Meet Lady Cop, the most underrated comic book hero of all

Illustration for article titled Meet Lady Cop, the most underrated comic book hero of all

When it comes to DC Comics superheroines, characters like Wonder Woman and Batgirl are the publisher's marquee crime-smashers. But there's one take-no-guff caryatid of law and order whose exploits — which you can count on one hand — have been consigned to obscurity for over sixty years.

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We are referring to none other than the unstoppable Lady Cop, skirted sentinel and noted nemesis of venereal disease. Join us as we recap Lady Cop's greatest hits. And when we say "greatest hits," we mean "Lady Cop beats the shit out of a ton of people."

Perhaps the most oddball aspect of Lady Cop is her name. Historically, there've been two DC Comics police officers to bear the all-encompassing mantle of "Lady Cop." Furthermore, each of these Lady Cops is never the singular lady cop within her own respective adventures — the reader witnesses each Lady Cop attending academy flanked by an observable plurality of other lady cops. By this logic, Sally Ride in the DC Universe was likely immortalized as "The Shastronaut" and Julia Child went by the moniker "Chef Minerva XX."

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Illustration for article titled Meet Lady Cop, the most underrated comic book hero of all

Let's begin with the second Lady Cop (Liza Warner) as her adventures are more entertaining. Lady Cop The Second first appeared in 1975's 1st Issue Special #4, a comic book whose editorial ethos amounted to, "Let's throw a bunch of characters out there and see who the hell reads this."

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I don't have the sales statistics for this issue, but readers likely appreciated that Lady Cop's disembodied head is labeled in the off chance that they were caught unawares which of these characters is in fact the Lady Cop.

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Lady Cop's quest for justice begins when her roommates are murdered by a serial killer in ugly boots. This homicidal footwear haunts her dreams, so smash cut to the police academy. (Note the other unheralded lady cops.)

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Because 1st Issue Special had maybe half a pulped sapling to sell readers on new superheroes, we then smash cut to graduation, where one of Lady Cop's classmates tries to kill everybody. This numbnuts obviously forgot he lives in a comic book universe! If he wanted to become a crime-fighter, he can ignore his Brita filter for a few months and inhale the residue. That's more or less how the Flash got his powers in the 1940s.

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Lady Cop received three gold stars and one Kojak head sticker in her "Insouciant Clothesline" seminar.

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Once on the beat, Lady Cop spends a good amount of her time eavesdropping on a girl with an STI...

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...demonstrating her hat-fu aptitude...

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...dealing with the most hee-yuk magistrates this side of Mayberry...

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... dating the most insecure musclehead on the beach...

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...and dispensing reproductive health advice in the form of incredibly roundabout koans.

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Seriously Lady Cop, you sound like sexual education class by way of Middle-earth.

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Lady Cop's big day of whupping ass and coming up with florid metaphors for gonorrhea is capped with her staring over the skyline, wondering when her next adventure would go down. (Lady Cop would spend the next 30 years frozen like that, until author Gail Simone dusted Liza off for a few issues in the late 2000s.)

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As mentioned before, this was not the first Lady Cop. That honor goes to Joan Jennings, the one-woman demolition derby who appeared in 1942's Gang Busters #9.

Her narrative trajectory was similar to Liza's, but because she fought gangsters during FDR's administration, she spent 23 hours a day informing bystanders with no internal monologue that she was indeed a police officer.

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Illustration for article titled Meet Lady Cop, the most underrated comic book hero of all

To wit.

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Word of advice, Billy — when you're getting rescued from gangsters, you say "Thank you!" and shut your damn casserole chute.

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On the plus side, Lady Cop's lady cop friends were pretty cool.

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And if she appeared more than 12 pages, Lady Cop's patented Brick Purse™ would've outstripped Captain America's shield in popularity. Let's close with some scenes of Lady Cop brawling.

Illustration for article titled Meet Lady Cop, the most underrated comic book hero of all
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Illustration for article titled Meet Lady Cop, the most underrated comic book hero of all
Illustration for article titled Meet Lady Cop, the most underrated comic book hero of all
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[Via Grantbridge Street (NSFW) and Lady That's My Skull]

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DISCUSSION

DoraDoraBoBora
DoraDoraBoBora

The sensible shoes combined with that skirt strikes me as hilarious for some reason... like they went HALFWAY towards trying to make her look stern and professional before they lost interest. It reminds me of when I first started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and in the first episode everyone is so professional looking... and then in struts Deanna in her miniskirt and her boots. It was like a big flashing CHEESECAKE sign on the screen. I mean, yeah, she was gorgeous, but it was like you could feel the costume designers fighting tooth and nail against giving up that sexy chick stereotype.