Speaking of Desira, here’s another baby name that was influenced by a Flash Gordon comic strip character. This one is Darlia, and it was a one-hit wonder in 1946. In fact, it was the top one-hit wonder of 1946. More than a dozen baby girls were named Darlia that year:
1946: 13 baby girls named Darlia [debut]
Darlia appeared in a storyline called “The Atomic Age,” which ran in papers from October of 1945 to March of 1946.
The installment featured identical twin sisters: Queen Evila (the bad twin) and Darlia (the good twin). For much of the story, the wrongdoers had Flash convinced that Evila was Darlia and vice versa. In the end, though, the truth came out just in time for Flash to save the day. But not in time to save the sisters. In fact, Darlia had to save him: she “courageously sacrifice[d] her own life by stepping into the line of fire” that otherwise would have killed Flash. Evila, on the other hand, died by falling off a ledge while trying to escape from an infirmary.
Do you like the name Darlia? Do you like it more or less than Desira?
The name Desiree, which became super trendy in the mid-1950s, wasn’t doing anything special in the early ’40s when the baby name Desira first appeared in the U.S. data:
1942: 5 baby girls named Desira
So where did Desira come from?
Looks like the source is the comic strip Flash Gordon, which introduced a character named Queen Desira in January of 1942. Desira was the red-headed ruler of the jungle kingdom Tropica (on the rogue planet Mongo) and she was regularly featured in the strip until 1944.
Wonder Woman also introduced a character named Queen Desira in 1942 — a rather fishy coincidence — but I doubt this Desira had much/any influence on the charts, as Wonder Woman wasn’t in newspapers until 1944. (Her first standalone comic book came in mid-1942, a bit after Sheena’s comic book).