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. We are missing issue #6 but will share with you this week our scans of the other issues.