Real Name: Elizabeth Ross
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: WAC, FBI agent
Affiliations: Captain America (revised in the Silver Age to be the Patriot using the Captain America identity), Namora, Sun Girl
Enemies: Red Skull
Known Relatives: (Silver Age) Jeffrey Mace (the Patriot, husband)
Base of Operations: U.S.A.
First Appearance: as Betsy Ross Captain America Comics #1 (Timely Comics, March 1941)
as Golden Girl Captain America #66 (Timely Comics, December 1947)
Powers/Abilities: Skilled fighter.
History: (Captain America Comics #1-65, ga) Betsy Ross was a member of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps who befriended Steve Rogers (Captain America) prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She began dating him after a while. She was also recruited to work as a special agent for the FBI.
(Captain America #66, ga) In 1948 (see comments) when Cap's sidekick Bucky was shot during a case, and forced to retire due to his injuries, Cap asked Betsy to become his new partner. He revealed his secret identity to her, and after some training Betsy became Golden Girl.
(Captain America Comics #67-69, ga) Golden Girl continued to battle alongside Captain America.
(Marvel Mystery Comics #88, ga) Golden Girl teamed up with Namora and Sun Girl.
(Captain America Comics #70-75, ga) Having retired her superhero identity, Betsy continued to be Cap's friend and ally.
(OHOTMU Update #5) Betsy married Jeffrey Mace, her former partner.
Comments: For the non-Americans out there (like myself), it's worth noting that Betsy Ross was the name of the woman who sewed the first American flag, at the request of George Washington. Thus naming Captain America's love interest Betsy Ross has a certain resonance to the people of the U.S. that is likely lost on the rest of us.
The Silver Age revival of Captain America saw some retroactive changes to Golden Girl's history. Since it was established that Bucky died before the end of the war, and Captain America was lost for at least a couple of decades, this apparently invalidated Betsy's partnership with him. However it was established in What If? I #4 that other individuals took up the identities of both lost heroes (see individual entries).were taken up by other's, and although it wasn't explicitly stated, this allowed it to be the new Captain America who took Betsy on after the new Bucky was shot. This was further coroborated by the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update #5 which carried a profile for the Patriot (the Captain America substitute in question) and which stated in his entry that he was the partner of the Betsy Ross Golden Girl (and shifted the date she assumed the role to 1949). The rest of her history was thus able to stand unchanged.
Another Golden Girl was created in the 1970's, with adventures set earlier on in the Second World War. As far as we know, there is no suggestion of a connection between the two, beyond the name.
Thanks to Jess Nevins for allowing me to use information from his excellent Golden Age Heroes Directory and his Guide to Golden Age Marvel Characters. Thanks also to Richard Boucher & Darrin Wiltshire @ PR-Publications for permission to use information from their equally brilliant collection of Golden Age Sites, PR Publications. Their knowledge of Golden Age characters far outstrips my own.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Golden Girl, member of the Kid Commandos
Golden Girl, Spark Publications' Golden Age heroine
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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