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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

1st Issue Special 4 - Lady Cop debuts

Robert Kanigher, John Rosenberger and Vince Colletta introduce Lady Cop in 1st Issue Special 4 (July 1975), a series almost certainly inspired by the Police Woman tv show.

The issue has a bit of a feeling of a romance comic, although that is likely due as much to the art as to the story. We meet Liza Warner as she hides under the bed while her roommates are being murdered. Although she never saw the killer's face, she did see his unique boots, and describes them to the cops. A female officer comments that she ought to put her observational skills to use as a police woman herself, and so she enlists, in hopes of one day finding the murderer.

Her training goes by very quickly, only a couple of pages. At her graduation ceremony a failed candidate tries to lob a grenade at the class, but Liza disposes of it in a garbage can.

We then follow Liza on her beat. Most of her attention is given to one woman, who is getting harassed by goons who hang out on a rooftop, dumped by her boyfriend, who gave her some unnamed disease, and accosted by her angry father, who considers her a slut. The disease is most likely syphilis, as Liza mentions that it could make her blind or crazy.

She also deals with a purse snatcher, but still finds time to hang out on a beach with her boyfriend. One cannot help but notice that all the crimes she deals with centre on women, and with her boyfriend the issue of whether a woman should work, and if so what kind of job would be appropriate, are the big problem. On the one side that is fairly progressive, but it is also what makes this feel like a romance comic.

Liza finally takes down the abusive boyfriend to close out the story. But still she dreams of one day catching her the man who killed her roommates.

Lady Cop would not be seen again for many, many years, returning in the pages of All-New Atom over thirty years down the road.

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