Today, we salute the awesomeness of Madam Fatal:
The saga of Madam (or "Madame" at times) Fatal ran for 22 issues of Crack Comics, at which point it was cancelled because believe it or not, the notion of a guy dressing as a girl and fighting crime didn't capture the attention of small children for long.
These panels are from the first appearance of Madam Fatal in Crack Comics #1, before bad guys knew better than to trifle with a harmless-looking person in comics. It's always the harmless-looking person who ends up being some kind of mutant or alien capable of pulling your brains out your nasal cavity.
See what I mean? By comic book standards, those thugs got off light.
And since this was an origin story, we learn the reason Richard Stanton dressed up as an elderly woman for eight years before this story took place. Not surprisingly, we never got a Madam Fatal: The Lost Years mini-series (although I bet I could write a great one).
Begin with the expository dialogue!:
You think that's it? Nope. Richard has been tucking his junk for eight years, and you're going to hear the whole story behind it:
What was so goofball about all this was that by the time we're finished with the very first Madam Fatal appearance, the motivation for the character is gone. Madam Fatal found and killed the guy he was looking for, and was now down to "fighting crime and lawlessness" as a transvestite:
Well, I'm not being entirely fair. Madam Fatal's daughter was still missing, being held by an undisclosed villain, so there was still something to be done. Sixty-Year Spoiler Alert!: Who had Richard's daughter was never revealed, and the daughter was never found.
DC Comics acquired the rights to Madame Fatal when the obtained the rights to all of the Quality Comics characters, but as you might imagine, they didn't see a diamond in the rough here. As far as I know, Madam Fatal only popped up twice in a DC Comic. First, in the awesome The Golden Age mini in 1993:
See? Top left. The Gambler and the Fiddler are trying to charm Madam Fatal, apparently unaware (or heck, as far as I know, maybe quite aware) that Madam Fatal is actually a dude. Then again, the giggles of the Psycho Pirate and the Harlequin make me think they are in for quite a rude surprise if they ever get to third base.
And the final indignity - - - dying off camera. Madam Fatal apparently had passed away by 1999's JSA #1:
While the Golden Age Red Tornado (the Ma Hunkel version) is the first time a woman fought crime dressed as a man, Madam Fatal was the first cross-dresser guy-to-girl, and so we give Madam Fatal props for groundbreaking, and for letting his Freak Flag fly!
See you tomorrow!