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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cosplay pin-up girl: Lashina

Spotted at 2012's Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) and photographed by Pat Loika, Julie Wilhelm cosplayed as the former leader of the Female Furies (as first introduced in Jack Kirby's Mister Miracle v1). Being a member of Jack Kirby's Fourth World, Lashina played a big part in the New Gods/Apokolips mythos, but was pretty much confined to that corner of the DC universe.

After Mister Miracle v1's first run ended in 1974, Lashina was nary heard from again - until she was featured in John Ostrander's Suicide Squad ongoing series (1987). The late 80s were a good time to be a Fourth World character, as they were starting to appear more often in the mainstream DCU (mostly thanks to their involvement in the Super Powers Collection action figure line). Mister Miracle and Big Barda became members of the Justice League in 1987, Darkseid became a force to be reckoned with in the 1986 LEGENDS cross-over event*, and a relatively unknown member of the Female Furies became a regular character in Suicide Squad.

Lashina didn't appear in Suicide Squad as herself per se, she took on the moniker of 'Duchess' - a tough-as-nails mercenary styled after the likes of Ellen Ripley (Alien, 1979) or a female-version of John Rambo (First Blood, 1982). The big budget action blockbuster, as a film genre, was quite popular in the United States during the 1980s - so re-branding Lashina this way for a then-contemporary audience was very tactful on Ostrander's part. I love Ostrander's series for the fact that he took older, obscure DC characters (usually villains) and integrated them into a book where they could potentially be killed off on a whim. Pure genius.

So enough about Duchess, and more about Lashina. I really like this particular cosplay photo, as it depicts exactly how I would imagine Lashina if she were a real person (fighting stance and all). The sheer intensity and determination in Willhelm's eyes would make me seriously think twice about taking on this ferocious hand-to-hand combatant. Much credit needs to be given to the photographer, Pat Loika, who chose the correct angles to photograph the subject.Thanks again to Pat Loika for allowing us to publish this photo.

*Darkseid was also the primary antagonist in 1982's The Great Darkness Saga, but that kind of detracts from my point, so I'm going to omit it. ;)

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