Just like I did when I made up the list for my Top 40 Comic Book Cover Artists, I managed to up and forget some obvious inclusions when I plotted out this list of Favorite Female Characters. So… before I start in with the top ten, I’m going to give a nod to the ones I forgot. First up is a woman that will comes as a surprise to nobody who reads my work: namely… the Blonde Phantom. I used Blonde Phantom in Age of Sentry, as well as my MA: Spider-Man series, and I’ll miss ol’ Blondie now that I’ve moved on from the titles. Incidentally, all of the covers below are taken from one of my FAVORITE websites:Â Atlas Tales.
For this post, I'm going to show every golden age cover appearance by the Blonde Phantom. At least the ones I know of. I own copies of a few of these, and they're cheesy four-color fun. The above issues are the first of Blonde Phantom's own title run, which began with issue #12, continuing on from another title. Issue # 13 was the first Blonde Phantom comic I ever saw. It was in Oak Leaf comics is Mason City, Iowa, and it was my first inkling that there was a whole AGE of comics and superheroes of which I knew nothing. That made a big impression on me.
I think what draws me to the Blonde Phantom is the noir feel of her character, the fact that she's just a beautiful woman in a dress... not a costume, and she has to use her smarts to make it through the day. And, yeah... she's a knockout in that dress.
Blonde Phantom covers tended to be talky. I kind of miss the old way of doing covers, with the characters having conversations n' such. It's sometimes corny, but at the same time it's more interactive, and certainly more interesting than the generic "group of people trying to look tough while posing for the camera" covers that abound these days.
Everybody used to dress better for crime back in those days.
One of the main jobs for a golden age cover artist was, "How shall I fuck with perspective in THIS cover?"
The last issue of Blonde Phantom, as well as All Select # 11, which is her first appearance. Blonde Phantom took over the title completely with the next issue. Whenever golden age publishers wanted to start a new title, it was customary to just continue numbering from a cancelled title. This was an end-around for having to pay higher postal rates for new titles.
I love this first cover, with all the guys showing off for the pretty blonde. And I love how Sub-Mariner is having the "Aquaman" problem of showing off that he's the Lord of the Seas. I know that whenever I go a' courting, I always try to carry a dead shark on my shoulder. You girls love that, right?
Really the only "hostage" cover for Blonde Phantom, and then an issue of All Winners. Love the design, here
Okay... it's not Blonde Phantom, but as long as I'm here I might as well do a quick tribute to other "lost" female characters from the golden age. Sun Girl comics are quite rare. The series only ran for three issues. I have a copy of the third issue, but this one's my favorite cover.
THE “FAVORITE” LIST SO FAR…
#25: Scarlet Witch
#24: Chance Falconer
#21: Jean Grey
#20: Kitty Pryde
#19: Janet van Dyne
#18: Mary Jane Watson
#17: Hermione Granger
#15: Modesty Blaise
#14: Black Widow
#13: Sue Storm
#11: Millie (the Model) Collins
#10a: Blonde Phantom
——- DOWN BELOW IS JUST A REHASH OF WHY I’M DOING THIS LIST ———
I’ve been thinking about women, lately. Women characters in comics. Women creators in comics. Female characters in literature. And pretty girls riding around on bicycles or walking along the sidewalk, etc, etc. Because of this, I’ve decided to make An Entirely Useless List. Why is it entirely useless? Because it’s my top 25 female characters from comics and literature, and such lists change at whim and at a breakneck pace. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to quantify favorites… the term favorite is far too malleable. A list of my best friends from high school, for instance, would not include anyone with whom I’m currently in contact. Times change. Still… I’m making the list. Why? I suppose I just like thinking about women.