Friday, April 26, 2013


We've covered several jungle girls on this blog...
Art by Joe Maneely
...but this is the first (and only) one we've seen in a costume and secret identity (complete with "Clark Kent" glasses)!
BTW, you'll note the cover image above from Jungle Action #1 doesn't feature the leopard head/cowl the interior story shows.
It was probably done before the costume was finalized.
Leopard Girl's premiere tale in Atlas' Jungle Action #1 (1954) was scripted by Don Rico and illustrated by Al Hartley.
Her series ran thru the entire eight-issue run of Jungle Action and was lost to both Silver Age and modern-day fans until it was finally reprinted in the recently-released Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Jungle Adventures #2 & #3!
Don Rico was both a writer and artist in comics of of the 1940s and 50s.
He also co-created both Jann of the Jungle and Lorna the Jungle Girl for Atlas.
Don's wildest work was in the horror genre, as shown HERE.
Though he left the comics field to become a succesful paperback novel writer in the 1960s, Rico stayed involved by teaching a course on comics at UCLA and Cal State Northridge, co-founding the Comic Art Professional Society, and doing an occasional cover or story.
Al Hartley was one of Atlas' good-girl experts, drawing Patsy & Hedy, Millie the Model, and various romance stories.
Al drew one Thor story (in Journey into Mystery #90)...
...and scripted an Iron Man one-shot in Tales of Suspense #68 (1965) the final Giant-Man storie in Tales to Astonish #69 (1965), plus several Western tales before moving to Archie, where he worked steadily until his retirement.

Note: There was a different Leopard Girl appearing in her own strip in Gold Key's Tarzan comics in the late 1960s, written by Gaylord Du Bois and drawn by Tom Massey...
(The only example I could find was from a Spanish-language reprint.
But convention season is under way, so I'll probably be able to find some inexpensive copies over the next month or so.)
Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrrl power!

Friday, April 19, 2013


She's not the slinky costumed heroine created by Will Eisner...
...(although we will be covering her in the future) but a gambler-turned-investigator who made only one appearance...
It feels like a pilot for a 1950s half-hour TV series rather than a comic book, doesn't it?
In fact, the comic could easily be used as storyboards!
Wonder if the writer was a TV scripter doing some comic book work on the side!
Though the scripter is unknown, the artist for this one-shot in Charlton's Danger #13 (1955) is Bill Discount, whose style was remarkably-close to Carmine Infantino's.
In fact, since there were so few stories (only about three dozen) attributed to "Bill Discount", I thought it might be a pen-name for  a team consisting of Carmine and an unknown inker!

Friday, April 12, 2013

AGAR-AGAR "Even Heroes Get Tired"

Here's the first of the "never-seen in the US" tales...
...featuring a familiar-looking (but obviously not that particular one) hero, which may explain why it's never been reprinted here...
This story from Dracula #7 (1971) was written by Luis Gasca under the pen-name Sadko (which he also used as the scripter on Wolff, another strip in Dracula, illustrated by Estaban Maroto, which we're running in Hero Histories™) and illustrated in a Peter Max-esque style by Alberto Solsona..

As we mentioned, this was the first of five stories have been unseen by American audiences, but will be posted here over the next few months.
It'll be a groovy trip, baby!
Be here next week, when we present another tale of classic comic grrl power!

Friday, April 5, 2013

AIRBOY "Easter Egg" Conclusion

Aviator-hero Airboy almost crashes when a private plane flown by young heiress Bonnie Easter lands at the airport in front of him without signaling.
After apologizing and explaining she's distraught over her dying uncle, the girl rushes to his home where she is given $1,000,000 in cash with the proviso that she spend it all before the old man passes away...or it will go to a crooked gambler who framed him!
When gunmen attempt to kill the girl, she ends up at the skyscraper home of AirBoy, who uses his advanced aircraft, Birdie, to spirit them away...
Bonnie has a million dollars and AirBoy's paying for dinner?
The heiress became Airboy/David Nelson's ongoing girlfriend both helping and hindering him as the plot required for the remainder of the series.
Oddly, though she's blonde in the stories, most of the covers she appears on (including this issue) show her as brown-haired!
This intro tale in Hillman's AirBoy Comics V3N11 (1946) was scripted by Dick Wood and illustrated by Dan Barry.