This year, Wonder Woman has become the first female superhero to star in a successful movie. Plenty of women heroes have appeared on screen before, but this is the first with her name on the marquee.
Female superheroes are nothing new. They’ve been around since the Golden Age of comics books (1938 - early 1950s). Wonder Woman has been around since 1941, but has only appeared on screen in the Lynda Carter TV show from the ‘70s and as the one good part of Batman V. Superman. Most Golden Age characters failed and have been lost to the ages, but since Wonder Woman was one of those who survived the culling, she ends up feeling like the first female superhero when it’s just not the case.
The Golden Age was a time of weirdness. The standard tropes of the superhero genre had yet to be codified properly, so everything was like uncharted territory. This means that these old comics are just downright weird. Batman used a GUN back then. Wonder Woman’s comics were filled with bondage fetishism and quite a lot of spanking yet still considered a positive influence for young girls. Bear that in mind as you proceed down this list.
Also, remember the spirit of the times around this period. Women had only been voting for the past twenty years in America and the Feminist Revolution was still decades away. Don’t be shocked by any casual sexism you might notice.