So, no Canadian comics history for this week’s Flashback. Instead, a treasured find from a pile of old comics I had stacked in a closet. Awhile back, in response to Jaime Hernandez’s Ti-Girls epic I wrote a blog post about the history of all-female superhero groups. I dug up a few, but missed this one. The Rainbow Squad were a group of villainous super-powered women created by ringleader Mr. Wonderful in this story from a 1977 issue of Shazam! written by E. Nelson Bridwell and drawn by Golden Age Great Kurt Schaffenberger. The premise of the strip is that the female characters match Capt. Marvel power for power. Lots of cute stuff here (Cap can’t hit a girl and is overcome with kisses, etc.) but the really interesting aspect of the story is the name of the group and the sort of butch way Shaffenberger draws most of the women, as if the whole thing is not just a play on post-Stonewall, First Wave Feminist-era politics but on the stereotypical 1970s view of feminists as lesbians. Anyway, here are some scans of the ladies in action against Captain Marvel and Minute Man, another 1940s character making his big comeback. The team is made up of leader Sibyl (wisdom), Gibralta (stamina), Virago (strength), Dynamoll (lightning power), Dauntless (fearlessness), and Celeritas (speed). Schaffenberger delivers his classic awkward poses and funky 40s designs, marred only by an inking job by Vince Colleta. I’ll let you puzzle out the plot and the ending.