I looked and it seems I promised that this month I'd give you all a glimpse of my favorite super dames in countdown form. So being a man of my word (mostly) I am here on this final day of the year to comply with my personal list of favorite daughters of Eve. Above is the vivacious Black Canary as rendered by the late great Alex Toth.
I always liked the Canary in her JLofA appearances when she stepped in to take Wonder Woman's spot. She held her own with the big hitters and wore fishnets to boot.
Mantis is next. The mysterious maiden was the concoction of Steve Englehart and Don Heck, but this drawing by Dave Cockrum is my favorite. She was a martial artist with a deep hidden past it seems almost no one could discover, but eventually they did and she became the "Celestial Madonna" of all things.
One of the remarkable things about Mantis is that she has other identities across the comics multiverse. She goes where Steve Englehart goes.
She is named Willow in the DCU when she appeared in an issue of JLA written by Englehart.
And she's named Lorelei in Eclipse's Scorpio Rose.
Karnilla the Norn Queen always captured my fancy and her long-standing attempts to win the admiration of Balder the Brave showed that even a woman of her substantial gifts could be smitten low by the power of love. Balder always seemed more than a minor dimwit to me for constantly rebuffing Karnilla's advances -- I'd have not been so strong.
Marvel Girl was one of my earliest crushes in comics and what's not to like with that flaming red hair and that amazing mini-skirt. Her telekinetic powers were sometimes difficult to showcase on the page, but her beauty never was.
Even a budding talent like Barry "Not-Yet-Windsor" Smith hit it out of the park in his debut comic. This full-page shot of Jean Grey is an all-time fave.
Over at DC the arrival of that delectable Supergirl from another Earth really shook things.
Linda Danvers had been quite retiring but Power Girl was far from that and her abilities were really more than any man could stand.
Vampirella won hearts from the minute she showed up at Warren to drain them.
This blood-sucking babe from the depths of space came to Earth and soon enough began to solve mysteries and battle demons all while wearing an impossibly scanty outfit and some knock em' dead high-heeled boots.
Phantom Lady was one of the original dynamite babes, thanks in no small measure to the talent of Matt Baker. She wasn't the mightiest of heroes but she looked the best at doing it.
She became Nightveil at Bill Black's AC Comics and a founding member of Femforce which includes super babes such as Ms. Victory, Tara, Dragonfly, Stardust, and many more. This comic always sat on the edge of being a little too risque for my tastes, but in the 90's it found the perfect balance and became a real must-read for me. Alas in more recent years the appeal is not something I cotton too all that thoroughly.
Batgirl had her million dollar debut at just about the time I was discovering comics and I fell for the "Dominoed Daredoll" almost instantly.
She had the additional advantage of being real, as portrayed by the late and lovely Yvonne Craig. We miss you Yvonne.
Jezebel Jade caught my heart when she brandished her weapon in early episodes of Jonny Quest. She looks downright luscious when drawn by the late-great Dave Stevens.
The Black Widow has found much fame in recent years due to her outstanding stints in the Avengers movies as portrayed by Scarlet Johansen. She comes close to stealing everyone of those Marvel flicks she's in, if she doesn't actually do it. Beginning as classic femme fatale she adopted the fishnets to fight against and alongside Hawkeye and the Avengers early in her career.
And then she decided to change it up with this sleek design by John Romita. I'm not sure, but it's entirely possible I went through puberty between pages eight and nine of this particular issue of Spider-Man that gave a glimpse of the new Black Widow.
The Fourth World was not complete until without warning Big Barda made the scene in issue four of Mister Miracle. She was a no-nonsense broad who had battled with the best and worst of them. Tested she look great in her armor.
And she looks even greater out of it. This splash page by the late Jack "King" Kirby might well have made many a young lad simmer along with "girl watchers' in the panel.
When Barda decided to take a bath (thanks to Marvel Evanier who needed to write one more page for the comic) the world and moi fell absolutely in love with the future Mrs. Free. Sigh.
But it will likely come as no surprise to any regular reader of this here blog that my favorite dame of all is the vivacious Nova Kane (real name Katrinka Colchnzski), college student, exotic dancer and the paramour of the space-faring E-Man. The bold personality of Nova won hearts and minds from the first panel when E-Man needed a place to land in the pages of Nick Cuti's and Joe Staton's mighty comic.
She became his partner in all ways some few issues later when superpowers became hers. E-Man might be retired and Nova with him, but she will live forever in the depths of this fanboy's beating heart.