You Thought You Knew Your Ladies In Comics? Think Again

Sameera Ehteram
Think of Super Heroines and the names that come to mind are Cat Woman, Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman, Madame Xanadu. But how many of us remember the original Super Heroines?

Way before the Super Heroines of the day, there were the likes of Lady Satan, Mother Hubbard, The Woman in Red and The Spider Queen.

We bet hardly anyone remembers them but those were the ladies - the strong, kick-ass women who fought the bad and upheld the right.

So here we are celebrating the larger than life ladies from the past:

Olga Mesmer

Comics historian Will Murray calls Olga Mesmer: The Girl with the X-Ray Eyes, “the superhero before Superman." The fictional character was published in a pulp magazine's comic strip from 1937 to 1938.

Mesmer's X-ray vision stemmed from experiments done on her Venusian mother, Margot, by her mad-scientist father, Dr. Hugo Mesmer, who exposed Margot to radiation. She did not have an alter ego. 

The Veiled Avenger 

Perhaps the frilliest-looking of super heroines, the Veiled Avenger was originally Ginny Spears, a district attorney's secretary, who fed up with crime decided to do something about it on her own. Armed only with her bullwhip, the Veiled Avenger had no superpowers. She used her crop to make criminals shoot each other as well as themselves.


Fantomah, the "Mystery Woman of the Jungle", was actually the first female comic book superhero. She appeared as a back-up feature in Jungle Comics #2, and continued as a back-up feature until her final appearance in issue #51.

The mysterious woman protected the jungle with her many supernatural powers and didn’t shy from punishing anyone who threatened any of the jungle’s creatures. When Fantomah used her powers, her normally beautiful face turns into a blue skull.

The Woman in Red

Peggy Allan, a police officer decides to create a costumed persona for herself after becoming frustrated by the limitations of her badge and hence the Woman in Red is born.

The Woman in Red did not have any superpowers but she was the first comic heroine with a really “superheroine” feel. What’s more, her costume actually covered her fully unlike most of the other super heroines of the past as well as the present. In fact it even went as far as underplaying her “certain anatomical features that many other heroines’ costumes are designed to emphasis.”

Lady Satan 

Wholly WWII inspired, she becomes a force to be reckoned with who had an agenda of wiping off the Nazis, responsible for the death of her fiancé.

Bent on vengeance, she would travel unnoticed through the streets of Nazi occupied France fighting German invaders.

In another appearance she was a sorceress who fought against the occult instead of Nazis. No explanation for the change in methods or powers was given by the creators.

As a sorceress, she was armed with powerful magic and wore a ring in the shape of a serpent which could release gases allowing her to “unveil the shadow world."

Mother Hubbard

No, not the Old Mother Hubbard with the hungry dog from the nursery rhyme; this lady looked like a cartoon witch and spoke only in rhyme. Mother Hubbard was out of the league of what one may relate a super heroine with but had occult powers that she used to battle "everything from fifth column saboteurs to Disney-esque dwarves that steal kids’ eyeballs."