"This plague is one of the reasons this agency exists. Oldbloods and humans fighting it side-by-side. Makes a nice change from us fighting each other, I suppose.
In a world of Skins
where vampires and shape-shifters exist beside humans, an occult arms struggle has began. Young children with no names and no past are infected with supernatural plagues and sent into populated areas by occult terrorists.
One by one humans exposed to these plague carriers lose their humanity. Only the supernatural races who live on society’s edge
remain immune. The Coven
, a privately funded agency, recruits both Oldbloods and humans to fight these plagues and those behind them. The webcomic (and its lighter companion comic strip Under My Skin) focus primarily on an elite Coven team made up of the three main characters
- Captain Jordan Lee, the psychic leader and backbone of the trio.
- Vinegar ("Call me Vinnie") Tom, a feral Skin and Jordan's lover.
- Rabbit, a Smoke whose angelic appearance hides his highly dangerous abilities.
Skins contains examples of:
- The Ace: Tyr. He’s good-looking, intelligent and he’s the Director’s second-in-command, effortlessly running the Coven base.
- Action Girl: Jordan. She leads the three-man team, she’s excels at unarmed combat and she seems to mostly wear combats and military gear. She even cosplays as Commander Shepard when they go to a costume party.
- Ambiguously Bi: Tyr. He’s in love with Jordan but he takes it very well when Rabbit flirts with him and seems a little too enthusiastic when it comes to arresting a nude Rabbit for being drunk and disorderly (not to mention naked.)
- Ambiguous Gender: The Director.
- All Amazons Want Hercules: Jordan is the leader of the team and a powerful psychic yet the man she chooses to be with is the loyal but somewhat unstable team power-house Vinnie
- Back Story: Vinnie and Rabbit were recruited from prison by Jordan when they were all still teenagers.
- Badass: Vinnie. He rips open another monster's throat in a flashback scene during a prison fight and he's not much more than a teenager at the time. The first time we see him in the main story arc, he's hunting another werewolf soldier and in the next scene, he's shown holding the other soldier's severed head. Implying he tore it off with his bare hands!
- Badass Beard: Vinnie - his beard and Carpet of Virility enforce his role as the team's Badass
- Berserk Button: Never ever make sexual remarks about Jordan in front of Vinnie or Tyr. Vinnie put Rabbit in choke-hold when he hit on Jordan and Tyr broke a disrespectful recruit’s nose
- Bi the Way: Rabbit is openly bisexual. At one point, we see him with both a guy and girl on his arm. He flirts with both Jordan and Tyr.
- Body Horror: Where to begin? The comic opens with a young girl bleeding from the eyes. Later the Director shows Jordan a photograph of infected that looks like a mutated fetus with sharp teeth. The infected Sheriff’s face looks like it’s growing a deformed tumor. Generally, horror in Skins means people get very ugly verrrrry quickly.
- Boyish Short Hair: Jordan has short dark hair. Coupled with her toned build and pretty yet somewhat androgynous features, she looks a bit like a Bifauxnen.
- Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Rabbit is generally very sexual, hitting on Jordan and implied to enjoy threesomes with girls and guys. However, when he’s around Tyr, he’s very shy and acts almost innocent. Awwwww-
- Cock Fight: Tyr and Vinnie over Jordan. Tyr’s been in love with Jordan for years, only to lose her to Vinnie.
- Crapsack World: First the world was wrecked by a decade of occult warfare between Oldbloods and human. Once the war ended, occult technology from the war fell into the hands of bad guys and the plagues started.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Coven is largely staffed by Skins, Smokes and creatures that go bump in the night but they’re the one’s working to make the world a better place.
- Fantastic Racism: Jordan is Eurasian but that nobody seems to care. The real racial tension is between humans and Oldbloods.
- Healing Factor: When Vinnie's fighting another monster in jail during a flashback scene, he has a broken nose, black eye and his arm so badly broken that the bone is protruding from the skin. But after he shifts to werewolf form and back again he appears all healed up and actually looks quite handsome.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Vinnie and Jordan. He’s about 7 ft tall and she barely reaches his chest. How they have sex is anyone’s guess.
- Homoerotic Dream: Rabbit has a very explicit homoerotic bondage dream about Tyr, one of the male werewolf soldiers. So explicit that when Rabbit meets Tyr in the elevator the next day, he can't look him in the eye. This is made even funnier when Tyr asks if Rabbit slept well the night before and Rabbit blurts out that he didn't sleep, never mind dream and he certainly didn't dream anything about Tyr!!
- Homoerotic Subtext: Big-time between Vinnie and Rabbit. They argue Like an Old Married Couple and Rabbit often bites Vinnie when sparring. Considering Rabbit is a Smoke who find blood an aphrodisiac, that in itself is suggestive. In a flashback scene, after a teenage Vinnie wins a fight by ripping out his opponent's throat, he shoots a hot glance over his shoulder at Rabbit to see if he’s watching. They were also prison cellmates and everyone know how that works-
- Island Base: The Coven base is on an island
- Mistaken for Cheating: Jordan walks in on what seems to be Vinnie making out with another woman. It later turned out she spontaneously kissed him and only because she thought he was dead and was delighted to see him alive but Jordan was so mad she bashed Vinnie over the head with a whiskey bottle.
- Odd Friendship: Rabbit is a Pretty Boy vampire who treats life like a candystore and Vinnie is a hulking monosyllabic werewolf soldier who views it more as a barfight.
- Hell, even Jordan and Rabbit fit this trope. She's a driven workaholic psychic commander and Rabbit is...Rabbit. Yet they're best friends and possibly also lovers.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: In the comic, they’re called Skins and they look less like wolves and more like an mixture of different animals. Vinnie’s were-form has a mane and teeth like a sabretooth tiger. They also seem to change shape at will, not according to the moon. Silver does kill them though.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Rabbit is a Smoke and unlike traditional vampires, he can walk in sunlight and he feeds on the breath of the dying, not blood. Blood is just an aphrodisiac to Smokes - they drink it during sex. Smokes can also turn to smoke (duh!)
- Power Trio: Jordan, Rabbit and Vinnie.
- Pretty Boy: Rabbit. Slender, tall and leanly muscled, he has no body or facial hair and his features are quite feminine.
- Raging Stiffie: Implied. Rabbit meets Tyr in the elevator after having had an intense Homoerotic Dream about him the night before. In the last panel of the strip, he looks away blushing, hands cupped over his groin.
- Rated M for Manly: Let’s see? Tall, Dark and Handsome - yep! Carpet of Virility - yep! Heroic Build - and how! Vinnie fits this trope perfectly. In fact so does Tyr (apart from the Carpet of Virility. Word of God says Tyr shaves his body hair) and just about every other male Skin.
- Sex Is Violence: Rabbit. He seems to take almost sexual pleasure in combat, even when losing.
- Smoking Is Cool: Jordan is shown almost always smoking. She casually lights up in the Director's office (possibly as a sign of contempt when her boss questions one of Jordan's military decisions) and ignores a Non-smoking sign in a hospital ward and continues smoking around a comatose Vinnie. To be fair, he is a werewolf so presumably it takes a little bit more than mere cigarette smoke to harm him.
- Threesome Subtext: Jordan, Vinnie and Rabbit. The three of them are shown to be very close - when Rabbit walks in on Jordan and Vinnie getting freaky, it’s portrayed to be a usual occurrence. Vinnie is quick to correct a bartender who assumes they're in a three-way relationship. Unfortunately, at the moment, Jordan bursts into the bar telling Vinnie and Rabbit to come home because she's not waiting up for them.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Jordan. In flashback scene she walks in on what appears to be Vinnie and Rabbit about to make out and she tells them to ignore her interruption and keeps going. (They were actually arguing - she just walked in at just the wrong moment.)