Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Space Woman from Outer Space

I'm Evan T. I am a nerd. I have 20+ years of nerding experience, so don't call me on my geek credentials. I tend to like more mainstream comics, which is totally cool since Carly is more of an independent comic fan. Iron Man is my favorite. I'll be throwing articles on whenever the Chief allows me. I'm starting tonight with the world premiere of Space Woman. I hope you enjoy.

Space Woman from Outer Space

Space Woman is the heroine of a science fiction comic strip that was first published November 21, 1936. The strip was created to capture the female market and also capitalize on the success and popularity of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and Dash Dixon.

Space Woman lasted until early 1942 when the creator of Space Woman, Richard Francis, enlisted to fight the Nazis in WWII. After two tours Francis returned and focused on reviving Space Woman. Riding the rising feminist tide, a comic book was published by Preparation Publications. Space Woman meets Rosie the Riveter was released in 1945 to wild success. A regular series was started soon afterward and went on for a 51 issue run, which included the controversial issue 29 where Space Woman's alter ego, Belle Gurly, was outed as a communist sympathizer in a crossover with PP's other most popular comic, Mechanized McCarthy and the Anti Red Rangers. Preparation Publications went defunct in 1950 and their catalog of characters was purchased by Flashtime Comic in 1972.

Space Woman (Vol. 2) started in 1977 after Star Wars renewed America's love affair with science fiction. It went on to tackle many issues of the times. Of note is issue 28 where Meteor Maiden, a reluctant ally, became addicted to Haily's Heroin and issue 42 where Space Woman has a interracial kiss with a Black Hole Man.

In 1983, a children's cartoon was introduced, Space Woman's Saturday Space Adventures. Aside from Alien Monstar, Space Woman's arch nemesis, a new cast of characters was created. While most went on to find their way into the comic series, one character was universally despised. Moon Moon Astro, a talking moon dog, was invented to draw more of the child crowd. IGN listed Moon Moon Astro as #2 in its list of "Worst Side-kicks of the 80's". SWSSA also spawned a line of action figures in 1986. They were immediately recalled due to unsafe lead levels. These first issue action figures are extremely rare and fetch upwards of $1000 MIP on eBay.

Space Woman's low numbers in the early 90's led to a cancellation of both the comic and the cartoon series. The character showed up in other books, including a brief membership in The Revengers League of Lawfulness. During a nostalgic resurgence of science fiction in 2002, a retro themed Space Woman series was launched by Brown Fox Comix. Rumors of a movie have been circulating for the past few years, with Kristen Bell in the lead role.

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