This was the first issue of Rima we ever read. We scored it in a 50-cent or 25-cent bin in our first year as comic bloggers. It made us want to read more about this white-haired woman who befriended all animals and feared nothing.
DC Comics published seven issues of Rima the Jungle Girl from 1974-1975. The artwork by Nestor Redondo brings the story to life in a jungle which seems to include just about any species of animal that might make for a dramatic scene. As with Jack Kirby’s dinosaur stories, biological accuracy defers to entertainment value. Like Tarzan, Rima plays out an urban white male fantasy about jungles. But the hippie vibe is stronger in Rima than in Tarzan. The animals earn both Rima’s and the reader’s sympathy, and the idea of living in harmony with nature plays a central role.
Rima is a good female lead, morally superior to the other characters, with a deeper understanding of her world. The author, who is definitely Robert Kanigher for the later stories though uncredited in the early ones, shows us both her strength and her sensitivity. Rima is neither a conqueror of nature nor a helpless damsel in distress. She is a mortal woman, but one can easily understand why the lead male romanticizes her into something supernatural.
Rima has not been reprinted anywhere, to the best of our knowledge, but you can still buy original copies of Rima The Jungle Girl at reasonable prices. The series contained sci-fi backup stories which we have in our archive of Space Voyagers.
You are going to want to pet little Tantor yourself after you dig this pulse-pounding story! This Korak tale is so big on adventure that we can let the dumbed-down ecology slide. Just pretend you never heard of a food chain, and let it go! Robert Kanigher, who brought us Space Voyagers and Sgt. Rock scripted this story, which artist Rudy Florese brought to life.
Historical notes: Gold Key started Korak in 1964, based loosely on the Edgar Rice Burroughs material, Tarzan. DC published Korak from #46 through the final issue, #59. You Alex Niño fans will find he did a lot of cool artwork for Korak. You can find some examples of Niño on Korak at Diversions of the Groovy Kind. Now let’s fight a shark and release the wild beasts!
Collector’s Guide: From Korak #57, DC Comics, 1975.
Yes, this is abridged by a few pages. Jungle boy knifes the %$#& out of a shark, then gets captured by pirates. Keep up! Here comes the good part!
Don McGregor’s Black Panther in Jungle Action #6-24 set a high-water mark for comics as a storytelling medium. McGregor is often credited with inventing the concept of the graphic novel here.
If you think you can handle it, dig our post with scenes from the issue where Black Panther fights the KKK. It’s not for the faint of heart!
For now, enjoy this awesome dinosaur fight! We love Billy Graham’s groundbreaking artwork throughout Panther’s Rage. So, don’t hold it against him that the anatomy of this Tyrannosaurus has some problems. Rich Buckler worked on the series, too. Behold his Panther art at Diversions of the Groovy Kind.
Did you miss a few Black Panther posts? Click Black Panther Gallery to see what we have for you!
More dinosaur action in the Savage Land — and the coolest Zabu (Ka-Zar’s sabretooth tiger) ever! Feast your eyes on Joe Madureira’s artwork. Through this entire series, he provides an overwhelming visual feast. Great fun!
Dark Horse Presents is where Frank Miller’s Sin City and Paul Chadwick’s Concrete first appeared, among other things. DHP also featured licensed properties like Aliens and Predator. For an anthology title, it had some pretty great moments. Let’s take a look at one of our favorite short stories. It has a theme you know we love: giant spiders!
Collector’s Guide: From Dark Horse Presents.
dinosaur, dinosaur comics, Doug Moench, jungle, Ka-zar, Lizard Men, Marvel Comics, marvel value stamps, mole man value stamp, Russ Heath, Savage Land, Smilodon, Triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex, Wizard of Forgotten Flesh, Zabu
2022 Update: This was the first post here at Mars Will Send No More, way back in January 2011. Since then, the scans I painstakingly made for it have somehow become FUBAR; so, eleven years later, I’ve pilfered some pirated scans from the web to restore this post to its former glory. Along the way, I re-discovered that the letters page contains the Mole Man Value Stamp, which later became the avatar for our blogging buddy Paul at Longbox Graveyard — a truly historic comics coincidence!
Anyway, let’s rock this thing!
Doug Moench penned Wizard of Forgotten Flesh for the Ka-zar in 1974. Doug Moench did a huge amount of writing for Marvel in the 1970s: teaming up with Bill Sienkewicz for awesome Moon Knight stories, Gil Kane & George Perez on the Inhumans, Paul Gulacy on Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu, and — our personal favorites — the two Six From Sirius limited series.
That being said, Russ Heath‘s dinosaur artwork in Wizard of Forgotten Flesh speaks for itself. Dig his splash panel for page one.
Here is a the five-page sequence where Ka-zar and his buddies harness a Triceratops. They ride it into a river where they wage battle against the evil cult of serpent people.
Gotta admit: we love Zabu, the sabre-tooth tiger. One of our favorite scenes in any superhero book is Zabu and Wolverine having a conversation in animal language. That was Uncanny X-Men #116, when Chris Claremont and John Byrne took the X-men to Ka-zar’s home, the Savage Land.
Anyway, these serpent cultists are up to no good and using some ancient skull to give them power to enslave the tattooed guy’s people. The good guys free the prisoners, but the serpent priestess invokes skull power. With that power, she raises the dead to life to be her unholy soldiers.
This is a fun issue. It transplants some of the best 1970s Conan and Kull cliches and male-bonding adventures into a world of dinosaurs, and the artwork makes the script come to life. Unfortunately, it was only a fill-in from Russ Heath, and he would not again grace the pages of this series.
Collector’s Guide: From Ka-Zar #12, Marvel Comics, 1974.