Marvel Mystery Monday: Golden Girl, the best sidekick ever

Background:

Captain America has always been a team player, but back in the 1940s he had a sidekick named Bucky (the current Captain America). The two were inseparable until Stan Lee decided he hated sidekicks.

Then it was time for a new hero to enter the scene, a much shapelier hero – Golden Girl!

The story:

In 1947 (Captain America Comics # 66), years after defeating the Nazis, Captain America and Bucky continued their never-ending battle against evil. Captain America was a super-soldier with an unbreakable shield. Bucky was a teenager who thought he was invulnerable. One day the inevitable finally happened: Bucky was shot.

What happens when you have a boy do a man’s job.
Homemaker = Super-hero

The bad guy (er, girl) Lavender was out stealing whale spit when Bucky got in front of her bullet. Cap was depressed, but he knew he needed a partner to take down a perfume-themed villainess. Apparently Nazi hordes he can handle, but a woman in a domino mask scares him.

He makes the logical decision to ask his girlfriend Betsy Ross to be a super-hero, but first, he has to tell her the truth about his dual identity.

Wait, so Bucky was... Bucky?! I never could have guessed!
Wait, so Bucky was… Bucky?! Who could have guessed?

After dating off-and-on for six years, she finally learns the truth and immediately jumps at the chance to train with the man who’d be lying to her and become his sidekick. Luckily she’d been a champion weightlifter in college.

In a self-designed costume she goes with Cap after Lavender. A simple mistake helps the villainess escape, but Golden Girl redeems herself by using better detective skills than Cap to track their enemy down. Together, they take out the garbage and celebrate in the way any super-hero and sidekick might.

He never did THAT with Bucky... did he?
He never did THAT with Bucky… did he?

Back at the hospital Bucky is recovering (though he doesn’t really return for a few years), and a new dynamic duo is born!

Showing her true colors
Showing her true colors

Abilities:

Aside from her training in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, Betsy Ross was a champion sprinter, weight lifter, kick-boxer and wrestler. Cap trained her in fencing and tumbling, among other skills. She was also an excellent amateur detective.

On top of that, she’s a fashion designer, having created her original golden suit and the more patriotically-colored variant (left).

Why hasn’t the character shown up again?

It gets complicated.

See, Captain America was really Steve Rogers, a mild-mannered military private during the war and a teacher later on, active (more or less) from 1941 to 1954. But when he was brought back to comics in the 1960s, they established that he was believed to have died in 1945.

To resolve this discrepancy, they established that three other men took over the role of Cap between 1945 and 1954. Two different teens dressed up as Bucky to work with the replacement Caps.

It gets more complicated, since the girl who was seen most often with Cap during WWII was not Betsy Ross, but a new character named Peggy Carter. It was revealed that in most of the stories in which either Agent X-13 or Betsy Ross helped Cap, it was actually Peggy.

Only known image
Only known image

During the time period when Cap teamed up with Golden Girl, Cap was actually another Golden Age hero called the Patriot. It has since been established that Patriot/Captain America and Golden Girl married in the late 1940s, but Patriot, as an existing hero, had his own girl named Marry Morgan, who even became Miss Patriot (right).

That would mean Betsy Ross married a man dressed up as her dead lover, and he had no problem with this since he left his own long-time sweetheart behind.

How could the character be brought back?

She already technically exists in the Marvel Universe, but the exact details of her career have never been shown.

Fan service
Fan service

Since it has already been established that Peggy used aliases in her duty and since “Betsy Ross” is a ridiculously coincidental name for a the girlfriend of a patriotic hero, it might be better to suggest Peggy and Betsy were the same person up until the “death” of Captain America. After Jeff Mace, the Patriot, became Captain America it might make sense for his supporting character to take over the alias of the previous government agent working with Captain America. In other words, maybe Miss Patriot became Golden Girl.

This has been done before with not one, but two scientists going by the alias “Dr. Reinstein.”

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