Posts Tagged 'diversity in comics'

Women’s History Month Superheroine Spotlight: Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel)

Ma Hunkel is comic's first crossdressing superheroineWhile Abigail Mathilda “Ma” Hunkel isn’t the first crossdressing superhero in comics (that distinction goes to Madam Fatal, a man who dresses as an elderly lady to fight crime), she is the first superheroine to dress as a man.

As a large, tough as nails, hardworking mother of two, Ma Hunkel is a very different kind of superheroine than is typically depicted in comics.

Created by Sheldon Mayer, Ma Hunkel first appeared in the pages of All-American Comics #3 (June 1939) in a feature entitled Scribbly. More than a year after her debut, she would create her Red Tornado persona in All-American Comics #20 (November 1940). Continue reading ‘Women’s History Month Superheroine Spotlight: Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel)’

Women’s History Month Superheroine Spotlight: Olga Mesmer, Fantomah, and Woman in Red

either Olga Mesmer, Fantomah, or Woman in Red is the first superheroine

While it may seem simple enough, the term “superheroine” is actually a rather ambiguous one. There’s a very thin line between the superhero genre and sci-fi and fantasy. Not all superheroes have alter egos, superpowers, and a colorful costume. That’s why it’s difficult to denote the first true superheroine in comics. Instead, I’ve decided to highlight a few of the characters most likely to merit the recognition as the first superheroine in comics. Continue reading ‘Women’s History Month Superheroine Spotlight: Olga Mesmer, Fantomah, and Woman in Red’

Women’s History Month Superheroine Spotlight: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle

Sheena is the first female character to star in her own comicI’m celebrating Women’s History Month with a series of posts examining historically significant comic heroines, starting with the first female comic character to star in her own title.

Sheena first appeared in the pages of the UK magazine WAGS in 1937. The following year, Sheena would enjoy her first appearance in the U.S. market when Fiction House reprinted her first adventure in the pages of Jumbo Comics #1. Continue reading ‘Women’s History Month Superheroine Spotlight: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle’

Superheroines for Women’s History Month

The Superheroine Wonder Woman, painted by Alex Ross Happy Women’s History Month!

As I mentioned in my post about Butterfly, the first black superheroine, I’ll be observing the month with a series of posts highlighting some of the most influential and historically important female superheroes in comics. Each Monday in March, I’ll publish a different superheroine spotlight similar to those in my Black Superheroes for Black History Month series.

Join me this Monday when we’ll take a look at the first heroine with her own title: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle! Continue reading ‘Superheroines for Women’s History Month’

Civil Rights Leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis Coauthors Graphic Novel Memoir

John Lewis being arrested during the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March ("Bloody Sunday")

Lewis’ arrest during the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March (aka Bloody Sunday)

This August, Civil Rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis will be publishing a graphic novel memoir through Top Shelf.

March: Book One, coauthored by Andrew Aydin (Lewis’ Telecommunications and Technology aide) with art by Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), marks the first time a graphic novel has been written by a sitting Member of Congress.

Lewis’ contributions to the Civil Rights Movement have been monumental. In fact, his acts of civil disobedience were so prolific that they would result in him being jailed 40 times over the course of the movement.
Continue reading ‘Civil Rights Leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis Coauthors Graphic Novel Memoir’

Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Butterfly

First appearing in Hell-Rider in 1971, The Butterfly is the first African-American Superheroine

Nearly four years before the debut of Marvel’s Storm in May 1975, and almost six years before DC’s Bumblebee first appeared in June 1977, there was the Butterfly, the first black female superhero.

Butterfly first appeared in a back-up feature in Hell-Rider #1, published in August 1971 by Skywald. The feature was written by Gary Friedrich (Ghost Rider), penciled by Ross Andru (The Amazing Spider-Man, Wonder Woman), and inked by Jack Abel (Superman) and Mike Esposito (The Amazing Spider-ManWonder Woman).  Continue reading ‘Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Butterfly’

Mark Waid Wants You To Enroll in Free ‘Gender Through Comics’ Online Course

Taught by Christina Blanch of Ball State University with Mark WaidMark Waid (Kingdom ComeDaredevil, Irredeemable) has recently announced a free online college-level course called “Gender Through Comics” which will feature live weekly interviews from some of the comic industry’s top creators! Continue reading ‘Mark Waid Wants You To Enroll in Free ‘Gender Through Comics’ Online Course’

Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Falcon


As I discussed last week, the Black Panther debuted as the first black superhero in July 1966. However, it would be three years until the introduction of the first African-American superhero in comics: Samuel Wilson, the Falcon. Created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, Wilson first appeared in Captain America #117 in September 1969.

When a group of men on an unnamed tropical island put out an ad for a falconer, Wilson, a social worker from Harlem, responds with his falcon, Redwing. Continue reading ‘Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Falcon’

Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Black Panther

Fantastic Four #52 (1966) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby In observance of Black History Month, I’d like to take a little time to talk about the first black superhero.

Ascertaining the first black superhero is tricky thanks to the ambiguous nature of the term “superhero.” In 1941, the horribly offensive Whitewash Jones was fighting Nazis alongside Bucky in the pages of  The Young Allies; in 1954, Waku, Prince of the Bantu, starred in his own feature in Jungle Tales; in 1963, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos introduced us to Gabe Jones; and in 1965, Lobo briefly starred in his own series. Continue reading ‘Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Black Panther’

Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Lobo

First appearance of Lobo the first black comic heroAs promised, in honor of Black History Month, I’m back to spotlight the first black hero to star in his own comic: Lobo.

This western hero, created by writer D.J. Arneson and illustrated by Tony Tallarico, made his debut in Lobo (1965),  published by Dell Comics.

In the series, Lobo is a former Union soldier who heads west after the the Civil War. Upon being wrongfully accused of murder, Lobo sets out on a mission to fight injustice and to clear his name. Continue reading ‘Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Lobo’

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