Wednesday, August 12, 2015


It's swimsuit season! So let's celebrate in the most comic booky way possible - with a swimsuit special! And to celebrate the lazy days of Summer, let's celebrate in the laziest way possible - with a swimsuit issue that actually only has basically like a dozen actual drawings in it and the rest of it is chaff from a model's portfolio!

She looks so unhappy with that sword sticking out of her ear.

Cathy Christian is part of a short-lived phenomenon in comics where the model for the character preceded the character herself. Credited with co-creation of Avengylene - a typical sword-swinging 90s bad girl of the extrapolated Judeo-Christian "spiritual warfare at its finest" model - Christian was the face upon which the series was hung.

Starting her career as the first official Vampirella model (which earned her a trading card series, among other speculator accolades), a couple of decades after Vampirella's debut, she was the cart before the horse in the case of Avengylene. Portraying the superhero in live appearances and promotional photos, she was arguably the visual inspiration for the character (you know, as far as you could tell).

Despite having done a fair amount of in-costume photos during her run, the swimsuit special (August 1995) was split between illustrations of Avengylene and photos of Christian in no way whatsoever dressed as nor behaving like Avengylene. Eight full-page photos depicted her without Avengylene's distinctive-if-impractical costume, her sword, nor her signature back problems. You almost might come to the conclusion that, gee, maybe these were unrelated photos from her portfolio, jammed into the swimsuit special just to save a little money and fill out the pagecount? Gee. Golly. Sweet googleymoogly.

With that in mind, here's my best guess as to what appears to be running through "Avengylene's" mind during her swimsuit photo shoot ...

"Ah, it sure is refreshing to take a break from serving as Heaven's chief warrior in its endless battle with the forces of Hell to dry my hair out here in Yuma. You say you can Photoshop boots and giant sword onto me later? It's 1995, what's Photoshop? Oh, you meant Microsoft Paint. I get it."

"Ah, stretching my back on this hot rock is exactly what I need to limber up my lumbar after striking those spine-shredding poses in all the OTHER Avengylene pinup specials. I should be able to stand up pain-free by the time Al Gore is elected president of the United States."

"There, I've completely hidden my feet, just like you asked for Mister Liefeld."

"Oh, okay ... Rob."

"Ugh, what is this suffocating outfit they've got on me? I feel like I'm wearing four parkas! How do you expect a girl to find the demonic forces of the underworld all wrapped up in yards of fabric like this?"


(She has just had the plot of Avengylene explained to her)

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