Sunday, May 31, 2015

MISC. MANGA, *Warrior Nun Areala

The 90s were a boom for what was called the "Bad Girl" fad, which were anti-heroines that were sexed up to the point of being Playboy models in leather and spandex. One of the major players in this was the manga-styled American comic was Warrior Nun Areala, the title character of which wasn't technically a "bad girl" and more like a cybernetic nun that fought demons, although her extended cast had a few "bad girl" candidates that would get their own titles. This was created by Ninja High School creator Ben Dunn, and was actually a pseudo-spinoff of the title too as its in the same universe of that and Gold Digger.

Sister Shannon Masters is part of the Vatican's special task force of demon slayers called Warrior Nuns, the other faction is a group of Magic Priests who are the only ones allowed to use actual magic. The Warrior Nuns use special weapons and artifacts like the God Armor to combat the forces of Hell. Shannon is ordered to take over the position of Warrior Nun in New York City, which her first assignment allows her to inherit the mantle of "Areala", the first Warrior Nun who was a Sister in the Middle Ages given the powers of a valkyrie that turned to the side of the Christian god. Now referred to usually just Areala, she continuously has to fend off satanic cults, neo-Nazis, rogue demons, and more. Her recurring cast includes former Warrior Nun-turned-Barb Wire wannabe Shotgun Mary, demon princess Lillith, a Magical Priest known as Father Crowe, plus former superheroes originally seen in Ninja High School like Tomorrow Man and Knight Hunter, a bunch of which form their own group called the Redeemers. Areala also has several crossovers with other comic characters like Glory, Scorpio Rose, Razor, and Cheetah from Gold Digger. There's also a lot of expansion given to the other Warrior Nuns throughout history in titles like Warrior Nun: Black And White, plus the original valkrie Areala who started the trend.

There have been numerous mini-series, ongoing series, one-shot specials, spinoffs, team-ups, pin-up collections, and a genuine Japanese manga short. Characters like Shotgun Mary and Lillith would get their own titles, plus the whole cast would get a re-launch in a one-shot titled Warrior Nun: Lazarus which was supposed branch off into it's own series. So far, the whole Warrior Nun franchise has been on hold, but still holds potential as there aren't currently too many superheroes who actually act as agents for the Christian God, although not having it be a cheesy PSA-spewing Bibleman ripoff. There was a planned OVA in the late 90s with even a pilot done by anime studio Sunrise, but so far nothing has come from it. Check out at least the original 3-episode mini-series, even if you have to get every one of the variant covers!

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