RED WHITE AND BLUES; A mix for James “Bucky” Buchanan Barnes [LISTEN]
I made 4 transparent mermaids. Which one do you identify with the most? (Earth, Fire, Water, Wind)
-Are you some kind of traveling preacher or something? You’re wearing that suit, and you look like a bible salesman.
-I don’t sell bibles. But I think I see the truth.
A drawing for an FB friend :)
As I discussed in an earlier post, pre-Comics Code comic books are full of fascinating women superheroes who’ve been more or less forgotten in the decades since WWII. Born in the era of Rosie the Riveter, when there was a national campaign to get women into workplaces, these costumed heroines were brassy, hard-assed, snarky, and sometimes just plain weird. They displayed remarkable grit and independence, and were portrayed as better crime-fighters than the inept, sexist cops that got in their way.
Even removed from their intriguing, important place in sociocultural history, these stories are compelling bits of pure comics nerdery - eg, the fact that 1941’s Spider Queen was almost certainly the unacknowledged inspiration for Spider-Man. These characters deserve to be better known. Happily, the astonishingwww.digitalcomicmuseum.org hosts full-issue scans of scores of public domain pre-Code comics. Which means you can read these comics right now, for free!
Here are a few of my favorite lost superheroines from the 1940s. Click on a character’s name to access an archive of their adventures!
FANTOMAH - Arguably the first woman superhero, and to this day one of the strangest. Fantomah is a near-omniscient (blonde) jungle spirit with incredible magical/psionic powers. She is always threatening her enemies with “a jungle death!” and she turns into a green skull with beautiful hair when she’s angry.
LADY SATAN - Sometime Nazi-killer, sometime occult detective, Lady Satan roams the land in her stylish automobile, using gun, garrote, and fire magic to take out Reich agents and child-snatching werewolves.
MOTHER HUBBARD - Looking like a cartoon witch, speaking only in rhyme, Mother Hubbard uses her bizarre occult powers to battle everything from fifth column saboteurs to Disney-esque dwarves that steal kids’ eyeballs.
THE WOMAN IN RED - A gun-toting jujitsu expert, the Woman in Red is a sort of costumed private detective. She’s the bane of both criminals (especially those who prey on women) and inept male cops. But to the women she saves she’s quite…tender.
THE SPIDER QUEEN - A chemistry lab assistant becomes a wise-cracking costumed herowho uses wrist-strapped web shooters to swing around the city and tie up bad guys. But this is 1941, and our hero is a woman.
THE VEILED AVENGER - Although she’s the frilliest-looking of 40s superheroines, the Veiled Avenger might be the hardest. She uses her crop to make criminals shoot each other…and themselves. And in her civilian life as a District Attorney’s secretary, she scolds dumb cops who endanger witnesses.
Sadly, these heroines all disappeared by the 1950s. As the national project of getting women out of the workplace took hold, bold self-sufficient superheroines became scarce on the ground. Despite some great work by amazing artists over the years, comics still doesn’t have enough of them.
[And now, a plug: I’m working on a longer piece on these heroines, and on some other stuff you might find interesting. You can learn more about all that here.]
I kind of love the idea of Steve being bi. Like, when he was younger, he’d see a guy and think he was good looking, but he’d just stamp that down or chalk it up to being an artist and finding beauty in everything. Then he meets Peggy and he really likes her so he thinks of himself as “fixed”.
When he wakes up in our time he stumbles into learning about the different kinds of genders and sexual orientations and it just hits him like “Oh. I guess that explains it.” And after New York when things settle in to something like a routine and he actually has a chance to look around and Natasha starts on her mission to set him up, he starts to really accept and become okay with being attracted to men and women.
One day when they’re heading out on a mission, Natasha brings up another woman from SHIELD and Steve just goes “What about that guy who works in reception?” and he says it casually, but he’s really sort of nervous because she’s the first person he’s told. Natasha just pauses for a beat and looks at him before shaking her head “Kevin? No, he’s got a terrible hair cut. You can do better.” And after that she starts including guys in the people she suggests to him.
idk I just like that headcannon