The Blue Lady fells a foe. Artist: Frank Frollo.

THE BLUE LADY

Medium: Comic books
Published by: Centaur Publications
First Appeared: 1941
Creator: Frank Frollo
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The Blue Lady had nothing to do with Pinocchio's Blue Fairy, and even less to do with DC Comics' Blue Boys. And the only thing she had in common with The Blue Beetle is that both were superheroes of the early 1940s; and even at that, the Beetle didn't stay there, whereas The Blue Lady had no existence even in comic books beyond 1942. She was, like Miss Victory, Lady Luck and Nelvana of the Northern Lights, one of the …

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… dozen, dozen and a half or so female superheroes who predated Wonder Woman. In fact, Wondy's second appearance coincided with Blue's final one.

The Blue Lady got super in Amazing-Man Comics #24 (October, 1941), published by Centaur Publications, whose other heroes include Fire-Man and The Fantom of the Fair. The company was only a minor player among comic book publishers, but still managed to field a lot of superheroes, ranging from decidedly odd, like Speed Centaur and The Eye, to utterly prosaic, such as Mighty Man and The Masked Marvel.

Lucille Martin was a novelist heading home from China, where she was picking up atmosphere for her next story. On the same ship was Lotus, a serving maid to Chin Liang, her recent host. Lotus's mission was to carry a priceless artifact to Sing Thang, a resident of San Francisco's Chinatown, but she recognized three thugs, bent on stealing the artifact, coming aboard. Lotus asked Lucille to hold the artifact and deliver it if anything happened to her, and gave Lucille an ancient ring with supernatural powers. That night, Lotus was murdered and thrown overboard.

Back on land, Lucille mused on the ring and the strange blue bird carved on it. She accidentally broke the ring, releasing gas from inside, which she breathed, then passed out. When she woke, she found she had super strength. She responded to this startling development just like anybody would in a comic book at the time — by adopting a secret identity and becoming a costumed crime fighter. Her first super deed was to deliver the artifact to Sing Thang, which made it necessary to defeat the men who had killed Lotus, still after it.

Next issue, it was more about the plot against Sing Thang. It wasn't until the third story that she broke free and had an independent adventure. By that time, perfect strangers knew her in her costumed identity, and she had to get pretty secretive about it. But not so secretive (or so modest) she wasn't willing to change clothes in broad daylight, in the middle of a public sidewalk, before entering the adventure site.

But that (#26, January 1942) was the last issue of Amazing-Man, and she wasn't transferred anywhere else. All three of her stories were written and drawn by cartoonist Frank Frollo, not a major comics talent, who nonetheless had credits at Charlton, Quality and Harvey. The most high-profile work he's known for is a few episodes of Fiction House's Camilla, a star of Jungle Comics alongside Fantomah and Kaanga.

During the 1990s, when Malibu Comics revived several of the old Centaur characters, including The Arrow, Air Man and Man of War (no relation), for one last go-'round — The Blue Lady wasn't there.

— DDM

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Text ©2008-10 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Centaur Publications.