Thursday, 29 August 2013

ThreeA - Popbot : Tomorrow King Oroshi 18.

Make that heartless
woman, O mountain storm
of Hatsuse Temple,
crueller still!"– this is not
what I prayed for, and yet ...
- Minamoto no Shunrai
A (mis) interpretation:

Category: Mass production replicants.
Model type: The Tomorrow Kings - GEN 3.0.
Unit type: Adept.
Rank: Fuku-honbucho.
ID: Oroshi / The Devilish Wind.
Manufacturer: The Luthor Bean Jr. Corporation.
Incept date: 28th Mar 1994.
Longevity: 4 years.
Serial no.: TKG03MAB28031994.
Function: Underverse over-guide / close assault.
Physical level: A.
Mental level: B.
Abilities: Panzer Kunst - anti-armour martial art; superhuman physiology; leadership.
Std. armaments: Carbon nanotubes woven fibre anorak x 1; monomolecular-edged katana x 2; Ion-cyclotron glove x 2.
The fourth year of the Ten Years of Darkness. The remaining TKs and TQs held the few bastion of defence against the onslaught of the Queen Mortis machine legions, denying her total victory and claim over the Leviathan 1 interstellar space colony. The Hatcheries or what left of the few ones still running, begin producing the third generation of the replicants genetically engineered super warriors. With the numbers of first and second generation TKs nearing extinction, Luthor Bean Jr. formulates and programmes a new series, the Oroshi and Waza TKs, using whatever left of the gene seeds and codex from the DNA Organ with new VIC40 update neural software. Oroshi and Waza possess the combat  and leadership skills of a Wakagashira, but being new born, lacks the required battlefield experience to qualify as one. As such, they are designated as an Underverse adept, and serves as an over-guide to his remaining brothers into each battle within the Underverse Warp rift to hold back the Mortis Legion.  
The wave one (wave two is about to start) of the first TKlub figure arrives, Oroshi 18. It is basically a variant of early this year's Thailand Expo exclusive TK, Waza. Exclusive to 3AA members, ThreeA has also, typical of their business model, randomly insert all-black "darky" and grey Interloper versions. Nevertheless, I would very much prefer the original version. As I open the box (with "old school" style sticker, whatever that means), I heaved with relief that it isn't a variant, chase figure (one can still exchange the figure if manage to score the exclusive variants from 3A). Nothing much to say about a TK by this point. Same ole, same ole. I guess the thunder is still with Shogun TK. Maybe I should mention about the hair sculpt, trivial I know, but said to be the last to be released. But then again, if this old man remember correctly, 3A is supposedly to retire the slim body after KDA/KDO. Yet, Shogun and the current releases still sport the same body. I very much hope 3A would revert back to the original, broader body. Latest news from the Production Blog is that the shipped Oroshi is missing decals, and replacement is coming soon. Now that's customer service.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Hot Toys MMS188 - The Dark Knight Rises : Selina Kyle.


Can you hear them?
The helicopters?
I'm in New York
No need for words now
We sit in silence
You look me
In the eye directly
You met me
I think it's Wednesday
The evening
The mess we're in and
The city sun sets over me
- This Mess We're In, PJ Harvey.

A (mis) interpretation :

Name: Selina Kyle.
Age: 30 years old.
Alias: The Cat.
Std. armaments: Carbon fibre reinforced catsuit; assortments of handheld weapons; assortments of burglary devices; computer hacking tools; modified multi-purpose goggle; customised titanium razor claws; customised titanium bladed heels.
Abilities: Master thievery; expert hand to hand combatant; physical agility and dexterity; stealth; disguise; computer hacking adept; ability intuition; escapism; cunning; emotion manipulation.
Current status: Unknown.

The appearance of the mysterious masked vigilante of which the media called the Batman in Gotham City inspired many individuals to take up laws in their own hand. Although strongly opposed by the Batman personally, these individuals would dressed up, armed themselves and take it to the streets on their own or as groups. Vicious fighting would break out between these vigilantes and street gangs, resulting in deaths and further incriminate the Batman as a primary cause of vigilantism as well as resulting in the issue of escalation. One such individual is Selina Kyle, an exotic dancer, high class escort lady, professional thief and prominent hacker.
Selina Kyle suffered from a traumatic childhood. She is the eldest of the two siblings (the other being Maggie Kyle) born to Brian and Maria Kyle. Both parents were emotionally distant from their children. Maria worked as a part time prostitute to maintain her drug habit. Brian was a layabout who occasionally worked at odd jobs. Brian hated both Selina and Maggie, due to the suspicion that they were not his biological children. Brian would physically and sexually abused Selina, whom was forced to, as Brian would threatened her that he would threat Maggie similarly if she refused. Selina found solace with the company of cats which Maria reared. Maria died from drug overdosed when Selina was eleven years old. After a night of drinking binge, Brian forced himself upon Maggie. Selina tried to protect her sister but was severely beaten by Brian. Suddenly the cats began to lunge at Brian and started clawing at him. An injured Selina brought Maggie out from the house before loosing consciousness. She then learnt that Brian had been taken into custody and faced child abuse charges. Brian would eventually be convicted and imprisoned. He was killed by fellow inmates in the prison few months later.
Selina and Maggie were sent to the Thomas and Martha Wayne Orphanage. Selina found herself having difficulty adjusting to the life in the orphanage, and after the adoption of Maggie, she ran away and survived on the streets at the age of thirteen. She was caught after an attempted thievery and sent to the Juvenile Hall. Selina escaped the facility later at the age of sixteen. She met Stan "Sport" Higgins, a transvestite pimp at East End and worked for him in order to survive. Apart from running a prostitution ring, strip clubs and high class escort service, Stan also undertook jobs from organised crimes involving robbery and burglary of which Selina participated actively. Under Stan's mentorship, Selina became one of his most sought after ladies, earning a reputation as a dominatrix, as well as leader of his team of robbers. She's cunning, devious and would often gleamed confidential information on behalf of Stan from powerful and influential clients. These information would be used for extortion and blackmail by the Falcone mafia organisation.
Stan also asked Selina to undertake martial art and physical trainings to protect herself, turning her into an expert hand to hand combatant. She also discovered herself to have a natural affinity for computer programming and hacking, turning into a prominent, world class hacker under the name "The Cat", and was part of the international hacker community known as "O-SC7". Selina is known for being incredibly protective of her women co-workers, especially Holly Robinson, whom suffered similar traumatic childhood as well as having an on-again and off-again romantic relationship with her. Selina is particularly hostile to men who abuse women, and takes special pleasure in exposing and punishing them. In one particular incident, a co-worker was gang raped by a group of fraternity boys. Selina hunted them down and brutally beat them to within an inch of their lives. She used a razor to mutilate their faces as well as castrated each of them. Selina is incredibly skillful at concealing her identity, her real name is known only to herself, possessing passports in different names and physical disguises that she uses to travel undetected, and avoid investigative authorities.
When the Batman began to launch his crusade against all criminal elements throughout Gotham, Stan's criminal operations began to fall into disarray. In a heist gone horribly wrong due to intervention by the masked vigilante, of which Selina was nearly captured by the GCPD. Stan was tortured and killed by the Falcone mafia family related gang members after instigation by Oswalt "The Penguin" Cobblepot, a prominent nightclubs owner, fellow fence and money launderer in order to prevent any investigations from leading to them. The death of Stan marked the ascension of Selina as the de-facto leader of the escort services and theft syndicates in East End. Selina would used her burglary and hacking skills to do works for members of the Falcone family. During a heist, Selina would began to wear a mask to conceal her identity and a modified, carbon fibre reinforced catsuit with a multi-purpose goggle which include infrared vision and magnifier. She would also armed herself with handheld weapons such as gun. The bladed heels of her boots are made of titanium and would sometimes wear customised finger razor blades.
It was throughout this tumultuous period that Selina would developed intense business rivalry with Cobblepot. The rivalry culminated in Selina personally confronting Cobblepot during a gang war, of which she sliced off the Penguin's pinky and ring fingers from each hand. The direct and personal intervention of Carmine "The Roman" Falcone ended the rivalry, resulting in an uneasy truce between the Cat and the Penguin. Cobblepot was unforgiving, however, and had Holly killed. Selina quietly retaliated by passing incriminating evidences to the GCPD, resulting in Cobblepot's incarceration at the Blackgate Penitentiary for murder, extortion and money laundering. Carmine surprisingly spared her for the betrayal as the Godfather had been weary of the Penguin for skimming the revenues. Selina then consolidated all the businesses, becoming one of the youngest and most powerful female criminal lady in East End. She survived the First and Second Gotham Crisis caused by the late Henri Ducard and the Joker respectively as well as the subsequent collapse of the powerful Falcone family criminal empire.
As Selina Kyle developed a long record of criminality, the Batman starts to target her. She would have had several close encounter with the Batman over the next few years, fighting each other, even though Selina would escape each time from being captured. Their relationship would take a complicated turn from every encounter. Selina had even indirectly assisted the Batman in some investigations, such as the cases of the serial killer and necrophile, Matthew "The Clayface" Hagen, and child murderer, paedophile, Jarvis "The Hatter" Tetch. Sometimes she would even forward information to the vigilante, partly to eliminate her competitions. Although both parties refuses to acknowledge it, the romantic tension between them leads to a passionate kiss with each other on one occasion. Bruce and Selina never pursue their relationship any further than that, both realising that it would lead to nothing.
After the implementation of the Internal Security Act, almost all illegal, crime related businesses are brought to an end. With the eventual death of Mario Falcone, the second son of the late Carmine, the Falcone crime empire is finally eliminated. Regardless, Selina Kyle not only successfully switch all her businesses to legitimate ones but also erase any criminal connections through her computer hacking skills. Subsequently, during the economic and social recovery, Selina sold off all her businesses except for an escort agency. Nevertheless, no matter how good her skills are, Selina is still paranoid about a completely clean slate which would give her a second chance at beginning a new life.
Prior to the Third Gotham City Crisis, Selina is engaged by John Daggett, head of the Daggett Industries, to steal confidential business information from the Wayne Enterprise. In return, Daggett promised to forward a "clean slate" programme which would allow Selina to wipe off her criminal records from every database in the world in order for her to start a new life. Masquerading as a waitress during a charity gala held at the Wayne Manor, Selina steals Bruce fingerprints for Daggett. She successfully hacked into the high security database of the Wayne Enterprise and inadvertently discovered billionaire Bruce Wayne's secret identity as the Batman. She keeps the information to herself, although she later discovers too late that it is the terrorist Bane who is the mastermind behind the entire intricate plan. Bane also coerced her to launch a cyber attack upon the entire city. The Batman, whom had disappeared from public view for ten years, returns and contacts Selina for information to reach Bane's location. Selina hesitates but eventually brings Bruce to confront Bane, which is actually a trap, in return for the survival insurance. This results in Bruce being physically crippled by Bane and imprison. Upon learning the non-existence of the programme and fearing for her life, Selina attempts to escape the city but is apprehended at the last minute by the GCPD and incarcerated at the Blackgate Penitentiary. She escapes with thousands of other prisoners after Bane's army destroyed the prison. Cobblepot is killed during the escape attempt by his enemies.
Throughout the five months of the crisis, Selina hide amongst the citizens as Bane's mercenary army took control of the chaotic city. Feeling remorse, Selina is relieved that Bruce is still alive but forever paralysed from waist down. When she learns that Bane had a nuclear device which would detonates in five months, Selina switched allegiance and assists one of the few still active GCPD officer Robin J. Blake to help Bruce Wayne escape from his incarceration by Bane at the Elizabeth Arkham Institution. She also successfully hacked into Bane's nuclear control device, buying some time for Robin and the remaining GCPD to prepare the final assault upon the terrorists as well as Lucius and Gordon to locate the nuclear bomb. Selina fights the treacherous Miranda Tate who turns out to be Talia al Ghul in the City Hall in a personal hand to hand combat, inflicting serious injuries upon each other before Talia retreated and escaped from city. Talia would be killed in a covert operation by the CIA near the border of Uzbekistan ten years later.
After the Third Crisis was brought to an end, Selina Kyle is prepared to finally face the law when she finds a thumb drive passed to her without she knowing it by Bruce Wayne prior to the bomb detonation. It contains the "clean slate" programme. Given a second chance to begin life anew, Selina subsequently moves to another, undisclosed country while secretly mourns the supposedly demise of Bruce Wayne.
Finally, it comes to an end, which I doubt, of all the figures released by Hot Toys from Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. This is the Selina Kyle portrayed by the beautiful Anne Hathaway from the final instalment in the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. The Catwoman was not officially mentioned in the entire movie, only a brief screen flash of newspaper cutting mentioning "The Cat", the original name used for this iconic villainess/anti-heroine when she first debut in the comic books. A lot of people, again, are up in arms about the headsculpt, particularly the eyes. Personal opinion, the headsculpt's alright but not great. According to xl-shop, Hot Toys decided to "retouched" the headsculpt after the initial release in HK. But I still did not see any closer resemblance to Anne. Nothing breaks this time, and everything is in place and the joints are tight. But there's limitation to the degree of posing I could do with this figure due to the nature of its costume. The rooted hair is problematic, flying and tangling all over as I fiddle with the goggle but then again which rooted hair doesn't? Unless I apply gel. The goggle sits a tad too high, thus loosing the "cat's ear" effect which is seen in the movie. Now, if I could overcome the laziness to unbox the Batpod to pose the Cat with.