Cavewoman's 10th Anniversary
|First appearance||Cavewoman #1 (Dec. 1993)|
|Created by||Budd Root|
|Alter ego||Meriem Cecilbie Cooper|
|Abilities||Enhanced molecular structure
Extraordinary strength and stamina
Highly resistant to injury
Superhuman running speed
Resistant to drowning
Possible superhuman sense of smell and hearing
Limited psychic powers
Psychic bond with Klyde and Harmony
Cavewoman is an American comic book published primarily by Basement Comics and additionally by Caliber Comics and Avatar Press. The story follows superhuman Meriem Cooper, a voluptuous barefoot jungle goddess in a snakeskin bikini, who battles dinosaurs. Created by writer-artist Budd Root, Cavewoman was inspired by Little Annie Fanny and William Stout.
Meriem Cooper first appeared in Basement Comics' Cavewoman #1 (Dec. 1993), the first issue of a black-and-white, independent comics miniseries that ran six issues. She reappeared in the eight-issue miniseries Cavewoman: Rain (1996–1997) from Caliber Comics; the one-shot Cavewoman Meets Explorers (1997), jointly from Basement Comics and Explorer Press; the one-shot Jungle Tales of Cavewoman (1998), released in both a standard and a mature-audience edition; Cavewoman: Odyssey #1, the only issue of a planned five-issue miniseries from Caliber Comics; and other titles through at least 2001.
As of 2008, Meriem appears in the ongoing series Cavewoman: Pangaean Sea and the semi-regular mature series Prehistoric Pin-ups and Jungle Tales.
Fictional character biography
The story of Cavewoman is rooted deeply in science fiction.
Meriem Cecilbie Cooper is born in July 1980 to parents Robert Addam Cooper and Gail Nicole Reicher, in the town of Marshville, Oregon. After Robert dies of unknown causes, Gail turns to drugs, which leads her to fall in with an unsavory group of men. Eventually wanting to sever her ties with this group for Meriem's sake, Gail seeks the help of Meriem's scientist-inventor grandfather, Francis Peacock Reicher, affectionately called "Gramp." After first being thwarted, Gramp makes a mysteriously superhuman return, defeating the men easily and taking Meriem away on a hovercycle from the future.
At Gramp's laboratory, Meriem discovers a time machine and a body-enhancing device that allows a living being to pass through the time stream. It is here that she first meets Klyde, Gramp's 15-foot-tall lab gorilla who has been accidentally altered by the body enhancer. Gramp then enhances Meriem as well, and the trio begins an ongoing adventure through time while on the run from dinosaurs and a secret branch of the government.
As events transpire, Gramp is written out of the story when he is killed by a Tyrannosaurus and Meriem stays far from the cave that they settled down in. After a fierce fight with local carnivores near the "Quasi-Birds" nests, Meriem ended up naked when her clothes were torn off during the fight. Upon aging into a buxom 19-year-old, Meriem had lived in the local jungles naked (minus her hunting weapons), savage, happy, and free. Dinosaurs were taught to fear her. Meriem reunited with Klyde, who attacked her and broke her weapons. She then returned to the cave. Not wanting to be naked and savage anymore, she eventually made a jungle bikini (with dinosaur teeth hanging on the strings) out of a leopard-printed snakeskin blanket. She also avenged her grandfather by slaying the Tyrannosaurus responsible for killing him, but rescued two Tyrannosaurus hatchlings from Velociraptors. One, named Harmony, became Meriem's companion while the other, named Peace, became her enemy.
Later, the whole town of Marshville is transported into a prehistoric past.
Powers and abilities
Meriem's various superhuman powers come from her enhanced molecular structure. It was altered and enhanced by Gramp, so that she could survive the rigors of time travel. Meriem stands at 5'8", weighs 350 lbs, and possesses extraordinary strength and stamina. She is strong enough to rip a Velociraptor's arm out of its socket. She has also picked up a downed street lamp. Meriem's strength also allows her to leap lengthy distances, such as between buildings in New York City, or leaping onto the top of a truck's trailer from street level. She is strong enough to leap through the forest with a full-grown man on her back.
Meriem is also highly resistant to injury. A caliber gunshot to the back and bites from Velociraptors have failed to penetrate her tough skin. She can survive falls from great heights, such as when she fell from a cliff to the beach. Things that have been proven able to penetrate her skin, or otherwise injure her, are attacks that are directed with great strength or force, such as a Tyrannosaurus bite, Klyde's blows, or armor-piercing ammunition.
Meriem's enhanced molecular structure gives her an enhanced healing effect that reduces the healing time of wounds. The effect is hastened proportionally to her food intake: the more food consumed, the more quick the healing. Meriem always gets hungry after she gets injured. Meriem has healed dinosaur bites, armor-piercing bullet wounds, and even a Yeti yanking off all of her head hair: the next morning she had grown her hair back. The worst injury Meriem is shown taking is when she battles a berserk Klyde during Cavewoman: Rain. Klyde beats her to the extent that she stops breathing and appears dead. She remains in this "death state" while her enhanced molecular structure slowly repairs itself, without Meriem being able to eat anything to hasten the healing process. The citizens of Marshville bury her, thinking her truly dead, though the healing effect repairs the damage after two weeks.
Meriem also has above average running speed, described as moving at "30 miles per hour". Once, when she ran, her friend Bruce had to ride after her on his motorcycle in order to keep up with her.
She is an extremely powerful swimmer and can hold her breath for long periods when fighting underwater. She has also proven resistant to the effects of drowning, being capable of expelling water from her lungs even when unconscious.
Meriem's senses of smell and hearing are also enhanced. In addition, she has psychic powers, the limits of which have not been revealed. She can see Gramp as a kind of spirit who appears to her from time to time, offering advice and insight. No one can see or hear Gramp but Meriem. She has psychic bonds with Klyde and Harmony. Meriem's sight is also extremely good: she can see an ant up to two miles away.
She is also an expert knife thrower, and can decapitate a pterodactyl with a thrown blade.
- Cavewoman #1–6 (Dec. 1993 – n.a.)
- Cavewoman: Original Series vol. 1 (1996 trade paperback: reprints Cavewoman #1–6 with new content)
- Cavewoman: Rain # 1–8 (1996–1997)
- Cavewoman: Missing Link #1–4 (1997)
- Cavewoman Meets Explorers (1997 one-shot)
- Jungle Tales of Cavewoman (1998 one-shot)
- Cavewoman: Color Special (1999: reprints Threshold #7 story)
- Cavewoman: Odyssey #1 (1999)
- Also: "Comic Connection Limited Edition" with variant cover
- Cavewoman: Pangaean Sea Prologue (1999)
- Cavewoman: One-Shot Special (2000)
- Cavewoman: Pangaean Sea #0- (2000–)
- Cavewoman: Intervention #1–2 (2001)
- Cavewoman: Meriem's Gallery (2001)
- Cavewoman: Prehistoric Pinups #1–5 (2001)
- Klyde & Meriem (2001)
- Basement/Amryl 2002 Convention Special Jam Book! (2002)
- Cavewoman: Cover Gallery Special Edition #1 (2002)
- Cavewoman: Raptor #1–2 (2002)
- Tanlines Pinup Book (2002)
- Cavewoman: He Said, She Said (2003)
- Cavewoman: The Movie (2003)
- Cavewoman: Beauties & Beasts (2005)
- Cavewoman: Reloaded # 1- (2005: reprints Cavewoman #1–6 with new content)
- Cavewoman: Jungle Jam #1–2 (2006)
- Carter, R.J. "Interview: Budd Root: Rooting Around the Basement with Cavewoman," The Trades (Jan. 1, 2002). Accessed Sept. 15, 2008.
- Cavewoman #1, pg. 4
- Cavewoman: Rain #6, pg. 13
- Cavewoman: Rain #5, pg. 33
- Cavewoman: Pangaean Sea #2, pg. 18
- Cavewoman: Rain #6, pg. 4
- Cavewoman: Pangaean Sea #2, pg. 5
- Cavewoman#2, pg. 24