Thursday, February 23, 2017

Panther's Rage - Serpent Kings!

In the fourteenth issue of Jungle Action by Don McGregor and Bill Graham things really kick into a higher gear. The artwork to my eye improves as Klaus Janson (who had done a fine job establishing mood and atmosphere) is replaced first by Pablo Marcos, then Dan Green and finally what appears to be Graham himself on inks. The art is lush and has a real flowing movement to it.

(Unused cover for issue fourteen by Graham)
The Black Panther pursues Killmonger and his forces into Serpent Valley, an isolated world surprisingly close to the heart of Wakanda but unknown to its residents. It's a strange world where time has stopped and ancient beasts from Earth's long past still roam the swampy mists. Dinosaurs are the target of Killmonger and his men as they seek to capture several behemoths who have descended from Brontosaurs.They hope to use these giant creatures as part of their ultimate attack on the central section of Wakanda. The Panther follows Sombre but has to switch plans when the latter dies in quicksand. Later the Panther battles a Tyranosaur-like monster and is able to use his skills to defeat the inhuman monster.

Left behind by Killmonger's forces he attempts to follow them again but is stopped by another of Killmonger's transformed allies, this one a thorn laced enemy named Salamander Kruhl.

After being struck by an arrow he is strung out and made helpless for an attack from above when Pteranosaurs descend upon him.

He actually displays great skill in not only surviving the attack but actually seems for a moment to wrangle the flying monster before dashing out its brains in a perilous descent to the ground. He finally heads for home.

Finding his way home at last the Black Panther recovers from his many many wounds and as time passes he and Monica Lynne renew their love affair.

Meanwhile Taku continues to try and develop a friendship with Horatio the man code-named Venomm by Killmonger. But both Take and W'Kabi are unable to stop Venomm from escaping after long months of capture and W'Kabi is seriously injured.

The Panther pursues Venomm to his lair where he keeps his snakes and the two battle it out. But the fight is a stalemate when Taku is able to convince Venomm to leave the Panther alive as the villain stalks off.

And that sets the stage for the exciting climax of "Panther's Rage" which lands tomorrow.

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  1. I was reading my five-year-old Henry Issue 13 and 14 last night when we both fell asleep on the couch and my wife snapped this great picture.

    1. Sweet kid. Love that photo. McGregor is good for insomnia be honest.

      Rip Off

    2. Yeah I love it, but man is it wordy.

  2. The Rogue's Gallery in this series is one of the best; there's such a strong visceral quality to every one of them. The whole journey is one delirious horror after another, aimed straight for the reader's nerve endings. You can feel the sustained commitment of the writer and artist at every stage. The later, more relevant Klan material is good, but "Panther's Rage" portrayed a jungle of the psyche that invited your total immersion in its fevered visions.

    And Dave, that picture is awesome.


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