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First female-led strip in 2000AD? 
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I was chatting with a friend about Ebony in The Crunch and it got me wondering whether she was the first female protagonist in a comic aimed at boys. I know there's a long history of female protagonists in 2000AD, but I really have no idea how far back it goes.

The earliest I can think of were the likes of Halo Jones and Skizz, though I have an idea the earliest might be a Judge Anderson solo story, but I have no idea what the dates were for any of these.

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Sun May 12, 2013 10:41 pm
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Marionette wrote:
I was chatting with a friend about Ebony in The Crunch and it got me wondering whether she was the first female protagonist in a comic aimed at boys. I know there's a long history of female protagonists in 2000AD, but I really have no idea how far back it goes.

The earliest I can think of were the likes of Halo Jones and Skizz, though I have an idea the earliest might be a Judge Anderson solo story, but I have no idea what the dates were for any of these.

Try Laura Varn, star of Death Planet, which debuted in Prog 62, April 1978.
http://www.2000ad.org/functions/cover.php?choice=62&Comic=2000ad


Sun May 12, 2013 10:50 pm
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Thanks. I had no idea they had a female protagonist that early.

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Mon May 13, 2013 2:32 am
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Quote:
the first female protagonist in a comic aimed at boys


Well, there was Daisy Fairfax in The Halfpenny Marvel, circa 1897...

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Mon May 13, 2013 1:34 pm
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The first overtly 'feminist' strip in 2000 AD was more than likely The Ballad of Halo Jones, drawn by Ian Gison.....the others were testosterone-pumping gals! [what I remember.]

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Mon May 13, 2013 9:36 pm
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I always thought the first female character in 2000AD was Angela Rippon as she did appear in issue 1...

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Mon May 13, 2013 10:51 pm
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I remember that item, Col---I think it was on page 3 [no, not that sort of page 3]: Angela was reporting on the then-far-off 1999 Volgan Invasion of Britain on a 'stereopanorama' TV set.

What are your thoughts on the much more recent, more stylized Bill Savage stories, then?

FLESH of course is another very early 2000 AD strip recently given a reboot as well.

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Tue May 14, 2013 8:43 am
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I have rarely seen more than an episode here or there, so I don't feel I have enough knowledge to comment on the story or the art. But I do have a Bill Savage sketch by Charlie Adlard, so it can't be all that bad. :D

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Tue May 14, 2013 10:09 am
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yep, 2000 AD sure ain't what it used to be! Some of the material is so off the wall and abstract I find it virtually unreadable: there are definitely some golden nuggets in there. though: and 1977 was a long time ago, of course......some of the contemporary Dredd stories are more brutalized and explicit, almost like in modern Horror films, although the art technique is often highly-accomplished.

the only 2 OOO AD 'original artwork' I have is a blue biro sketch I got Kevin O'Neill to draw directly onto one of my 1984 comics, the time I met him and Mike Mc Mahon in the Edinburgh FORBIDDEN PLANET comic shop, handily situated directly accross the road from my digs at the time.

O'Neill was the first pro comics artist I ever met...a nice chap although the meeting was brief.

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Tue May 14, 2013 10:23 am
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ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:
yep, 2000 AD sure ain't what it used to be! Some of the material is so off the wall and abstract I find it virtually unreadable

Me too unfortuantely. There was long an undercurrent of twisted humour in the comic. But there's a difference between horror sci-fi with a knowing nod and, well, just being silly. Quite right that it's changed to what it's readership wants. Unfortunately, it's moved (with some very notable exceptions) so far away from me, that I really struggle to buy it. I'd love to but a weekly doesn't suit me, nor do most of the stories. It's a lot closer to a sci-fi Cerebus than a cosmic Conan. Unfortunately, I'm not.

And I still dislike the modern 'cartoon/manga-esque' art to the more grim'n'gritty art of years gone by.

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Tue May 14, 2013 11:35 am
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Marionette wrote:
I was chatting with a friend about Ebony in The Crunch and it got me wondering whether she was the first female protagonist in a comic aimed at boys. I know there's a long history of female protagonists in 2000AD, but I really have no idea how far back it goes.

The earliest I can think of were the likes of Halo Jones and Skizz, though I have an idea the earliest might be a Judge Anderson solo story, but I have no idea what the dates were for any of these.


Why limit yourself to 2000AD? Can we come up with a suggestion for the first female protagonist in a boys comic, full-stop!

Off the top of my head I can only think of supporting characters.


Tue May 14, 2013 2:16 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
I always thought the first female character in 2000AD was Angela Rippon as she did appear in issue 1...


I think you must have misunderstood the question.

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Tue May 14, 2013 4:10 pm
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dreamticket wrote:
Why limit yourself to 2000AD? Can we come up with a suggestion for the first female protagonist in a boys comic, full-stop!

Off the top of my head I can only think of supporting characters.


Felneymike gives us an answer for that, though I'm not sure what we understand as a "boy's comic" existed back then. Perhaps this discussion should move to the General forum.

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Tue May 14, 2013 4:16 pm
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Marionette wrote:
colcool007 wrote:
I always thought the first female character in 2000AD was Angela Rippon as she did appear in issue 1...


I think you must have misunderstood the question.
I understood the question very well and I still remember seeing that picture for two reasons. One, it was the first time that I had seen a recognisable "real" person in any comic that I read and secondly, the use of her implied that she was more recognisable to young boys that Sandy Gall or Reggie Bosanquet and she would stay in the public conscious longer than either of those two. Plus, it did help to advance the idea of equality when we kids of the 70's had been brought up on a steady diet of Benny Hill, On The Buses and Bless This House!

But as to a stand-alone character that was not an add-on, I think it would be either Judge Anderson or Liana from Meltdown Man.

However, you have stated that you want a character led strip then it has to be Judge Anderson as she got her own strip in the 1983 Annual whereas Halo Jones did not pitch up until mid to late 1984.

I have not included Laura Varn as she was supporting the story instead of one of the leading players. But 2000AD has always had strong female characters with one of the first, if not the first was Tanya Maski from M.A.C.H One in issues 36-39.

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Tue May 14, 2013 6:38 pm
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ANDERSON-psi-division was a very good strip with a very strong central female lead, I think the strips came after Halo Jones, but I have to check---they both date from around the same era.

Hope that's back on track enough for you now, Marrionette!

EDIT:

a quick check reveals that Halo Jones started in prog 376 [1984]. Other strong females had appeared before, like in SKIZZ [1983] but more as supporting fare, and not starring as the titular lead. If anyone knows different, speak now!


Judge Anderson appeared as early as 1980 in the first JUDGE DEATH story, but she never elevated to 'star of the strip' status until prog 416.

But if you count an annual strip as a 'first', then yes, it's Judge Anderson.

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Tue May 14, 2013 9:48 pm
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