I’m going to be breaking the rules somewhat today. I will not be reviewing an action figure as you’ve come to expect from me. Today I shall be reviewing a statue, or more accurately a bust. This Psycho Man bust is the first of its kind to make its way into my collection. Many times before I have been tempted to buy statues and busts of my favorite comic book characters but I’ve always been deterred by the hefty price tags. These things are expensive, I’m talking hundreds of dollars. And they’re big, so finding a place to display them would be a problem as well. My local comic shop, Strange Adventures, has two large glass display cases full of amazing statues and they’re the first thing you see when you walk in. I love my action figures but there’s no denying that the larger, joint-free statues present the characters in the best 3D format possible, at least for display purposes. But I came to terms with the fact that I would not be collecting statues a long time ago. So this Psycho Man was one of the many beautifully sculpted statues that greeted me at the front door of the shop every single Wednesday. I admired it briefly each time but quickly moved on, refusing to linger and fall in love. I felt confident that I could resist its charms, after all, I had not been swayed by either the Baroness or Jungle Girl when they graced the display cases so what chance did this half of a weirdo stand at making me break my no statue rule.
Perhaps I should first tell you just who Psycho Man is as I’m sure some of you don’t know. He is a Marvel Universe villain, most often associated with the Fantastic Four as he first appeared in their book and has battled them many times since. As explained way back in Fantastic Four Annual 5 (1967) Psycho Man is actually a microscopic being who inhabits the microverse, a mini universe that exists in the subatomic particles that make up the main Marvel Universe. Psycho Man encounters the FF when he decides to build himself a giant suit of armor and invade the larger Marvel Universe. Using some weird tablet like device he was able to control the Four’s emotions, Fear, Doubt and Hate specifically. Obviously he was defeated in the end but he has returned tho the Marvel Universe many times and battled heroes ranging from Howard the Duck to the Hulk. And you can bet he’ll be there to stir up trouble anytime a Marvel hero gets shrunk (which happens more often than you might think). One of my earliest exposures to the character was in an old issue of the Micronauts, a series that took place in the Microverse and, similar to G.I. Joe and Transformers, was published as a way to help sell the toys.
I’ve always loved Psycho Man’s strange appearance, weird origin, and goofy abilities. You may have noticed that he is one of the select few characters that I chose to use in my website banner. I was always happy to see him pop up in a book I was collecting. The Psycho Man story that I recall most vividly from my childhood was a 3 parter that crossed through the 3 Spider-Man annuals in 1990 called “Spidey’s totally tiny Adventure”. A more recent Psycho Man story that I quite liked was a re-imagining of the character in the Ultimate Fantastic Four book. The look and attitude were similar but there was an added dimension to him, and the inclusion of the Silver Surfer as his herald was a neat twist on a classic Marvel tale. Even though I always liked his look, I didn’t truly appreciate it until I was older and understood Jack Kirby’s role in comics. Jack Kirby designed the best looking characters, hands down. It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to do so but I’ve raved about Jack in reviews of other characters he created like Galactus, Darkseid, Mantis, Mr. Miracle and Destroyer.
This bust is not based on any specific Jack Kirby artwork but it retains a Kirby-esque feel. The costume is relatively simple but has just enough interesting elements like the circles on the shoulder high gloves and the thick banded belt to make it unique. The way his fist is clenched at his side makes him look powerful and the way he is looking down, showing his superiority, is perfect. The face is cold and yet his disgust is palpable with just the right amount of disdain showing on that golden face. This is a great bust. The only thing that would make it cooler would be if it had legs, but that would have driven up the price substantially. As is, this bust which stands about 8 inches tall was priced at $80.
If you are a regular reader you may recall me mentioning that my beloved Strange Adventures was moving locations at the end of April, and it has. They have a great new shop on Lower Water Street on the Halifax water front. However the owner, my friend Cal, still has the lease on the old location. So for the past month and a half he’s been slowly bringing the product from the old store to the new and in the meantime offering great deals on the stuff still at the old Sackville Street location. Psycho Man went from an intriguing 30% off to a titillating 50% off in the final days of the old shop. But still I stood my ground.
Well after the sale was done and the old shop closed, Cal suggested we get together for a poker game in the shop before the lease was up. It seemed a wonderful way to say farewell to a store I’ve been visiting weekly for nearly 20 years so I was all for it. So this past Friday night, myself and 11 others played an epic poker tournament in Strange Adventures. A pleasant surprise to me was that there was still a bunch of product on the shelves so I could browse around between hands. Psycho Man remained, no one had scooped him up at 50% off, those fools. So I asked Cal what was the best he could do on it and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, so now I own a Psycho Man bust.
For those of you that are curious, I came in third in the poker tournament which meant I took home $100 which isn’t bad considering I was only in for $20. Neil took home $175 in second place and the winner was my pal Rashad who claimed $275 and will get his name placed on the tournament trophy. It was an excellent time and I got to explore the back areas of the shop where I had never been before. I shall very much miss the old Strange Adventures but at least I have this bust that will always remind me of it (not to mention about 5000 other toys and comics purchased there over the years). 9 out of 10.