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Is Tomboy of Sterling Comics, from 1954, the first independent superheroine in comics?

"Superheroine" because she's a 10-year-old girl that can cling to the outside of a plane and jump into the water.

Unless that's actually possible, in which case the question becomes "Who's the real first?"

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  • 3
    Is "independent" intended to modify comicbook or superheroine?
    – Sam Azon
    Jun 13 at 1:14
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    The Pippi Longstocking novels go back to 1945, but you specified comic books, and the first Pippi comic books (in Swedish) started in 1957.
    – user14111
    Jun 13 at 2:34
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    What does "independent" mean in this context? Financially independent, like Batman? Not a member of a political party?
    – user14111
    Jun 13 at 3:39
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    Mary Marvel, from 1942?
    – user14111
    Jun 13 at 3:43
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    Wonder Woman is from 1941 and should fit any definition of "independent". Jun 13 at 8:09

3 Answers 3

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There are a considerable number of solo female superheroes that pre-date 1954.

One of the earliest in comics is Fantomah, previewing in Jungle Comics #2 (Feb, 1940) and then appearing in Jungle Comics #3 (March, 1940) in her own self-titled strip. Fantomah had a range of powers including the ability to command animals, sense what's happening in the jungle, change her appearance and cause fear.

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We also have The Woman in Red, a masked crimefighter that debuted in Thrilling Comics #2 in March, 1940. She has no specific superpowers, but she does operate as a vigilante in much the same mould as Batman.

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A solid contender is also Miss Fury, who first appeared in April, 1941 in a strip titled The Black Fury. Donning a magical catsuit, she gains super-strength and agility.

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Definitely not first independent superheroine, but possibly first independent KID superheroine

If "independent heroine" means one who isn't a sidekick or derived female character (like Mary Marvel), then Wonder Woman (first appearance October 1941) well predates Tomboy.

However, according to this fandom wiki, "Tomboy is possibly the first female kid superhero (or to specify even more, heroine) who wasn't someone's sidekick."

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I didn't realize it, but I was looking for kid superheroines. Even so, for the question I stated, I have found Olga Mesmer of 1937.

She has / had "phenomenal strength which [Olga's guardian] has been in mortal dread for years" along with her titular 'x-ray eyes'.

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    A very good find. I'm not sure that she quite meets the criteria for being fully independent, but she's certainly super-powered.
    – Valorum
    Jun 13 at 18:20

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