Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Thelma Gordon

Thelma Gordon [first appeared in Pep Comics #5, 1940]
Art by Harry Lucey
Thelma Gordon was a journalist who was the friend and lover of so many superheroes during the 1940s that Pat Patriot once sarcastically referred to her as a "cape cuddler."
   Beginning with Rainbow in 1940 (whom she, initially unknowingly, stole away from her best friend Elsie Norris), Thelma was romantically or sexually involved with over twenty superheroes and mystery men. During every one of these involvements, she assisted them in their crimefighting but never donned a costume herself. At one time a society columnist and obituary editor, Thelma began mixing business and pleasure to became one of the nation's foremost reporters on the lives and activities of masked champions of justice.
   Among Thelma's more noteworthy relationships (in rough chronological order) are the aforementioned Rainbow, the Falcon, Comet, the Hangman, the Press Guardian, Bulldog Denny (whose engagement broke up as a result of their affair), Firefly, Scarlet Avenger, the Green Knight, Dynamic Man, the Voice, Red Rube (until she realized he was actually a 14-year-old boy who mystically transformed himself into an adult slab of beefcake), the Hood, Black Kitten (the female version, rumored), the Unknown Soldier, the Scarlet Arrow, Black Cobra (the straight one), the Menace, the King of Darkness, Mr. Satan, Spacehawk, Mighty Man, and the Daisy (alleged).
   In March of 1950, shortly after the rumors of her lesbian affair with the Daisy began, Thelma was found brutally murdered. The prime suspect in the killing was inventor Jill Trent. Jill's name was cleared when the Daisy and some of Thelma's ex-lovers (Hangman, Rainbow, the Voice, and the King of Darkness) investigated and brought her real killer--the mad scientist Dr. Dread, an enemy of both Trent and one of Thelma's former lovers, the Firefly--to justice.
   Her posthumously published memoirs, My Life Between the Capes, (edited by the Press Guardian and Red Rube, as in his secret identity Red Rube grew up to be a journalist and editor himself) remains one of the most insightful books on the superhero community during the 1940s, despite its more salacious aspects and how it avoids revealing too many secrets of the men she knew and loved.

Brawn 13, Body 15, Brains 7
   Traits: Irrepressible Optimist, Nimble
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Castrate, Disarm, Dodge, Seduce, Strike Pose, Withering Insult,
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Fashionable Dress (Clothes). Purse (Small Melee Weapon, deals 2 points of damage). Notepad (One-shot Ranged Weapon, deals 1 point of damage).

Special Note: In actually published comics, Thelma Gordon was the girlfriend of the Comet. After he was killed by gangsters, she began dating his brother, the Hangman. Everything else in this post is the original invention of L.L. Hundal and Steve Miller (with a tip o' the hat to Owen K.C. Stephens for helpful advice).

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