|Surprisingly, the J. Jonah Superman haircut never caught on.|
Silver Sable, introduced by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz in Amazing Spider-Man #265, is Silver Sablinova (yes, I know), glamorous mercenary from the made-up Eastern European nation Symkaria. After years of guest-starring appearances in the Spider-books, she was given her own ongoing series in 1992, which, as previously noted, lasted a hard-to-believe 35 issues. It wasn't her book alone, though - it was Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, the Wild Pack being her hand-picked mercenary squad; thus writer Gregory Wright populated the book with a...highly diverse supporting cast. It had reformed Spider-foe Sandman, gross sadomasochism enthusiast Carl "Crippler" Striklan, former USAgent sidekick Battlestar, racist Billy Ray Cyrus lookalike Doug Powell, HIV-positive gangbanger-turned-tech-expert Raul Quentino, and the focus of #28, lesbian Vietnamese assassin Amy Chen. To Wright's credit, her lesbianism was treated pretty matter-of-factly, without any "very special issue" or Gen13-style fanboy bait - Powell noted that she was hot, and Crippler told him 'too bad, she's not into dudes' and that was that. Also, she was hinted to have a bit of a crush on her employer, but that's to be expected, because no fewer than three other characters in the book (Sandman, Powell, and frequent guest star Paladin) were trying, with varying degrees of subtlety, to get into Ms. Sablinova's shiny pants.
Anyway, Chen used to kill people for money, which normally isn't a problem given Silver Sable's enlightened/insane hiring policies (did I mention that Powell used to work for the KKK?), but becomes one when Sable has to kill an assassin from Chen's old all-female assassination squad. When they try to kill Sable for retribution, Chen quits and rejoins her old friends to protect Sable. They're awfully happy to see her...and it's here that I begin to suspect maybe these ladies have more in common than being hired killers.
|I guess they have to commit murder-for-hire to afford their crippling houseplant addictions.|
Fell for her, too...I'm not reading too much into this, am I?
Yeah, uh. I'm not even sure this is subtext anymore.
Anyway, Chen fakes her first kill with Sandman's help, but that won't help at her next job, since all four of our Sapphic sicarii are tagging along. Worse, they've figured out that she's fakin' it. Luckily, Sable knows where they're going to be, as she finagled that information out of her ex-husband, '80s rock supergroup/international assassin Foreigner. She drops in just as Chen's being stalked through a hedge maze, and jealousy rears its ugly head.
|Did I mention these lesbian assassins are also ninjas?|
The assassins are defeated, Chen's welcomed back into the fold, and next issue everyone plays Mesoamerican basketball with Mayan ghosts. Yeah, this was kind of a weird book.
So what do you think? Am I seeing phantom lesbians here, possibly due to reading too much of this blog? Or did Wright sneak a little of the love that dare not speak its name into a goofy '90s action book?
Update! Gregory Wright confirms, via Twitter, that these chicks do not in fact dig dudes. He also confirms that those sweaters are ugly.