Friday, February 13, 2015


Get Firestorm or Die Trying, that's what they always say.
It speaks volumes about the young men who wrote superhero comics back in the 1970s and 1980s that they often resorted to making villains and world-consuming menaces out of disco, Distasteful to fans of “real music,” there was also inherent in disco a sense of excess and physical immediacy – not mention plain ol’ sex – which continues to repulse a whole branch of society who considers themselves “above” things like “having fun.”

Don’t buy it? Dig this introductory paragraph to this disco and glamour based villainess’ first appearance:

tl;dr Gerry Conway's really got it in for disco.

It also speaks volumes that any woman who was in possession of any sort of sexual agency was typically depicted as a man-luring baddie. Put those two together and you get The Satin Satan, a voracious vixen who hassled the World’s Greatest Superheroes in Justice League of America vol.1 Nos.179 and 180 (June/July 1980).

The majority of these books celebrate the introduction to the League of its newest member – and last new member, before the whole shmear was wiped out for the arrival of the much-maligned “Justice League Detroit” a few years later – of Firestorm, the matter-transforming superhero whose head was on fire and who dressed like an accident at a hot dog cart. Standards were evidently dropping at the satellite headquarters of the world’s premiere superhero team, and this was after they admitted the Elongated Man.

This got all Chick Tract-y at the end.
The Satin Satan was secretly Sabrina Sultress, a world-famous fashion model possessed by a demonic  baddie named Sataroth, daughter of Satani (i.e. the Great Satani, played by Robert Duvall). So, to summarize: Satin Satan, secretly Sabrina Sultress, storing supernatural Satani’s sprout Sataroth in her soul. Stellar!

The skunk-haired succubus pulled the old routine of stacking hypnotized man-servants like cordwood in every inch of her luxuriously appointed secret lair, which was bad news for Firestorm being as he;s actually two men trapped in the same body. He’s TWICE as hypnotizable, maybe, or half as much. Math was never my strong suit.

While the timely assistance of the League’s few female members – immune as they were to Satin Satan’s power, despite the fact that I’m informed by Tumblr that gender is a fictional construct – Sabrina Sultress is liberated from the worrisome sway of Sataroth. OR IS SHE? Yes she is, actually, although I think the world would benefit greatly from the reappearance of a modern Satin Satan … although maybe she’d be into dubstep this time around.


cup king said...

Firestorm must spend a tonne of money on combs.

Bram said...

I know your remarks were for the funny, but this podcast about the history of disco has some great insight into why it was such a threat.

arilisshoward said...

The Satin Satan storyline is tapping into two moments in American culture. The Disco Sucks moment when Americans were staging public disco album burnings. And the "Satanic Panic " in early 1980's American culture.

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