Monday, April 15, 2019

Jungle Comics #2 - pt. 2

Tabu, not you too! Once-staunch defender of the wilderness, Tabu now slaughters animals willy-nilly to defend any man he sees. This has got to me my absolute least favorite part of the golden age -- this cheerful acceptance of animal death.

On the surface, Tabu drawn by R. L. Golden certainly looks better than by his creator, Fletcher Hanks, but it also looks more normal and mundane -- even when Tabu turns into a tree!

The elephant's graveyard is certainly supposed to be more impressive than it is, as it appears to only be the graveyard of three elephants.

One thing I do really like about this story is how Tabu discourages the youth from seeking revenge, but encourages him to let cosmic justice take its course (which happens, of course, because this is a comic book).


 Some game notes: Tabu uses ordinary grappling attacks on the lions, perhaps buffed by some powers, if Tabu is a magic-user/superhero, as I suspect. For the Advanced Hideouts & Hoodlums Heroes Handbook, I have been working on a mystic class that combines them both.

Evidence of gorillas being encountered in groups as large as five. It's odd that gorillas are actually social animals, but in comic books they are almost always encountered individually. This is also an example of pacing an encounter so the Heroes do not face all the mobsters at once.

There is, interestingly enough, a Tree spell in the original game that inspires H&H. I'll have to see if there's an open license version of that spell, or if I'll have to create something of my own.

This is a really curious story because it is actually a retconned retelling of the story in the previous issue -- something that almost never happens in comic books (except maybe in flashback). The white man's name is altered and the ending is altered so that Camilla lives. Someone may have thought after last issue went to press "Oops -- if we're going to name our feature after Camilla, it might be a good idea if Camilla survives."

I can find no evidence that a city named Kaza ever existed in Africa, but interestingly there is a KAZA now -- the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

That is one curious little rocket ship. Or, at least, it would have seemed strange in 1940 -- today we would call that a drone.
...As you can see here.
There's a very curious thing about these "natives." They look an awful lot like robots, yet they're never referred to as robots (or automatons, or anything but natives), and the narrator even tells us John kills several of them. Now, it's possible that the narrator is speaking from John's perspective, and how he thinks he's killing real people.

It's interesting that flexodium is a ray -- so it's a type of energy -- but it discussed as if it was a metal. Very likely this stems from a lack of understanding about how radiation works, which may have been commonplace in 1940.

Other than wanting to destroy western civilization, Camila doesn't sound so bad. Robbing ivory caravans is something I would be quite comfortable with letting Heroes of any Alignment do in my campaigns, though that is from my modern perspective, of course.
By "torpedo" she must mean rocket, and if her rockets can really reach space, her's beat German's V-2 rockets there by four years.

Once again, the very robot-like people are called nothing but guards.


Game notes: 4 to 1 odds is overwhelming for John -- but if the Editor took a mulligan on their first gaming session, should John get to keep the XP from it?

We've seen so many paralysis rays already in comic books by now, but this time it's called an electric radio beam (which sounds like it would help your radio get good reception rather than paralyze someone).
I'm not crazy about Congo Lancer stories -- but I'm crazy about that map! If I was super-ambitious (I mean, more than I am now), I would try drawing a Editor's map of my campaign area that shows pictures of all the animals in that region and where they can most often be encountered.

That is one weird middle panel, with the crocodile just laying there, minding his business, while the radio waves talk over him.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum.)

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