With a battle cry of “Up against the wall, male chauvinist pigs!” the 1970’s Marvel Comics super team of female fatales called the Lady Liberators represented a transition that society was demanding from its fantastic comic book world. No longer would the ladies of the four color world be used just as damsels in distress. With a roll call of gals such as the winsome Wasp, the mysterious Scarlet Witch, the lethal Black Widow, the Inhuman queen Medusa and the Viking girl, Valkyrie, who were the best and brightest of the buxom beauties of Marvel Comics. By the time they had arrived on the scene, the women’s age of comics had truly begun.
Up until the late sixties, women in comics, even the super powered ones like the Phantom Lady or Liberty Belle, were often only portrayed in positions of weakness. Thousands of panels and pages of ladies bound to train tracks or saw machines were created so the male superhero had someone to rescue. Every hero had a Lois Lane, a girl with great courage but not enough sensibilities to keep her out of danger. Even the heroines needed a ‘him’ to complete the picture, which is sad, considering that Wonder Woman found her way into the world’s imagination in 1941 and was in constant need of her non-powered paramour Steve Trevor to be there to save her.
With this being March and therefore, Women’s History month, it is a good time to stop and look at the great girls that have made it into icons in the medium of the superhero mythos. I have selected six super woman to present to you, the reader, as a way paying tribute to female furies of the funny books. They are superheroes and they are women. Hear them roar, see them soar.