Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Aurallee Wallace

Guest by Aurallee Wallace

Guest Post

For the love of the Female Superhero! 

I love comic books. My debut novel, Sidekick, is a testament to that love. As part of my ongoing research, (I swear, I’m not just wasting time on the internet), I like to read about retro comics. They give fabulous insight into historical perspectives on gender, race, socio-economic class etc., but I’m not going to comment on any of that. You can make your own judgements on whether these representations of women are flattering, denigrating, limiting or empowering. The purpose of this post is simply to provide a mini buffet of super awesomeness. Long live the Hero Chicks! Enjoy.


First appeared in Jungle Comics #2 (Feb 1940), Publisher: Fiction House, Created by Fletcher Hanks

Fantomah “Mystery Woman of the Jungle” has the honor of being the very first female comic book superhero EVER – and what a superhero she is. Fantomah is like an early eco-warrior. She loves the jungle and all of its inhabitants, so if someone threatens her wilderness home, well, watch out baby. She can fly, transform objects into other forms, levitate things, and cause humans to mutate, but there is just one little catch (although I don’t think of it as a catch…I happen to think it’s super awesome). When she uses her powers, her beautiful face turns into a blue skull! How useful would that face be? I would so use it on my husband every time he put his dishes in the sink instead of the dishwasher. (Who am I kidding? I’m pretty sure I already look like that most mornings.)

The Black Orchid

First appeared in Top Comics (1944), Original Publisher: Consolidated Book Publishers, Created by Albert Magarian & Florence Magarian

You know what makes Black Orchid a star for me? Fashion. You see, Diana Dawn is a secretary by day, crime-fighter by night. How could this mild mannered young woman fight the city’s worst criminals? you ask. Accessories…or, accessory, rather. You see, she has this ring that shoots a black cloud of knock-out gas at her opponents, making her both stylish and semi-deadly. She also has a pretty nice wardrobe. That being said, it seems every time she fights, her clothes are somehow ruined, forcing her to strip down to her skivvies. Okay, one time I could understand...maybe even two, but all the time? Methinks our Orchid has some attention-seeking issues. But never fear! Just when you thought you might be losing respect for our dark flower, just know that not only does she fight regular human criminals, but she has also been known to kick some zombie ass. Nice.

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle

First appeared in Wags #1 (1937) / Jumbo Comics #1 (1938), Original Publisher: Fiction House, Created by Will Eisner and Jerry Iger

I wanted to be Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, when I was a kid. I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want to be one with the animals, throw spears, wear golden anklets and something that looks like a bathing suit made…made out of the fur of one of my friends? Okay, I didn’t notice that particular hiccup as a kid, but as an adult, it seems kind of hypocritical. PETA would not be pleased. Anyway, Sheena’s cool. But on another side note, am I the only one seeing this whole jungle/exotic theme? I’m sensing me some pre-post-colonial sexy time issues. Oh yes, I am.

Black Cat

First Appeared in Pocket Comics #1 (1941), Original Publisher: Harvey, Created by Alfred Harvey & Al Gabriele

I got to say Black Cat might be the most fun of this grouping. She’s the daughter of a movie star and stuntman who gets bored with Tinsel Town and decides to set out into the world to make a difference (this sounds a little like my Bremy St. James – maybe that’s why I like her so much.) While she doesn’t have any “superpowers” per se, she’s good with a javelin and a lasso. Her other sweet skills include karate, acrobatics, and the ability to pop a pretty fierce wheelie without having a wardrobe malfunction. Now that’s a skill. Finally, when she’s not fighting Nazis, Black Cat is repelling the Japanese invasion of Hollywood (I’m sorry. What now? Oh right. 1941. Pearl Harbour…I didn’t know Hollywood was next on the list.)

Phantom Lady

First Appeared in Police Comics #1 (1941), Original Publisher: Quality, Created by Arthur Peddy, NOTE: Only the original Phantom Lady from the Golden Age is in the public domain NOT any subsequent versions from DC comics.

Okay, I just can’t go any further until we discuss the obvious. I’m having an Austin Power’s Mole moment. Would you look at those knockers? Jeez Louise. It’s got to be hard to fight crime with those…those…I feel like a 13 year old boy…so many words are coming to mind, but none of them appropriate…and “breasts” seems too humble a word for those flesh mountains. I feel really bad for Phantom Lady. I mean, you can tell a man drew her. No woman would let another woman go out crime-fighting without a decent sports bra. It’s not right, man. Not right.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, on to more important things. Phantom Lady is a socialite! Just like my Bremy St. James! Also like my Bremy, she doesn’t have any real abilities, but she does have a super awesome blacklight ray to project darkness in order to make herself invisible! So cool. If only they sold ray guns on Ebay. Some of her enemies include: the Avenging Skulls, the Fire Fiend, the Killer Clown, Kurtz the Robbing Robot, Subway Slayer, and Vulture. Solid list. You really can judge a girl by the quality of her enemies.

Well, I hope you’ve had as much fun exploring this heroic grouping as I have. You are welcome to check out my version of the female superhero, Dark Ryder, in Sidekick. Oh! And I garnered all these fun facts from the website, Public Domain Superheroes…how I love Public Domain.

Auralee Wallace

Genre: Fantasy/Superhero

Publisher: Escape Publishing
Date of Publication: 1 June 2014

ISBN: 9780857991591
ASIN: Will be available end of April

Number of pages: Approx 172
Word Count: 73 818

Cover Artist: Danielle Mait

Book Description:

Heroes meets Kick-Ass in this brilliant and hilarious debut about a girl who just wants to save the world...

Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.

Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder. Suddenly, Bremy has a new goal: apprentice to a superhero, and start her own crime-fighting career.

Ryder has no need for a sidekick, but it turns out the city needs Bremy’s help. Atticus St James is planning the crime of the century, and Bremy may be the only one able to get close enough to her father to stop him.

Now all she needs to do is figure out this superhero thing in less than a month, keep her identity secret from the man who could very well be The One, and save the city from total annihilation.

Well, no one ever said being a superhero would be easy...

About the Author:

Auralee Wallace has played many roles in her life, including college professor, balloon seller, and collections agent. She is now living her dream of writing humorous women’s fiction. When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children (and psychiatric nurse to two rescue cats) isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard.

Hey, what can I say.. girls need to stick together! Here is a small sample of my collection, Cloey

So, what do you say? Share your favorite comics in the comments


  1. I love She-Hulk! Thank you for hosting my post!

  2. Your book, SIDEKICKS, sounds very interesting, and I would certainly love to read and review it on my Blog sometime. I grew up during the Golden Age of comic books, and found Batman and Superman at age 7, then discovered all the wonderful comic heroes, heroines, and sidekicks of the time. What great memories they are. I think my favorites become The Marvel Family, and I was in love with Mary Marvel from the beginning.

  3. Thanks Tom. Your comment has sent me off on a furious google search of The Marvel Family. I just love the Golden Age of comics.

  4. She Hawk is impressive! And a killer costume for Halloween. I like Wonder Woman because she is just a badass female who can fight side by side with Super Man and Hawk Girl because she kicks butt and ask questions later. I don't remember Mary Marvel though, I need to look her up.

    Thanks for hanging with us today.

  5. Ah yes, The Marvel Family. Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel, Jr. Captain Marvel originally appeared in Whizz Comics, and was a serious competition to Superman. All the Super Chicks were fantastic. Please let me know where the paperback can be picked. Personally, I would like to buy an autographed copy (G).