Marvel Swimsuit Special: An In-Depth Analysis Part III

On the eve of San Diego Comic Con and having passed the 4th of July weekend, we've reached the pinnacle of summer in 2012. What better way to celebrate than with a final look at the 94' Marvel Swimsuit Special? It's been a titillating journey, but this comic proves that yes, you can have too much of a questionably good thing. However, here at Comic Book Candy we are considering tracking down Marvel's other classic pin-up collections for further analysis should public demand prove sufficient. Until then, enjoy this final visual feast before you and fondly remember the 90's comic book landscape.


Doc Samson is Marvel's resident psychiatrist, and frankly I'm a little disappointed with the lack of creativity displayed in this depiction. Maybe some bookish glasses, a notepad, and Doc wearing these same swimmers while inviting us, the viewer, to lie on his couch, now that's something that would demonstrate the "allure of science" as Uatu says. It is worth noting that this is the first character that has been shown as practically faceless, so there's that.

Doc Samson's reign as the only faceless character was short-lived as a very tan Polaris quickly follows. This one is equally uncreative in conveying the character's unique aspects, but stands out for being more uncomfortable to view. From the crotch-cutting bathing bottoms to the bolted on breasts, we don't need to see all of her face to know that this is probably not a comfortable outfit or pose to execute. There is a face in this image, but it isn't Polaris staring back; an odd rock formation to the right of her leg is hard to miss. Distracting and creepy, it's a double fail.

Here I thought we'd get through the swimsuit special without a brokeback pose! Impressively, Silver Sable manages to be shown as both threatening and vulnerable. Take away her knife and guns and she looks very much like a person surrendering to a foe from behind. Uatu implies that even on vacation she cannot abandon her dedication to her profession as an assassin; this would be an accurate theory if she were say, polishing her knife collection. In reality, she just looks batshit insane because she's either cornered by a non-existent foe or she's trying to rock climb but can't psychologically put down her weapons.

Black Panther seems unfazed by taking a shower in green, smoking, dragon infested Moon water. Then again, if you're the King of Wakanda, unfazed is your default state.

New Warriors characters Firestar and Silhouette (who?) are supposedly enjoying an "impromptu sauna" though the color choices make that difficult to discern without reading the description. Who wears their sneakers and socks in a sauna? Perhaps these ladies are just returning from an excersice class at an Inhumans' gym. Even if they are in a cave, this scenario doesn't exactly push the boundaries as far as "superheroes on a moon vacation" go. This is more akin to a "superheroes stay at a mid-western 3-star hotel vacation".

Guys. Colossus is a never nude. And that isn't the only thing he has in common with Tobias Funke. Notice his complete disinterest in the scantily clad moon-women bathing him (and I swear the one at the top left is giving him a manicure). The artist has really gone out of his way to ensure that Colossus is the sole focus here, especially in the comical way each of the women's heads have been cut off / obscured by biceps. His posturing and downward glance also imply that even Colossus can't help but admire his own spectacular reflection.

Possibly the only character to wear more in her swimsuit special attire, Emma Frost is equally useless on the Moon as she is on Earth. In other words, she's one super powerful woman that is frequently shown as a very pretty non threatening mannequin. The White Queen should never be this boring.

What is it about women involved with Amazing Spider-Man that makes them indistinguishable? I thought for sure this was Storm before I read the description. But let's face it, Felicia Hardy and her ridiculous flotation device-like breasts aren't even the focus here. Creeper. On. The right.

Here we have one of the world's most dangerous telepaths, pretty much wearing her normal costume, and she's sitting poolside. Someone was definitely phoning it in here.

Thor's dead serious expression as he deftly spins a volleyball on one finger hints at the possibility that we may have just missed an unforgettable testosterone filled game the likes of which would rival Top Gun. Here's hoping it involved other speedo clad heroes from this volume such as Captain America, Doctor Strange, and Gambit. Doubles!

Nothing says "fourth tier characters" like spending half of the caption describing the characters of the Infinity Watch, self appointed guardians of the Infinity Gems. Oh, nineties!

"Hey Jean, remember how you like, died on the moon that one time? Isn't that a really sexy memory?" Also part of that untold exchange, "why does Cyclops have enormous hands", or "unexpected side effects of moon vacations". 

Surprisingly, Northstar's pin up? Not the most homo-erotic.

According to Uatu, Wonder Man is actually dead at this point but we're viewing a happier what-if scenario where he enjoys cliff diving with sexy moon babes. Really Marvel? You couldn't find enough characters alive in current continuity for this collection?

What a disappointing final image. Uatu the Watcher spends a large amount of time waxing philosophic about the meaning of the Water Festival, but we don't even get to see him in his space beach attire? Way to drop the ball, Marvel.

The back cover reuses the Storm pinup and manages to use not one, but two storm puns. I think an intern may have been in charge of copy for this collection.

And there you have it. The sexier side of (some of) Marvel's greatest heroes. It was stimulating, awkward, and often both at the same time. But it was memorable for sure, and demonstrates a carefree take on the characters that we may never see again now that Marvel is the Mouse of Ideas.