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The Darling of Comics since 1941
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Black Cat by Harvey Comics and drawn by Lee Elias was a character first published in 1941, who starred in her own title series from 1946 to 1951.

The Black Cat featured Linda Turner, a glamorous Hollywood actress who would fight crime and corruption in LA as the masked vigilante, Black Cat.

The series was most well known for the series of radical genre shifts it would attempt to fight the waning popularity of super heroes after World War 2's end, the controversial moral response to her wardrobe, and the fact that from 1951 to 1963 the comic book no longer featured the titular character herself, but was instead a notoriously gruesome collection of horror stories aimed for kids.

Since her initial run, there had been a few attempts to reprint Linda Turner's adventures, to little success, and the character has now fallen into public domain for any to use.

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Not to be confused with the Marvel Comics' Black Cat.


Tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: You can find old black and white sketches of Linda and Kit fighting with some kind of sea monster creature. This never appeared in any issues, so it can be assumed it was scrapped after a sudden decision to cancel the series.
  • Absolute Cleavage: In her initial run in Pocket Comics, her top at times was practically just two strips of fabric connected to her shorts. In later reprints they would censor the artwork to look much more modest and obliterating all cleavage.
  • Badass Grandpa: Linda's father was a rancher, a silent-movie actor, and an amateur private eye in his youth, and even in his age still holds his own in a fist fight.
  • Badass Normal: Linda Turner is a black belt in martial arts as well as having learned a few tricks while working as a stunt-actor in films, and managed to go toe-to-toe against everything from armed men to the supernatural.
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  • Cousin Oliver: After roughly 10 years of adventures, Black Cat acquired a sidekick, The Black Kitten, to give a more dynamic super hero appeal, rather than her previous allies, Rick and her elderly father. The series only lasted one more issue before Linda's adventures were dropped.
  • Domino Mask: Her mask radically evolved more and more over the series, to the point where it more closely resembled rimmed glasses flaring over the sides of her head.
  • Fiery Redhead: Linda was this
  • Going for the Big Scoop: When the trouble doesn't come directly to him, this is often the excuse to get him included on whatever Linda's up to.
  • Hotter and Sexier: During the attempt to reprint the series in the 80s, the cover art featured more emphasis on showing Black Cat either in pin-up poses or as a damsel in distress, with significantly more cleavage drawn in.
  • Kid Sidekick: At the very end of the series, the 13 year old Kit Weston was adopted and added as The Black Kitten, after his circus-performer parents were tragically killed. Sound familiar?
  • Leotard of Power: From her titular series onward she wore a black one-piece swimsuit which would sometimes be more like a strapless brassiere.
  • Meaningful Name: The Firebug's real name was Orson Arson. ... turns out he was an arsonist.
  • Moral Guardians: After the publication of the Seduction of the Innocent, the Black Cat herself was criticized in the book for her revealing attire, and the latter horror anthology era was also skewered for its graphic amount of blood and violence, and was one of the leading examples which caused censoreship codes for comics.
    • When the series was reprinted in the 60s, all of the artwork was modified to make her costume less revealing, raising the neckline to completely remove her cleavage and to add thicker straps on her shoulders.
  • Retool: Fought Nazis and Japanese soldiers during the world war, then shifted to try and be more of a Western after super heroes went out of style, then tried to put more emphasis on hollywood and featured interviews with movie stars, tried to mimic Batman and Robin with a new sidekick and fighting more traditional looking "super" villains, before ditching the characters entirely and becoming a horror anthology.
  • Rich Boredom: Being a cattle rancher's daughter who moved to Hollywood to be a stunt-worker, Linda never expected to become a big glamorous star she is today, and has grown bored by this stuffy life.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: She is wealthy enough to have a "state of the art" gym in her home, and has a lot of time on her hands between filming. Though conveniently enough most of her crime solving happens to occur right on-set.
  • Secret Identity Identity: In one story, Linda has a nightmare where her Black Cat persona attacks her and steals Rick Horne away from her, implying her concern over his dueling affection for her two selves.
  • Secret Keeper: Only her father and the Black Kitten know of her identity.
  • Slave to PR: Linda Turner is described has having become a super hero not for any kind of moralistic call to action or desire to pursue justice, but rather out of boredom from the restricted cage from her celebrity lifestyle.
  • Super Villain: Most of the bad guys fought were mundane thieves and mobsters, but in the last few stories she was in, she fought mask wearing, super-powered criminals who had special gimmicks, such as The Scepter, the Crimson Raider, and The Firebug
  • Team Pet: The Black Cat has a cat. Sometimes it was black.
  • Underwear of Power: Her sidekick, Black Kitten would wear red acrobat's shorts over his costume.

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