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JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 12 (November 1974)
VII. BLOOD STAINS ON VIRGIN SNOW (But I think the cover title Devil Wolves of/ from the Chilling Mist would have been more appropriate given this issue’s introduction of Wakanda’s Land of the Chilling Mist.)
Besides which, Blood Stains On Virgin Snow sounds like the title of a Mickey Spillane novel. (“Mike Hammer IS the Black Panther in Blood Stains on Virgin Snow!”)
Synopsis: It’s been several days since T’Challa/ The Black Panther led the successful military assault on N’Jadaka Village, the Capital City of Killmonger’s blood-soaked revolution against T’Challa’s rule.
Killmonger’s supervillain lieutenants Lord Karnaj, Baron Macabre and the supervillainess Malice have joined Venomm in the Royal Palace’s high-security prison. The hundreds of other prisoners taken are being interrogated and investigated by W’Kabi’s staff (W’Kabi is the Black Panther’s Chief of Security).
The story proper for this time begins with a pair of Wakandan Quin-Jets landing on one of the Primitive Cliffs that encircle Wakanda and help isolate it from the outside world. The passengers from the two aircraft exit and we readers see T’Challa, his Royal Consort Monica Lynne, W’Kabi, Taku, plus Tayette and Kazibe, Killmonger’s comic relief lieutenants who are always easily overcome by the Black Panther.
Everyone but T’Challa is bundled up in heavy winter clothing. This mountain region is the threshold to Wakanda’s Hidden Lands, which are meteorological impossibilities in the real world but very real in the comic book world.
For the next few issues to make sense this portion of Marvel Comics’ 1970s map of Wakanda is required.
At the start of this chapter of Panther’s Rage, the Black Panther and the others are located where they are overlooking the Grand Canyonesque “Chasm of the Chilling Mist.”
To be more specific, they are right where the rickety wood and vine bridge spans the Chasm of the Chilling Mist. (By the way, as depicted on the map that bridge is in NO WAY to scale. People would have to be hundreds of yards tall to build and use a bridge that enormous!)
At any rate that wood and vine bridge spans the narrowest point of the Chasm, with Serpent Valley lying thousands of feet below. We’ll visit that valley in a few issues, and after that we’ll even visit the Forest of Thorns which is shown at bottom, serving as a natural barrier to normal, on-foot penetration into Serpent Valley.
For right now, the Black Panther will be crossing the rickety wood and vine bridge over the Chasm so that he can enter the Land of the Chilling Mist, beyond which lies the Realm of the White Gorillas.
We readers are told that Tayette and Kazibe have confessed to W’Kabi’s interrogators that that is where Killmonger had journeyed to with King Cadaver and the large percentage of his Revolutionary Army which was not at N’Jadaka Village when T’Challa struck.
Despite the urging of Monica Lynne, W’Kabi and Taku, the Black Panther refuses to take any additional men with him in pursuit of Killmonger. His reasoning – more like an excuse – is that a large body of troops would slow him down and that Wakanda City and the villages still loyal to T’Challa will need as many soldiers on hand as possible if Killmonger eludes the Black Panther and launches a counter-offensive.
Monica is not fooled and realizes T’Challa wants to take on Erik Killmonger alone to avenge his defeat at Erik’s hands at Warrior Falls back in the opening chapter of Panther’s Rage. Killmonger has been making the Black Panther feel very outclassed by the way Erik easily beat him in physical combat AND out-generalled AND out-politicked T’Challa every step of the way in the war’s opening phases.
As it is there are still outlying villages that remain loyal to Killmonger despite the Black Panther’s recent victory at N’Jadaka. T’Challa will be accompanied only by the thoroughly cowed Tayette and Kazibe, who have promised to lead our hero to Resurrection Altar, in the heart of the Land of the Chilling Mist.
That altar is where Killmonger – in ways not comprehended by Tayette and Kazibe – transforms some of his followers into super-powered operatives like Malice, King Cadaver and others we will soon meet. (Malice’s origin was later ret-conned but not for decades.)
T’Challa has so little reason to be afraid of Tayette and Kazibe that he even condescendingly arms the former with a spear to calm his fears a little at the dangers that lie ahead. The Black Panther says his temporary goodbyes to Monica, Taku and W’Kabi, then he, Tayette and Kazibe cross the rickety wood and vine bridge. The area’s ubiquitous mist soon shuts them off from view, seemingly swallowing them up. Continue reading →