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Liliana Vess

Magic the Gathering
by yo go re

No need to guess what kind of character Liliana Vess is - her name is an anagram for "a villainess"!

Liliana Vess is a planeswalker who wields black magic. Her specialty is necromancy: spells that reanimate the dead, corrupt the living, and unlock power from death. Beautiful, cunning, and ambitious to a fault, Liliana Vess is quietly one of the Multiverse's most magnetic dangers. Liliana's dark charisma is undeniable - she's agelessly striking and sharp as the edge of a razor.

Liliana Vess's most formative experience was her pact with demonic forces. As Liliana faced the limits of her human lifespan, her health and power were waning. She contacted powerful demon lords, and one dark deal later, she was restored to her height of power and beauty. Today she appears to be in her 20s, but in truth she's over a century old.

Liliana's ambition has led her to interact with beings from all over the Multiverse, but ultimately, Liliana Vess's first love is Liliana Vess. She's convinced that everyone's in it for themselves just as she is, but that she's just a little better at playing the game than everyone else.

After the Red magician and the White magician, you'd expect this girl used Purple - except there is no Purple in Magic the Gathering, so I would have guessed a Red/Blue combo (even though they work better against each other than together, as evidenced by the back of the card). Fun fact: the Planar Chaos expansion was all about alternate realities, so one of the ideas the designers kicked around was that the set had come from a world where there was a sixth color in the game; the color purple.

In the beginning of the Magic story, Liliana was an all-powerful immortal, but she lost a lot of power during Time Spiral - that's why she made the deal with the demons to get it all back. She's constantly described as being incredibly beautiful, but the toy doesn't quite live up to that. Of course, the only reason we can see her face at all is because she's not yet wearing her artifact of power - but she does have her crazy golden headgear.

Liliana dresses like a typical fantasy woman (that's "fantasy" as in the genre, not as in "the unattainable ideal"), with lots of bare skin and not much else. This figure is based on Liliana's first card (as seen above), so she features asymmetrical knee-high boots, a flowing skirt that only covers her left leg, a plate of armor on her right hip, opera gloves, and a low-cut, belly-baring shirt. There are sashes trailing from her wrists, and a weird little half-shawl covering only her left shoulder. The thin purple lines etched all over her body are not tattoos, they're the markings that signify the four demons she sold her soul to (now that she wants out of the deal, she's using the power they gave her to hunt them down and kill them).

As part of Funko's Legacy Collection, Liliana has a lot of articulation: a balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge rocker ankles. Most of her clothes are made from flexible PVC, so they don't block her joints too much, but it still happens, especially on the left side. The sashes attached to her arms flex nicely, but they're still solid, sculpted elements, so they look out of place when he arms aren't hanging straight down. The only way they could have avoided that would be with softgoods, but it's not like she doesn't have other outfits that wouldn't have required the things at all. Also, the armor on the left shin gets in the way of the ankle a little; you have to work the edge of the foot under the flare on the leg before it will tilt.

Liliana doesn't have any accessories, either because that portion of the budget went into her clothes, or because she uses magic spells, not physical attacks. The "one pose fits nothing" design of the costume limits what you can do with her, but if you want a sexy purple gypsy, you won't find one much better.

-- 11/09/14


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