518 – Joanie Swift!

We have had speedster heroes and speedster villains, but Adventure Comics #181 (August 1952) marks the first appearance of a female speedster. While taking dictation for a college professor, Joanie Swift accidentally recites the formula that gives Johnny Quick his powers and the two team up to battle crime. The team-up does not last long, […]

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496 – Fat Old Sugar-Mommies

In EC’s Weird Fantasy #12 (January 1952), “A Man’s Job” features an amusing tale from a future in which women and men’s roles are reversed: a woman president, a mostly-women Supreme Court, all women going out to work while the men stay at home and take care of the house. Truly a weird fantasy! I […]

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476 – Superwoman Yet Again

In Action Comics #156 (March 1951), Lois Lane has her third outing as Superwoman in “The Girl of Steel”. This time, it’s not a fever dream, or Superman faking her powers. No, this time Lois Lane actually acquires the powers of Superman thanks to a machine that Luthor invented which uses “vivanium”. She disguises herself […]

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446 – Lois, the Little Idiot

I’ve lamented in the past how Lois Lane was gradually turned from a smart, fiery, independent career woman into a swooning, vapid, manipulative one-note character before. This causes Superman to develop the affectionate nickname of “little idiot”, as in this panel from “Superman’s Sweetheart”, a story in Superman #65 (May 1950). The women’s lib movement […]

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410 – Secret Caveman Fantasy?

In Action Comics #129 (December 1948), we get an odd story about Superman thawing out a caveman, and that caveman becoming sort of a celebrity. What’s odd is that the women in the comic seem to all be harboring secret fantasies of being treated poorly by their men, like being dragged about by their hair. […]

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407 – Tommy Tomorrow in Action

Tommy Tomorrow makes his way from “Real Fact Comics” to something more fitting: a feature in Action Comics #127 (October 1948). In this first story, he is given the task of collecting alien fish from the solar system for a new Space Aquarium and we meet some stock supporting characters (Joan Gordy, a radio reporter). […]

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294 – Electronic Strength

Since the transistor was invented in 1947, I was surprised to see “electronics” mentioned in Sensation Comics #46 (August 1945) until I remembered that vacuum tubes had been around for a few decades by then. Even so, it’s called “the new science of electronics” on the splash page. It’s pretty odd timing since the atomic […]

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251 – More Atlantis for All

Wonder Woman encounters a different version of Atlantis than the one introduced in Aquaman stories in Wonder Woman #8 (February 1944). In this version, Atlantis is rules by giant woman who have no respect for men, treating them as second-class citizens. As if to punctuate that, Steve Trevor is kidnapped and forced to wear butt-cheek […]

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244 – Hippolyta Hops

Queen Hippolyta leaves Paradise Island for the first time to help out her daughter in Sensation Comics #26 (December 1943). She finds out Wonder Woman is being threatened, prays to Aphrodite to let her leave, and is granted her wish but cannot reveal her identity to anyone – even Diana. I also notice that Wonder […]

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233 – Aquaman, New Feminist?

In a surprising-for-the-time war tale, Aquaman meets up with a Russian boat captained and crewed by only women – who manage to hold their own against Nazis. While at first it seems like the story is a bit gimmicky, it is interesting in that the women are never shown as helpless, and it seems like […]

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