Thursday, January 07, 2010

Random Comic Book Splash Page: Jungle Action #5

Whew, I haven't done one of these in several months. This nifty John Buscema/George Klein splash page from "The Monster and the Man-Ape" is from JUNGLE ACTION #5, cover-dated July 1973 by Marvel. From looking at it, you can be forgiven for wondering what it's doing in a book called JUNGLE ACTION.

Actually, four years earlier it was an issue of THE AVENGERS, #69 to be exact. At this point, JUNGLE ACTION was just a filler book for Marvel that existed to take space away from DC Comics on newsstands. The first four issues contained reprinted stories from 1950s Marvel (Atlas) books like JANN OF THE JUNGLE and LORNA THE JUNGLE GIRL.

Presumably they didn't sell, so editor Roy Thomas turned the book over to writer Don McGregor, who, with a number of fine artists including Rich Buckler and Billy Graham, created an excellent multi-issue storyline with Black Panther called "Panther's Rage," which was also not a huge seller, but was a quality series that garnered Marvel some good notice.

Filling the gap between the cancellation of the Atlas short stories and the new Black Panther stories was this one-off reprint issue set in the Panther's homeland of Wakanda. I suppose this was Thomas' way of easing the readership into the full-fledged Black Panther series.

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