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JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 14 (March 1975)


Synopsis: This chapter picks up with the Black Panther surreptitiously following Sombre, the High Priest of Resurrection Altar, through the steamy jungle of Serpent Valley. The narration tells readers that T’Challa has spent the last 4 days and nights trailing Sombre in the steep, dangerous descent from the Land of the Chilling Mist.

That descent took place down the Grand Canyonesque walls of the Chasm of Chilling Mist, which terminates thousands of feet below sea level in Serpent Valley. Down this low there are no surface deposits of vibranium to absorb all the heat energy from the air like in the Land of the Chilling Mist.

That means that in Serpent Valley the “mist” is no longer “chilling” but is instead a heavy, humid natural steam bath. Serpent Valley’s mist is so thick that the sun can never be made out in the sky at all. The steamy mist simply becomes brighter with sunlight (and greater visibility) during the day and more like fog at night.

This sweltering, figurative green house was so thoroughly insulated from meteorological changes in the outer world above that countless species of dinosaurs and other creatures from Earth’s distant past still thrive in Serpent Valley.

We learned last time around that the Black Panther’s foe, Erik Killmonger/ N’Jadaka, plans to further his rebellion against T’Challa’s rule of Wakanda by rounding up dozens of Serpent Valley’s dinosaurs, training them and then using them as a mounted force in a major attack on Wakanda City. (And this was long years before either Jurassic Park OR Dino-Riders.) 

Presently, T’Challa moves in to attack Sombre before he can reach Killmonger and warn him that the Black Panther still lives and was not killed by the Devil-Wolves or by the White Gorillas.  Continue reading


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JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 13 (January 1975)


Synopsis: After surviving the night following his battle with an entire pack of Devil Wolves, the Black Panther set out at daybreak, trekking through the ice and snow of the Land of the Chilling Mist. At length T’Challa made his way back to Resurrection Altar, where Erik Killmonger/ N’Jadaka has been periodically transforming some of his rebel soldiers into super-powered beings like King Cadaver, Malice and Sombre. 

This issue’s main action begins as the Black Panther jumps a pair of Killmonger’s soldiers who guard the outer perimeter of Resurrection Altar: Wenzori and Jakak. The duo are clad in heavy winter wear because of the perpetually freezing temperatures in the Land of the Chilling Mist.

One of them wields a traditional automatic rifle while the other employs a handgun AND a double-chained and double-headed mace, both heads of which sport spikes to enhance their deadly nature. Needless to say T’Challa overcomes both men, while bitterly reflecting on the way Killmonger’s followers never seem to have any identity outside of their powers or specialized weaponry.

Our hero’s interrogation of the sentries has revealed that Killmonger, King Cadaver, Tayette and Kazibe have departed for Serpent Valley. Sombre, meanwhile, has headed further inland from the Chasm of Chilling Mist, toward the Domain of the White Gorillas.

Sombre, the High Priest of Resurrection Altar, took the horribly misshapen remains of those followers of Killmonger who died agonizing deaths upon exposure to the cosmic radiation of the fallen meteor/ asteroid in the pit of the Altar. As usual, that is the fate of most of those human guinea pigs exposed to the unearthly rays.

For every Sombre or Malice or King Cadaver who gain superhuman powers from the radiation infesting Resurrection Altar, there are many more who suffer and die. Killmonger has long been content with those odds. The callous revolutionary accepts the deaths of so many of his men in return for the few super-powered minions he gains to help him in his uprising against T’Challa. Continue reading

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Once You Slay The Dragon ...FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE 

JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 11 (September 1974)


Synopsis: T’Challa, W’Kabi and Taku lead Wakandan forces through the jungle for a sneak attack on Killmonger’s concealed village called N’Jadaka. Expository dialogue informs us that it has been weeks since the Black Panther discovered that Baron Macabre and King Cadaver were in charge of Killmonger’s raids on Wakanda City’s advanced weapons and technology.

The pair of villains escaped while T’Challa was confirming the extent of their operation’s penetration, but since then the Panther has shut down the network and rounded up any conspirators who were helping Killmonger.

In addition, since then he has solved Zatama’s murder: Continue reading

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Malice By Crimson MoonlightFOR PART ONE CLICK HERE 

JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 8 (January 1974)


Synopsis: In an opening layout of brilliantly drawn panels that even Will Eisner could have envied, in the first few pages of this issue we readers are shown multiple events going on in one night:

*** The Black Panther is undergoing various physical ordeals as part of the periodic rituals he must endure to prove he is still deserving of the Panther Herbs that give him his superhuman abilities.

*** Malice, a beautiful, super-strong and super-fast woman who wields a vibranium spear, makes her stealthy way out of the surrounding jungle, through the nighttime streets of Wakanda’s capital city and penetrates the Panther Palace itself. 

Presently we join one lone event – Malice’s further infiltration of the Panther Palace. She overcomes Zatama, one of T’Challa’s (The Black Panther’s) Tribal Advisors, and threatens him until he reveals the location of the cell where her fellow villain Venomm is held prisoner. (Last issue the Black Panther captured Venomm and shut down the secret operations of Killmonger’s Death Regiments in the mines behind Warrior Falls. )

Once she has the info she needs, Malice knocks out Zatama and conceals his body. Then she resumes her ninja-like advance to the Palace’s prison cells.

Back outside the palace walls, the Panther Herb ritual has advanced to the point where T’Challa is lying face-up on the ground while the High Priest Mendinao and his subordinates have begun to coat the Black Panther’s body with liquid versions of the herbs.

American singing star Monica Lynne, T’Challa’s Royal Consort, happens to stumble upon the scene and mistakenly believes that the prone Black Panther is in danger. She interrupts the ongoing ritual, hurling accusations at W’Kabi and Mendinao that they’ve been bribed by Killmonger to assassinate T’Challa. Continue reading

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Avengers 126AVENGERS Volume 1, Number 126 (August 1974)  All the Sights and Sounds of Death

AVENGERS ROSTER: Thor (Donald Blake, MD), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Captain America (Steve Rogers), The Scarlet Witch (Wanda), The Black Panther (Prince T’Challa), The Vision (not applicable), The Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) and MANTIS (Mantis Brandt).


Synopsis: The exact amount of time between the last installment’s conclusion of the Thanos War and the beginning of this installment is another of those things that obsessive fans debate as they try to establish a timeline of Avengers stories. 

In any event this issue starts out at Avengers Mansion in New York City. Inside, Mantis is watching her romantic partner the Swordsman battle some robots in the Avengers’ Training Room. The Swordsman is trying to show off for her because he is still smarting with insecurity over the way Mantis and the Vision seem to be growing more and more attracted to each other. 

The various energy blasts from the Swordsman’s high-tech sword finish off the two remaining robots he’s fighting but Mantis still seems distracted. As they kiss it is obvious her thoughts are already turning toward the Vision.

The Vision himself is pondering his growing fears that his android brain may be malfunctioning. His panic attacks in Dormammu’s quicksand and Taurus’ pool combined with Ant-Man’s mysterious discovery in the Vision’s brain during the Kree-Skrull War all continue to hang in the air.     

Mantis miniMeanwhile, the Vision’s romantic partner the Scarlet Witch, is still torn with her own fears that the Vision may leave her for Mantis. (Two women fighting over him? The Vision really IS fully functional.) Wanda ponders her recent arguments with the Vision and how he always makes the arguments out to be HER fault. Continue reading

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Black Panther and VenommWith Marvel’s Black Panther in theaters right now Balladeer’s Blog will take a look at an angle of Prince T’Challa’s run that is a bit overlooked. Panther’s Rage has been covered extensively as have other aspects of this Avenger’s career.

I will be taking a look at the war between the Black Panther’s kingdom of Wakanda and the Sub-Mariner’s realm of Atlantis in the pages of The Defenders in the summer of 1980. 

Throw in Foolkiller to this already volatile mix plus a potential shift in the balance of the world’s vibranium reserves and stir.  Continue reading

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Balladeer’s Blog’s recent look at the short-lived comic book company Atlas-Seaboard was a big hit. As a follow-up here’s a look at an Atlas figure I did not cover in the main article, which can be found HERE

Tales of Evil 3MAN-MONSTER

Secret Identity: Paul Sanders, Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist

Origin: Hedonistic Paul Sanders lives the life of a playboy from his endorsement deals and his resented oil baron father’s vast fortune. After a flirty/ bickering battle of the sexes-style interview with two female reporters from Women’s Lib Magazine Paul boards a motorboat for one of his father’s offshore oil wells.

To show off for the still-watching ladies Paul leaps overboard to swim the rest of the way to the oil drilling platform. As fate would have it, the oil drilling had just churned up some rare, mutated bacteria from the ocean floor. Sanders winds up covered by the bacteria, which causes changes to his body.  

Man Monster 1Paul barely escapes the bacteria and makes it back to shore, where he transforms into a red-scaled amphibious monster. After a brief rampage he becomes human again and the female reporters take him home.

From then on in times of danger the transformation comes over Paul again and he finds himself battling various forces of evil.

First Appearance: Tales of Evil #3 (July, 1975). His final appearance came in September of that same year.

Powers:    Continue reading


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