My Comic Book Crisis

A woman of a certain age, a computer, and a love of comics

This is one of my recent flea market finds. I couldn’t pass it up. The Marvel Swimsuit Special was so kitschy, so awful and so over the top that nobody should be subjected to it in all of its ridiculousness.

So I just had to share it with all of you. Behold:

Marvel Swimsuit Special

A Marvel swimsuit edition? Really? What the hell were they thinking? It’s just so very  wrong  that it’s … almost right.

I guess what’s really wrong is that the Swimsuit Special theme was popular enough that it ran for five years (1991-1995). How is that possible?

The issue I found was from 1992 and was filled with superheros frolicking on the beaches of Wakanda (“Take a Wakanda the wild side,” was the title of the issue. Ack.) in all their semi-nude glory. But you know how it goes: It’s all fun and games until the skrulls show up.

Center spread from Marvel Swimsuit Special

Which X-Man is that in the little Speedo-y thingy? Looks like he fell asleep on his beach blanket or was stuck in some boiling water with a little salt, later to be served with drawn butter. And those prankish X-Women … it’s just fun in the sun here on wacky Wakanda.

Captain America

“Cap cools off with a quick splash in the clear, refreshing waters of Black Warrior Creek” Black Warrior Creek? Really? Is that the best they could come up with?


One of the best things about being a superhero model, rather than a mere supermodel, is that you don’t need to worry about the laws of physics as Rogue demonstrates here with a dive off Warrior Falls, hair — and bikini top — intact. Take that Elle MacPherson.

Another example is below with Silver Sable’s gravity defying dive prep in this pic from the 1993 issue. Check out the hand grenade.

Silver Sable

Look at these next two images — I dare you. These kind of makes you want to rip your own retinas out, don’t they? Some things just should never, ever be viewed by the eyes of  mere mortals.

Nick Fury Tony Stark

Eww. That’s all I have to say.

That was from my 1992 issue. But even more frightening is this from the 1995 issue:


OMG. I know Scallop shells usually have a jewel inside, but not the family jewels. That’s not even a very big scallop shell. The only explanation I can think of is Seinfeld-like shrinkage due to the cool waters. Although I never imagined the waters of Madripoor, the fictional comic book island located in Southeast Asia, would be quite that cool. Poor substandard Sub-Mariner.

Meanwhile, back in Wakanda …

I know the caption says Bishop, Cyclops and Gambit are taking an early-morning jog on Panther Island, but it looks more  like the trio just found out Bette Midler tickets went on sale and they want to be sure to be first in line. If you get my drift. If not, let’s just say Bishop, Cyclops and Gambit are taking an early-morning jog on Panther Island and leave it at that.

Bishop, Cyclops and Gambit

And here’s one of my favorites, which appeared in the 1993 issue.  Ghost Rider wearing nothing but a smile.

Ghost Rider

Had enough? No? Well, here are a few more examples of the Swimsuit Special through the ages— or at least 1991 — 1995.

After that, let’s never speak of this again.

Captain America and Diamondbacl




Thor and Thunderstrike


The Wasp


Dr. Strange swimsuit

1995? I couldn’t find the exact issue this ran in, but I thought it might be ’95, since it says “95” at the bottom. Who cares? Whatever the year, It just begged to be included. Dr. Strange, indeed.

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