Comic Relief: Double De-Satanized!

Welcome to Comic Relief #9. To see the previous installments of Comic Relief, check out the Comic Relief Index.

Remember back when Lady Satan’s third appearance in Red Seal Comics #17 was reprinted, but with her name changed and other major alterations to the story? Well, it happened again to her following appearance! This time, it occurred in Authentic Police Cases #5 in 1948, which shows just how much of a fuck publishers gave about comic titles back then, seeing as this story contains no police and the presence of a ghost makes its authenticity dubious at best.

In my previous post I speculated that her name was changed from Lady Satan due to prudishness about having a hero named Satan, but in this case there appears to be a more pragmatic motivation. Lady Satan’s original non-magical-ass Nazi-Fighter appearance was reprinted in Authentic Police Cases #2 (again, why did this comic have that title?). Having Lady Satan appear as a normal human fighting Nazis and then, 3 issues later, as a sorceress fighting a ghost would be just a teensy bit disorienting, so that’s the most likely cause of the change.

So, let’s see what they changed.

Oh god. All the color ran out of her dress onto the floor!

Oh god. All the color ran out of her dress onto the floor!

That caption clearly establishes this story as “authentic”. Obviously. When I read a badly written single sentence that tells me that this story is utterly dubious, I know this must be an authentic police case. And the fact that “Marco’s Villa” sounds more like a flower shop than a Gothic European estate doesn’t make me suspicious at all.

There’s also one very subtle little change that you probably haven’t noticed yet. Take a look at the original then come back to this one. See it?

There’s a signature on this one.  Down on the bottom right where that skeleton’s ball sack used to be. Specifically, the signature of Ralph Mayo. Who the hell is Ralph Mayo? I don’t have the foggiest. All I could find on him was that he created a villain called Big Eye for DC. Who is Big Eye?

Eye want you for the US Army! ...And to have nightmares for the next month.

Eye want you for the US Army! …And to have nightmares for the next month.

We have learned something important here. Ralph Mayo has a better (if more literal) understanding of how names work than the publishers of Authentic Police Cases.

(And seriously, they couldn’t bother to fix her legs?)

See that! The word "police"! The title is accurate! (Actually, it is pretty authentic to portray the police as mostly useless and absent. Maybe the Viscount was black.)

See that! The word “police”! The title is accurate! (Actually, it is pretty authentic to portray the police as mostly useless and absent. Maybe the Viscount was black.)

So she’s Marietta now. And apparently she and Nancy are friends. And the printer ran out of every color of ink except red.

Having them be friends is actually a good change, as it corrects an aspect of the original story that was so nonsensical that I strongly suspect it was the love child of creationism and Un Chien Andalou. How the fuck did Nancy know where to send the letter to Lady Satan? Why is Lady Satan taking requests via mail?

In this version, that’s not a problem.

The rest of the story proceeds almost exactly like the original, except with the name Marietta instead of Lady Satan, and with her dress in green rather than red, and EVERYTHING ELSE in red red red red red. Seriously, the comic Red isn’t this red. Grendel: Black, White and Red isn’t this red. If there were a comic called Everything is Fucking Red, it wouldn’t be this red. The colorist must have been in a serious hurry to meet a deadline.

However, he did get one thing right. After Lady Sa– errr, Marietta says she’ll slip into Nancy’s clothes, she is clearly seen to be wearing Nancy’s blue dress instead of her own green dress. So that’s two points where this version improves on the original.

But coloring aside, the comic is pretty much identical to the original, with even the exact same dialogue in almost every panel. The few exceptions are when they change dialogue in order to make the story make more sense. Observe:

My auto suggestion would be to drive a Honda. Good gas mileage.

My auto suggestion would be to drive a Honda. Good gas mileage.

There. Isn’t it so much simpler to say that the chains were old and corroded, rather than to have her display super strength immediately after showing her getting knocked the fuck out by an old man?

And then there’s this:

And you can't have a trial without an arrest. And you can't have an arrest without...police!

And you can’t have a trial without an arrest. And you can’t have an arrest without…police!

See? It’s easy. You don’t just leave the husband’s fate completely unresolved, like in the original. A single line of dialogue corrects the problem.

All in all, the de-satanized version is actually slightly better than the original, in that it at least corrects a few of its flaws.

But we’re not done! Believe it or not, the Red Seal 18 story was de-satanized AGAIN in 1952, this time in Strange Terrors #1. (To read up more on this, check here and here.) Yes, this same story was re-written and published again twice. Anything to just keep churning out those fucking comics, amiright?

And has any character ever been reworked into a new character with a new name this many times? Poor Lady Satan…

WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO MEEEE????

WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO MEEEE????

What’s even weirder is that they seem to be copying from the Authentic Police Cases version, not the Red Seal version, as indicated by the fact that this is again set in post-war Europe, whereas the original didn’t give a location.

And dig that stilted opening sentence. What the hell does it even mean? (And they still haven’t fixed her fucking legs. They even forgot to color in her shoe straps, so now her already gimpy-looking foot looks like it’s really veiny.)

They also still have Mayo’s name on it. I don’t know if he really drew it, or just put his name on it to claim it as his, seeing as the original had no credits at all, as was common in the Golden Age when creators were treated like property. Either the original publisher removed the signature, or Mayo put his name on artwork that wasn’t his. Either way, there’s probably something nefarious going on here. Another possibility, though, is that he drew it, didn’t originally sign it, then signed it later when it was re-printed.

Unlike our previous de-satanization, this one drastically alters the source material. Every line of dialogue is changed. But again, most of the changes are an improvement. But not all…

Yeah, 'cause I'm sure Berlin immediately after the war was a great place to be...

Yeah, ’cause I’m sure Berlin immediately after the war was a great place to be…

That last panel is a zoom-in of the original, removing the spooky house from the image. I guess this is because it was more of a mansion than a castle, and Castle Karloff (an obvious reference to the actor) is a better name than Marco’s Villa. But the effect is to reduce the horror aesthetic of the overall comic, so they sacrificed a bit there.

Anyways, so now rather than Lady Satan, and rather than Marietta, she’s Celeste. To be precise, Celeste Karloff (the name just rolls off the tongue), as we now see the victim’s name is Olga and she and Celeste are sisters. Lady Satan and Nancy started as strangers, then became friends, and now they’re sisters. If this comic had been de-satanized one more time, they would have been Siamese twins.

That first panel also seals the deal for me–this was copied from Authentic Police, not Red Seal, seeing as it the original didn’t actually show the letter or mention any military police. The comics publishers were playing hot potato with the original artwork for this story.

There’s no need to go over the rest of the story in detail, since it’s the same story, but with completely new dialogue that in most cases makes the story less fucking nonsensical. For instance, in the new version they explain that Celeste spat out the poison drink she tasted. The ghost doesn’t make creaking footsteps. She doesn’t put on Nancy’s/Olga’s clothes and she’s not mistaken for Nancy/Olga by the housekeepers.

The de-satanization of Red Seal 17 was a hacky shitstain on the world of comics, but these two of Red Seal 18 are actually a slight improvement on a story that had serious issues (get it?). It still sucks that they couldn’t call her “Lady Satan” though. So fuck these comics anyway!

The comics are, of course, available for free at the Digital Comic Museum. Check ’em out! And see you next time.

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Comic Relief: Lady Satan vs. Aunt May

Welcome to Comic Relief #8. To see the earlier installments of Comic Relief (including earlier installments about Lady Satan) click here.

After a brief detour back into Lady Satan’s wartime non-powered Nazi-fighting days, today we return to the later incarnation of Lady Satan, in which she’s a supernaturally powered demon fighter.

But first, a few preliminary matters. In my post on Lady Satan’s last appearance in Red Seal Comics #17, I mistakenly said that that issue came out in 1945. The correct date is July 1946. Today’s issue, #18, hit stands in October, 1946. This comic apparently had a rather erratic publishing schedule. And, in fact, this is the last issue published by Chesler Comics. The later issues were published by a completely different company altogether. The Golden age was confusing.

Speaking of confusing, let us say something about the cover. The glorious, glorious cover.

Bllaaarrrgh!!! This what happen when George not let me pet the rabbits!

Bllaaarrrgh!!! This what happen when George not let me pet the rabbits!

I don’t have the foggiest idea what’s happening here, but that giant caveman fucking cracks me the fuck up. I love how he can’t be bothered to use a more advanced weapon or wear proper pants, but he takes the time to neatly braid his beard. I also love how those eye-beams from the Mullet Master seem to provide little more than illumination. What’s this superhero’s name, Lamp Face Man? The Living Bat Signal? My-Powers-are-Lamer-Than-Aquaman Man?

And the best part: We aren’t just rescuing a damsel in distress. No! This guy’s captured almost a dozen hot chicks! It’s like he wanted the whole cheerleading team to himself. And people thought the 90s were excessive. But what the shit is he going to do with them? There’s no way his giganto-cock is gonna fit in even the sluttiest of them, so rape is out of the question. Is he gonna eat them? Dress them up like dolls and play tea-party? Force them to teach him how to make better sartorial decisions? I must know, damn it!

Lady Satan shows up on page 17, in a pretty eye-catching introductory panel.

Whoops. I seem to have stumbled into a Wonder Woman comic.

Whoops. I seem to have stumbled into a Wonder Woman comic.

It’s not bad. Definitely the kind of thing that will sell comics. And while Lady Satan is a horror comic now, the last issue didn’t fully commit to the horror aesthetic. This one, however, wants absolutely everything about the mis-en-scene to scream “HORROR!” Bats, bones, basements, broken boards and bondage–it’s all there. There’s just one little thing that bugs me, though…

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HER LEGS???

Her left leg seems to have been amputated at the knee. I get that it’s supposed to be folded under her, but that’s not what a god damn folded leg looks like.  Unless her leg has suffered a Joe Theismann in at least two places, it wouldn’t completely fold under her body like that. And her right leg starts out all right, until we get to what I presume is supposed to be a foot. This isn’t quite a Liefeldian level of Foot Failure, but it’s pretty bad. Are those the straps of her high heels going around it? If so, then where in the holy mothercuntfuck are her toes? She’s not wearing panty hose, because the skin on her legs looks just like the skin on her arms–unless she’s wearing panty hose on her arms, in which case, what the fuck, Lady Satan? That’s just weird.

Let’s get into the story.

Because it's a horror story, duh!

Because it’s a horror story, duh! You expect her to stay in an upscale suburban condominium?

Our comic here is following the time honored Golden Age tradition of introducing new story or character elements without the slightest explanation for where they came from or why they were never seen before. Yes, Lady Satan is now receiving letters begging for help. Apparently, she’s a celebrity now. How do people know where to send the letters? Is there an Ask Lady Satan column in the local paper? Why? How? When? Silly reader. Exposition is for bad Christopher Nolan dialogue!

We’re introduced to Nancy Strong, who coincidentally looks a lot like Lady Satan. You might think this is because the artist has a limited range when drawing women (too many in the industry do), but it actually becomes relevant to the plot later on. We also, sadly, learn that one of my favorite comic book supporting characters has fallen on hard times!

And by "very faithfully" I mean "wheatcakes".

And by “very faithfully” I mean “wheatcakes”.

Oh my non-existent god! Aunt May is so broke, she had to change her name and take a job cleaning up some scary haunted mansion.

Yup. The mansion is haunted. Nancy claims that she hears weird sounds at night. And, in classic human fashion, when we hear hoof beats we think zebras, not horses. The noises couldn’t be a raccoon or a bird or a rogue jellyfish. Nope, gotta be a ghost. Her father disappeared a while back along with a large sum of money, so that’s probably connected. Because these things always are.

This story has a total of 5 characters in it: The titular (*heh*) Lady Satan, Nancy Strong (the victim), the ghost of a murdered man, and two BUTLERS. I hope I don’t have to provide a spoiler warning before saying Rebecca and her husband are the killers.

And, of course, the tea Rebecca is serving them is roofied (because like any good housekeeper, she keeps date-rape drugs around).

No, I won't make a gay joke about "queer taste". But I will say that seeing this panel in a horror comic made me think of this.

No, I won’t make a gay joke about “queer taste”. But I will say that seeing this panel in a horror comic made me think of this.

Wait. How did she know the tea had a “queer taste”, unless she actually drank some of it? This reminds me of a sequence in the recent Hawkeye Annual #1 (which I just read today). But that’s another story.*

Nancy becomes sleepy, obviously, and Lady Satan pretends to also be sleepy, naturally. That’s how these things ALWAYS go. I’ll give them a pass since this cliche wasn’t quite so worn out in 1946 as it is today (although it still appeared in quite a few contemporary films noirs).

After Nancy’s announced genuine sleepiness and Lady Satan’s faked sleepiness, we get the following page, which has a number of…issues.

The Golden Age, when everyone thinks out loud, and even if you're just a few yards away you can't hear a damn thing they're saying.

The Golden Age, when everyone thinks out loud, and even if you’re just a few yards away you can’t hear a damn thing they’re saying.

I’ll make a list of all the things that are off here.

  1. That first panel comes immediately after Nancy announcing she’s sleepy. And yet, she looks fired up.
  2. We’ve already established that she believes there’s a ghost in the house. No need to repeat ourselves.
  3. They’re in this huge mansion, and yet they sleep in the same room? Why, other than to titillate the reader with potential lesbian fingerbanging and nipple suckage and clit licking and…okay, I’m getting carried away here. I’ll stop.
  4. Lady Satan’s pose in the first panel seems to confirm my lesbian fantasies…
  5. She sleeps in her mask?
  6. Why put on Nancy’s clothes? And on that note…
  7. Why, two panels later, are you clearly wearing the same clothes you were already wearing rather than Nancy’s clothes? (This is likely due to lack of communication between writer and artist.)
  8. Why does a ghost make the floor creak?
  9. Nobody has untrustworthy parents! He’s her father, so you can totally trust him for realz yo!
  10. Just what exactly is the housekeepers’ plan here?
  11. Why would they think it’s Nancy walking in her sleep? Why would them thinking that be a bad thing?

So Nancy follows the ghost into a creepy barn/dungeon thing, and discovers that he was leading her to the location of the hidden money. Lady Satan divines that the ghost wants her to give it to Nancy. Evil Aunt May and her husband follow as well…

"I'm gonna stuff this wheatcake so far up her ass she'll shit whole grain for a month!"

“I’m gonna stuff this wheatcake so far up her ass she’ll shit whole grain for a month!”

Wait, you knew she would? So your plan was to drug Nancy and wait for her to sleepwalk to where the money is? HUH? How the fuck is that supposed to work? What makes you think she would ever do that? Why choose the night that Lady Satan arrived to do it?

Judging by Aunt May's gesticulation, that must have been a very stinky punch to the face.

Judging by Aunt May’s gesticulation, that must have been a very stinky punch to the face.

Lady Satan, I have just one thing to say to you.

Yup, the old bald guy just punches the fuck out of her, and they chain her up and take the money. And, yes, they still think she’s Nancy, even though she’s wearing her Lady Satan mask (and still in her own clothes, no matter what she says). How fucking dumb are these crooks? At least they finally wise up…

I can only imagine her delivering that line like this.

I can only imagine her delivering that line like this.

Interestingly, other than her ability to see ghosts when others can’t, this is the first time she’s used her Deus ex machina magic spells in this story. Previously, pretty much every time they needed to move the plot forward she’d pull some kind of spell out of her ass that does exactly what the plot needs at that moment. Props to the writer of this week’s installment (whomever he/she is) for finding other ways to tell the story.

Anyways, so now Lady Satan has sicced the ghost of Abner Strong on them. That will distract Aunt Doom and Bald Bastard Ben for a while. But what about getting out of those chains?

Strong enough for 20 men, pH balanced for a Satanic woman.

Strong enough for 20 men, pH balanced for a Satanic woman.

Oh, come on! Just when I’m praising the comic for avoiding the Solution-Was-In-My-Ass-The-Whole-Time plot devices, it pulls out two in a row. Bad! Bad Lady Satan comic!

And wouldn’t that super strength have been useful when you were getting clocked in the face on the previous page?

Whatever. Aunt Evil and Not-Uncle-Ben realize that Phantom Abner can’t actually physically harm them (him being incorporeal and all), just in time to meet up with a now free Lady Satan. She knocks Baldy Magoo aside, and then we get one of the most confusing action sequences I’ve ever seen in a comic book.

Sequential art. Usually it helps when it's sequential. And art.

Sequential art. Usually it helps for it to be sequential. And art.

Uhhhh….huh? I honestly can’t make out what the fuck is happening here. In the first panel Lady Satan is apparently swinging her chains at Aunt Slay, but judging by the motion lines they go way over her head. Aunt Slay is cowering, but apparently unharmed. In the next panel, she’s flying through the air, perpendicular to a pitchfork. Next, she’s face down on the ground, totally forked in the ass–from the opposite direction than what she was traveling. It makes no sense. And somehow the dialogue manages to make it all even more confusing and non sequitur. I can’t think of any way that what’s happening in one panel could be followed by what’s in the next. We seem to have been transported into some brainfuckingly bizarre universe where cause and effect no longer have any meaning. Where up is down, black is white, good is evil, and Kid Rock is talented.

And the worst part is, this is all we get. There are only two panels left in the comic…

Wait. So the huge fortune that we've all been fighting for...can fit in a fucking lunch bag? What a gyp!

Wait. So the huge fortune that we’ve all been fighting for…can fit in a fucking lunch bag? What a gyp!

There are a lot of things that come to mind when I look at that last panel, such as… Why are those books facing the wrong way, with their spines to the wall? No, just kidding. It actually makes me think about fisting.

How did Abner get his revenge? Was he the one who forked Aunt Slay in the ass? When? What was going on between those wonky panels? I guess he might have done it, since the black and yellow color scheme seems to be his leitmotif. But we’d already established that he can’t affect corporeal things. If he could impale someone with a pitchfork, why not just grab the money and give it to Nancy himself, instead of getting Lady Satan to do it? She said Aunt Slay could “feel but not see” the ghost–is this what she meant? But she saw the ghost, and felt the fucking pitchfork? And how is his revenge complete when Not-Uncle Ben is still alive and kicking? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON???

As a final kicker–Nancy seems to have overcome her grief pretty fucking quickly!

Anyways, I didn’t like this story as much as the last one, and that mainly has to do with the fact that the artist clearly struggled with how to portray action on a static page, and the writer clearly struggled with condensing his story into the small number of pages required for an anthology comic, as was common in the golden age. With their incompetence powers combined, this story seems to leap from one image to the next, often with little rhyme or reason or coherent flow. It’s still not bad, though. It has all the cheesiness and absurdity that’s typical of a Golden Age superhero story. And it’s in the public domain and available for free at The Digital Comics Museum. If you like that kind of stuff, check it out! If not, then fuck off!!!

______________________________

* Okay, let me get this straight. Madame Mask pulls the older-than-dirt cliche of a drug in her ring being dumped in Kate Bishop’s drink. Kate does a “fake sip” (how exactly does that work?) then pulls the slightly-less-older-than-dirt cliche of pouring the drink out in a plant, because no one will notice when the drink instantly goes from full to empty (writers, please stop doing this). The drug IMMEDIATELY WILTS THE PLANT. Then Kate Bishop fakes being…sleepy? And Madame Mask goes along as if this were exactly what she expected. In fact, we know it’s what she expected because she wanted to keep Envaginated Hawkeye alive to torture her later. So the drug she intended to put her to sleep with is so powerful it kills plants on contact. What the fuck???

Oh, and “unknown unknown” is NOT a tautology.

Comic Relief: More Satan!

I think I’m gonna start talking more about comics on this blog. Why? ‘Cause I feel like it, that’s why. So let’s revisit my favorite female superhero of the Golden Age, Lady Motherfuckin’ Satan. (To see my first post on Lady Satan, click here.)

When we last left Lady Satan, her fiance was murdered (and literally all we know about him was that he was her fiance and he was murdered) and this inspired Lady Satan to go to Nazi-occupied France and fight the Fritz.  That was Dynamic Comics #2, and her only other appearance in that book was in Dynamic Comics #3, which hit stands in February of 1942.

When you open the issue to the first page, you’re assaulted with a rather unpleasant image…

lady satan 4

How about you St. Pat my balls?

He is said to have wasted 100 years expending his energies on empty religious ceremonialism rather than doing things that actually matter.

Luckily, this useless old geezer only takes up one page, and we get some Lady Satan awesomeness starting on page 26.

Dead Nazis are always a good way to start out.

Dead Nazis are always a good way to start out.

That is so fucking awesome. I really dig the smoke through the skull image. And now we’ve got some real Inglorious Basterds style bloody Nazi killings. No more of that pansy-ass “chlorine” gun she used last issue.

There’s a problem, however, with the scan of this issue that I got from Digital Comics Museum. You can probably tell from the image above that the physical copy from which it was scanned was in pretty bad shape. There are holes in the pages, and the colors are faded. Here’s a closer look:

Holy fuck, there's a tear in space-time! Someone call Dr. Who!

Holy fuck, there’s a tear in space-time! Someone call Dr. Who!

There’s also this problem:

Maybe it's just REALLY badly applied make-up?

Maybe it’s just REALLY badly applied make-up?

The printer fucked up with the color plates, and they’re all offset. It looks like shit.

If you read enough Golden Age comics, you’ll come across this problem from time to time. Standards were low back then, and it wasn’t uncommon for printers to make major errors in producing a book, then just say “Fuck it! Put it on the shelves anyways! It’s not like we’ll have a legacy or anything in the future.” So, yeah, a lot of Golden Age comic books with really shitty quality out there.

Lucky for us, this story was reprinted in Bull’s Eye Comics #11 in 1944. And this time, Lady Satan even made the cover:

ver of a children's magazine in 1944. Oh how times have change...

You could put this on the cover of a children’s magazine in 1944. Oh how times have change…

Fuck yeah! Let’s get started.

Our story has a bit of a confusing beginning. We’re at a house in… somewhere. France maybe? It looks like a rather American house. And Lady Satan is in a car with somebody named Kurt…

"It's not Lady Lady. It's Lady Satan! Get it right, bitch!"

“It’s not Lady Lady. It’s Lady Satan! Get it right, bitch!”

Seriously, your password for secret information in this war-torn, Nazi-ruled nation is “My baby is sick”? You’re not at all worried about accidentally giving up that you’re a secret British spy to someone who just happens to have a sick baby?

And who the fuck is Kurt? And where is he? In the car? Can he hear this conversation? And why is he addressing her as “Lady Satan” when she’s not in disguise?

So many questions. But some of them are in fact answered in later pages. Kurt is a devoted Nazi soldier. Lady Satan is undercover, pretending to date him–or that he’s her “escort”; the comic implies both. He calls her “Lady Satan”. Would you date someone if the only name they gave you was “Satan”? Well, I guess he’s a Nazi and all…

Lady Satan’s sick-baby courier informs her that the Nazis are having some kind of big ass meeting today, and Lady Satan needs to find out what the fuck is going down. (I’m paraphrasing.) It doesn’t take long. After merely prodding her escort/boyfriend about whether he has another girl, Kurt shows us what kind of man he is.

Oh, and I wet the bed at night.  Damn it! Shut up, Kurt. You'll never get laid this way.

Oh, and I wet the bed at night. Damn it! Shut up, Kurt. You’ll never get laid this way.

Kurt, you fucking dumbshit. No wonder the Nazi’s lost.

Lady Satan pretends not to care about such things to throw Kurt off her scent, but decides that she must attend this meeting to break up the Nazi plan to kill the leaders of the free world. So she follows Kurt.

It's so secret that I hope there isn't someone obviously listening as we loudly discuss it outside.

It’s so secret that I hope there isn’t someone obviously listening in as we loudly discuss it outside.

Empowered with this knowledge, Lady Satan sneaks in and incapacitates the guard in one of the best single panels in the book.

Well, it was the most silent weapon before that whole "AAAAGGGHH!" thing.

Well, it was the most silent weapon before that whole “AAAAGGGHH!” thing.

God, I love the look on that guy’s face. He almost seems to be looking at the reader to ask, “Can you believe this shit?”

Lady Satan hides along with the supposedly garroted guard to listen in to the meeting as the Nazi leaders enter. They notice that the guard is missing, but have their totally secret meeting anyways. How the hell did these guys even manage to last all the way up to 1945? Anyways, it turns out that Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt are going to have a secret meeting on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic (Why not in D.C., where it’s safe?), and the Nazis want a volunteer to go on a suicide mission to assassinate them. Kurt, brain trust that he is, volunteers. He is told that he will be disguised as none other than Charles de Gaulle in order to infiltrate the Allied meeting.

Unfortunately…

Lady Satan, you suck at strangling people.

Lady Satan, you suck at strangling people.

Oh, fuck! She’s busted!

The Nazis find her behind the curtain and converge on her. She draws her gun, and in the lone moment of competency in his life, Kurt disarms her. Running out of options and capture looking eminent, she…

"Can't believe I dated that crazy bitch."

“Can’t believe I dated that crazy bitch.”

…Kills herself?

Shit, that was over quickly. They leave her alone so that the incompetent guard she strangled earlier can bury her. He buries her. The end.

Just kidding. It was a rubber knife full of fake blood. No one even checks her body. Nazis are morons. Especially Kurt.

But now she has to catch up with the nefarious Kurt de Gaulle, who’s heading out into the Atlantic in a plane with French markings, before he can kill Roosevelt and Churchill. Lady Satan hijacks a Nazi plane (where did she get these ace piloting skills?) and pursues. She finally catches up to Krazy Kurt as they approach the American and British ships. But then…

Oh, so we're shooting the Nazis now? Gee, I've only been here for 14 months. Thanks for telling me how to do my job, Lance.

Oh, so we’re shooting the Nazis now? Gee, I’ve only been here for 14 months. Thanks for telling me how to do my job, Lance.

Lady Satan is shot down by the most FAAAABULOUS pair of shirtless Navy hunks this side of a Village People reunion (and with a giant cannon-boner between them). But merely being shot out of the sky won’t stop her! She is fucking Satan after all! She’s pulled from the water by some sailors who attempt to arrest her, but she pulls a gun and forces them to take her to the ship where Kurt the Kraut Frog will attempt the assassination.

"I'm sure the Nazis sent me on this mission that I'm certain not to survive because they really value my quick wit and consummate skills."

“I’m sure the Nazis sent me on this mission that I’m certain not to survive because they really value my quick thinking and impeccable observation skills.”

Kurt, Kurt, Kurt. You still haven’t put two and two together yet, have you?

Well, it’s too late. Before Kurt the Sausage-sucking Surrender-Monkey can shoot Churchill and Roosevelt, Lady Satan comes up and literally stabs him in the back. Alas, their love was not to be. Kurt’s last words were, “They have rightly named you…Lady Satan…AAAAGGHH!” Should’ve thought of that earlier, Kurt. Now you’re Nazi shishkabob.

And the comic ends with Churchill and Roosevelt, two of the greatest leaders the free world has ever seen, giving thanks to Satan.

You can't see it in the panel, but Churchill is double-fisting martinis and FDR is getting a handy."

You can’t see it in the panel, but Churchill is double-fisting martinis and FDR is getting a handy.

God, I love this comic.

Anyways, go to the Digital Comic Museum and pick this one up. It is free and in the public domain, after all. And as always, Hail Satan!

Comic Relief: Sexy Satanic Golden Age Goodness

I saw over at Atop the Fourth Wall, a site everyone should check out, Linkara has a post about a kick ass Golden Age comic book hero called Tomboy. I enjoy reading those old Golden Age comic books from time to time, and thought I’d share one of my personal favorites. It’s not just that she kicks ass, it’s also that our hero’s name is totally blasphemous. You could never give a superhero a name like this in the later Silver Age, when the censorious Comics Code Authority completely neutered the entire industry.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…

"Why, no, my dear. I'm not evil. Whatever would make you say that?"

“Why, no, my dear. I’m not evil. Whatever would make you say that? Is it the monocle? The martini? The arched eyebrow? Or the gang sign I’m flashing?”

Yes, that’s right. LADY FUCKING SATAN.

Lady Satan, who debuted in Dynamic Comics #2 in 1941, interests me for several reasons.

  1. She’s motherfucking Satan. (But not really. It’s just a name.)
  2. She debuted a month before Wonder Woman, whom people often mistakenly believe is the first female superhero. (She’s not. Not even close.)*
  3. She doesn’t have any superpowers, and has to use her wits to fight crime. But then suddenly she has superpowers in a later issue without any explanation. Let’s just say that continuity wasn’t on anyone’s mind back in the Golden Age.
  4. People in the comic rarely remark on the fact that she named herself after FUCKING SATAN. You’d think that would be the first question out of anyone’s mouth.

So, what made Lady Satan decide to give up her normal life and become a Nazi-killing fallen angel? You’d think one would need a compelling reason to start calling oneself “Satan”…

"Trust me, I'm very sad about this. Can't you see it on my face, or did the artist fuck me up again?"

“Trust me, I’m very sad about this. Can’t you see it on my face, or did the artist fuck me up again?”

That’s all the origin you get, folks. Three panels. In the Golden Age they were nothing if not concise.

And if you thought Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru had it bad in Star Wars, check out poor Nameless Fiance here. He is never mentioned again. Hell, he only gets the one line, and we never even see the sonofabitch’s face. In fact, that one panel of wrathful vow is all the grief over his death we get, as the very next panel makes quite clear.

"Perhaps Madame Satan would like the flowers drizzled with the blood of virgins?"

“Perhaps Madame Satan would like the flowers drizzled with the blood of virgins?”

This comic doesn’t fuck around. Boyfriend dead? Moving on! Time to fight Monocled Nazi Lex Luther.

From here the story follows her as she manipulates the Nazis into leading her to the location of their plans for a sub-detector, which she hopes to deliver to the British. (Remember, America wasn’t at war yet at the time this came out.) Monocled Nazi Lex Luther (a.k.a Captain Fritz–I don’t know why they didn’t just go all the way and call him Major Sausage-Chomper) is quite shocked by this turn of events when Lady Satan’s plot is apparently foiled…

"I should really stop trusting people who hide their identities and name themselves after the Prince of Lies..."

“I should really stop trusting people who hide their identities and name themselves after the Prince of Lies…”

But of course, Lady Satan’s not dead! She gets the plans from them after incapacitating the Nazis (with non-lethal force–she’s not THAT satanic, you know). The British get the Nazi’s submarine plans, and everyone lives satanically ever after.

"HAIL SATAN!"

“HAIL SATAN!”

Seriously. This comic ends with a big joyful “Thank you, Satan!” You know what that is? It’s fucking awesome. That’s what it is.

(Also, why is the Air Ministry in charge of breaking a U-Boat blockade? And what exactly is “a much”?)

It’s actually a pretty standard story, but definitely worth checking out. It’s in the public domain, and can be found at the Digital Comic Museum. Go read the comic, and Hail Satan! 😀

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* DC frequently plays along with this misconception, even though Wonder Woman isn’t even the oldest female superhero in their own roster. Phantom Lady and Bulletgirl both appeared before Wonder Woman (who hit the stands in Dec 1941, in an issue dated Jan 1942–Lady Satan hit the stands in Nov 1941 in an issue dated Dec 1941).

Not only were there literally dozens of female superheroes before Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman wasn’t even the first female patriotic superhero. She was preceded by at least 5 female superhero patriots: USA, Miss America, Miss Victory, Pat Patriot and War Nurse.

Wikipedia claims that Fantomah, who debuted in Feb 1940, is the first female superhero, but this is wrong, too. The oldest female superhero I know of is Ritty, who at 6 inches tall fought crime alongside her equally diminutive boyfriend Minimidget. Both debuted together in Sep 1939, just a few months after Batman.

None of this should be taken as me dissing Wondie.  I like her as a superhero, and I think the stuff Bryan Azzarello is writing for her right now is fantastic. I just hate that DC sometimes represent themselves as being the first when it comes to giving women representation among superheroes, when nothing could be further from the truth.