Silver Scorpion

 

Even prior to the United States deploying soldiers overseas to counteract the global turmoil sparked by Axis countries at the onset of World War II, the nascent comic book industry was already producing a myriad of superhero characters. There were numerous endeavors, with varying degrees of success, aimed at captivating the public’s imagination and, ideally, securing a loyal readership.

Within this early cohort of superheroes, a few notable female characters emerged. This list included:

 

  1. Fantomah, February 1940, Jungle Comics #2, Fletcher Hanks, Fiction House
  2. The Woman In Red, March 1940, Thrilling Comics #2, Richard E. Hughes and George Mandel, Nedor Comics
  3. Lady Luck, June 1940, “The Spirit Section” Sunday newspaper insert, Will Eisner and Chuck Mazoujian, reprinted by Quality Comics
  4. The Black Widow [Claire Voyant], August 1940, Mystic Comics #4, George Kapitan and Harry Sahle, Timely Comics (Marvel)
  5. Red Tornado [Ma Hunkel], November 1940, All-American Comics #20, Sheldon Mayer, All-American Publications
  6. Silver Scorpion, April 1941, Daring Mystery Comics #7, Harry Sahle, Timely Comics (Marvel)
  7. Miss Fury, April 1941, Sunday newspaper strip, Tarpe Mills, reprinted by Timely Comics (Marvel)
  8. Phantom Lady, August 1941, Police Comics #1, The Eisner & Iger Studio, Quality Comics
  9. Miss America, August 1941, Military Comics #1, Elmer Wexler, Quality Comics
  10. Miss Victory, August 1941, Captain Fearless #1, Charles Quinlan, Holyoke Publishing Co.
  11. Pat Patriot, August 1941, Daredevil Comics #2, Charles Biro and Bob Wood, Lev Gleason Publishing
  12. Black Cat, August 1941, Pocket Comics #1, Alfred Harvey and Barbara Hall, Harvey Comics

Observe the prevalence of ” Red, White and Blue” female superheroes in August of 1941. Wonder Woman, introduced by DC in All-Star Comics #8 in December 1941, was among them. This occurred prior to the U.S. entering WWII on December 7, 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan.

Marvel’s Silver Scorpion stands as one of the lesser-known members of this early cohort of super-heroines, featured in only three issues from April 1941 to April 1942. Operating under the alias Betty Barstow, she served as the secretary to detective Dan Hurley. However, once adorned in her Silver Scorpion costume, Betty could unleash her agile jiu-jitsu expertise upon the criminal underworld.

In a notable escapade, Betty discreetly secures a lucrative client, Dennis Danting, without Detective Dan’s awareness. The Silver Scorpion intervenes to thwart the malevolent spiritualist Effendi, also known as Eddie Lorey, preventing him from pilfering $10,000 from Danting’s wealthy widowed mother. Whether Betty subsequently revealed the client and commission to Detective Dan remains undisclosed.

Explore Silver Scorpion’s thrilling “Sinister Spiritualist” tale from Daring Mystery Comics #8 below.