All the way back in the ’90s, a pioneering Doom Patrol character showed us that being trans is a superpower.
To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re telling the stories of transgender women who reshaped history. Below, the story of Rachel Pollack, the tarot expert, activist, and comics pioneer who created DC Comics’ first trans superhero.Picking her way through the rubble that blocks the street, a blonde woman in a frog mask approaches the supervillain — who calls himself Codpiece, having just laid waste to the city bank with his crotch-mounted arsenal of weaponry — cooing sweet, flattering words. “You’re so big,” she fawns. “So powerful.”
Then, extending her right hand, she turns the cock-turret into a pile of molten crimson steel. With her left, she dissolves it. He screams.
This is how Rachel Pollack introduced unsuspecting Doom Patrol readers to Kate “Coagula” Godwin, the first superhero to save the world with the power of being transsexual.
Born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn in 1945, Pollack in her early life seemed destined for the quiet career of an English department academic. After graduate school, Pollack secured a teaching job at the state university in snowy Plattsburgh, NY, married a cis woman named Edith Katz, and despite a tugging desperation to express herself as a woman, convinced herself to try and commit to a “normal” male life.