Thursday, June 10, 2010


Given that Superman was the de facto mascot of DC Comics, it was almost de rigeur to see the hero's powers bestowed temporarily on characters not only in the Superman books but in any title with some degree of SF-content, such as BLACKHAWK and SPACE RANGER. The latter two sported covers where a distaff support-character gained such temporary super-powers (Lady Blackhawk for the one, some secretary-chick for the other). But aside from the mainstays of the Superman titles themselves, Batwoman seems to be the only distaff support-character who sported super-powers two times, both in WORLD'S FINEST. I guess one could regard this as a Superman title given its raison d'etre of continually teaming the Man of Steel and the Big Bat, but Batwoman was an emigre from the Batman books. At the time of both adventures, the editor on the Bat-books and WF alike was Jack Schiff, so some Bat-related bleed-through was to be expected. (Later Mort Weisinger, King of his Castle of Superman-books, would assume the WF editorship as well.)

Batwoman's first super-adventure, from WF #90 (Sept-Oct 57), shows us that the first thing a woman does when she gets super-powers is to spy on the boys' club to find all their important stuff. Of course, in a later era she might have been checking out another kind of stuff but not in 1957.

The second super-tale, from WF #117 (May 1961), puts Batwoman in a slightly more combative role as she clashes with the Big S. (Their "battle" is pretty much a one-panel duplication of the cover image. DC wasn't big on fight-scenes in '61.) But

anyone who might've hoped that Batwoman was striking a blow against Superdickery would be doomed to disappointment, as she only fights the hero because she's fallen under the control of Lex Luthor.

Incidentally, though this has nothing to do with superheroine themes, I submit that the weird-ass creature sharing the cover with the heroes may well be the single silliest-looking monster in the history of Silver Age DC. It's perhaps even sillier to learn that "Golanth," as the creature is named, is not a living thing but was actually given this improbable design by the aforementioned Luthor, which might make one wonder what the mad scientist had been smoking that day.