A Bird? A Plane? No – It’s a Female Superhero!

Comic-Con San Diego is almost here! What better time than now to explore the history of women superheroes?

Comic books became popular in the 1930s, especially with young girls. At first, the popular comics were not centered around the crime-fighting superheroes we are familiar with today, the most popular comic being Archie which centered around a group of regular teenagers. Career oriented comics like Millie the Model or Tessie the Typist were also popular female-driven comics in the early years of comic books. But soon things changed and in the 1940s the female superhero as we know her was born.

Female superheroes have faced many challenges and controversies over the years. Their lack of representation in movies (the first Wonder Woman movie is set to premiere in 2017 and there is still now announcement for a standalone Black Widow movie, one of the only two Avengers without their own stand alone film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), their impractical clothing choices, and other sexist themes have haunted female superheroes since the very beginning.

Women have been consumers and creators of superhero comics from the very beginning. While the myth that girls don’t like comic books still prevails, in reality, female readers still make up half the comic book reading population, and readers of female superheroes are over 60% women. Did you know that the creation of the first superhero is often given credit to a woman? Baroness Emma Orczy  wrote a series of novels featuring a masked hero with an alias, The Scarlet Pimpernel, first published in 1905.

 

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  • April 1941 Miss Fury created by Tarpe Mills
  • December 1941 Wonder Woman created by William Marston
  • July 1956 Batwoman created by Bob Kane, Sheldon Molodoff, and Edmund Hamilton
  • May 1959 Supergirl created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino
  • November 1961 Invisible Woman created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
  • June 1963 Wasp Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
  • April 1964 Black Widow created by Stan Lee, Don Ricco and Don Heck
  • January 1977 Ms. Marvel created by Gerry Conway and John Buscema
  • January 1981 Elektra created by Frank Miller
  • November 2001 Jessica Jones Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos

Melissa Jones
Be a part of preserving the past and inspiring the future on the experiences and contributions of women

 

 

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