Friday, December 28, 2012

YANKEE GIRL "Your Karma Ran Over My Dogma"

Here's a story created in the Golden Age, but published in the Silver Age...
Art by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito
...featuring a character who appeared in only one other story, as shown HERE!
This tale from IW Comics' Danger #16 (1964), illustrated by Ralph Mayo, was part of the unpublished inventory purchased from the defunct Chesler Publishing company.
It was probably intended for the never-published Dynamic Comics #26-29.
(The series ran from #1-25, then #30!)
No origin story was ever done by the strip's creators, but other writers/artists continued with new tales from the 1990s to the present, including an origin.
The cover for Danger was done by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, who were illustrating Wonder Woman for DC at the time!
There was a previous Yankee Girl from Chester, but she was a spy, not a costumed heroine.

Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrl power!

Support Small Business!

Friday, December 21, 2012

CAVE GIRL "Shadow-God of Korchak"

We ran the first couple of classic Cave Girl stories HERE...
...but she belongs in this blog with other wonderful women who protect the helpless and innocent (and look great doing it)!
In the 1940s-50s, one of the most popular genres in comics was the "jungle hero", the most famous one of all being Tarzan.
A horde of imitators followed, with some interesting variations, including an entire sub-genre--the "jungle heroine"!
While many had weird names like "Sheena", "Rulah", or "Zoot", one of the best-illustrated was known only as "Cave Girl"!

Beginning as a backup in the first issue of Frank Frazetta's Thun'da comic, Cave Girl was a little girl named Carol, whose explorer parents were killed by natives in the jungle they were mapping.
Before Carol could also be put to death, an eagle swooped down and took the child to it's nest.
There, the eagle and a wolf raised the girl to young adulthood, teaching her how to survive and communicate with other animals.
Though in the first couple of stories, the jungle was shown to be home to timelost creatures like sabretooth tigers and Neanderthals, by the time she got her own title, it was pretty much a generic jungle heroine strip...with one notable exception!
Legendary "good girl" and romance artist Bob Powell handled the art as Cave Girl cut a svelte path thru Africa's villains from backup feature in every issue of Thun'da to four exciting issues of her own title as well as a one-shot entitled Africa: Thrilling Land of Mystery!

This story from Magazine Enterprises' Thun'da #4 (1953) was written by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Bob Powell.

When next you see Cave Girl, it'll be her origin story (which was not her first published tale)! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

SOUTH SEA GIRL "Murder Goes Native"

You think Lindsay Lohan is a real Hollywood bitch?
Meet Lilli Sharon...
...who makes Lindsay look like Mother Teresa!
This tale from Leader's Seven Seas Comics #4 (1947) was scripted by Manning Lee Stokes with art by legendary "good-girl" artist Matt Baker, who also illustrated most of the legendary Fox Comics Phantom Lady series (which we're currently running HERE).
Stokes was a pulp/paperback writer specializing in mystery and action.
His only comic book work was for various strips in Seven Seas Comics.
This strip ran for all six issues of Seven Seas Comics and some of the stories have been reprinted, usually renaming the heroine or changing the story title.

Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrl power!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

MISS FURY "Origin"

She wasn't the first superheroine, but she was the first to be created by a woman!
Conceived, written, and illustrated by cartoonist Tarpe Mills (who dropped her first name "June" from her published credit), Miss Fury started life in 1941 as a newspaper comic strip.
Police and reporters initially referred to her as "Black Fury", but she called herself "Miss Fury" in notes attached to crooks she caught. (The name "CatWoman" was already in use!)
This particular version of the tale, which appeared in Timely's Miss Fury #1 (1942) was made up of those early newspaper strips pasted-up into comic book format, though the art for our story was taken from a 1970s reprint trade paperback which printed the story in b/w, rather than the comic's color.

Sadly, unlike most other adventure strips, there were no other spin-offs like movie serials, radio shows, or even a Big Little Book or two!
The newspaper strip ended in 1952, but Tarpe Mills continued to work as a comic illustrator for various publishers, including Marvel Comics!
Her last published work was a new cover for a graphic novel reprint of Miss Fury in 1979. She passed away in 1988.

Two items of note:
1) The panther hide didn't give her any super-powers, as such items tend to do in comics!
Marla was a gifted athlete, and, that combined with the visual shock value of the costume, enabled her to defeat foes. (ask another wealthy socialite, Bruce Wayne, about his similar, equally effective, strategy!)
2) Unlike most Golden Age heroines (Wonder Woman, Black Cat, Phantom Lady, et al), who seemed to wear skimpy swimsuits to battle evil, Miss Fury's costume totally covered her (but extremely tightly)!

This entry is part of our Retroblogs™ Masks Marathon, celebrating the new Dynamite comic series Masks which combines, for the first time, the major masked mystery men of pulps and comics including The Green Hornet, The Shadow, The Spider, Zorro, The Black Terror, The Green Lama, and Miss Fury (ok, a masked mystery woman), among others.
We'll be presenting more stories featuring these characters throughout the month of December.

Friday, November 30, 2012

AGAR-AGAR "Village in the Sea"

After a slew of Golden Age stories, let's jump 30 years into the Bronze Age... we return to the psychedelic universe of Agar-Agar, the space heroine named after a plant food!
That's heavy, man.
Pollution is, like, universal, man.
But, like, the Magic of Love can defeat it...

This story from Dracula #2 (1971) was written by Luis Gasca under the pen-name Sadko (which he also used as the scripter on Wolff, another strip in Dracula, illustrated by Estaban Maroto, which we're running in Hero Histories™) and illustrated in a Peter Max-esque style by Alberto Solsona..
It's the second of three that were published in the Warren trade paperback that reprinted the first six issues of this British magazine.
The remaining three stories have been unseen by American audiences, but will be posted here over the next few months.
It'll be a groovy trip, baby!
Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrl power!

Friday, November 23, 2012

VALKYRIE "Conclusion"

Heroic teen aviator AirBoy, who controls the futuristic aircraft "Birdie", encounters the AirMaidens, a team of German aviatrixes who have been shooting down Allied aircraft.
Though he manages to defeat their leader, Valkyrie, in one-on-one combat, he is forced down by superior numbers, and is captured by the Luftwaffe.
Rankled by AirBoy's victory over her, Valkyrie tortures him to learn the secret of controlling his aircraft.
But, some of her squadron, sympathetic to the captive teen's plight, manage to hide AirBoy.
The AirMaidens who betrayed the Nazis are ordered put to death, and Valkyrie, to save her teammates, goes to where AirBoy is hidden...
Valkyrie would return several times during AirBoy's run in Air Fighters Comics and his own title.
When Airboy was revived by Eclipse Comics in the 1980s, Valkyrie assembled a new team of AirMaidens including a new incarnation of Black Angel, and a female version of SkyWolf called La Lupina.
The revival was succesful enough to warrant a pair of Valkyrie mini-series and an Air Maidens one-shot.

While the writer of this Golden Age is unknown, this introductory tale from Hillman's Air Fighters Comics #14 (1943) was illustrated by Fred Kida and Bill Quackenbush.

NOTE: there was a second Nazi aviatrix named Valkyrie during the Golden Age. 
She appeared in the only issue of Spotlight Publishers' TaleSpin (1944) as the nemesis of the one-shot hero FireBird, as detailed HERE!

Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrl power!