Cavewoman is an American comic book created by Budd Root. It has been 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 discovers 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.
- 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 positive.
- All Just a Dream: Some of the events of It's a Girl's Life (specifically the 'booty competition') according to Carrie's Oasis Diary.
- Alpha Bitch: Lonnie Ravenwood was apparently this to Carrie in high school. Meriem later earns her wrath by overturning her car.
- Animals Not to Scale: Klyde is a lot bigger than any real-life gorilla.
- Apparently Human Merfolk: In Deep Water, Meriem fights an apparently human merwoman (albeit one with an unusual skin tone if the cover is to be believed). Her exact motivations are murky, and a rematch in the future seems likely.
- Author Appeal: Under later writer/artist Rob Durham, Meriem can be seen sporting a pair of yellow snake-skin thigh-highsnote . You can easily tell when a book is written by him, as no matter sun or rain, wind or snow, Meriem will be wearing them.
- After receiving repeated requested from the readers to draw her in them, a couple other artists have started to do it to, though it's not universal.
- Awkward First Sleepover: In It's a Girl's Life, Carrie decides to throw a Slumber Party for Meriem and Mona after learning that Meriem had never been to one (having spent her teen years in the jungle). Mona, who had a very sheltered upbringing, finds it quite awkward at first, as Carrie throws a slumber party that is much more 'adult' than she was expecting.
- Barely-There Swimwear: In Pool Party, Carrie supplies some swimsuits for the party that don't cover very much:Carrie: Oh no! They seemed a lot bigger in the store...
Mona: You've got to be kidding.
Carrie:: They say "one size fits all" on the tag.
Meriem: Yeah, if you're two feet tall.
- Battle in the Rain: A very big chunk of ''Rain''.
- Beach Episode: In It's Not Quite Malibu, Meriem, Carrie and Mona take time off to recover from their recent travails by going to the beach. Much gratuitous Fanservice ensues.
- Beastly Bloodsports: Meriem is forced to fight animals as part of the Gladiator Games in Oasis.
- Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In Starship Blish #1, Meriem knocks a fazer out of the hands of one of the starship crew with a thrown knife.
- Blinding Camera Flash: In River Styx, Meriem uses the flash on a photographer's camera to blind a cave-dwelling Killer Gorilla whose eyes are adapted to functioning in very low levels of light.
- Borrowed Biometric Bypass: In Markham's Mansion, Meriem severs Hugo Markham's hand to force him to drop his sword. She later presses the severed hand against the palm reader to activate all the booby traps.
- Breaking Out the Boss: At the start of Raptorella's Revenge, Raptorella's followers bust her out the Marshville jail.
- Bridge Logic: Meriem uses a fallen tree to span a chasm while trying to escape from Raptorella. She is halfway across when Raptorella catches up to her.
- Buried Alive: 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 Meriem woke up in the grave the Marshville residents had buried her in.
- Car Fu: In Ankha's Revenge, Carrie flies one of the flying discs into Ankha, knocking her away from Meriem.
- Caught in a Snare: At the end of Killing Dinos 101 Summer Break, Miriem steps in a snare she had set earlier and forgotten about and ends the issue dangling upside down.
- Chainsaw Good: In Labyrinth, Meriem is attacked by a zombie cyborg guard who has a chainsaw for an arm.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Before she vanished from the modern era, young Meriem was a childhood best friend to Bruce Kabbit. When the two reunited in the prehistoric past, they became adult lovers and even had sex at the end of the first story arc.
- Clothesline Stealing: In Shorts, Meriem finds herelf naked yet again, and 'borrows' a pair of Daisy Dukes and a slightly too small shirt from a clothesline on the outskirts of Marshville.
- Clothing Damage: This is a frequent occurrence with Meriem. In particular, the My Little Dino one-shot is nothing but a full issue of her Fur Bikini being gradually reduced to tinier and tinier proportions.
- Deadly Disc: In Rampage, Meriem uses a manhole cover to decapitate the Lizard Folk rampaging through downtown Marshville.
- Diamonds in the Buff: As first seen in Oasis, and later explored in much greater depth in Carrie's Oasis Diary, the King of Oasis kidnaps women for his harem and dresses them in Stripperific outfits; sometimes consisting of just gold chains hanging from their nipples and belly buttons.
- Disposable Vagrant: Raptorella mentions that she began Hunting the Most Dangerous Game using the homeless as her prey, and gradually worked her way up to more challenging targets.
- Fanservice Faux Fight: In It's a Girl's Life, Meriem, Carrie and Mona engage in a pillow fight at the end of their girls' night out.
- 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.
- Fashion-Shop Fashion Show: Meriem, Carrie and Mona do this when buying outfits for their girls' night out in It's a Girl's Life.
- 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'.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Right at the start of Jungle Tales #3, Meriem's bikini gets stolen, but that doesn't stop her from beating the crap out of a pervy hillbilly and trying to save his daughter by fighting off Quasi-Birds completely naked.
- 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.
- Girl's Night Out Episode: It's a Girl's Life has Carrie taking Meriem and Mona out on a traditional girls' night out after she discovers neither of them has ever experienced one.
- Gladiator Games: Meriem is forced into an arena called the 'Bowl of Bones' in Oasis.
- Go-Go Enslavement: As first seen in Oasis, and later explored in much greater depth in Carrie's Oasis Diary, the King of Oasis kidnaps women for his harem and dresses them in Stripperific outfits; sometimes consisting of just gold chains hanging from their nipples and belly buttons.
- Hands-On Approach: In Rescue Party, Muggs gives Carrie some hands on training when showing her how to use a LAW. When he tells her to ensure that the weapon is fully extended while pressing against her, she archly comments that it feels like his weapon is already fully extended.
- 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 Librarian: Meriem embodies this trope and rocks the Hot Librarian look in Killing Dinos 101.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Raptorella captures Miriem and uses her as the prey in the game - having started with Disposable Vagrants and working way up to Miriem as the ultimate prey - in Cavewoman: Raptorella.
- 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.
- I'll Take Two Beers Too: From It's a Girl's Life:Carrie: Three extra large pizzas.
Meriem: That's only one apiece!
Mona: Ha! Ha!
Meriem: What's funny?
- Iron Butt-Monkey: She takes a ridiculous amount of punishment, and gets back up. Good Thing You Can Heal indeed.
- Jungle Princess: Meriem, the titular "Cavewoman".
- Killer Gorilla: Klyde. A humongous, Nigh-Invulnerable super-gorilla that can wipe the floor with any kind of dinosaur.
- King Kong Copy: Klyde is a giant gorilla that wrestles with dinosaurs.
- Laser Hallway: One features in Markham's Mansion, and Meriem has to spend several pages squirming her way through it: contorting her body into all kinds of... interesting positions in the process.
- Little Miss Badass: Meriem survived and thrived in the prehistoric world since she was at least 8-10 years old.
- Lost World: Prehistoric Earth, after Grandville is sent back in time to it. And even it has a few "Lost Worlds" of their own, such as the titular "Panagean Sea".
- 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 bitten by highly venomous giant spiders, being electrocuted when she grasps the halves of a main power line, being pummeled by werewolves, Yeti and other monsters, being bashed around and beaten up by a Killer Gorilla, having her throat crushed by a Carnotaurus trying to bite her head off...
- Magic Mirror: In A Wizard, A Sorceress and Meriem, Teegan uses a magic mirror to bring Meriem and Carrie through to her dimension.
- Manly Men Can Hunt: In Cavewoman: Mutation, macho Jerkass Eddy declares, "A man ain't a man if he can't kill his own food!" Crosses cover with A Real Man Is a Killer.
- 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.
- Mistaken for Gay: In A Wizard, A Sorceress and Meriem, Zordu and Teegan refer to Carrie as Meriem's 'consort'. Leads to this exchange:Zordu: Do not worry. Your consort will be well cared for.
Meriem: What's a consort?
Zordu: Your lover, of course.
Carrie: No way! We're both strictly dickly.
Teegan: Are you sure?
- Ms. Fanservice: Meriem. Amazonian Beauty, Nubile Savage, Action Girl, and a pretty hefty amount of time running around in various degrees of nakedness.
- Neck Snap: Ankha kills Carrie this way while Meriem is paralysed and can only watch helplessly in Ankha's Revenge.
- 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 to perform a Heroic Sacrifice helping Meriem.
- Nubile Savage: Meriem. And the artists sure like to keep reminding us of this.
- Offhand Backhand: Meriem does this to a guy who attempts to grope her butt in Leave My Man Alone.
- 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.
- Outdoor Bath Peeping: In Castaway, one of the castaways spies on Meriem while she is bathing in a lagoon on the island. When she works out what has happened, Meriem takes another bath to lure him out of hiding.
- Parallel Porn Titles: In It's a Girl's Life, Carrie shows Meriem and Mona a porno called Greased at their Slumber Party. Afterwards, Mona comments "I'll never think about 'hand jive' the same way again".
- 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.
- Pool Scene: Pool Party is an excuse to have the main female characters first Skinny Dipping, and then cavorting in Barely-There Swimwear when the guests arrive.
- Prongs of Poseidon: The Apparently Human Merfolk who attacks Meriem in Deep Water uses a trident as her primary weapon. The trident motif is also represented in her Stripperific costume.
- 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!"
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Meriem is this as a result of having lived in the jungle since she was eight. In Quiver, she is able to track an archaeological expedition a month after it left (although this gets a Lampshade Hanging when she comments that it was a miracle she could find anything after all this time).
- Sexy Discretion Shot: As Meriem sneaks into Bruce's holding cell through the window, she accidentally lands in bed with him, losing the bottom half of her jungle bikini in the process. When two decide to enjoy their private moment together, the comic cuts to the outside cell window, focusing on the torn bikini while romantic music plays in the background.
- Shout-Out: Meriem's name is a shout out to Merian Cooper, director of King Kong.
- 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.
- Slumber Party: In It's a Girl's Life, Carrie decides to throw a slumber party for Meriem and Mona after learning that Meriem had never been to one (having spent her teen years in the jungle).
- Spirit Advisor: Gramps, after his death. Hard to tell whether he's just Meriem's imagination or flat-out a ghost, though.
- Statuesque Stunner: Meriem is about six-feet-something, towering over most of the cast.
- 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 Serum: Mona develops pills that temporarily confer on her (and later Carrie) Meriem's heightened endurance and Nigh-Invulnerability for a limited period. However, the pills have to be specifically tailored to the individual's biochemistry.
- Super-Strength: One of many benefits of Meriem's enhanced body, as well as being Made of Iron.
- Threatening Shark: In Deep Water, Meriem is attacked (while naked) by a megalodon. She kills it by swimming inside its gills and destroying them.
- Time Travel: Gramps' and Meriem's travel back in time to escape her abusive mother, and later on the whole of Grandville being transported 1662-style because of Gramps' malfunctioning equipment.
- Toilet Humor: There is an Overly-Long Gag regarding Cavewoman messily relieving herself in a McDonald's bathroom off-panel in ''Cavewoman: Reloaded" #6, 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.
- Trick Arrow: Raptorella uses arrows with explosive heads and acid tips when she is Hunting the Most Dangerous Game, using Miriem as her prey.
- Trouser Space: In Raptorella #2, Meriem produces a hand grenade she somehow had concealed in the bottom of her Fur Bikini.
- Updated Re-release: Cavewoman: Reloaded, to the original Cavewoman mini-series.
- Waking Up at the Morgue: 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 Klyde woke up while being prepped for dissection.
- Water Wake-up: In Raptorella's Revenge #1, Egomaniac Hunter Raptorella knocks out Carrie and kidnaps her; waking her up miles out of town by dumping a bucket of water on her face.
- Weaponized Camera: In River Styx, Meriem uses the flash on a photographer's camera to blind a cave-dwelling Killer Gorilla whose eyes are adapted to functioning in very low levels of light.