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70 – LADY DEATHSTRIKE

6 Jul

Subject: Lady Deathstrike
Real Name: Yuriko Darkwind
Height: 5’10” Weight: 150 lbs.
First Appearance: Alpha Flight #33, April 1986

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 1/7
  • Strength: 3/7
  • Fighting Ability: 6/7
  • Intelligence: 4/7

I didn’t know it until I actually did some backup research, but it seems like quite a bit of information on Deathstrike’s card is/turned out to be erroneous. Deathstrike’s real name is revealed to be Yuriko Darkwind, which seems weird for a Japanese person… turns out Yuriko’s dad, Kenji Oyama, went by the moniker of Lord Darkwind. Giving Yuriko the last name of Darkwind is like Cable having a real name of Nathan Christopher Cyclops.

Secondly, according to her Marvel Wikia page, Yuriko first appeared in Daredevil #197, August 1983, a full three years before the Alpha Flight issue mentioned in the card. Turns out she was just plain old Yuriko in the Daredevil issues, and did not take on the name of Lady Deathstrike until the Alpha Flight issues. I think the earlier appearance is the correct one.

I liked Deathstrike as a kid, she was badass and the fights with Wolvie seemed vicious (you know how women be fightin’ dirty against the guys). I say seemed because I actually don’t think I ever read any of her stories as a kid; she hardly ever actually interacted with the main team, choosing mostly to duke it out with Logan, though she did get her adamantium from Donald Pierce of the Hellfire Club.

I really like Lee’s pose for Deathstrike, but man how 90’s is that background? It looks like they were trying to fool kids into thinking this was a hologram card. And how the hell does she trump Wolverine in both Strength (4 versus 3) and Intelligence (4 versus 2)? Is this some sort of women’s rights thing?

69 – DEATHBIRD

4 Jul

Subject: Deathbird
Real Name: Unknown
Height: 5’8″ Weight: 180 lbs.
First Appearance: Ms. Marvel #9, September 1977

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 1/7
  • Strength: 3/7
  • Fighting Ability: 6/7
  • Intelligence: 4/7

So turns out Deathbird was who I was thinking about when I first came upon Cerise… and with that I still don’t have any freaking idea who this character is. But as far as I can tell she seems to like grimacing, popping zits on her nose, has a 6/7 for Fighting Ability, and weighs 180lbs despite just being 5 foot 8.

Here, just to fill out the page, is her full biography:

Deathbird is the former empress of the Shi’ar Empire, deposed with the X-Men’s help. Her alien metabolism is superior to a human’s, and thus she possesses incredible strength, endurance, and speed. Deathbird is armed with reazor-sharp win-spurs, vicious talons, and deadly, compact javelins. She is a warrior to be feared, and her berserker rages even match those of Wolverine!

X-Tra Fact: Like all Shi’ar, Deathbird has a plume of feathers instead of a head of hair. And she has wings that allow her to fly!

68 – MASTERMIND

1 Jul

Subject: Mastermind
Real Name: Jason Wyngarde
Height: 5’10” Weight: 140 lbs.
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #4, March 1964

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 6/7
  • Strength: 1/7
  • Fighting Ability: 1/7
  • Intelligence: 2/7

Mastermind’s one of those villains introduced in the early 60’s that never got a visual upgrade from the stereotypical “sniveling ratface” that all 60’s villains were, but then again I guess as a notorious date-rapist maybe the look suits him. Actually no, I guess then he should look like a douchey bro, right? And then he died of the Legacy Virus…

I really like Lee’s art for Mastermind’s card. It’s moody and intriguing, and the reflection in the mirror was a nice touch, though it unintentionally would imply that Mastermind’s power was simply of disguising himself, when he could really create elaborate mental illusions, capable of entrapping the entire X-team in intricate fantasy scenarios (like a circus or carnival).

Given how he arguably brought the Dark Phoenix saga to a head (by hypnotizing Jean Grey/Phoenix into thinking she was in love with Mastermind), and how he apparently managed to fool everyone, including the Hellfire Club, almost continuously throughout the Phoenix saga, Mastermind really should command more respect than he got (though his 6/7 Mental Powers rating gets you partway there).