Monday, July 17, 2017

Number 2076: Jungle Girl, the Good

We begin a theme week featuring comic book females of the forties and fifties. I have titled the theme, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ditzy.” Appropriately enough, we begin the week with the Good, Leopard Girl, a short-lived character coming out of Atlas Comics in 1954-55. Gwen, no other name given, dresses as a leopard in a full-body costume to hide her identity as a typist in the jungle, working for an old man doing research.

The full-body costume is different from the usual jungle girl togs, which are as brief as possible. The jungle being hot, I am surprised Leopard Girl can stand being in costume for long periods of time. Must be why her stories never exceeded six pages. And those six pages were in the six issues of .Jungle Action, after which she appeared no more. Perhaps Gwen got heat exhaustion.

The story is by Don Rico, who also wrote Lorna, another of Atlas’s jungle girls. The art is by Al Hartley, who drew some very pretty girls, jungle and otherwise, in this period of his long comic book career.

From Jungle Action #2 (1954):


Daniel [] said...

I don't know to what extent Atlas were simply flopping-around, not knowing what they were doing, and to what extent they were instead using a business model of selling comic books based on the attraction of new titles as such, and then abandoning those titles in favor of still newer titles. Certainly some publishers seem to have used that model almost exclusively.

In any case I don't know what else was in Jungle Action but apparently Atlas was operating on a theory that these six pages didn't have to be much of anything. At the least, Leopard Girl should have beat-up Kreitzer and then put him to work replanting and otherwise restoring those parts of the jungle that he'd caused to be destroyed.

Brian Barnes said...

Jungle girls stories were really starting to get diminishing returns! This is a speedy little story with the most baffling of super hero disguises (She's undressing 2 feet from him at one time! How many other white women are in the jungle?) She's saved twice by luck, but it's actually almost a 40s super hero story, and heading towards later period super hero stories.

I do appreciate the "cat" suit. It's different, and they at least tried something notable.

BTW, last I checked "raising dead mystical flame women" is always a bad idea.

Pappy said...

Daniel, you have described the Atlas business model. Copy what is selling for other publishers, then when the sales drop kill the title and move on to something else that is selling.

Brian, I don't know how many white women were in the jungle. If you line up all of the white comic book jungle women then you have a lot!

Anonymous said...

Apparently the jungle is not as hot as science would have us believe. Even now the Black Panther covers up more than Leopard Girl did. (Since Atlas became Marvel IIRC, perhaps some minor character could discover the old Leopard girl costume and have a team-up with the Panther?)