Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Butterfly...the FIRST Black SuperHeroine's Premiere!

Butterfly debuted as a back-up feature in the b/w comic magazine Hell-Rider #1, August, 1971.
She predated Marvel's Storm by four years and DC's BumbleBee by five years.

Secretly Las Vegas cabaret singer Marian Michaels, the flying femme's origin and crime-fighting motivations were never revealed.

Butterfly wore a somewhat-skimpy winged costume (note: there are no color pics of the character) with an anti-gravity device/mini-jet for propulsion, and high-intensity strobe lights to blind her foes.
Whether she created the costume and equipment herself or was given them is another mystery.
She's also a trained hand-to-hand combatant.

This premiere story was written by Gary Friedrich, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Jack Abel and Mike Esposito.



  1. This is INCREDIBLE! 42 years later and this artwork is more beautiful than anything else out today!

    Have to find this book!

    1. The magazine has never been reprinted, and isn't cheap when you find it on eBay or Heritage Auctions.

    2. I'm a designer so if it goes over $100 I'll use it as a tax write-off. Thanks a lot for letting me know where to find this book! The art is fantastic!

  2. I'll fatten up the piggy-bank! Thanks for the leads on where to find it!

  3. Happy to revive this thread, Britt. (BTW, I looked for you on Twitter and it said you were "pending" ??)

    Anyhow, I've continued The Butterfly (and Hell-Rider's) story in my novel, "The Be(k)nighted" an epic occult/superhero/urban fantasy tale. It can be found here: tinyurl.com/2p8hvms7

    A low-risk way to check it out is to get the novel's prologue FREE (it's a standalone short-story on it's own, Marian is in there) as part of my BookFunnel Promo: https://books.bookfunnel.com/lillardbooks/76a2o1kbdm

    Anyway, drop me a line at my blog. I'd love to talk classic comics with you. Be well!!