Saturday, May 8, 2010

Classic Character Profiles: THE BLACK CAT

Many comic book buffs believe Wonder Woman was the first female character to wear what amounts to a bathing suit while doing superhero work. Actually, several characters are tied for that dubious distinction — Quality Comics' Phantom Lady and Wildfire; and Harvey's Black Cat, all of whom beat Wondy into print by four months. (And the only reason they qualify for the "honor" was because Quality's Miss America (no relation) didn't have a costume yet and the others that debuted in August, 1941, Holyoke's Miss Victory, Lev Gleason's Pat Patriot and Bell Features' Nelvana of the Northern Lights, wore just a little bit too much.)


The Black Cat was Hollywood starlet Linda Turner, whose first adventure began when she suspected her director of being a Nazi spy. Trained as a stunt woman, she was an expert on Judo, motorcycle riding, lariat throwing, and other physical skills costumed crime fighters find handy; and her father, an amateur detective, had taught her the necessary mental skills. Knowing her superstitious quarry had a "thing" about black cats, she used that as a theme for her disguise. After smashing his spy ring, she combatted boredom with her glamorous but empty lifestyle by continuing to fight crime as The Black Cat.


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