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Lockjaw/Betsy Braddock

by yo go re

This set is best summed up either by a question or a statement. The question is "huh?" And the statment is "umm..."

Lockjaw is a member of the Inhumans royal family, mutated by the mysterious Terrigen Mists into his canine form. Lockjaw's raw strength and powers of teleportation have aided The Inhumans - and humanity - many times over.

What?! Oh, god, no he's not! Lockjaw is not a member of the royal family who looks like a dog - he's a dog! Just a dog! (Well, whatever passes for a dog in the Inhumans' society.) He's a pet, pure and simple. The only time he hasn't been treated as a dog is in one story, one of the stupidest retcons ever. And that story was done away with in 1991, so where did they pull this outdated info from, and how did it get approved?

Lockjaw, the dog, uses new dog parts to create his dog body. He's not the first dog Minimate - that honor would go to the Terror Dogs from the Ghostbusters line - but he's the first Marvel dog, and none of his dog parts are reused from those dogs. They're doggone new! [Stop that. --ed.] There's a normal Minimate body inside, but most of what you see are add-ons: the head, chest, hips, and all four paws are separate bits used to bulk him up. The body beneath isn't entirely average, though: instead of arms, he has two more legs. Because he's a dog!

Betsy Braddock is the twin sister of Brian Braddock, better known as Captain Britain. Betsy had become a successful charter pilot before a psychic attack caused her to crash. It is thought that this attack was the impetus which kick-started Betsy's precognitive powers which she later used as a member of S.T.R.I.K.E.'s Psi-Division.

There was already a modern "ninja bathing suit" Minimate of Psylocke, so this one goes retro. After the X-Men defeated the Reavers and took over their Outback base (that's the expanse of desert in Australia, not the as-Australian-as-a-burrito Steakhouse), Betsy felt like a liability to the team in a fight, so she switched to an armored number with a chainmail cape.

The cape and hood, which first appeared with Series 29's Moon Knight but have since been used a few times, are removable. They're also separate, allowing you to take the hood off but leave the cape. Why would you want to do that? To swap out the included hair. It's a lighter purple than the rest of her outfit, and sits up high enough from the shoulders that it will fit over the cape with no trouble.

Betsy has three accessories: two psychic daggers that fit on her wrists, and a translucent sword. That's nice, but none of them belong with this figure. The blades are the "focused totality of [her] psychic powers," as Claremont was always having her spout off, and she didn't learn to use those until the ninja days; the sword was similar, but it didn't come until much later. At this point in her history, her power still looked like a butterfly over her face, but that would have required new tooling for very little payoff.

Neither figure in this set is one to set the world on fire. Sure, it's fun to get Lockjaw, and this Psylocke is one we've never had before, but it's not like either of them really fit into existing "groups" - there's only one Inhuman, and none of the "Outback" X-Men. They're both well-made, but this is an exclusive you can probably pass on. Unless you love dogs.

-- 01/10/11

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