Vixens, Vamps & Vipers: Lost Villainesses of Golden Age Comics
Truly great villains are few and far between. For every Green Goblin or Red Skull, there are endless duds and d-level foes like Boomerang, Crazy Quilt, and The Ten-Eyed Man (who could see through his fingertips for some reason). But an iconic villainess is even harder to come by.
Vixens, Vamps & Vipers delves into the early history of comics to unearth long-lost villainesses that tangled with and tantalized the greatest heroes of the ’30s and ’40s. Whether they were aspiring mobsters, foreign spies, or Amazonian warriors, these women hail from the days before the Comics Code Authority defanged comics and replaced so many promising characters’ bite with bark.
While the comics themselves are overly wordy, they are a remarkable look at the medium’s history, reflecting social mores toward misogyny and racism that are startling in their bluntness. From a murderous hermaphrodite to a crime spree where an ugly woman steals the city’s makeup supply, you could launch a dozen feminist movements with the material in this book.
Sometimes funny, sometimes bizarre, and sometimes downright stunning in their “how was this considered okay?”-ness, the comics of Vixens, Vamps & Vipers are a worthwhile glimpse into a strange time in history.
Mike Madrid, William Kuskin, Foreword
Exterminating Angel Press