FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE
JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 10 (July 1974)
V. KING CADAVER IS DEAD AND LIVING IN WAKANDA
Synopsis: The Black Panther is sitting on one of the shores of the River of Grace and Wisdom. He is lost in thought over the way his people are calling for his Royal Consort, the popular American singer Monica Lynne, to be found guilty of Zatama’s murder and put to death. (Zatama was stabbed to death last time around by a shadowy figure but Monica’s fingerprints were found on the murder weapon.)
Presently a crocodile catches the brooding T’Challa by surprise and he must fight for his life, ultimately killing the crocodile. The Black Panther returns to the Panther Palace to visit Monica, who is terrified that she might be executed for a crime she didn’t commit.
W’kabi is among the advisors of T’Challa who is calling for Monica’s head but Taku is being a bit more level-headed. Our hero leaves the palace to attend a funeral ritual for M’Jumbak, one of the victims of Baron Macabre and his army of seeming zombies from our previous issue.
The man’s son Kantu touches a chord with T’Challa, who sees in the young man a bit of himself when he was filled with rage and bafflement after Klaw’s murder of his (T’Challa’s) father. Presently, the Black Panther heads off to the Wakanda City cemetery where he fought Killmonger’s lieutenant Baron Macabre and his possibly undead troops.
During the course of our hero’s investigation Baron Macabre once again rises theatrically from a grave followed by his corpse-like followers. For the second time T’Challa battles the Baron’s agility and laser-shooting wristlets.
The Black Panther overcomes Baron Macabre’s soldiers, whom he now realizes are living men made up to resemble walking corpses in order to prey on the superstitions of Wakanda’s working class and poor. The Baron retreats down the hole in the ground that he dramatically “emerged” from earlier.
The Black Panther follows and soon realizes he’s been led into a subterranean trap as he gets lost in a labyrinthine hall of mirrors. Eventually T’Challa comes face to face with Baron Macabre’s immediate superior in Killmonger’s revolutionary army: King Cadaver.
This “king” is a short, squat little man with a bloated, monstrous face. He wears red and gold raiments as befits his “kingly” name and he now unleashes his super-powers on T’Challa.
Killmonger bestowed the revolutionary name King Cadaver on this figure because of his mind-powers. The villain can psychically invade the minds of his victims, forcing out all consciousness and leaving their bodies as brainless shells that he can animate to carry out his own purposes.
(NOTE: King Cadaver’s stated abilities make me wonder if Baron Macabre’s soldiers were really supposed to be those living dead puppets of Cadaver’s. Possible editorial interference might have nixed that notion if said editor felt the concept would make the story too much like one of Marvel’s horror comics.)
At length T’Challa’s own impressive willpower manages to drive King Cadaver from his mind and the Panther proceeds to defeat the King AND Baron Macabre. Investigating further, our hero realizes that the network of tunnels beneath Wakanda’s cemeteries has served as another underground operation for Killmonger’s forces, just like the mining operation at Warrior Falls.
These tunnels not only enabled Baron Macabre’s reign of terror on Wakandan citizens but also permitted them to raid the nation’s own top secret weapons cache. As T’Challa puts it “Killmonger’s forces have been slaughtering us with our own weapons.” +++
CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR PART SIX. SAME PANTHER-TIME, SAME PANTHER-CHANNEL.
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MAIN LIST OF CENTAUR COMICS SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
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FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MEMBERS OF INFINITE HORIZON CLICK HERE
FOR THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE
FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE: Superheroes
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