is an American comic book published primarily by Basement Comics and additionally by Caliber Comics and Avatar Press. The story follows superhuman Meriem Cooper, a voluptuous Nubile Savage
in a snakeskin bikini, as she battles dinosaurs.
Meriem Cecilbie Cooper is born in July 1980 to parents Robert Addam Cooper and Gail Nicole Reicher, in the town of Marshville, Oregon. After Robert dies of unknown causes, Gail turns to drugs, which leads her to fall in with an unsavory group of men. Eventually wanting to sever her ties with this group for Meriem's sake, Gail seeks the help of Meriem's scientist-inventor grandfather, Francis Peacock Reicher, affectionately called "Gramp." After first being thwarted, Gramp makes a mysteriously superhuman return, defeating the men easily and taking Meriem away on a hovercycle from the future.
At Gramp's laboratory, Meriem discoveres a time machine and a body-enhancing device that allows a living being to pass through the time stream. It is here that she first meets Klyde, Gramp's 15-foot-tall lab gorilla who has been accidentally altered by the body enhancer. Gramp then enhances Meriem as well, and the trio begins an ongoing adventure through time while on the run from dinosaurs and a secret branch of the government.
As events transpire, Gramp is written out of the story when he is killed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex
and Meriem stayed far from the cave in which they settled down. After a fierce fight with local carnivores near the "Quasi-Birds" nests, Meriem ended up naked when her clothes were torn off during the fight. Upon aging into a buxom 19-year-old, Meriem had lived in the local jungles naked (except for her hunting weapons), savage, happy and free. Dinosaurs were taught to fear her. Meriem reunited with Klyde, who attacked her and broke her weapons. She then returned to the cave where she and Gramps had settled down. Not wanting to be naked and savage anymore, she eventually made a jungle bikini (with dinosaur teeth hanging on the strings) out of a leopard-printed snakeskin blanket. She also avenged her grandfather by slaying the tyrannosaurus responsible for killing him, but rescued two tyrannosaurus hatchlings from velociraptors. One hatchling, named Harmony, became Meriem's companion and the other, named Peace, became her enemy.
Later, the whole town of Marshville is transported into a primitive past.
Cavewoman contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: It's Gramps' efforts at getting Meriem away from her mother that starts the whole thing. Meriem's mother comes back in time with the rest of Marshville, and her encounter with Meriem and asking for forgiveness is pretty heartwarming.
- Amazonian Beauty: Meriem.
- Badass Grandpa: Gramps.
- Battle in the Rain: A very big chunk of ''Rain''.
- Beastly Bloodsports: Meriem is forced to fight animals as part of the Gladiator Games in Oasis.
- Big Bra to Fill: Cavewoman: The Movie, played this for laughs, as the actress set to play Cavewoman (in-universe) was a few cup sizes short of her comic book counterpart, and didn't she know it.
- Bleached Underpants: There is a LOT of official mature content (mature-rated alternate covers, mature artbooks, etc).
- Chainsaw Good: In Labyrinth, Meriem is attacked by a zombie cyborg guard who has a chainsaw for an arm.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Meriem.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: While the most regular threats have been dinosaur attacks, the characters in general (and Meriem in specific) have had to deal with such things as werewolves, mutants, aliens, vampires, ghosts and even cyborgs.
- Flying Car: Gramps had a flying motorcycle.
- Forced Prize Fight: In Oasis, Meriem is abducted and forced to fight in Gladiator Games in an arena called the 'Bowl of Bones'.
- Fur Bikini: One more item on Meriem's Ms. Fanservice list. When she's not battling half- (or totally) nude.
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Because (their) time travel could have been fatal without it, Meriem, Gramps and Klyde were enhanced to be much hardier than a normal human. Not that this saves Gramps. When he's killed by a dinosaur and Meriem runs away, she comes back weeks later to find Gramps' super-tough body mummified, because the dino hadn't been quite able to eat it.
- Giant Spiders: Meriem runs afoul of a nest of giant black widow spiders in Deadly Venom.
- Gladiator Games: Meriem is forced into an arena called the 'Bowl of Bones' in Oasis.
- Heroic BSOD: Meriem experiences one in Primal when she believes Bruce is dead. She charges into the jungle in a dinosaur-slaying frenzy, seemingly trying to get herself killed.
- Hot Teacher/Hot Librarian: Meriem embodies this trope (and rocks the Hot Librarian look) in Killing Dinos 101.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Meriem's body needs a lot of food to fuel itself and more when she's injured, to the point she has torn off and eaten a piece of a monster while it is attacking her in a moment of need. Cavewoman: Reloaded gets a Toilet Humor gag a couple of pages long out of the ensuing results.
- Iron Buttmonkey: She takes a ridiculous amount of punishment, and gets back up. Good Thing You Can Heal indeed.
- Jungle Princess
- Killer Gorilla: Klyde
- Little Miss Badass: Meriem survived and thrived in the prehistoric world since she was at least 8-10 years old.
- Lost World
- Made of Iron: This and a Healing Factor helps Meriem shrug off such things as fighting velociraptors (by the dozen), falling off cliffs (or from high in the air, thanks to a Pteranodon taking off with her), near-drowning, being hit by tails, being attacked by vampires, being shot, being bashed around and beaten up by a Killer Gorilla, having her throat crushed by a Carnotaurus trying to bite her head off...
- Mass Teleportation: The entire town of Marshville is transported back to the prehistoric past.
- Meditating Under a Waterfall: Subverted in one issue, in which Meriem attempted to have a moment like this... but then raptors came, stole her bikini, and she spent the rest of the glorious issue killing velociraptors, naked.
- Metronomic Man Mashing: A pretty brutal example of it is how Klyde "kills" Meriem in Cavewoman: Rain.
- Most Common Superpower: In spades!
- Ms. Fanservice: Meriem.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Appearances of characters which look like Abbott and Costello and Bela Lugosi as Dracula happen in Rain and Panagean Sea, respectively. "Dracula" even gets a Crowning Moment of Awesome and a Heroic Sacrifice helping Meriem.
- Nubile Savage
- Only Mostly Dead: Klyde and Meriem battle on Cavewoman: Rain, apparently killing each other. In reality, the beatdown (and other damages) had been bad enough that they had been knocked into a death-like coma... from which they woke up while being prepped for dissection and on the grave the Marshville residents had buried her in, respectively. The letters section of the comic even explicitly refers to The Death of Superman on that issue.
- Open Sesame: The pass phrase to open a particular magical portal is "Oh my God! I don't want to die!". See The Password Is Always Swordfish below.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: The phrase needed to open a magical portal is "Oh my God! I don't want to die!". As the portal is guarded by flesh-eating yetis, this has resulted in a lot of intruders accidentally saying the activation phrase.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: In Cavewoman: Mutation, macho Jerkass Eddy declares, "A man ain't a man if he can't kill his own food!".
- Schedule Slip: A notorious example. Some comics still come out, but they are drawn by artists other than creator Budd Root, who has gotten so bogged down by pin-up commissions his story output is essentially nil.
- Sinister Scythe: In The Zombie Situation, Meriem uses a scythe to mow down a horde of zombies.
- Skinny Dipping: One of the first casualties to the dinosaurs of the whole comic was doing this. His girlfriend is found, naked and catatonic, on a later scene of the same issue. Meriem is pretty fond of it, as well.
- Spirit Advisor: Gramps, after his death.
- Statuesque Stunner: Meriem
- Strapped to an Operating Table: In Labyrinth, Meriem is strapped to an operating table after being captured by a zombie cyborg guard in an abandoned military research facility. Because she is superhumanly strong, this situation does not last long.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: One of Meriem's explicit powers is an enhanced capacity to hold her breath... and capacity to expel water from her lungs even if unconscious. The story Sea Monsters, among others, shows this at full capacity.
- Super Strength: One of many benefits of Meriem's enhanced body, as well as being Made of Iron.
- Time Travel
- Toilet Humor: There is an Overly Long Gag regarding this in ''Cavewoman: Reloaded", as part of the Updated Re-release. The author mentions the exact point where the reader may wish to skip it.
- Trapped in the Past: Gramps more-or-less exiles himself and his granddaughter Meriem in the prehistoric past. The entire town of Marshville is later accidentally transported into the past.
- Updated Re-release: Cavewoman: Reloaded, to the original Cavewoman mini-series.