157 – Hawkgirl!

After years of showing women as helpless romantic interests posed in alluring dresses, someone gets the idea to get women into the action. In All-Star Comics #5 (April 1941), Shiera jumps from being a simple love interest to becoming DC’s first costumed super-heroine, Hawkgirl. In reality, this first story doesn’t really have Hawkgirl doing anything […]

Read More »

155 – Bat-Man, Bad-Ass

Although Batman #5 (April 1941), features another tale of Bat-silliness with dragons, giants and flying carpets, it also features a separate story in which Batman finds the near-lifeless body of Robin, beaten up by criminals. He experiences terrible feelings of rage and vengeance; a dramatic departure from his silent, mysterious, and almost dispassionate first year […]

Read More »

154 – Sargon, the Second String Sorceror

Sargon the Sorceror debuts in All-American Comics #26 (March 1941). Wikipedia describes him as a “second string mystic”, though his turban, ruby and cape make him pretty distinctive. Sargon is really David Sargent, just a regular guy, who learns he has powers to shape reality to his whim through the Ruby of Life – maybe […]

Read More »

153 – Luthor, Male-Pattern Villainy

In Superman #10 (March 1941), Luthor appears bald for the first time in a comic book, joining a whole host of other evil bald geniuses who stalk comic book universes: Ultra-Humanite, Hugo Strange, Doctor Sivana. I talked about the history of Luthor’s baldness here.

Read More »

152 – Starman, Waiting in the Sky

The first Starman, Ted Knight, debuts in Adventure Comics #61 (March 1941). He is an inventor who discovers that “infra rays” from stars can be harnessed in a “magnetic tube” that he calls a “Gravity Rod”. Woof that’s a lot of technobabble for the 1940s! I guess the Gravity Rod lets him defy the laws […]

Read More »

150 – Fate Unmasked

After a year with no background, the mysterious Doctor Fate decides to unmask himself to Inza and his readers, in More Fun Comics #66 (February 1941), in what I can only assume is an attempt by the writers to humanize him and make him more interesting. Though not named in this issue, he is Kent […]

Read More »

149 – Doctor Mid-Nite

Doctor Mid-Nite suits up and makes his first appearance in All-American Comics #25 (February 1941), bringing the superhero count up to three in that magazine alongside Green Lantern and the Atom. Doctor Mid-Nite was a real doctor who was injured by gangsters, discovered he could only see in the dark, and decided to tackle those […]

Read More »

148 – The Justice Society Goes to War

In All-Star Comics #4 (February 1941), the Justice Society of America goes to war against subversives and fifth-columnists… basically Nazis. This was the first adventure the team fought together (even though each character had his own mission that took up the bulk of the story).

Read More »