On Warrior Nuns

I picked up a comic this week. The cover was intriguing — a nun, in her habit, with a big-ass sword, and a demon or somesuch behind her.

A nun. With a sword.

There seems to be a whole genre of comics based around the concept of warrior nuns.

There’s Antarctic Press’ Warrior Nun Areala. There’s Top Cow’s Magdalena — she’s descended from Mary Magdalene, and she wields the Spear of Destiny. There’s the manga Chrono Crusade. I’m sure there are dozens more, of which I’m completely unaware.

Warrior nuns.

Sometimes wearing the traditonal habit, like in Chrono Crusade. Sometimes wearing a sexualized outfit, like the Magdalena.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the concept.

Warrior nuns.

Historically, nuns didn’t have military orders. Monks did — the Knights Templar and the Order of St. John come to mind. But the Templars were destroyed by the Papacy and the French, and the Hospitallers (members of the Order of St. John) haven’t been an military force for centuries.

Nuns didn’t pick up swords and go fight demons. Are nuns even allowed to perform exorcisms?

I’m trying to figure out the appeal of warrior nuns.

On the one hand, there’s something obviously incongruous about a nun in a habit wielding a sword that someone like Conan would bear into battle.

On the other hand, there’s something obviously wrong about seeing nuns held up as T&A objects.

On the gripping hand, it’s probably about messing around with societal assumptions. Nuns are supposed to be pious and unglamorous. They’re not normally held up as sexually alluring, shitkicking warriors.

I’m clearly overthinking this. Like I overthought fantasy heroines and their chain-mail bikini outfits.

Busty nuns getting medieval with big-ass swords.

Maybe there are just some things in this world that don’t make sense.

Maybe this is one of those things.

The comic was interesting, by the way. 😉

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