Kitty Kelly: Yankee Girl
Kitty Kelly: In Punch Comics 1 & 2, 1941-42, there was an adventure strip about an attractive airline hostess. The name would show up again in 1945, in Captain Flight Comics 8 & 9, still an airline hostess but with the nick-name Yankee Girl attached. In 1946, Harry "A" Chessler, who published Punch Comics, would put out another Kitty Kelly with a costume and super-powers in Red Seal Comics 17. However, she did not go by the name of Yankee Girl. In fact, if you look at her chest in the re-colored pic to the left, you will see the initials "KK." In times of crisis, i.e. in mortal danger and afraid, she'd become super-strong. To further complicate matters, in Dynamic Comics #23 (sometime in the mid-40's), Chessler would publish another super-powered heroine, this one called Yankee Girl but with the secret identity of Lauren Mason.
In this story, Kitty Kelly's in the present, brought back with the rest of the heroes. She's also adopted the name "Yankee Girl," a bit of an homage to the convoluted history of the two (three? four?) heroines.
Above Info and bw version of image gotten from Golden-Age Greats volume 6 by AC Comics.
Yankee Girl, aka Kitty Kelly threw her five-foot five frame with the power and force of a linebacker against the tall neo-nazi. The impact knocked the breath from his lungs and sent him flying backwards, spilling into one of his comrades.
The other two thugs looked shocked and confused for a few seconds before acting. But those few seconds were all she needed really. She closed the gap between them before whatever weapons they were thinking about using were even out of their pockets and landed a solid blow on each one's chin.
Tied to a chair and gagged was a young teen-age girl. One eye was swollen and closed from a recent beating and her face wet with tears. Experience told Yankee Girl to not loiter. The Colonel was here somewhere preparing for the gathering and he should not be allowed to escape. But, the hero in her said the protection and rescuing of the innocent should always take precedent.
She first disarmed the men she knocked unconscious just on the off chance they should come to. The tall one was the only one that had a gun, the others just a couple of switchblades and brass knuckles. She quickly pocketed them and began to work on the ropes. Once she had the girl untied, she used the same ropes to bind the three unconscious men.
"Can you walk?" The girl weakly nodded. "Ok. Go quickly and call the police. I'm going to find the scum who did this to you."
In the makeshift auditorium, people began to file in. As they came were handed cowled robes by a young men in brown almost military outfits. "We are equal here," they would say softly, ignoring that, age and class aside, everyone who came in was white. Each would quickly put on their robes, pick up a piece titled "The Menace Among Us" and enter the large room finding a seat.
As the room filled, the lights dimmed until the room was lit only by candles and flaming braziers in the corners causing weird shadows dance across the walls. On stage walked a masked man that his followers called the Colonel. He wore the same uniform pseudo military uniform as the toughs that served as guards and ushers for the night with only a few badges and medals hinting at his rank. A black mask obliterated his facial features. He stood before those gathered and the low roar of the crowd died down.
"Brothers and Sisters. Welcome." His voice was loud and booming.
Yankee Girl silently crept in back stage and took a place hidden in the curtains. The crowd, the shadows, his voice and the attention it commanded all made it very easy to do so without fear of discovery. She was strong and fast as any three men but she doubted she could handle the Colonel and his men at the same time and who knew how this crowd would react.
"All I have to do is wait until the police arrive and prevent you from taking a powder. Freedom of speech and the Constitution may have protected you and your little 'reich' until now but kidnapping and assault is another story."
With these thoughts, she slowly drew the gun she took from the guard out of her pocket. She didn't carry one normally, she had seen all too often up close what they could do to a person during the war. However, she was a good shot and people would respect a gun more than they would a petite brunette no matter how good she was with her fists.
"This nation has allowed itself to become weak and defiled. Heathen barbarians strike at the heart of the nation's very way of life and do we have the man responsible? No! Instead we allow the media to lead the people like sheep down the middle of the road wringing their hands. The people know who's responsible but are afraid to speak for fear of being called racists by the media. We made the nation great and if we are proud of our race and its accomplishments, it's called racism. A Jew proud of his race is celebrating his heritage. A black and it's called Pride."
"Oh. Excuse me..African-American. Asian-American. What's wrong with American? If these people wish to be so much identified with countries they and their parents never set foot in, send them and their parasitic brood there!"
"I'll tell you who are racists, it's the media. Our so-called leaders. Traitors in the pockets of those who truly guide and rule this country. Rulers you did not elect. Who want to see those of us who fought and died, sweat and bleed daily for this country are slowly replaced and eaten away by programs garnered to keep the top 10 percent where it is and the rest given to the dregs, the worthless and lazy trash of society."
Suddenly the entrance doors were thrown open and all heads turned to face the back. The young girl that Yankee Girl had freed was shoved forward by a callow youth with a gun. He yelled in a shrill voice, "Look who I saw across the street trying to use a pay phone!"
Inwardly, Yankee Girl groaned. No police. Another rescue.
"The harlot," hissed the Colonel. He made a quick motion and two guards ran through a side door, no doubt to check on the men that were supposed to be watching her. "Look at her," said the Colonel, not missing a beat. "Look at how she dresses, baring almost all to any passing boy. How she makes herself up to look like a woman. And she's just one, indicative of the moral morass that this country has descended into. She wants to look like a woman, then a woman she shall be.."
The youth walking her down the aisle grinned. Tears streamed down her face and she was mouthing prayers to a God she doubted was listening.
"That's it, go ahead and cry. We're going to have some fun you and me."
With his gun hand, he shoved her ahead several feet causing her to stumble. Almost the same time that he heard the loud crack he felt something painful and hard slam into his shoulder almost spinning him around. He fell to his knees, his mind uncomprehending exactly what just happened. For a second the crowd was still until it registered what the sound and the spreading blood on the man's shoulders meant. Some jumped and ran to the walls, some dived through folding chairs and robed figures trying to make it to the back, others just fell to the ground screaming. The young girl did exactly what Yankee Girl hoped. She turned and ran, right past her erstwhile captor who was curled up on the floor mewling.
When Kitty Kelly started out as an adventuress, she discovered vast resources of strength and vitality fueled by andrenalin. Fear. Anger. It all worked. She created a costume. Thinking it needed something she just put her initials on her front of her blouse, not really thinking of a name. When gangsters reported being taken down by a girl in red, white & blue, she was dubbed "Yankee Girl" despite the double K's on her chest. However, with the powers she also lost a bit of control, would throw herself in dangerous situations, facing down bullets and knives and doing brutal things herself. Later, she'd curl up in her room and throw up and cry. Yet the world needed someone of her abilities and she kept at it. Meeting the Green Lama and others of Liberty Company was a dream come true. He helped her learn to control her powers and she discovered it was ok to be scared as long as it didnt rule you.
Her heart was beating a bit faster now, but she already subconsciously drew on the power and confidence within her. The Colonel and his guards were not panicking like the rest and he was yelling out orders to them, pointing in her general direction. While the guards all had holsters, most of them only carried billy clubs or heavy hard plastic mag lights. Wouldnt do for the gathering to be raided and arrested on weapons charges. They stormed the stage.
Yankee Girl grabbed hold of the curtain and leapt out with a wide swing. Her feet solidly struck one man in the chest, knocking him through the air and off the stage. Her return arc carried her into a row of guards coming up the steps to the stage, spilling them into each other.
The fight got confusing for her after that, she'd not remember much of it. She grabbed several men and just threw them off the steps as she fought to the stage. She ducked beneath a swinging club and a punch to the man's mid-section doubled him over. She caught another man's arm as it was coming down, club and hand. A quick twist and he yelped and dropped the club. A punch to the man's jaw dropped him quickly. One man produced a knife and a quick blur of motion left the man convinced that he somehow stabbed himself in the leg.
Beneath his mask the Colonel frowned. This woman was proving to be more a match for his men than he expected. Of course, that is what happens when you dont have real soldiers but angry men who think war is similar to games of paintball or drinking beer and shooting at whatever walks by. Some of them were good in a fist fight and had utter disregard for life not their own, and they had the zeal of the discontented. But, no real internal discipline, not in fighting shape and unused to real pain. Which this patriotic girl was dishing out in spades.
He stood there thinking about whether to exercise the better part of valor or take her on himself. Surely, she couldn't be as strong as the serum in his veins made him. Then again, the gunshot and people pouring into the street screaming Decision made, he turned and started walking calmly to the door.
"Oh no you don't mister," Yankee Girl cried out.
She regretted that as soon as she said it for he spun around to face her as she was running towards him. He swung a punch faster than she was able to follow and the blow to the jaw knocked her to her knees. She started to stand when he slammed two fists hard to her stomach and another to her face, knocking her back down.
"Heh. Thought not." Spots ran in front of her eyes and she could hear the sneer on his face under the mask. His voice was still a smooth enticing baritone. Her breath was ragged and she realized he might be stronger than she was. "I think you'll do nicely as a substitute for the little slut you let go."
He lifted her by the chin until her face was in front of his and he looked at her appraisingly. He exerted pressure, more pain shooting through her chin. "Yes, you'll fill the role just as well. Even better since you choose to wear the colors and symbolize everything that's wrong and weak with this country."
Yankee Girl allowed herself a little smile before delivering a blow to the Colonel's solar plexus. Not as solid and by the book as she hoped but he yelled and released her. As strong as he proved to be, she was not about to let him recover. A spinning kick to his jaw knocked him back several feet. She stepped in and struck him again and again with her fists, each punch a bit stronger than the last, her adrenaline and anger kicking back in and overriding the pain she was feeling.
She'd have followed that up with another punch except for the cry of "Freeze" that echoed through the auditorium. She turned and saw several cops, a few with their revolvers out and waving them threateningly. The few guards and attendees that hadn't fled slowly raised their hands.
She smiled at the groaning figure in front of her.
"And it looks like you're going to jail."
"Why did you engage them in a fight instead of using your gun to hold them off?"
The Intelligence officer looked up from the report and stared at the now almost demure Kitty Kelly in front of her. The officer, Gertha Carroll, was an older woman, shorter than Kitty and looked as if she'd break into if blown by a moderate wind. However her voice had an edge and condescending tone to it that one thought were only used by nuns at parochial schools.
"Uhm. I didnt think about it Commander Carroll. And, I dont like guns."
Both true statements, but Kitty feared that when she saw the men didnt have guns themselves, she was eager for the fight.
"Uh huh," the older woman muttered while shuffling through the papers. "That was good work you did for us though. Have you given thought to our offer of a permanent position?"
"As field leader of this all woman group?" Kitty shook her head. "No thanks. I'm glad I could help out this time, but I'm not sure that it's for me full time. If there's nothing else?"
Commander Carroll shook her head and Kitty stood up and walked to the door. Paused and turned around.
"One thing. The name of this party you're putting together? The initials "FF" are a bit of a cliché Fantastic Four, Freedom Fighters, Freak Force, Frightful Four, Fearsome Five. Kids' comics are full of them. Just something I've come across since I've gotten back."
"Comic books?" Commander Carroll looked up over her glasses at Kitty and Kitty wasn't sure if it was a look of suprise or derision. Possibly both. "You read comic books?"
The younger woman blushed slightly. "The shelter where I work, we have bunches of them for the kids. Not like the Captain Marvel stuff from when i was a kid."
Kitty walked out and Commander Carroll sighed and scratched out the name she had written. "Back to the old drawing board," she thought.
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