Today, comics readers are familiar to the point of stultification with the sight of a female superhero fighting crime while wearing a swimsuit (or less). Phantom Lady is tied with The Black Cat for the dubious distinction of having been the first. Both debuted in the August, 1941 issues of their original venues — the latter in Harvey’s Pocket Comics, and the former in Quality’s Police Comics #1.
It was, however, Phantom Lady who lasted longer and achieved greater notoriety. In fact, while The Black Cat never did anything more socially unacceptable than a few mild cheesecake shots, Phantom Lady made the big time — one of her covers was printed in Dr. Fredric Wertham’s 1954 anti-comic book tome, Seduction of the Innocent, as an illustration of an intolerable (by 1950s standards) corrupter of American youth.