Meet He-She, the most unsung comic book villain ever

Illustration for article titled Meet He-She, the most unsung comic book villain ever

For most comic fans, Two-Face is the gold standard for bilateral asymmetry (though I'm sure there's a small band of Ultra the Multi-Alien loyalists among you).

But did you know that there was a malefactor who debuted around the same time as Two-Face who was twice as weird? Meet Charles Biro's He-She, a bad guy whose tagline is so poetically idiotic I must quote it verbatim:

The deadliest of the species is the female! The strongest of the species is the male! Combine these with the killer instinct and you have the most cunning, the most vicious, the most fiendish killer of all time!

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Yes, He-She's left-hand side is a femme fatale, whereas the right side resembles one of those trail-mix-faced gangsters from Dick Tracy's rogue gallery. At this point, you're wondering why He-She has remained unheralded for the last 70 years. Let's take a look at He-She's one and only adventure in 1943's Boy Comics #9.

Illustration for article titled Meet He-She, the most unsung comic book villain ever

The adventure begins when He-She seemingly seduces and marries a random landlady within a span of 30 minutes. Note: "Oh, go away with your blarney!" is 1940s slang for "I do."

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The second page reveals that He-She married the landlady wearing a fedora dipped permanently at a sly angle. Did 1940s' weddings normally take place in unlit broom closets? Courtship is so much simpler nowadays.

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That was likely the first and last "cat versus pickaxe" sequence ever committed to the comic panel.

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Eventually Crimebuster, some weird kid who wears his underwear outside his sweatpants, begins investigating He-She's nefarious deed. We also learn that either A.) He-She has the superpower to stand perfectly profile at all times; or B.) that Crimebuster is denser than his helper monkey.

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He-She somehow pulls the old "sexy profile" trick again. Was the Surgeon General recommending a daily ladle of paint chips for all citizens in those days? "A spoonful of plumbum will keep the Hun at bay!"

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At this point, I'm just going to assume bourbon came out of faucets to conserve moisture for the war effort.

Illustration for article titled Meet He-She, the most unsung comic book villain ever
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You may be wondering why you've never heard of He-She. Well, the villain got the chair after appearing for less than 20 pages. Imagine if that happened to the Joker or Catwoman.

You can read the full adventures of He-She over at Golden Age Comics, a blog that also showcases the escapades of such heroes as Golden Age Thor. And lest you forget, many Golden Age heroes, such as Hip Knox the Super Hypnotist and Stardust the Super-Wizard, were also gargantuan a-holes.

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[Via Dangerous Minds]

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DISCUSSION

GrendelKhan
Erik Sofge

"Well strip my gears and call me shiftless!"

Must have felt good to let that one rip. That's the kind of line you workshop with friends, or your weird crimefighting monkey, and rehearse in private, rolling your tongue around the syllables, getting the iambic tooled just right, before daring to run it live, and against a mortal enemy, no less! Well done, you bizarre little manchild.