Tag Archives: Panther’s Rage


Black PantherHere’s Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of Don McGregor’s 1973-1975 Black Panther story Panther’s Rage. I’m no comic book expert but in my opinion Panther’s Rage surpasses much of the work done by the overrated and overpraised Alan Moore.

This Marvel Comics figure first appeared in 1966 as a guest star alongside the Fantastic Four and Captain America before joining the Avengers.

Erik Killmonger

“Memes … memes, everywhere.”

Here are chapter by chapter links to my review –

ONE: PANTHER’S RAGE – Prince T’Challa, the Black Panther, returns to his isolated African kingdom of Wakanda to try to put down a violent rebellion led by a Wakandan calling himself Erik Killmonger. CLICK HERE 

TWO: DEATH REGIMENTS BENEATH WAKANDA – The Black Panther battles Venomm, the supervillain in charge of Killmonger’s operation tunneling toward Wakanda City while simultaneously mining and stealing the nation’s vibranium reserves. CLICK HERE 

THREE: MALICE BY CRIMSON MOONLIGHT – Killmonger sends a super-powered woman called Malice to help Venomm escape from the Royal Palace’s prison on the same night that T’Challa is undergoing his renewal of the Panther Herb ritual. CLICK HERE   Continue reading

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JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 18 (November 1975)

It’s the Epilogue chapter to Panther’s Rage! After Killmonger’s defeat and the foiling of his uprising against the Black Panther last time around, Wakanda City is being rebuilt. Various loose ends are wrapped up as T’Challa must get to the bottom of a series of revenge killings by an obvious Killmonger sympathizer. 


Synopsis:  We are told two months have gone by since Killmonger’s death at Warrior Falls and the defeat of his army in Wakanda City ended the war. Much of the capital city is still being reconstructed after all the damage done by Killmonger’s forces, especially his trained dinosaurs from Serpent Valley.

The Black Panther has been sagely overseeing his people during this period of rebuilding and struggling to make food supplies, etc last until stability can be fully restored. He also oversaw the return to Serpent Valley of those dinosaurs still alive at the end of the last issue’s battle royal. 

One newly arrived piece of furniture is a piano from America and T’Challa’s Royal Consort Monica Lynne plays that piano while she and T’Challa chit-chat amid the ruins of the partially rebuilt Royal Palace.

Madame SlayHidden in the jungle Madame Slay plots revenge killings on behalf of the late Killmonger and plans to slay the Black Panther himself. 

Venomm (Horatio Walters) is being released on time served because of consideration over his defection to Wakanda City’s side during Killmonger’s army’s inhumane assault on the capital’s hospitals. Not to mention Venomm’s saving of Taku’s life when King Cadaver was killing him.

Taku – the Chief of Communications Technology – is on hand with T’Challa and a Quin-Jet crew as Venomm is released from his chains. Horatio says his farewells with Taku and then the Quin-Jet crew flies off with him to return him to his homeland in America.

Tayette and Kazibe are on hand for another comic relief bit at Venomm’s departure. They too have been pardoned (or something – it isn’t made clear) by the Black Panther, presumably for leading him to Resurrection Altar back in part seven. Continue reading


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Of Shadows and RagesFOR PART ONE CLICK HERE   

JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 17 (September 1975)


NOTE: This is the climactic chapter (Or T’Chapter if you prefer) of Panther’s Rage. The next, thirteenth part is the epilogue. The showdown between the Black Panther and Killmonger takes place this time around.

Synopsis: As this installment opens up, Erik Killmonger’s rebel army has begun its final, lightning campaign to overthrow T’Challa as the Chieftain of the Wakandas. Killmonger (N’Jadaka), his supervillain operatives Venomm and King Cadaver plus his comic relief lieutenants Tayette and Kazibe are all on hand.

Killmonger bigErik has committed all of his remaining troops to this assault, with many of his soldiers serving as Mounted Regiments riding into battle atop the dozens of dinosaurs that Killmonger and his men rounded up in prehistoric Serpent Valley recently.

Through training and electronic bits placed in the dinosaurs’ mouths these captive monstrosities are proving very effective at destroying and crushing all the beautiful monuments and government buildings of Wakanda City. The high-tech weapons and vibranium shields and spears wielded by Killmonger’s troops are taking a deadly toll as well.

The Black Panther’s own forces are trying to counter this brutal, devastating attack but are without their usual leader, W’Kabi the Security Chief. W’Kabi is still hospitalized after he was seriously wounded in Venomm’s escape from prison days earlier.

As a contingent of brontosauruses and their human passengers/ soldiers begin reducing the Royal Palace to rubble, our hero the Black Panther officially joins the fray, hurling himself from the crumbling rooftop to take out several of Killmonger’s mounted troops in his agile descent.

T’Challa’s Royal Consort, African-American singing star Monica Lynne, soon shows up at her man’s side, commenting on how she had no idea how terrifying these beasts would look in person. (And remember, this story came out long years before Jurassic Park and Dino-Riders.) For his part the Black Panther is horrified to see so many products of Wakandan culture and history being wiped out so swiftly and mercilessly by Killmonger and his army. Continue reading


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JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 16 (July 1975)


Synopsis: The Black Panther has been back from his pursuit of Killmonger through Wakanda’s Hidden Realms for several days now. Thanks to the super-powers he has from the Panther Herbs AND to Wakanda’s advanced medical technology T’Challa has fully recovered from his wounds.

Salamander K’Ruel, the minion of Killmonger defeated by the Black Panther last time around, has been imprisoned in the Royal Palace just like Venomm, Malice, Baron Macabre and Lord Karnaj. T’Challa has brought all his advisors and his Royal Consort Monica Lynne up to date on everything that happened the previous four installments.

And allOur main character and Monica are frolicking on a beach at Twisted Visions Lake. They are swimming, riding giant trained turtles and having fun like consenting adults will have. Author Don McGregor has the two lovers exchange the kind of reasonably romantic dialogue that he would later have Sabre and Melissa Siren regularly spout to each other in his post-apocalyptic series titled Sabre

Meanwhile, back at the Royal Palace, Taku, T’Challa’s Chief of Communications Technology, is in the middle of one of his daily visits with Venomm/ Horatio Walters, one of Killmonger’s supervillain operatives. W’Kabi, the Security Chief, eventually sits in with them.

Wakanda's locationVenomm at last reveals how he – a white (but horribly disfigured) man from America – was brought to Wakanda by Killmonger. He talks about how N’Jadaka/ Killmonger had already recruited him as a follower years ago, even before he (Killmonger) gained an audience with the Black Panther at Avengers Mansion in New York City.   Continue reading


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JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 15 (May 1975)


Synopsis: As this chapter of Panther’s Rage begins, we are in the Forest of Thorns, where the Black Panther has followed Killmonger, his army and his long train of caged dinosaurs which they captured in Serpent Valley. T’Challa’s need for rest after his exhausting and trying battle with the Tyrannosaurus Rex that Erik sicced on him added to the head-start which his enemy already had on him.

It is now a day or two later and our hero is deep into the Forest of Thorns. That forest is crowded to claustrophobic levels with nothing but thorned vegetation like trees, bushes, brambles, shrubs and even thorned leaves and fruits on the trees.

For literally millions of years the Forest of Thorns served as an impenetrable natural barrier which prevented Wakandans from penetrating into Serpent Valley along the gradual incline on which that forest lay.

The precipitous, Grand Canyonesque stone walls of the Chasm of Chilling Mist had always prevented foot traffic into Serpent Valley from that direction. Therefore even though the Forest of Thorns spread all the way up to the plateau on which rested Killmonger’s rebel capital of N’Jadaka, no one had ever used it as a downward route into Serpent Valley.  

Killmonger being Killmonger, he and his army were simply ramrodding their way through the Forest of Thorns with their machinery, sacrificing much of its natural beauty and leaving gaping pathways in their wake as they made the days-long ascent through this natural wonder.  

We join T’Challa as he has paused for a drink and to change the dressing on some of his wounds in the water of a stream which winds its way through the Forest of Thorns. Surreptitiously making their way toward the Black Panther with the intention of attacking him are a few of Killmonger’s soldiers plus their leader, Salamander K’Ruel.

Out of Erik’s most recent visit to Resurrection Altar back in the Land of the Chilling Mist, Salamander K’Ruel was the only one of Killmonger’s men to survive and gain superhuman powers from his exposure to the extraterrestrial rays of that Altar. The others, as usual, died agonizing deaths as their bodies were horribly mutated.

Salamander Kruel aims(Remember, as part of Killmonger’s callousness toward even his own followers he is content with those odds: gaining one super-powered minion per group of human guinea pigs, while the others in the group die painfully. Malice, King Cadaver and Sombre were the others who gained paranormal powers from Resurrection Altar while their fellow “offerings” died horribly.)

Salamander K’Ruel, as Erik christened him upon his survival of the ritual, grew raised, pimply sores all over his body and out of each of those sores his body hair continued to grow. Due to his mutation from the rays of Resurrection Altar, K’Ruel’s body hairs (except for those on his head) grew out of the sores as long, thin, needles.

Those long needles covered most of his body and not only served as a natural protection in close-quarters physical combat but could be shot from his body at will like porcupine quills. Salamander K’Ruel’s natural skin oils had mutated into toxic fluid which coated his needle-hairs/ quills and could either knock-out or kill anyone hit by his needle-hairs/ quills.

In addition, Salamander K’Ruel (easily the most whimsical Revolutionary Name that Killmonger bestowed on one of his followers) used a bow from which he fired Napalm-tipped arrows – years before Stallone in Rambo III and O’Keefe in Lone Runner.    

At any rate, K’Ruel and his handful of soldiers were left behind by Erik/ N’Jadaka to kill T’Challa just in case he survived his battle with the Tyrannosaurus Rex. They now launch their attack on the Black Panther. Continue reading


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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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Devil-Wolves of the Chilling MistFOR PART ONE CLICK HERE

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.

Map of WakandaFor 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.   

Blood Stains on Virgin SnowDespite 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


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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.

Wakanda's locationThe 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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King Cadaver is Dead and Living in WakandaFOR PART ONE CLICK HERE 

JUNGLE ACTION Volume 2, Number 10 (July 1974)


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.    Continue reading


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