Saturday, September 15, 2012
YEAR 1985: FEMFORCE
Americomics' long-running FEMFORCE was not the first comics-feature to present an all-female team of heroes, but it's certainly the longest running, having run over 150 issues. The charter members seen in the illo above include original characters Tara of the Jungle (on the vine), the She-Cat, Ms. Victory, and the Blue Bulleteer, who maintained a dual hero-identity, more often seen as a caped mystic named Nightveil. Of these, Ms. Victory was a revamp of a Golden Age heroine, Miss Victory, published by the long-vanished Holyoke Company. Over the years Ms. Victory and several other members or associates of the team received their own titles, but none had the staying-power of this "Legion of Cheesecake Heroines."
Helmed by writer/publisher Bill Black, Americomics (also called AC Comics) unquestionably evoked the nostalgia of readers familiar with the simple kinetic thrills of early superhero comics. In time Black's company revived a large number of public domain superheroes of the 1940s and 1950s, both male and female, as well as reprinting original adventures of nearly forgotten stars like Catman and the Phantom Lady.
FEMFORCE was never more than a good read, but its penchant for depicting superheroes as light, psychologically unconflicted fun made for a pleasant contrast to the angst-heavy antics of the Big Two during the 1980s and thereafter.