Dangerous dames

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Dangerous dames

  1. 1. Amazing Amazons, Blond Bombshells, and Dangerous Dames:Women in Golden Age Comics<br />Judith M Valentine<br />
  2. 2. Wonder Woman #9“Evolution Goes Haywire”<br />Summer 1944 , DC/National Comics<br />Writer: William Moulton Marston<br />Art: H.G Peter<br /> From her creation in 1940, Wonder Woman has had the burden of both representing an ideal woman and telling a good story. Created by a famous psychologist to symbolize his theories on gender, sexuality and morality, later incarnations of the character have been appropriated by different groups to different ends, to the point where depicting the human aspect of her character has become controversial.<br />Museum Purchase 3-29-2011<br />$110.61<br />
  3. 3. Phantom Lady #20“Bullets for Ballots”<br />October 1948, Fox Features Syndicate<br />Writer: Gregory Page<br />Art: Matt Baker<br />The Phantom Lady is a clear example of what comic book critic Frederick Wertham derisively called “headlight books” for their focus on women’s chests. Artist Matt Baker was both praised for his talent in rendering the female form, and slandered as a pervert for his beautiful, sensual heroines.<br />Museum Purchase 3-29-2011<br />$349.99<br />
  4. 4. Sheena: Queen of the Jungle“The Congo Colossus/Lair of the Leopard Goddess”<br />1950, Fiction House<br />Art: Robert Webb<br />Racy protagonists such as Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, attracted criticism from all sides. The Jungle Queens were both inappropriately forthright for their gender, as well as being sexually submissive and victimized, often appearing in bondage situations or at the mercy of the savage peoples who populated “their” kingdoms.<br />Museum Purchase 3-28-2011<br />$54<br />
  5. 5. Detective Comics #203“Crimes of the Catwoman”<br />January 1954, DC Comics<br />Writer: Edmond Hamilton<br />Art: Win Mortimer, Bob Kane, Charles Paris<br />Editor: Whitney Ellsworth<br /> Arguably the most important love interest from the various Batman series, Catwoman is also one of the dark knight’s most important recurring villains. Catwoman infuses the stories she appears in with sexuality, tension, and an atmosphere of naughtiness. Catwoman has deviously manipulated Batman sexually since her first appearance (Batman #1, 1940). Initially a warning against the wiles of loose women, she has since evolved into an empowered woman emerging from victimizing circumstances. <br />Museum Purchase 3-29-2011<br />$220<br />
  6. 6. Detective Comics #233“The Bat-Woman”<br />July 1956, DC/National Comics<br />Writer: Edmond Hamilton<br />Art: Sheldon Moldoff, Stan Kaye<br />Editor: Whitney Ellsworth, Jack Schiff<br /> The Bat-Woman of the 1950s proved to be a problematic character almost from her inception. Not quite competition for the dark knight, undesirable as a love interest, she was eventually abandoned. The character was re-imagined in the successful 2006 limited series 52 as an independent Gotham City hero (shown below). <br />Museum Purchase <br />3-25-2011 $99<br />
  7. 7. World’s Finest #90“The Super-Batwoman”<br />September 1957, DC/National Comics<br />Writer: Edmond Hamilton<br />Art: Dick Sprang, Stan Kaye, Curt Swan<br />Editor: Whitney Ellsworth, Jack Schiff<br />Female characters like Batwoman were often treated as a source of patronizing amusement by male protagonists. Batwoman spent many of her appearances either trying to figure out Batman’s secret identity (as in this issue) or trying to trick him into marrying her (though not as persistently as Lois Lane with Superman). Batman and Robin cleverly tricked her at every turn, oftentimes convincing her to give up crime fighting as too dangerous for a woman (though appropriate for an 8-13 year old).<br />Museum Purchase 3-25-2011<br />$64.99<br />
  8. 8. Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #7“The Girl Who Stole Superman”<br />February 1959, DC Comics<br />Writer: Robert Bernstein<br />Art: Curt Swan, Ray Burnley, Kurt Schaffenberger<br />Editor: Mort Weisinger<br /> In modern comics Lois Lane is seen as an empowered woman and worthy partner of her husband, Superman. However, for decades this was far from the case. Along with her rival, Superman’s high school sweetheart Lana Lang, Lois humiliated herself seeking his affections while, as in this issue, Superman patronizingly “protected her” from the messes she got herself in by stepping outside the acceptable gender norms of the time period.<br />Museum Purchase 3-28-2011<br />$38.50<br />
  9. 9. Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #16“The Kryptonite Girl”<br />April 1960, DC Comics<br />Art: Curt Swan, Stan Kaye, Kurt Schaffenberger<br />Editor: Mort Weisinger<br />When her zany attempts to ensnare Superman as a husband got stale, sometimes Lois became a danger to Superman as a result of her unfeminine willfulness, as this notable cover demonstrates.<br />Museum Purchase 3-28-2011<br />$28<br />
  10. 10. For More Info…<br />Though not an excellent source of scholarly information, Wikipedia.org is generally a good source of information on pop culture media such as comic books.<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_woman<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catwoman<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_Lady<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheena,_Queen_of_the_Jungle<br />http://www.dcuwiki.net/w/Character_Chronologies<br />

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