In 1938, two Jewish boys from Ohio pitched an idea to DC Comics for a hero with superpowers from another planet. Superman marked the beginning of the Golden Age of comic books and the slow end of pulp fictions.
Still, Superman brought with him many of the same stereotypes as his pulp predecessors.
Lois Lane set the standard for female characters in comics. She was smart, sassy and sexy, but often impulsive and unable to take care of herself.
These precedents continued for years in the comic book industry until much later with the introduction of Wonder Woman, women’s lib and the Comic Code Authority.
The idealized physiques and frequently sexualized costumes of female superheroes have led to accusations of sexism :
Note the disparity between her femininity and strength. This is a common contradiction associated with female superheroes in comic books.
“ Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman." -1943 issue of The American Scholar