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cover
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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Superbitch Back Cover
Back Cover
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Superbitch Inside Front Cover
Inside Front Cover
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Superbitch Inside Back Cover
Inside Back Cover
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REVIEW SCORE 6
Superbitch
Only Printing / July 1977 / 36 pages / California Comics
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Well, this underground is obviously worth owning for the front cover alone. But can we expect the interior content to be as exploitative and superbitch supercool as the cover? Let's delve in and find out!

Superbitch begins its cultural assault with the inside front cover, which features a near-naked brunette and a German professor, the latter of whom blasts the readers with a "brain homogenizer" to make us all "mindless slaves" at the mercy of the naked babe. Duh…count me in professor…duhhhh.

The book gets off to its official start with a 23-page sci-fi epic featuring Freda Foxx, the superheroine pictured on the front cover. Foxx dawdles about her New York apartment in a perpetual state of nakedness, feeding her pet leopard and listening to the TV drone on about the first black astronauts to be sent to the moon. When the Apollo mission encounters disaster and the astronauts are marooned in space, it's up to Foxx to don her Superbitch costume and board a space ship on a rescue mission.

Superbitch and the black astronauts face many complications during this adventure, including an interplanetary pussy that swallows their space ships, a giant infected penis that tries to destroy Superbitch, and a city of lesbian warriors who plan to kill the astronauts. But Superbitch has super powers that come in handy during these conflicts, including her wrecking ball boobs and her radioactive snatch!

There are a few cameo appearance by mainstream comic icons sprinkled in throughout the story, including Dagwood, Little Orphan Annie, Daisy Mae, Pogo, Popeye and others. They're fun to see but ultimately feel a little out of place. The book concludes with the eight-page "The Mission of the Ilad," which is about an evil space army that is out to destroy planets and the laissez-faire reaction of a queen and her minions. It's a bit of a throwaway for an eight-pager, especially with its trivializing conclusion, but the illustrations (which are excellent) have a breezy nonchalance that's rather engaging.

So the bottom-line answer to the first question posed in this review is yes, Superbitch is every bit as exploitative as promised on the front cover. But its exploitation is balanced by such a tongue-in-cheek attitude that only the most sensitive civil rights activist would fail to see the humor.

Ira Harmon, who wrote and illustrated the main Superbitch story, posted the entire story as a free online comic at harmonart.com. Interestingly, he states that Superbitch first saw publication in 1974, which synchs up with the 1974 copyright on the first page of the comic book. So exactly where did Freda Foxx make her debut? Maybe someone can clue me in. Harmon also mentions that he's developing some new Superbitch adventures. Superbitchin'!
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
California Comics and Bob Sidebottom printed approximately 5,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. Ira Harmon calls Freda Foxx Super Bitch (two words) on his website, but it's used as one word throughout the comic book.
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COMIC CREATORS:

Ira Harmon - 1 (collaboration), 3-25, 34 (collaboration), 35 (collaboration, ad)
Al Davoren - 1 (collaboration), 34 (collaboration), 35 (collaboration, ad)
Will A. Meugniot - 2, 36
John Arthur Williams - 26-33