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Tortured Souls
by yo go re

When it was announced that Todd McFarlane and Clive Barker were going to be working together to create a new line of figures, horror fans knew they were in for a treat. When the mind behind Hellraiser and Candyman teams up with the sculptors behind Spawn and his many incarnations, something wicked is bound to come of it.

"Wicked" barely scratches the surface of what they created. The Tortured Souls were twisted, deformed monstrosities in leather and chain. Mutilated, bleeding bodies sculpted in intricate detail. Say what you will about Clive Barker, he certainly has a... consistent idea of what horror is; rent flesh, gouging steel, and leather.

Actually, those three are fairly good choices: even though his creations are taken to an extreme, we can identify. Their pain is based on pain that we've experienced. Who hasn't pulled a hangnail they shouldn't've, or accidentally jabbed their thumb with a staple? We know the feeling of skin pulling away and unwelcome metal piercing us - however faintly, we can identify. And leather, well, leather is death.

So taking his standard idea of "scary," Clive handed the ideas off to Todd, who turned them into fully realized figures. While recently reading the novellas has made me wish I'd gotten more of the line, Lucidique was the only one who held any aesthetic appeal for me. You can draw your own conclusions about me liking the giant dominatrix, but I just thought she was the coolest. Plus, the toys seemed unusually expensive at the time (a daunting $9.99 at EB Games).

Later, when the wind had dropped, and she could see the stars clearly, she went out into the street, leaving the door to the Cascarellian mansion wide open so that the atrocity there would be soon discovered. Then she headed out, through a variety of back streets and alleys, to the West Gate, and thence into the waiting desert.

Lucidique (pronounced "loosid EEK") looks, at first glance, quite beautiful. She's shapely, has a demure pose and long, flowing black hair (though perhaps a forehead that's a bit too large for her face). Yes, her costume does bite her flesh in a few spots, but it's nothing too serious. Not like the others in the line. Until you look closer.

The first thing you'll notice is that her "hair" really isn't; what look like dreadlocks are in fact wormy, segmented tendrils that burst through her scalp and cheeks before cascading down what's left of her back. If you lift this soft, rubbery mass, you'll see that her back is a raw, red mess; the skin has been shorn away, leaving exposed muscle stretching from the thin white line of her vertabrae. Quite shocking when first you see it. There are two leather and metal appliances clamped to her flesh, and each can hold one of Luci's two weapons.

Luci's wearing a bustier, full-length gloves and a floor-length skirt, all of which are intricately detailed, covered with straps and buckles and folding like real leather. If you look at the textures of the sculpt, it seems the sections of her "bra" in between the straps are supposed to be painted like pale skin, not black leather - must have been too racy for stores! The skirt is molded from soft, flexible pvc, so if you're careful you can shimmy it down past her hips, over her hooks, and off. Once you do, you'll find even more horrific wounds. While her exposed right leg is covered from heel to knee in a thick-soled boot, her left leg didn't fare so well; it's just as stripped as her back, though the skin of her foot is nailed to her shoe. There's an evil little face on the front of her thong, as well, and the straps cut into her hips

Lucidique has various hooks and chains attached to both her outfit and her body. I put most of the hooks into links on other chains so that they wouldn't be dragging on the ground and hooking my other figures. She comes with two blade weapons that fit into the housings on her back - one simple blade and one complex moving blade mechanism. There's another simple sickle, which I have hanging from her back.

Luci moves at the neck, shoulders, wrists, right hip, and both boot tops. Both hands are made from the same soft pvc as her hair, which means that they're incredibly flexible, and I'm generally afraid that I'm going to rip them apart when I try to move them. While a waist would have been nice, I certainly wouldn't want to ruin that spine. Though why she doesn't have elbows remains a mystery for the ages.

-- 10/30/02

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