In the run-up to the opening of the Wonder Woman movie, I thought you’d enjoy this compendium of other women superheroes. As you can see, there were a lot of them…not just Wonder Woman. Hope Nicholson does a great job putting these superwoman characters in historical context. This book includes plenty of artwork. I learned a lot about the very early characters in comics history that I wasn’t aware of. I have a few quibbles like where is Tank Girl, Barb Wire, and Elektra? But other than a few missing superwomen, The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen presents a fairly comprehensive history of comic book superwomen over the decades. How many of these superwomen do you recognize? GRADE: A
1. The 1930s: Birth of an Industry 12
The Magician from Mars 14
Olga Mesmer 15
Sally the Sleuth 17
Torch Brown 20
Icon of the Decade: Little Lulu 22
2. The 1940s: The Golden Age 26
Black Cat 28
Gail Porter: Girl Photographer 30
Gale Allen and the Girl Squadron 31
Katy Keene 33
Madame Strange 34
Miss Fury 37
Senorita Rio 39
Star Flag, Undercover Girl 40
Ultra Violet 43
The Wing 44
Icon of the Decade: Wonder Woman 46
3. The 1950s: Comics Code Crackdown 50
Black Phantom 52
G.I. Jane 54
Gale Ford, Girl Friday 55
Jetta Raye 57
Lucy the Real Gone Gal 58
Man Huntin’ Minnie of Delta Pu 59
Nurse Helen Grant 62
The Old Witch 63
Starlight 65
Tomboy 67
Wendy the Good Little Witch 68
Icon of the Decade: Supergirl 70
4. The 1960s: Superheroes Return 74
Angel O’Day 76
Barbarella 77
Bikini Luv 79
Bunny Ball 81
Mystra and Dragonella 83
Nurse Betsy Crane 85
Pussycat 86
‘Scot 88
Sue and Sally Smith, Flying Nurses 89
Tiffany Sinn 90
Vampirella 92
Icon of the Decade: Batgirl 96
5. The 1970s: Underground Comix Rise 100
Friday Foser 102
Frieda Phelps 104
Laura Chandler 105
Leetah 107
Page Peterson 109
Pauline Peril 110
Pudge, Girl Blimp 113
Starfire 116
Superbitch 118
Survivalwoman 119
Zelda the Witch 121
Icon of the Decade: Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) 124
6. 1980s: Black-and-White Boom (and Bust) 128
Amanda Waller 130
Cutey Bunny 132
Dakota North 133
Dazzler 135
Fashion in Action 138
Ginger Fox 139
Maggie Chascarillo 141
Ms. Tree 143
Sindi Shade 145
Sunflower 147
Vanity 149
Icon of the Decade: Silk Spectre 152
7. The 1990s: “Comics Aren’t Just for Kids” 156
American Woman 158
Bitchy Bitch (and Bitchy Butch) 160
The Girl 161
The Jaguar 163
Jain 164
Jink 166
Liliane 169
Martha Washington 170
Scary Godmother 173
Simone Cundy 174
Squirrel Girl 175
Icon of the Decade: Witchblade 178
8. The 2000s: Webcomics and ComicCons 182
Annabelle 184
Didi (Desiree Chastel) 185
Empowered 186
Jalisco 188
Jamie McJack 190
Jessica Jones 191
Nibbil 195
Rose Harvestar 197
The Saucy Mermaid 198
Street Angel 200
Xavin 202
Icon of the Decade: Ramona Flowers 204
9. The 2010s: Digital and Diverse 208
Bandette 210
Beth Ross 212
Blaze 214
Bold Riley 216
Callie 218
Deathface Ginny 219
Gwen Dylan 221
Kath, Raven, and Angie 224
Keegan 224
Maika Halfwolf 225
Penny Rolle 228
Icon of the Decade: Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan 230
Index 232
Art Credits 238
Acknowledgements 240


    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I know. Publishers impose page restrictions, but there should have been room for a few more women superheroes…like Elektra!

      1. mary mason

        I agree. Even I have heard of Elecktra. I’m guessing reporter Brenda Starr didn’t qualify as a superhero, though now “real” reporters sure should.

  1. wolf

    I have to confess that I’m not into supermen and wonderwomen – but I have a wonder(ful)woman at home! 🙂

    A bit OT:
    Did you get that some Arab states don’t want to show the new Wonderwoman movie – because she’s an Israeli, faught in the army for two years …

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, Gal Gadot is impressive. I’m hoping she has a long career as Wonder Woman. Yes, some countries fear powerful women.

  2. Fred Blosser

    Invisible Girl? Marvel Girl? The Wasp? Hawkgirl? Maybe she’s holding some in reserve for a second book? If she’s including Barbarella and Vampirella as superwomen, I’d add in Red Sonja too.

    1. george Post author

      Fred, you make some good points. Maybe a sequel will include Invisible Girl, Marvel Girl, The Wasp, and Hawkgirl. There’s plenty of material for Hope Nicholson to produce another book.

  3. Todd Mason

    Hell, Catwoman, as ambiguous as she has been through the decades. But if Robert Gregory’s Bitchy Bitch (and her cousin) make the cut…(deservedly, even given how utterly unsuper they are)…Modesty Blaise?

  4. Allan

    No Phantom Lady or Sheena? And if Silk Spectre (who never had a series of her own) can be included, then what about the many superwomen who appeared in The Legion of Super-Heroes? And if it’s not just super-powered women, well…Betty and Veronica? Gwen Stacey? Lois Lane? And if Barbarella is eligible, then can Adele Blanc-Sec, Laureline, Yoko Tsuno, Natacha, etc be far behind?

  5. mary mason

    G I’ve heard wasps always nest on the south side. Mine are under the overhang from the roof. When I was in SC after Bouchercon in NC, we took a tour in Beaufort and the tour driver pointed out the sky blue painting under the roof overhangs on some buildings. She said it is so wasps won’t nest as they think it’s the sky. I’m going to try that

      1. mary mason

        I did that, and they came back. I now spray early in the morning, but hope the blue “sky” will work

      2. george Post author

        Maggie, our Summer is a lot shorter than yours. By September, the wasps pretty much disappear until the next June.

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