Superman Obscurity - Superwoman by Rea Irvin!


I doubt that many have ever heard of the Superwoman newspaper strip, as drawn by Rea Irvin. Don't worry if it's news to you, it ran once and was then binned after DC threatened legal action. Although it would be years before DC Comics published a comic under the name of Superwoman, they had taken steps to protect that trademark in late 1941. The Superwoman trademark was formally registered on May 5, 1942, with the usual fake ashcan. When it came to Irvin's strip, it was an open and shut case - stop publishing or face the consequences. And in 1943 those consequences would have been very expensive indeed. What is fascinating is that the shutdown came within hours of the strip being published.

For once, DC had the law on their side, as the trademark was solid and sealed. As would have been typical in such cases, the original art would have either been destroyed and noted as such, or handed over to DC Comics, who would have destroyed it themselves.


Superwoman ran in the Oakland Tribune on 26 June, 1943. The very next day an apology and explanation was published about the strip and it was never seen, or heard of, again. I can't find it mentioned in any of Rea Irvin's biographies, but there you have it.

The apology. 27 June 1943
 

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