Modest Superheroine

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Although the prevalent image of the female comic book crime fighter is that of a sexy nymph in a revealing costume, this was not always the case. The Woman in Red, thought to be the first superheroine, wore a modest scarlet coat with matching mask and skullcap.

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid

 

Masks, Skin and a Chance to Just Be

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They had been forced into the roles of well-mannered daughters or girlfriends, and a secret life gave these women a chance to be themselves. Putting on a cape and mask liberated these women to live the kind of life that they dreamed of—one where they could help make their world a better place.

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid

 

Comics and Women as ‘Girls’

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There are a lot of “men” in comic books: Superman, Batman, Spider-Man. Besides Wonder Woman, there are not that many “women,” and even fewer “ladies.” But there are lots of “girls”: Supergirl, Power Girl, Marvel Girl, Invisible Girl.

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid

 

Women Make Things Happen

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When it came to movies, my mother had once said that if there wasn’t a woman in the story, nothing could possibly happen, so I guess I thought the same held true for comic books. I skipped the war comics and westerns, and wound up selecting the superhero titles with cool looking women in them.

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid