Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Phantom Lady's Quality Sword Fighting

I mentioned in my last Perusing Previews post that I was tempted by the Quality Companion as I've a fondness for the heroes such as Uncle Sam, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady and the other Freedom Fighters and figured, with my birthday coming up, that I'd treat myself.

It's a handsome looking book, no doubt, filled with lots of info both about the characters and the creators that worked at Quality, even detailing how the characters have fared since they became DC properties.

At the start of the book are reproductions of various Quality comics featuring the above characters as well as Black Condor, The Ray and the cross dressing Madam Fatal but one thing that caught me by surprise was the Phantom Lady story.

Phantom Lady gets called to a duel by fellow crime fighter Spider Widow while their mutual friend the Raven watches to decide which one is the better. Trouble is, Spider Widow also had a letter from Phantom Lady demanding the same thing and while they meet and begin the duel with swords, they fairly quickly realise they've been set up. Both letters were sent by the same crooks in order to get all three together. They shoot the Raven just as Phantom Lady and Spider Widow realise what's happening, allowing the two heroines to hide in a ditch while one of the crooks heads over to find them

And what does Phantom Lady do?

That's right - she flings her foil and pierces the crook, killing him.

Don't believe me? On the very next page, the crook's friends head over to check on him:

"Deader'n a doornail!"

But a hero killing a bad guy isn't the weirdest thing about the story - that actually comes right at the start when Phantom Lady gets the letter from Spider Widow:

The script isn't that clear so here's a zoomed in version:

The duel is sparked off because the month before, Phantom Lady had an adventure with the Raven in the pages of Feature Comics, so now Spider Widow's coming over to her "home territory" of Police Comics!

And as the crooks wrote the letter, it means that both the heroes and the villains are aware they're appearing in comic books . . . in 1943!

Take that, Grant Morrison!

Yeah, yeah, whatever . . .

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