In “When We First Met”, we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.
Reader Dan G. wrote in with a simple request – who was the first woman to write a Superman comic book. He then asked the same question for Batman and Spider-Man, as well, for good measure.
I’m only counting stories written by women in the main titles of a character, so not guest appearances in other titles.
Shockingly, we didn’t have to wait long for a woman to write Batman!
In 1943’s Batman #16, Ruth Lyons Kaufman wrote the “Grade A Crimes”…
For Superman, it is trickier.
In 1977, Elizabeth Smith wrote a few back-up stories in Action Comics, starting with Action Comics #475, but they did not star Superman. The first two starred Lori Lemaris and the last one starred Lex Luthor.
In 1985, Carla Conway co-wrote Superman #407 with her husband, Gerry Conway…
Right around the same time, Mindy Newell wrote an adorable back-up in Action Comics #566 that ostensibly starred Superman, but was mostly about a little girl who wrote Superman a letter that hit him close to home while she sought out his autograph to get into a kids autograph group…
A year later, Randy Lofficier wrote Action Comics #579 by herself…
Finally, in 1984, Louise Simonson wrote the Marvel-Team Up Annual #7..
She then soon helped launch Web of Spider-Man (Ann Nocenti soon wrote for Web, as well).
Thanks for the request, Dan! If anyone else has a question regarding when something in comic book history first showed up, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to figure it out for you!
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