Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Number 1707: Lorna says, “I will die like a queen!”

In early issues, Atlas Comics’ answer to Sheena, Lorna, was called “Jungle Queen.” Less than a year later she lost her queen status and became just Lorna the Jungle Girl. I guess we are not privy to what act of investiture made Lorna a queen, or even what later caused her to lose her crown. In this story from Lorna, the Jungle Queen #3 (1953) Lorna considers herself a queen. While both face death, her princely partner in execution proclaims he will “die like a prince,” and Lorna swears she will “die like a queen.” If this story had been published after she lost her royal title it would have seemed odd to have her proclaim that she would “die like a girl.” So, queen she is.

Drawn by Werner Roth, story by Don Rico.

I would not be me if I did not point out that the last three panels of this story are completely gratuitous. Did editor Stan Lee tell scripter Rico, “Don, work some Reds into the story”?

Here are a couple of stories with Lorna  from the early days of Pappy’s Golden Age. Just click on the thumbnails.


J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

I was about to label this as an average Tarzan story with a female Tarzan and a nice art, then in last page I saw the "three commies guests" thing, and it was a twist of sorts. Sign of the times, I guess, but surely some average Tarzan's "white poachers" or "gold smugglers" would have been more rational. For 3 "reds", an egyptian city with a theocratic governement is not the best place to hide I guess.
How are you Mr. Pappy? Hope everything's fine.

Pappy said...

J D, since you ask, I am doing well. It has now been six years since I retired from my job and yet my daily life seems busier than ever.

Or, maybe it is that I am not busier, just slower at what I do, and it makes me seem busier.

Ryan Anthony said...

What a hero Lorna is--saved by a man and a monkey!

Stan Lee was obsessed with communists in that era; worked 'em into anything he was doing. Okay, maybe not the monster books, but everything else. Witness "Captain America--Commie Smasher!" Iron Man was conceived as an anti-communist hero, and even the FF had their roots in Lee's pervasive propaganda.

Here's a link to a conservative article on a very conservative site, but it still has some interesting comments about Marvel and its commie baiting:

And here's one from the ultra-liberal side about Marvel's propaganda in general:

Anonymous said...

Pay no attention to The Lost City behind the curtain! Gosh, not only is the term of "lost city" rather loaded and cliché, but the folks who lived in that place named it "The Lost City"! I love it. Just another splendid example of the wonder of comics. Ah, and Lorna's quasi-misogynist, sorta-boyfirend, Greg reminding her that the jungle is a MAN'S world… well, so was The Lost City —not a gal in the crowd besides our jungle girl. The greater mystery of three commies playing cards in a cellar won't be topped by any story plot I ever came up with. That's the icing on our Lorna jungle cake. =smile=

My hat is off to Werner Roth for the fine artwork. He drew Lorna quite distinctly. Another Atlas jungle lady, Jann, had a different but fine artist, too.

Oh, Pappy, you are an inspiration. Thanks for your generosity and wit with this blog. Take care.

Brian Barnes said...

Wait, Greg wasn't a loser in this story! When did that happen? He was actually competent (more than Lorna, because he brought a gun and snuck up) -- saved the day -- and captured the commies!

Roth (the artist) has some real problems with faces here -- no, not the slightly racist natives -- but Lorna up close looks monstrous sometimes. Page 6/Panel 1 is a bit weird.

Stan's over-use of communists was already pretty well established at this point. It would really bloom by the time he got to the 60s. He did humanize them a bit more as he went on, though.

Pappy said...

Brian, I'm not ready to call Lorna's face "monstrous", but Roth did have a tendency to draw wide faces.

I was taught in art school that there is the space of an eye between a person's two eyes. Looking at Lorna in that panel how much space do you measure between her eyes? Looks a bit more than one eye to me.

Pappy said...

7f7, along the jungle trail a billboard, "Only one mile! Visit the Lost City! See human sacrifices!"

I think those folks were trying to hide their city, rather than lose it. Maybe it would have been more correct to call it the Hidden City.

Pappy said...

Ryan, interesting articles and thanks for the links.

I grew up in the fifties and sixties and heard so much about communists that I became tone-deaf to the din of the fear mongers.

I remember the Marvel comics with the anti-communist plots, but I didn't think any more of them than an invasion from space plot. I thought both were fantasies.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

@Ryan: I have a problem with first link,the second works fine. Maybe i got an ultra-liberal server!
I think those Brutopians didn't spare Atlas monster comics. I seem to recall a story with a mutated african native after some red bomb test, and Fin Fang Foom tricked into working for Chang Kai Sheck.