Welcome back to There She Grows!
Hopefully, everyone had a relaxing weekend. Let’s start this new week by examining a black and white comic which parodies the French animated series “Totally Spies!” Totally Spies! ran for six seasons and spurred several spin-off projects such as comic books, novels, video games, and a prequel movie.
The show featured three teenage girls (Alex, Clover, and Sam) from Beverly Hills who protect the world as spies for the World Organization of Human Protection (WOOHP). A classmate and rival named Mandy also appeared as well as a nerd by the name of Arnold who was attracted to Clover.
The series first aired on American TV in early November 2001 and cycled through a few different networks starting with Fox Family / ABC Family, then Cartoon Network, and finally Universal Kids. The entire series can now be found on YouTube, as of this writing.
On its own, Totally Spies! is already known in transformation communities because several scenes featured the young ladies undergoing various fantastic metamorphoses. Those ranged from Alex becoming extra muscular during Episode 7 of Season 3, Clover and Mandy turning into giantesses in Episode 7 of Season 4, and Alex changing into a cat girl in Episode 2, Season 6. With that history, it’s easy to see why Totally Spies! was a prime candidate to remake as a female muscle growth (FMG) tale called “Totally Super Spies.”
This FMG tale started with “Everybody wants to rule the world” in early August 2017 and the most recent issue, “Big Trouble,” was published in mid-June 2021. Each was written by Philip Lawson and Steeleblazer with art by Dracowhip. Of note, Steeleblazer’s DeviantArt page contains a few samples taken from each issue. The installments consist of 22 to 24 pages including front covers and house ads at the end promoting Mighty Female Muscle Comix.
There were few overarching story arcs or ongoing developments so customers can read these out of order without difficulties. A device called the FMG Belt was introduced in the first issue, but I’m confident that readers can gleam its purpose from the name alone. There was also a giant lizard, later dubbed “kaijuki,” who first appeared in #2, was subsequently shrunk, and then restored to city-stomping dimensions in #4.
Additionally, while based on Totally Spies!, the three ladies actually have different names than the original characters in the source material. Here the three protagonists are called Kat, Loni, and Pam respectively. (SIDE NOTE: It’s possible those names were taken from another franchise, but I don’t recognize them.)
The first three parts sell for $7.50 with the fourth selling for $8. Every one features muscle growth with one panel in #4 featuring breast expansion and every issue having lots of non-graphic violence, but no sex and very little nudity. The women may grow extremely large, but it’s just like we all learned in science class, “Nature abhors an exposed nipple.” At least, that’s what I learned 😉
Many puns were used and jokes were made about older media properties. I didn’t mind them personally, but did question their relevance for younger folks. For example, a callback to a famous bit from the Honeymooners sitcom was made. The original lines in that 1950s TV sitcom were statements like “One of these days, Alice – Pow! Right in the kisser!” and “You’re going to the moon.“
Not for nothing, but the Honeymooners originally aired from 1955 to 1956; so, the reference felt dated. (NOTE: To be fair, mainstream animated shows have also mentioned the Honeymooners. For example, Futurama’s Episode 2 from Season 1 pointed out that the lines were a metaphor for spousal abuse. Although, even that Futurama episode aired more than 20 years ago!) I’m curious if readers in their 20s and 30s have much familiarity with the Honeymooners.
Furthermore, famous heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali’s line “Float Like A Butterfly Sting Like A Bee,” from 1964 when he was called Cassius Clay, was also parodied. That was cool, and I feel confident that the quote is well-known, but it again felt old. This is not to say that aging references shouldn’t be used, but rather to advocate that more modern callbacks should have also been made so this comic would feel fresh.
Turning to the artwork, I liked it. There were some fun panels showcasing the beefy gals laying the smackdown on various thugs, such as the following kick that takes out three opponents at once:
Although, in a perfect world these comics would have been in color. Nonetheless, I enjoyed these penciled renditions. Overall, I recommend Totally Super Spies to female domination and FMG fans.
That’s it for now, Thursday’s review will be a bit different. Instead of examining a modern size-fetish work, that review will cover a Tex Avery cartoon, “King-Size Canary,” from way back in 1947. It’s old, even more so than the Honeymooners and Muhammad Ali quotes that I just got done critiquing. However, I hope to show that the cartoon is still inspiring size-fetish creators today. Until then, keep growing!
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