« A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere. » — Groucho Marx
Linda Turner, a.k.a. the Black Cat, made her debut in Pocket Comics no. 1 (Aug. 1941). She was first drawn (and probably written) by Al Gabriele. After passing through the hands of a few other artists (Pierce Rice, Arturo Cazeneuve, Jill Elgin…), she landed in Lee Elias‘ lap in the post-war years.
She was a stunt woman, and combined physical prowess with mental agility gleaned from her father, an amateur detective…. and fought crime in a glamorous and revealing black bodysuit.
Why waste a good title? As fashions changed in the comic book field, and superheroes — and heroines — lost ground to all manner of horrors, Black Cat, clearly a versatile and catchy moniker, switched hats and mission statements on a slew of occasions over the course of its healthy run. To wit:
BLACK CAT COMICS 1-15, 17-29
BLACK CAT WESTERN COMICS 16, 55-56
BLACK CAT MYSTERY COMICS 30-53, 57
BLACK CAT WESTERN MYSTERY 54
BLACK CAT MYSTIC 58-62
BLACK CAT 63-65
-RG (with a kind assist from ds)
Lee Elias’ cover for Black Cat 14 is okay but—wowie zowie, baby—this cover for Black Cat Mystery 48 is killer! Almost as good is Warren Kremer’s art on the cover of Black Cat Mystery 37.
Thanks for another jolt to the ol’ grey matter.