SwordCat Princess (formerly Eternal Knights) is a comic book series created, written, and illustrated by Caley Tibbittz Collopy. It is published online under the independent banner Eyes Painted Red Productions as a webcomic on Comic Fury.
SwordCat Princess stars suicidal immortal superheroine Kathryn "Artemis" Kennedy, who is haunted by a millennium of death and her failure to save her lover, family, and friends. In new friend NYPD Detective Erica Richards and new squire Julia (a faerie princess beginning a new life as a human), Kathryn again finds reasons to live... just as she finally finds a way to die.
Antagonists in the first story arc include Officer Jack Dawson (who blames Kathryn for his father's murder), Jonathan MacKnight (a billionaire who is dying of cancer and seeks to steal Kathryn's immortality), and Lord Oberon of Avalon (an incredibly powerful faerie king who seeks to control Kathryn's fate).
In addition to a focus on action, superhero adventure, and (often bawdy) humor, SwordCat Princess deals with serious themes of seeking purpose in life, suicide and suicidal thoughts and depression, seeking friendship and "found family". It features both heterosexual and homosexual (gay, lesbian, bisexual, LGBT) romantic elements. The Kathryn/Erica pairing may be described as a lesbian superhero romance, and is a major element of overarching plot.
The action and superhero stories are heavily character-driven, with interpersonal relationships between the characters general taking precedence over the procedural aspects.
(The comic is intended for mature readers; some pages are NSFW and feature nudity, sexual situations, expletives, and graphic violence.)
SwordCat Princess contains examples of the following tropes:
- The Alcoholic: Jack Dawson is often seen drinking at Zora DaiQuirides bar. He sometimes drinks while on duty. He has bottles of alcohol around his apartment, including a 40 of Pabst in his living room.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Lord Oberon appears nude but has no discernible genitals; James Barrington remarks upon this, noting that Oberon's "still got the Ken Doll genitalia". Oberon's princess daughter Julia arrives from Avalon similarly smooth in the crotch (though she quickly forms human genitalia in anticipation of intimacy with James).
- Boobs-and-Butt Pose: In SwordCat Princess, this pose is used for varying effect; in this example, it is meant to underscore sexual "heat" between Kathryn and MacKnight, even as she uses a broken window to chop off his hand to recover her ring. In this example, to underscore Kathryn's ability to split her focus and fighting skill into different extremities simultaneously.
- Buffy Speak: Erica clumsily lies about how she obtained Kathryn's phone number, offering "Detective-ing?" as her clearly false answer (on the first page of issue #5).
- Clark Kenting: Kathryn "disguises" herself as Artemis by wearing symmetrical stylized streaks of red paint over each eye. Despite the fact that her recently "deceased" alter ego Kathryn Kennedy looks exactly like Artemis without war paint, no one seems to notice that they are, in fact, the same person — until Erica finally notices and steals a red marker to draw the "disguise" over a newspaper photo of Kennedy. (The "paint" is actually the blood of her deceased first lover, Etienne.)
- Cleavage Window: Kathryn's SwordCat Princess costume, from her '90s Image Comics-y superheroing days, features a large cleavage window (made out of the same style of Omega she uses in her Artemis armor belt buckle).
- Cosmic Plaything: Kathryn tries to steer her own life, but Karma & Fate is working to steer her toward where she "must be" to do the most good. Lord Oberon and his sort-of employee, MacKnight are also continuously testing Kathryn without her knowledge.
- Country Matters: Arayna uses the C-word after "racist" as she grumbles epithets at her sister Kathryn for making her retract her vampire wings. Kathryn returns the favor upon recognizing Arayna's voice under the mask that "disguises" her as one of the bad guys.
- Custom Uniform of Sexy: Kathryn's Knights' uniform of armor and leather bares her cleavage, upper chest, and upper arms; James Barrington's armor covers all of these areas.
- Driven to Suicide: Kathryn seeks her own death after 1,000 years suffering losses of loved ones.
- Famous Ancestor: Kathryn is the semi-secret daughter of High King Brian Boru of Ireland. Julia and James acknowledge that she is the daughter of Lord Oberon.
- Fair Cop: Erica is attractive enough that she has previously posed nude for Pleb Boi (the in-universe analogue of Playboy magazine); she keep a framed copy of the magazine cover on her desk.
- Fake Boobs: Smiley steals Kathryn's breastplate and then wears it, stating that he has "gone up more cup sizes than a knocked-up Paltrow".
- Good Bad Girl: Erica is very sexually open and active. In the course of the first arc, she has sexual encounters with Nicky Dawson (the first one ending early with him holding underwear she forgot about). She also has sex with Kathryn "SwordCat" Kennedy after this kiss. She further admits to having previously slept with her adopted brother, Officer Jack Dawson.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Erica displays no romantic or sexual interest in any of the female cast — with the exception of Kathryn, with whom she flirts (musing on Kathryn's "mannish" hands ruining the fantasy end of things for her). They later share a lesbian kiss (and a lesbian much, much more).
- Immortality Bisexuality: Kathryn professes missing her dead male lovers, then displays her bisexuality by engaging in lesbian kissing and sex with Detective Erica Richards.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: fairy princess Julia flies from Avalon to New York naked (appearing to be body-painted/latexed blue, with no defined genitalia). She doesn't need protection from the elements and has no body shame, therefore she doesn't see a need for clothing. James Barrington clothes her via shoplifting.
- Invisible to Normals: The extranormal is hidden from the general populace by the Cloaker Field, a field generated by a hidden worldwide race called Cloakers; Jack's father explains this fact to him with a colorful "Cloakers, numbnuts!". Metahumans are not affected by the field, so they can see all extranormal beings and events.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Kathryn no longer engages verbally with those she saves, instead prompting them to run from danger by threatening them with her swords.
- Lesbian Cop: Erica initially "subtly" expressed lesbian feelings for Kathryn "Artemis" Kennedy; after helping to rescue Kathryn from an illegal police interrogation, they engaged in lesbian sex.
- Lesbian Vampire: Kathryn's sister Arayna is a lesbian vampire, and makes it known that she is not interested in being MacKnight's sexual stress relief on this page; aware of her orientation, MacKnight refers to her with the derogatory nickname "Tuna Salad". Arayna enjoys staring up at the anatomically-correct details of the crotch of a statue of Titania.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: James Barrington is sex-obsessed, which he demonstrates by peeking up under Julia's t-shirt after her shower to see if she is wearing underwear (she is not). James' sense of chivalry makes him a lovable letch, though, such as when he caters to Julia's ignorance of her own need for modesty in New York City by shoplifting a dress for her.
- Man in a Kilt: Leader of the Avalonian Guard, Ribwort, wears a kilt with nothing under it as observed by James Barrington — who later reveals that his own '90s superhero costume (with a moniker of Fangus Bitus) included a crotch-panel-free semi-kilt.
- Mr. Fanservice: MacKnight appears shirtless early and often, and then nude for a ritual he easily could have worn pants to.
- The Mole: In the first arc, Arayna is called in as a healer for the injured Julia, but was already secretly working for MacKnight, in disguise as Silver Smiley. She did so to help him create a "World Without Death", to make sure her sister Kathryn could never find a permanent death so she would definitely never die.
- Most Common Super Power: Most of the main female cast is of SwordCat Princess is large-breasted, with the artistic intention being to accentuate their warmth, softness, and womanly humanity; this is used as a visual counterpoint to the relatively small-breasted Arayna, to make her seem less soft and inviting in contrast.
- Naked on Arrival: Julia touches down in the human realm naked, but indistinctly so, appearing to be covered as though by latex/body paint.
- Naked People Trapped Outside: Immortal Kathryn regenerates, growing a new (naked) body after her head gets separated from her previous body. She is then stared at by dumbfounded cops before they chase her into an alley.
- Name McAdjective: James Barrington refers to the kilt-wearing Avalonian Guard Captain, Ribwort, as "Scotfaerie McFreeballer".
- Not Blood Siblings: Erica has had sexual relations with both of her adopted brothers: Jack, who she was raised with (and who she calls "sisterf***er at the end of this scene), and Nicky, who she was not raised with.
- Phallic Weapon: Kathryn fights with either a pair of katanas or a two-handed omega battle sword. She used the latter to phallic effect in penetrating the ground to try to resist Oberon's telekinetic pull toward his more feminine omega throne. Kathryn also carries an iron railroad spike to ward off faeries; she penetrates Julia's heart with it.
- Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Julia, who can dispense electric justice, despite her cloistered upbringing in Oberon's palace.
- Rebellious Princess: Kathryn, who ignored her father High King Brian Boru's wishes and learned to fight from the captain of his guard.
- Second Super-Identity: When the NYPD created a task force to capture Artemis, she continued to fight crime as SwordCat Princess.
- Secret Identity: Kathryn has had not one civilian secret identity, but a long chain of them throughout her life (each a supposed progenitor of the next). Her "ancestor" Kathryn O'Brien was actually her, as was recent homicide victim Kathryn Kennedy, whose "death" prompts Kathryn's Intellexi supervisor to urge her to select yet another new civilian alias.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Erica strips for fellow officer Nicky while on duty, and then forgets that she was even wearing panties (in the page preceding this one of Nicky keeping the underwear as a memento); she later shocks her co-workers by whipping off her hospital gown to dress while they're still in the room at the end of this scene.
- Super Sex Organs: Shackled, Kathryn tells MacKnight that she can use her magic ring to form metal wherever it is needed — her vagina, in this case. She makes it clear she has previously used this ability to chop a choke pear in half — warning him away from thoughts of sexual assault, should he have any (he doesn't).
- Sugar And Ice Girl: Faerie princess Julia is generally very warm and friendly, but can turn quite cold and indifferent to people's suffering when she feels threatened or when she is in a "reading" state and divining the nature of an object or person.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Erica throws her hands over Kathryn's exposed breasts after Smiley teleports her breastplate away with him at the end of this scene — ostensibly to maintain Kathryn's modesty, though Smiley is gone by then and, as Kathryn points out, Jack is unconscious.
- Vagina Dentata: Captured and shackled, Kathryn tells her captor that she can use her magic ring to form metal wherever needed. She makes it clear she has previously used this ability to chop a choke pear in half — warning him away from thoughts of sexual assault, should he have any.
- Wardrobe Malfunction: Smiley causes a wardrobe malfunction when he teleports Kathryn's breastplate away with him at the end of this scene.
- What the Hell, Hero?: James balks at Kathryn threatening Julia with an iron spike, and then Amapola and Ribwort of the Avalonian Guard each call her out on it directly, the latter contrasting the threat with Kathryn's history of honorable service as Artemis.