The ComicsAlliance Swimsuit Special!

 

 

No, it’s not Laura Hudson in a bikini–and it’s thankfully not Chris Sims in a speedo–it’s a look back at the most bizarre pages from Marvel’s Mid-90s Swimsuit Specials!

We’ve talked about these strange little artifacts before on Ajax, and I still have difficulty believing that they exist. Especially as one is predicated on the pun “Take a Wakanda Wild Side,” which in a just universe would get someone smacked.

Of course, Marvel’s not the only company that put out swimsuit specials–or even swimsuit specials with Sports Illustrated-esque themes, as the WildStorm Genosha one I had as a teenager could attest–but I stuck to them because they just strike me as more fun than the others, probably because of the disconnect between bikini shots their usual melodramatic adventures. But there are plenty of others, most notably the Amazing Heroes swimsuit specials, which were pretty much just collections of fan-art that happened to be done by pros.

They range from the awesome (RoboCop in a Tank Top and Bruce Timm’s Nick Fury) to the outright horrible (laugh-a-minute porn parodies of Calvin & Hobbes that you couldn’t friggin’ pay me to put on my servers), but there’s one I just had to share:

 

 

Herbie Popnecker: The Hope of a World Gone Mad.

39 thoughts on “The ComicsAlliance Swimsuit Special!

  1. Great article. I hope you guys deconstruct some more on War Rocket Ajax in the future. Each time you’ve done it I’ve literally cried from laughing so hard.

  2. If all comedy was based on these and the Power Glove, my eight year old self would be happier than if he got to spend Christmas with Superman.

  3. While I understand that this is about a) Marvel b) Swimsuit Specials…

    … why no honorary mention for Surf Jams Joker?

  4. @Chris Sims

    Victory is yours sir, for unleashing the fury of Fried Ice Cream Photo so early in the game. now all other ne’er-do-wells and nitpickers need only click that link, and are preemptively defeated.

  5. I really considered using the Jubilee one, but I went with Psylocke because a) I wanted to make the joke about her wearing more clothes in the swimsuit issue than she does the rest of the time, and b) I liked the irony of her being Post-It Note™ Yellow in a picture by Jim Lee, who you’d think wouldn’t have let that shit fly.

  6. PS

    Thanks for the reminder about the Amazing Heroes specials.

    As you say the content was variable, and went downhill as time went on, but Mark Martin’s pages caused me to laugh until my sides hurt.

    Plus, Charles Vess’ doing The Warriors Three, with Hogun the Grim in a Speedo.

  7. When I was in the fifth grade, every single time I’d order comics from this one place they’d try to pawn off a Gen 13 swimsuit special on me. I never let them do so, and I hope it was the right decision.

  8. Another interesting thing about the Adam Hughes Wasp piece? It’s actually the least ugly costume she’s ever had.

  9. When I opened up the page my eyes we’re hijacked by that picture of Colossus and now I feel just feel dirty… Now I understand what Mark Millar was thinking when he was coming up with concepts for Ultimate Colossus…

  10. the pun “Take a Wakanda Wild Side,”

    Hey, that reminds me, I made it through the entire month of October without hearing the word “Rocktober” once.

    This post also reminds me of that certain friend of mine who had some Marvel swimsuit issues. Very well worn copies of these issues, might I add. Brr.

  11. The one with the Wasp made me think about… well about a lot of things, but mainly: does Hank Pym’s Giant-Man technology allow you to enlarge only certain parts of your body?

    That, blood pressure issues aside, would be useful, and maybe Pym could win a Nobel and beat Richards for once.

    Also, I think is time for me to start listening those War Rocket Ajax things. Downloading…

  12. I liked the irony of her being Post-It Note™ Yellow in a picture by Jim Lee

    I would point out that Jim Lee only pencilled the picture and didn’t colour it… but I fear the Fried Ice Cream Photo, so I won’t.

    Instead, erm, great post Chris!

  13. I enjoyed the first Marvel Swimsuit Issue – the one that had actual super-sports content, like the Super Olympics and the She-Hulk wieghtlifting article. When they became more pinup collections, I lost interest. The same thing with Marvel Year in Review – when it was “Time in the Marvel Universe” played straight except for the ads, I loved it. When it devolved into all parody and snark, less so.

    Though, “The Punisher MODAMed some people” still stays with me to this day.

  14. Considering Rictor’s displeasure at Cable’s coquettish reaction to Boom Boom’s behind, I’d say it proves something far more disturbing.

    Then again, these pictures could be used to prove a lot of disturbing things.

  15. I would point out that Jim Lee only pencilled the picture and didn’t colour it… but I fear the Fried Ice Cream Photo, so I won’t.

    Sigh.

    Anyway, it’s credited to Homage Studios, so I assumed the coloring was done in house by Lee & Co. before it was shipped off to Marvel.

  16. That little sand castle in front of Herbie disturbs me in ways I completely understand, but refuse to articulate.

  17. Because you posted a provocative swimsuit picture of the Greatest Character of All Time and the Juggernaut of Sexuality, Herbie Popnecker, now I prefer men.

    Thanks a lot, Sims.

  18. Oh man, I remember those!
    Will you be covering all the Image, Lady Death and other companies that did the swimsuit issues as well?

    I needed a good laugh this afternoon. Thank you for providing it for me.

    – R

  19. “b) I liked the irony of her being Post-It Note™ Yellow in a picture by Jim Lee, who you’d think wouldn’t have let that shit fly.”

    The Jubilee picture is by Whilce Portacio, who I believe is also Asian.

    And wouldn’t the colorist be to blame for that, and not the peciller?

  20. Great stuff, wow it’s amazing these things used to sell.

    “The Jubilee picture is by Whilce Portacio, who I believe is also Asian. ”

    He’s Filipino IIRC.

  21. That’s it, I’m officially going to hell. That picture of Colossus completely turned me on, how hot was that !! A very dark room and a box of tissues required !!

  22. You know, I thought they couldn’t go wrong with Namor. I mean, he’s sort of hot anyway. Got that bad boy stuff, that weird relationship with Sue, being THE FUCKING SUB MARINER, but that drawing…it’s just wrong. It is horrifying.

    He looks emaciated, not thin yet muscular. And of course, the skeet looking water is an odd touch, but that doesn’t bother me as much as the back lite horror that is that picture.