WHM19: Marian Michaels -aka- Butterfly, The First African-American Superheroine

From FANDOM Comics Community:

Before Storm, there was Butterfly. Butterfly, aka Marian Michaels, was a sultry Las Vegas cabaret singer by day and a superhero by night. The superheroine made her first comic appearance in 1971 in a supplemental issue of Hell-Rider #1.

The Butterfly was the first Black Female Superheroine to be featured in a comic book, written by Gary Freidrich, illustrated by Rich Buckler.


Public Domain: Marian Michaels, alias The Butterfly, singing at a nightclub.

Outfitted with a jetpack for flying and a costume laden with incredibly bright strobe lights to blind her enemies, Marian Michaels is a Las Vegas cabaret singer by night and the crime-fighting Butterfly by even later night.

In her first appearance, she investigates the Claw, a group of cat costume-wearing heroin dealers who are using their profits to build a fascist army out in the desert.

In her second, she was seen battling the Brothers of the Crimson Cross, a fictitious white supremacist group that the issue refers to as “a gathering of sick, distorted minds such as this country has not witnessed since the Ku Klux Klan‘s rule of terror held the South in its deadly grip.”

She often worked with Hell-Rider and Julie Storm.

The Butterfly Story:

  • Crime fighting Superheroine
  • Can overpower and permanently blind villains, fly at 100 miles per hour with her power pack, climb and adhere to structures with her finger cups
  • Her alter ego is Marian Michaels, a beautiful, aspiring songstress and super bad soul sister

The Butterfly appeared in two comics in 1971 – Hell-Rider #1 and #2.

Hell Rider was a black and white magazine published by Skywald (Sol Brodsky and Herschel Waldman) which ran for just two issues. There are two features in the comic book – The Butterfly, and The Wild Bunch – but instead of making them separate entities, both stories are a part of the bigger Hell-Rider story.

Read Both Issues of HELL-RIDER ft. The Butterfly:

Issue #1 What a Sexy Comic Book – Hell Rider #1 circa 1971

Issue #2 Hell Rider #2 circa 1971

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