Oooh, baby, you gots to tell me where you got your nails did!
She has suffered a life filled with betrayals and heartbreak. While some seek traditional remedies
for these common troubles, Lady Deathstrike wants much more: retribution, bedlam, and revenge. Lord Dark Wind, Lady Deathstrike's father, wanting to create an army of superhuman soldiers for Japan, invented the process for bonding the virtually indestructible steel alloy adamantium to human bone. But his plans were stolen. Yuriko grew increasingly hateful towards her father after her brothers were killed in Lord Dark Wind's service. Seizing upon the first available opportunity, Lady Deathstrike lashed out and killed Lord Dark Wind. Later Lady Deathstrike adopted her late father's radical views. Her first vengeful task: find the one responsible for stealing her father's adamantium plans. Lady Deathstrike maintains her focus and her mission: murder and mayhem as a means towards all ends.
Though she's most identified today as one of Wolverine's enemies, Lady Deathstrike didn't start out that way. In fact, Yuriko Oyama appeared in Daredevil #197 as a woman in need of DD's help, and was only turned into a villain later, in Alpha Flight #33. Since Daredevil got his biggest foe from Spider-Man, and then gave Deathstrike to Wolverine, I think it's time for Logan to pay it forward - Omega Red should start stalking D-Man or something. It's only fair.
Depending on how you pose her, Lady Deathstrike can be up to 6 3/8" tall - like Sasquatch, she's designed to be hunched over.
She has a chest joint, but her brown vest thing keeps it from moving easily; her head is balljointed, but the cloth of her hat and the angle of her neck tilt her head back. The rest of her joints meet the usual ML standards, though she doesn't have any toe joints - however, as this is probably to even out the abundance of articulation in her arms, we can overlook it. She's got balljointed shoulders, then moves again where her arm comes out of her sleeve. Her elbows are double-jointed, then she's got a peg in her forearms, a hinge for her wrist and another for her fingers.
The sculpt is mostly good. Her costume looks precisely like it does in the comics, with the banded leg wrappings and the big angular vest. The top of her headdress is detailed very well, with tiny stitches holding it together, but the draping fringe just flies out all over. Weird. Her mechanical arms look great: they're all exposed pistons and wires, and look like they should be sparking and shorting out all over the place. Woo! Instead of sticking out the ends of her sleeves, the arms kind of poke out the sides, like some kind of strange kimono. Her hands are wildly oversized, but unlike Pyro, that's how it should be.
The only really disappointing part of the whole piece is her face: for some reason, Lady Deathstrike looks uncharacteristically plump and happy. For a woman who was ritually scarred by her father, then killed him, then took up his cause and had herself turned into a cyborg in order to avenge the dishonor that plagued the man, Yuriko is surprisingly content. Her face was always fairly angular in the comics, so the rounded look is out of place here.
Another change from the comics is the paint. Like so many McFarlane Toys before, Yuri's had to get a superfluous paint app in order to make it into stores. Her traditional costume - and, in truth, the sculpt of this figure - calls for a bare chest. Well, not that bare, but there in the middle, between her vest? That's supposed to be flesh-colored, not white. Everything else is good. Her yellow eyes, for example, make her look even less human. Some folks might dislike the heavy black wash on her mechanics and especially on her claws, but it breaks things up and provides volume.
All the figures in Marvel Legends 13 come with one piece of this series' Build-A-Figure, Onslaught. Despite her extra-long arms, Lady Deathstrike gets one of the bigger pieces, Onslaught's torso, shoulders and head. The piece is insanely detailed, and moves at more joints than it has any right to. Onslaught's going to be very cool once he's assembled.
Lady Deathstrike, like all Marvel Legends, comes with a reprint comic. Hers is Wolverine #77, which is a pretty weak choice. To begin with, #77 didn't actually have a cover. Marvel just recolored a splash page fron inside and threw a logo on it. ToyBiz fixed that by putting the cover of #76 around the book. Sadly, they couldn't fix everything. There are better stories with Lady Deathstrike out there: Uncanny X-Men #205, her first appearance as a cyborg, is a really good one. It's got her kicking Logan's ass all over town, until Power Pack has to come save him. And not even the whole Power Pack - just the youngest one.
ML13 also has a new extra packed in with the figures. There's a VS. card, from the CCG of the same name, but those have been an on again, off again insert since ML8. This time, however, we get a diorama backdrop display thing printed on the cardboard insert. Cut it out, stick in in the included stand and you've got a nifty little scene for your figure. Deathstrike gets Spiral's Body Shoppe, the extra-dimensional source Yuriko went to for her upgrades. Spiral, along with her boss Mojo, has been a thorn in the side of the X-Men for ages, so it would serve as a decent back for all sort of figures.
An Asian woman with long, ornate nails? Could this be any more stereotyped? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.