View Full Version : Super Cool Ladies from the 1940's?

Rowan Intheback
2009-08-04, 02:55 AM
I'm running a Call Cthulhu game. At my college we have started a tradition of taking a system an tying it to an era or year. Then we must look in and look in film, literature, and popular culture set in that time to create a cast of heroes to be in a game for that system. Complicated? Yes. To clarify here is an example of a game that ran last year:

System: Changeling
Era: Victorian
Cast: Alice (of Alice in wonderland)
Sherlock Holmes
Captain Ahab
Dr. Jekyll
Artful Dodger

Any hoo I got call of Cthulhu as my system so I decided to make my heroes set in the 1930-1940's. I am running up against the problem of gender equality. You see although everyone enjoyed last year's game there was some grumbling that there weren't enough female characters an I agree so I'm trying my damnedest to mix it up. Right now I'm setting it in 1944 so all my characters are of an appropriate age to battle cosmic horror.

Here is my cast list so far:
Batman (age ??? who can keep track)
Indiana Jones (age 45)
James Bond (25)
Nancy Drew (14)
Tom Riddle aka "Voldemort" (17ish)

Pretty good group of guys but lacking in the woman department. I want at least one to balance out the party. We have a pretty diverse group already although Nancy and Batman will butt heads in the detective department (one of the reasons **** Tracy is not on the list.)

I have a list of people I'm consideringbut hey seem a little forced:
Emma Peel (The Avengers she might be too young but I don't know her full story)
Dorothy (wizard of OZ)
Mary Poppins (she is so ultra powerful she could easily be an elder god)

I don't want to go with another batman character or some one who just kind of fits. If you can think of some awesome ladies who adventured in the 1940's please tell me, I want this game to rock.

2009-08-04, 04:22 AM
I don't know of any female characters, but I'm not sure Tom Riddle is a good idea. It goes completely against his character to work alongside Muggles.

T.G. Oskar
2009-08-04, 04:43 AM
Wasn't that the Golden Age of Comics? I'd suggest Wonder Woman, but perhaps not your thing. Besides, isn't Emma Peel a bit closer to the fifties or sixties?

Why not Eleanor Roosevelt, then? She could make a double-take-ish character.

You can also have Lois Lane, though she may need to draw a bit from the plethora of "What If" stories, preferably those where she ends up getting powers like Superman.

This may aid a bit? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:1940_comics_characters_debuts)

2009-08-04, 05:40 AM
Try doing a search on pulp fiction or pulp magazines... a whole genre of cheap fiction magazines and novels that were produced during the 1920s to 1950s. Female characters were rare (and frankly pretty sterotypical femme fatales, wholesome girl-next-door types, or thinly veiled homoerotic heroines) but you might find some suggestions there.

Also try checking out Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentleman comics, you seem to have hit on the same theme there.

2009-08-04, 06:03 AM
Nancy Drew was not the only female detective in the 30's and 40's. There others. Agatha Christie for ex although lilke Drew, she os really any era. The tough female newspaper reporter stereotype, on which Lois Lane is based, comes to mind.

Mrs. Roosevelt would also probably best fit the sleuth role. Although she might also fill some kind of elderly aristrocratic female role. These matriarchs were often power behind the scenes as it were but were a common stereotype in the 30's and 40's.

Although rare, you could also find the female scientist or explorer type role. Madame Curie would fit even though she was from an earlier time. And of coiurse, you had Emilia Airhardt.

Tough women were rarer still but you could have a Rosie the Riveter, or the stereotypical tough girl from Brooklyn or the Ozarks, or an Amazon or a female wrestler.

Femme fatale types were ver common. A Mata Hari type character would be in keeping with the 30's or 40's even though Mata Hari was WWI.

Tokiko Mima
2009-08-04, 01:11 PM
If you want someone famous and with personality to spare, Katherine Hepburn is an option. 1944 was just about prime time for her career, and she was famous for a certain disdain of conventions that would make adventuring appealing. :smallsmile:

2009-08-04, 01:17 PM
Amelia Earhart. Someone already named her.

Can I suggest the White Mouse? :)


2009-08-04, 01:21 PM
Rosie the Riveter.

Anastasia would be in her early 40s at this time if she lived.

Dorothy Lawrence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Lawrence) was a real life Mulan, without the happy ending. In her 50s at this time, though.

2009-08-04, 01:30 PM
sorry to distract, but why is Nancy Drew 14 here? In the first scene of the first novel, she is driving her little red convertible, and is stated as being 18 (although the pre-updated versions did have her at 16).

2009-08-04, 01:38 PM
Regardless, to help the cause:

The Lady in Red (first female comic super-heroine)
Betty Dean (lady cop from Sub-Mariner feature)
Invisible Scarlet O'Neil (comic strip heroine)
Lil' Orphan Annie (leapin' lizards!)
Lady Luck (another newspaper strip)
Brenda Starr (ditto)
Pat Savage (Doc Savage's adventuring cousin; pulp heroine)

2009-08-04, 02:06 PM
Bettie Page wouldn't be famous yet, but she'd be old enough.

Ayn Rand. She'd be like a novelist, a cult leader, and an objectivist superheroine all rolled into one.

2009-08-04, 02:08 PM
I'm trying to come up with some other female characters active at the time ...

Miss Marple (Hamster mentioned Agatha Christie)
The Rose from The Little Prince - maybe a little worthless for an adventure, though.
Dol Bronner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hand_in_the_Glove) - just found out about this fictional female detective through Wikipedia.
Marlene Dietrich. You could play up the possible spy/double-agent angle. (In real life she was very much on the American side during the war, but in alternate reality and conspiracy theory ...).

2009-08-04, 02:17 PM
What about fast talking dame reporters?

His Girl Friday came out in 1940, and it's a good stereotype.

2009-08-04, 02:20 PM
Femme fatale types were ver common. A Mata Hari type character would be in keeping with the 30's or 40's even though Mata Hari was WWI.

Violette Szabo. I don't know much about her biography, but there was a highly fictionalized video game based on her called The Velvet Assassin.

The kids from the Chronicles of Narnia are from the right time period. You can grab one of the female ones, maybe Susan?

2009-08-04, 02:23 PM
The kids from the Chronicles of Narnia are from the right time period. You can grab one of the female ones, maybe Susan?

And I must say, Prince Caspian the movie did an excellent job of making Susan awesome. Like Legolas, but less ridiculous, and actually a girl. One not scantily clad! At all!

2009-08-04, 02:24 PM
You also had female atheletes, olympic shotputers, equestrians, female professional wrestlers, roller derby chicks.

A suffragete / prohibitionist / womens "liber" would not be unheard of. Nor would a "tomboy" or fast roping, fast shooting "cowgirl"

And of course, you could also go to "noir" or blue with women who know "the love that dare not speak its name" or a hatchet wielding Lizzie Borden...

2009-08-04, 02:26 PM
How about Jane Porter?
Jane, an American from Baltimore, Maryland, is the love interest and later the wife of Tarzan, and subsequently the mother of their son Korak. She develops over the course of the series from a conventional damsel in distress who must be rescued from various perils to a competent and capable adventuress in her own right, fully capable of defending herself and surviving on her own in the jungles of Africa.

Rowan Intheback
2009-08-04, 05:06 PM
Thank you guys so much! I'll definitely be able to pulls some one out of this.

The only stipulation I forgot to mention is this person must be fictional. I thought of Amelia Earhart right away especially because she was declared missing in 1937 and dead in 1939. Filling in those two years has actually spun off into another game. after reading this thread I believe Betty Paige will be in that game:smallbiggrin:

Voldermort is there due to coincidence he and Mr. Jones were going after the same artifact. It will be an RP call but I think Voldermort will be smart enough to know he won't be able to accomplish his goal without help.

I had no idea how old Nancy drew would have been someone told me 14 but her being 16-18 is way easier to work with.

I can at least get another female detective. I just don't want any player to feel ripped off because they got the detective character who is not Nancy Drew or Batman.

2009-08-04, 05:06 PM
I'm definitely voting for Susan Pevensie, Jane Porter, and Rosie the Riveter.

The Glyphstone
2009-08-04, 05:20 PM
I immediately thought of Rosie the Riveter, but you beat me to it.

Zeta Kai
2009-08-04, 06:17 PM
Two words: Silk Specter (http://watchmen.wikia.com/wiki/Sally_Jupiter) :smallcool:

2009-08-04, 06:37 PM
If you're going to have a Harry Potter character in there, why not Professor MacGonagal? She's pretty badass, and would make more sense in context than Riddle.

2009-08-04, 06:43 PM
If you want another female detective, though of a different sort, you could try Nora Charles (http://us.imdb.com/character/ch0013776/). Silk gowns, a martini glass, and a knowledge of just everybody in society.

2009-08-04, 07:04 PM
Phryne Fisher iis an Australian woman detective of the 1920s whom the author has said later went on to join the French Resistance in WWII; she'd be a good one. (novels by Kerry Greenwood)

The novels of Dorothy Gilman offer two candidates whom you could grab earlier in their timelines:
Mrs. Emily Pollifax is an elderly CIA agent in the 1960s; in an alternate universe, though, she might have joined the agency earlier.
Similarly, Madame Karitska is a psychic detective in the 1960s; I think she may have been married to a nobleman before the war, and might be newly widowed and useful now.

Rose Sayer of The African Queen is pretty awesome (and played by Katherine Hepburn in the movie).

If Emma Peel is the same age as her actor, she'd have been a small child in 1944; probably not helpful, alas.

I know I've seen some film set in the late 1940s where the female lead had been a WAC motor pool mechanic during the war, but I'm drawing a blank on what it was.

2009-08-04, 08:54 PM
Jenny Sparks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Sparks) (from the Wildstorm universe, part of Stormwatch and founder of the Authority; controls electricity)
Spitfire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spitfire_(comics)) (speedster, with good combat skills and strength besides; vampiric exposure source of powers sort of fits the best of any in Cthulhu, although still not great)
Namora (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namora) (at a small stretch; powers similar to the more famous Namor)
EDIT: Ayesha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayesha_(novel)) (might be better as an adversary than a member of the party...)

2009-08-05, 04:25 AM
How about Ann Darrow? Exploring what happened to her after the events of Kong could be quite interesting, especially if her career never recovered, Kong has been forgotten and she's now trying to scrape a living from jobs "beneath" her.

2009-08-05, 07:31 AM
I hereby cast Mata Hari FTW, as the Master Spy. Earhart is another good choice.

Doh, "must be fictional?" Lame.

Nancy Archer...The 50' woman

Catwoman..you know cause you have Batman