Antarctic Press was the first Indy publisher of comics that I ever fully embraced. Right around the time that mainstream comics were getting too "extreme" for their own good, when holographic foil covers were more important than a cohesive story, and the loyal followers of Image comics were all feeling the pangs of regret, all the second-tier publishers like Dark Horse and Antarctic were quick to pick up the slack and provide fresh new stories and characters for the disenchanted masses. One of the long-lasting hits from this era was Warrior Nun Areala from Ninja High School creator, Ben Dunn. The story is pretty straightforward. Sister Shannon Masters is chosen to take on the mantle of Areala, the warrior spirit of a Valkyrie who had renounced her Norse Gods and vowed to become a servant of the Catholic Church. She becomes a member of a very "Knights Templar"-type secret society within the church called the Order of the Cruciform Sword. The comics had an anime style, but this action figure is even moreso since it was the design of a failed attempt to produce an Anime based off the property in 1994.
The anime never happened, but the more animated design looks great (and I much prefer this toy over the standard comic version - which had cloth robes and a rather bland expression).
One of the great things about this comic series is that it tricks you. Judging by the name, the character design, and the initial shock value of the concept, you might expect to find a sacrilegious campy romp of a comic. This is not the case. In fact, a consistent criticism about the book is that it is very one-sided in only painting the Catholic Church in a positive light. I always enjoy being surprised like that (at least if the result is a good story!)
My favorite part of this action figure is the sculpting of the cloth. It's very dynamic and fun. Unfortunately, it also completely hinders most of her articulation. Her legs and head are pretty much stationary. (Her habit is made of a rigid shell-like plastic, not flexible at all).
Areala come with a single sword accessory
Here is a cool opening sequence to the never-produced Warrior Nun Areala Anime. This intro is the only remnant of the project.
I thought the detail on her glove was especially cool
Time for a Comparison Shot!
My other favorite Antarctic Press Toy, Cheetah.