Femme fatales. The Golden Age of Comics was – to use the parlance of the times – lousy with ’em. Catwoman, The Green Sorceress, P’Gell, Madame Satan … pulchritudinous ladies of ill intent vexed the sturdiest of heroes back in the day.
(And let’s not forget Milton Caniff’s Dragon Lady, perhaps the greatest femme fatale of them all.)
One of the most memorable was Valkyrie, a villainous Nazi who found her loyalties to the Fatherland tested by the All-American charms of Airboy, the young aviator who flew the amazing bat-winged “Birdie.”
She first appeared in Air Fighters Comics vol. 2 #2 in a cover-shot that surely got the blood pumping for little boys with loose dimes in their pockets. (Hmmmmm … that doesn’t sound too great.)
Valkyrie’s initial adventure – which is chock-full of glorious pre-code nastiness that probably gave parents cause to wonder about those strange “funny books” – proved popular enough to prompt a number of return engagements.
Each story was illustrated by the great Fred Kida, one of the better storytellers of the Golden Age who also made his mark as an assistant for Will Eisner on The Spirit and Dan Barry on Flash Gordon.
According to Wikipedia, his last full comic-book credit was on Marvel’s Defenders, which of course featured the Norse super-heroine known as … The Valkyrie! Coincidence?
From the pages of Air Fighters Comics, here’s “Airboy Meets Valkyrie.” The writer is, sadly, not credited.