Thursday, March 15, 2018

Jungle Comics #1 - pt. 1

At long last we begin January 1940! With this "brand new" title from Fiction House!

Kaanga is a Tarzan clone with a few wrinkles thrown in. Note that he's not adopted by apes (Tarzan), nor by natives (Sheena), but by something that doesn't quite look like either...

First edition Hideouts & Hoodlums had an explorer class for heroes like Kaanga, but there's really little reason not to use the fighter class for him, so far.

Also note that Kaanga only needs "a few weeks" to learn English, so picking up new languages is something heroes can do on their downtime.

Kaanga's strength and leaping abilities almost put him in superhero contention. And yet...both editions of H&H have had rules for non-supeheroes to wreck things, and greater than normal leaping could also be a mysteryman stunt.

Here we learn that it was ape people Kaanga was adopted by. Ape people are statted already in 2nd edition, and this shows that they occur in numbers of up to 13.

I am not sure what to make of this backstory. White Panther and his father are the last of their tribe in the jungle...but they are whiter than whitebread, and the father looks weirdly Odin-like.

I like the unusual Macguffin of magical healing stones.

If you thought those ape men were racist, wait until you see these cannibals.

White Panther is clearly a superhero (or maybe a speedster from 1st edition!). He activates Race the Train to outrun the natives, and it is interesting that he uses his power only as a distraction instead of trying to use it to fight anyone.

It's unclear from panel to panel if White Panther is a naked albino or wearing skintight white clothes from head to toe. He also seems to have a magnetic disc on his belt that holds his dagger in place, which is pretty cool.

Apparently it wasn't hard to find the healing stones at all; you just had to keep wandering the jungle and the cave/mine is like a random encounter. Although the mine must have already been played out, someone was careless and left some healing stones just lying around.

Here's a reason not to carry guns in cave complexes -- gunshots apparently have a chance to cause cave-ins! Cave-ins are pretty brutal, delivering fatal damage for those who miss their saves vs. science, and tearing the clothes of even those who make their saves.

We can tell White Panther is low-level because he avoids combat whenever he can. He also doesn't know much about the fauna of Africa, since he calls that crocodile an alligator.

There are three crocodiles on the next page, so we know crocodiles can be encountered in groups of up to 3.

If we weren't sure if Kaanga was a superhero or not, there's no confusion where Fletcher Hank's Tabu is concerned. Tabu's magical sixth sense is the source of his powers, which include Outrun Train, Wall-Climbing (a 2nd ed. power), and ...well, moving silently is usually a stunt.

Here we see Tabu has access to the powers Leap I, Fly I, and some kind of super-swimming power (though maybe Outrun Train can cover this territory). He also demonstrates tracking, which was the primary skill of the explorer class. Maybe Tabu is an explorer/superhero character.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum.)

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