Think back to the seventies if you can, or imagine it if you were born after that. In particular, think back to all those live action superhero shows. Have you got an image in mind? Good! Then you’re ready for today’s Throwback Thursday, ScienceFiction.com’s ongoing column about science fiction of the past.
This week’s subject is the first live-action female superhero on TV. Believe it or not, it’s not Wonder Woman. In fact, it’s a little known high school science teacher with the power of Isis, which she uses to transform herself into a superhero. Naturally, the show is called ‘Isis’ or ‘The Secrets of Isis.’ The reasoning for the two names is little boring, so we won’t get into it here. What we will get into is that she’s a bit unusual for a superhero as she doesn’t actually fight any big super villains. Instead, she fights rather small things that happen to her morally-grey high school students, and fixes the shenanigans they get into. In fact, if you’re not really paying attention, you would totally mistake an episode for after school special until she transforms into Isis.
Anyway, playing a big part of the ‘Shazam!/Isis Hour,’ her world intersected with the DC Captain Marvel, making her a DC hero in her own right (she has since appeared in comics).
Her story is pretty straight forward, so I’ll just let the intro tell you what up with this unique hero:
As you can see from the video above, there isn’t a whole lot about the show that makes sense. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why a high school science teacher is going on archaeological digs which allow her to serendipitously find the amulet that gives only the descendants of Hatsheput the power of Isis (though, after that many generations, I think it’s safe to assume that a good size of the population actually are her descendants). Furthermore, I ‘m not really sure what “With the powers of the animals and the elements” really means. You know, aside from the fact that she can fly like an eagle, and do other things like command the wind. I’m not sure if that means she can jump like a kangaroo, or breath underwater as I haven’t seen all the episodes.
If you’re interested in watching this gem of a 70s show, it has been playing on PBJ, a network that shows old children’s cartoons (including Archie and She-Ra). Enjoy!