Friday, October 26, 2012

MOTHER HUBBARD "vs The Leader"

It's almost Halloween, so here's a witch...
...who battled Nazi spies in this unusual Golden Age series from Chesler Syndicate.
Most magician-heroines in comics are beautiful women in tights (Scarlet Witch, Zatanna, Clea, etc.). but Mother Hubbard was the personification of a stereotypical fairy tale witch.
Oddly, though this is her first appearance, the Nazis know who she is and what she's capable of!
No actual origin (or explanation of how she survived to the present and turned from evil to good) was ever presented during her three-story run.
Art for her premiere appearance in Chesler's Scoop Comics #1 (1941) was by Bill Madden, but the writer is unknown.

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

Friday, October 19, 2012

LADY SATAN II "Macabre Beginning"

With the success of Warren Publications' Vampirella, in the early 1970s...
...it was inevitable that another barely-clad anti-heroine would appear in a b/w comic magazine, where the Comics Code didn't apply!
But, this one was demonic, not vampiric...
This is definitely not the Golden Age Lady Satan!
From her first appearance in Skywald's Scream Magazine #2 (1973), the never-reprinted (and never-completed) saga of Satan's betrothed pushed the boundaries of both good taste and coherent storytelling.
Created by writer Al Hewetson and artist Ricardo Villamonte, Anne Jackson also made comics history as the first Black anti-heroine!
BTW, Skywald was also responsible for comics' first Black superheroine, ButterFly two years earlier, as detailed HERE.
Lady Satan (II) would make three more appearances in Scream and Psycho magazines before disappearing without a proper conclusion to the storyline.
Watch this blog for her later appearances...

Friday, October 12, 2012

SORCERESS OF ZOOM "Invasion of Bango & Zoda"

Here's the first Golden Age anti-heroine...
...who both helped and hindered mankind as the whim struck her!
And, she had a real knack for creating zombie slaves, as you'll see in this tale from Weird Comics #2 (1940)!
While this particular story has a timeless, "fairy-tale" feel to it, later chapters were firmly set in the then-present of the 1940s.
Credited to the nom-de-plume "Sandra Swift",  this tale was illustrated by Louis Cazeneuve, who co-created Timely's Red Raven and produced almost 300 stories and covers in almost every genre during his ten years (1939-49) in the comics field.

Friday, October 5, 2012

FANTOMAH "and the Super-Gorillas"

With Halloween around the corner, let's look at some weird heroines...
...beginning with the weirdest of all...the "Mystery Woman of the Jungle"...Fantomah!
As rendered by the...unique...Fletcher Hanks, Fantomah was the first comic book superheroine (as in heroine with super-powers instead of a costumed "normal" woman), predating Wonder Woman by a year, and the non-powered Woman in Red by a month!
This particular story, from Jungle Comics #4 (1940), was her third appearance, and one of the first really wild tales that read like drug-induced nightmares.
Hanks handled the character from her premiere in #2 to #15.
When a new writer and artist took over with #16, the character was immedately "toned-down", eliminating the skull-face look, and limiting her powers.
As of #27, she was rebooted as "Daughter of the Pharaohs", the queen of a lost civilization made up of descendants of an ancient Egyptian expedition stranded in central Africa centuries earlier.
Her series ended in #51 (1944).
Trivia: Despite being popular enough to run for several years in Jungle Comics, Fantomah never made the cover!

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