Hell-Rider #1

Created by Gary Friedrich, Art by Gary Friedrich, Ross Andru, Mike Esposito, Rich Buckler, Dick Ayers, Syd Shores, John Celardo (Publishished by Skywald, 1971)


 Introducing the Hell Rider, a biker superhero created by Gary Friedrich, who would later create Marvels Ghost Rider. Backup stories feature female superhero The Butterfly and heroic bikers The Wild Bunch, plus an advice column for cyclists. (via mycomicshop.com)


Hell-Rider #1 is a mature, underground magazine style comic featuring Butterfly, the first Black female superhero.

Published in 1971, Butterfly predates several popular Black superheroes including Storm Luke Cage, Black Lightning and others.

The Butterfly alter ego is Marian Micheals, a beautiful aspiring songstress.  She can overpower and permanently blind villains, fly at 100 miles per hour with a power pack and can adhere to structures with finger cups.


Her character design may have inspired other popular Marvel heroes such as Dazzler, another aspiring vocalist with blinding light powers (shoutout to Dj Big Phil for this incite.)  Also her costume is reminiscent of Storm’s original costume as well.

This is another example of an independent, underground publisher introducing Black characters to the comic book industry before large publishers such as Marvel and DC.  I am looking into this phenomenon further. (Ebon is another great example.) 

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