Chicago Spanking Review

Hellcat Bets Her Bottom Dollar - and Loses

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lunatik gives hellcat a stroke with a metal rod

Pencils by Herb Trimpe, inks by Mike Esposito. © Marvel Comics Inc. Posted by the Web-Ed on 04/09/2010

To conclude our series "Marvel Spankings That Didn't Quite Come Off," we have this bizarre example taken from The Defenders #70 (April 1979). It's a little hard to tell from this one panel, but the "spanking" action takes place in the middle of a fight between Hellcat and the issue's villain, Lunatik. Hellcat is not voluntarily bending over for punishment, she just happens(?) to land in a bent-over position after taking an unsuccessful flying leap at Lunatik. Lunatik then takes full advantage of her position to give her a really hard stroke across her behind with a steel rod - "Ow" indeed. Guys, that's no way to spank a lady!

We trust it's unnecessary to caution our readers not to try this in real life. Some other time we'll compare the various materials that can be used to make canes; for now, suffice it to say that when caning, rattan is best, and metal rods are a definite no-no.

defenders #70 complete spanking page

The complete page 22 from The Defenders #70 (Web-Ed's collection]. © Marvel Comics Inc.

Here is the complete page to help make it a bit easier to understand the sequence of events. Since Lunatik's dialogue contains references to thirty year-old popular culture, a few words of explanation may be in order. "Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't" is a double-reference to a candy bar commercial and Lunatik's own state of mind (he's not called "Lunatik" for nothing). "The sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar" is a double-reference to the hit song "Tomorrow" from the musical Annie, and of course to poor Hellcat's bottom.

We always like visual or verbal references that indicate how much the spankee felt the spanking, and we do at least get that much here when Hellcat announces, "I won't be able to sit for a week!" It does seem a little strange that she would admit to Lunatik just how effective his stroke was; but then again, that was sort of the style back then - lots of talking all the way through a fight scene.

The Defenders are not one of the better-known superhero groups, but they were around for a number of years. Interestingly, this is their second appearance in this gallery, the first one occurring here, where The Spanker spanks Beverly Switzler. That one was written by the late Steve Gerber and this one by Ed Hannigan, so at first it would seem there could have been no hidden spanking agenda. It's plain that Herb Trimpe rendered the rod-stroke in a matter-of-fact, non-erotic manner, and yet we wonder. For on the very next page, Hellcat returns the favor by applying her boot to the seat of Lunatik's pants, saying "Now it's my turn to warm your back pockets!" Were these "spanking" moves in the middle of a standard superhero fight scene a disguised expression of spanko fantasies? It's hard to say. Maybe it was just an attempt to bring some variety to the standard superhero punch-'em-up. This is the only "spanking" Hannigan ever wrote (or Trimpe ever drew, for that matter) as far as we know.

Speaking of Trimpe, we always thought his best work for Marvel was a few years earlier on The Incredible Hulk, when he was inked by himself or by John Severin. Mike Esposito, who inked Trimpe here, worked with many different pencillers during his long career, perhaps most notably Ross Andru.

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