genetic enhancements, Yuriko Oyama pursues a ruthless vendetta against the X-Men... and Wolverine in particular.

When Yuriko first appeared (as a villain [and probable one-night-stand] for Daredevil), she was just a normal human. When she tracked down Wolverine because she was mad at his bones, she was now dressing like a blue samurai. Eventually she went to Spiral at the Body Shoppe, who gave her mechanical upgrades. That status was stable for decades, until she appeared in X-Men 2, so the comic version began wearing black leather and hanging out with William Stryker. She got trounced by X-23, and needed Spiral to repair her. Her consciousness was uploaded into the body of Ana Cortes, a Colombian girl; upon their merger, she took on a "La Catrina" look that was pretty cool and didn't feel like a reject from a 1980s ninja movie. But no matter how many times she gets redesigned, she keeps coming back to this look.

Lady Deathstrike is 100% new mold. The design of her costume might have allowed reused legs, but the horizontal lines of her leggings are sculpted in, rather than simply being painted. A red loincloth wraps around her waist, suggesting that the wide-shouldered vest she wears may be part of the same garment as her pants, and not two things that happen to be the same color. The sleeves of her white shirt are large and billowing, but held in place by red bands around the biceps. Yuriko appears to be bald, but the skullcap she wears has strips of red cloth hanging from it that visually stand in for hair.

When ToyBiz made their Lady Deathstrike, they felt the need to paint her chest white to pretend her shirt didn't leave her stomach bare; because of that, she didn't get the "circuit board" styling on her chest that's always been part of this design in the comic. Hasbro's doesn't have that same problem, because the silver circuitry here is a sculpted element. Nice! The same stuff is visible on her arms, which still have skin instead of being bare robotics like the ToyBiz one.

As long as we're talking ToyBiz, it's worth noting the difference in the face. The old figure had a round face with blank yellow eyes and what appeared to be a slight smile; today's figure has narrower cheeks, human eyes, and an appropriately angry look. Even when she's "happy," it's more of a "taking pleasure in the pain of her enemies" way, so this is much better.

A new body means new articulation. Deathy Ladestrike has swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a balljointed waist, swivel/hinged wrists, elbows, and shoulders, a hinged neck, and a balljointed head. Having the torso only move at the waist makes more sense than trying to have a hinge beneath the vest. The wrists flex in different directions, and the hands are made from a very soft plastic so you don't hurt yourself on her deadly, deadly fingernails. She doesn't have any accessories, because all she uses are her claws. It wouldn't even be worth giving her alternate hands, because she so rarely bothers retracting her fingers or even just not being ready to attack.

She does get a part of this series' Build-A-Figure, the Wendigo. Just kidding, it's Xemnu the Titan, and this is his chest.

This Lady Deathstrike is an absolute upgrade from ToyBiz's in every way, unless you're a fan of extended mechanoid arms. Still, it's kind of funny that there's apparently something about Yuriko that makes toy companies only want to release her in series that are specifically themed around only villains.

-- 09/17/21

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