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[Retrospective]Marvel Swimsuit Special 1993

Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
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We were the last generation that grew up without the internet. Or, to put it another way, we were the last generation to grow up without porn a few clicks away. The last generation that was forced into the old standbys, of sneaking into the medical and art sections of the library, if we wanted a gander at the odd bit anatomy. When cable channels were still scrambled. When, if you were of a certain tender age, you palpitated over begging your mother to rent a Sega Genesis game like Earthworm Jim or an anime that might include nipples - but which was okay because, of course, it was just a cartoon. And those were safe for kids.

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And another resource you might avail yourself of was, of course, comics. Not so much the mainstream stuff, though this was the middle of the era when breasts were growing and waistlines and costumes were shrinking.

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It's Red Sonja Optimized, Reed. Didn't you read my thesis?

Comic books with nudity - and I basically mean the occasional bit of sideboob with a nipple - tended to be on the magazine rack, stuff like Conan the Barbarian and Heavy Metal Magazine. Not impossible purchases, if sometimes uncertain in content. So you can sort of imagine the surprise and delight, one day at Publix, when my brother and I convinced our slightly doddering grandfather to buy the Marval Swimsuit Special.

It was...an experience. Hell, I had never seen a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Special, so I had no idea what to expect.

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It was...fun. A little juvenile. A little groan-worthy at some of the jokes. A lot of poking fun at the hormonal little shits buying these things. And also kind of gorgeous. This book had to have been months in the planning, the solicits...this was a step or three higher than your normal comic book artwork. I like that as threadbare as the scenario was, there was a sort of plot to these things, and we got a look at...well, a bunch of familiar characters having fun and getting along.

And the whole enterprise was not just necessarily for male or heterosexual readers either; there was plenty of beefcake on display for anyone that hit puberty and suddenly felt a little different from everyone else.

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What I didn't always appreciate at the time: it was part of a trend. That kind of blows my mind. I mean, you might not have seen a swimsuit special at your FLCS in the last decade, but for a brief moment in the 90s they really flourished. I think it probably says something in the commercial-driven nature of the industry that everyone seems to have hopped on board with the "Let's sell a swimsuit special aimed at teenage comic book readers" suddenly caught on for a couple years.

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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    I can't tell a lie

    I totally had this

    oh, the shame

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    SorceSorce Not ThereRegistered User regular
    I'm not current on it, but I think Aspen Entertainment was keeping up the tradition of 'Swimsuit Issues' for their comic line for a while (as in the 00s).

    I think they should bring them back, honestly. Keep them like they are, bad jokes and everyone in ridiculous outfits (and fake ads to boot), and I think they'd be a modest hit. Heck, do it for FCBD.

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    Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    Or the CBLDF. I could get behind that.

    The Unpublishable - Original fiction blog, updates Fridays
    Sex & the Cthulhu Mythos
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    lunchbox12682lunchbox12682 MinnesotaRegistered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I can't tell a lie

    I totally had this

    oh, the shame
    No, we totally bought these for the artistic merits.
    But yeah, I shake my head at my teenage self and buying these things.

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    King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    Once my Mom bought a box of comics from a Thrift store and this was in it

    I was baffled to say the least.

    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    I remember seeing this back in the day, I took a pass. What the hell is going on with Namor's body, he looks like a mass of tumors. Is that supposed to be sexy?

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    SorceSorce Not ThereRegistered User regular
    It was the 90s.

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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    I can see someone buying a cheesecake comic if the art was at least good, but for terrible 90's art? I guess everybody was used to it at the time...

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    GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    Rogue being in a bikini as a selling point always confused me, since in the 90's she was basically flying around in a little leather jacket and a suit that had to have been painted on her.

    Like seriously, look at this thing:
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    I'm more amazed at what powers she must have to get into that thing then anything she could have done for the plight of human/mutant/shiar relations.

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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    Oh man, that goddamn headband. It's so subtle, I think it makes it worse than the shitty jacket and belt. At least there's no pouches.

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    SorceSorce Not ThereRegistered User regular
    Well Mystique is her mom, right?

    She shape-shifted into it. Or she's just secretly naked.

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    Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    Superhero costumes are strange and terrible things, which is part of the reason I love Empowered for pointing it out.

    The Unpublishable - Original fiction blog, updates Fridays
    Sex & the Cthulhu Mythos
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    lunchbox12682lunchbox12682 MinnesotaRegistered User regular
    I know it has been pointed out before, but also love the magic technology that keeps massive H cup breasts from being a problem during battle or just walking around.
    I assume all superhero women suffer from back pain as they get older.

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    Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    Ha! Thanks to Marvel Now, getting older is something Marvel superheroes never have to worry about! And for everything else, there's unstable molecules.

    The Unpublishable - Original fiction blog, updates Fridays
    Sex & the Cthulhu Mythos
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