Friday, November 29, 2013
YEAR 1945: FIREHAIR
1945, the last year of WWII, was not a particularly strong year for femmes formidables: the jnext significant "boom years" would commence in the next year with both comics-heroines and the femmes fatales of cinema's films noirs.
I confess that I've only read a handful of Firehair stories, but my overall impression is that she was nothing but a transparent attempt to create a western version of Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. Just as Sheena is a white woman raised by Black African tribesmen, Firehair is raised by Native American tribesmen. The main difference is that while Sheena was raised from childhood, Firehair is a normal adult woman of the late 1800s when she undergoes her cultural transformation. Thanks to a wagon-train attack by a raiding-party made up of phony Indians, she loses her memory of her old identity as a civilized white woman. A tribe raises her as one of their own and gives her the name Firehair, but she doesn't act at all like the squaws of the tribe, displaying greater fighting-skills-- fighting, riding, weapons-play-- than any of her red brothers. Later in the series Firehair regains her memory but decides to stick with the tribe rather than return to the white man's world. And why not? She wasn't technically the ruler of her tribe, but she was implicitly the "big dog" in their ranks, whereas she'd only be another woman in white society.
Whereas Fiction House's Sheena stories are fairly witty for their genre, Firehair's tend to be rather routine, though as is usual for Fiction House, the art is at least lively.