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Fantomah, appearing in JUNGLE COMICS, is a strip by the great Fletcher Hanks (or Hank Fletcher, depending on what day it was), who was responsible for SPACE SMITH and STARDUST THE SUPER WIZARD. All these strips are characterized by their stiff, weird artwork and by their heroes, who basically can do anything and everything, at any time, ever.


Doctor Lumpy Moustache here is going to conquer the world by injecting gorillas with his super serum. Because that will work.


Gorillas always march in single file in the wild, right? You can almost see Fletcher Hanks squinting to get every last bit of detail from his photo reference. Hey, if you only have one photo of a gorilla, just use it over and over! Who'll notice the difference?


I think I have a pretty good idea what's in that "secret serum". Here comes Fantomah! Here she's using her awesome powers to bend her body at a 90 degree angle.


Go forth and conquer with your super gorilla powers! Oh, and some guns.


FIGHT LIKE APES!


Fantomah FINALLY decides to intervene. No rush, lady - just some killer super gorillas on the rampage, that's all.


Nightmare fuel for America's children.


And Fantomah saves the day by letting the super gorillas tear the evil doctor limb from limb. Not quite how Wonder Woman would have handled it, but hey.


The weed of injecting gorillas with secret serum bears bitter fruit of dismemberment!! A lesson for the ages.


Seriously, this is some pretty disturbing stuff. The story is nonsensical to the point of surrealism, and the contrast between the lumpy, barely-drawn people and the tightly rendered facial features of the gorillas makes the reader wonder exactly what planet all this is taking place on. The grotesque ultra-violence only heightens the strangeness. And what is the deal with Fantomah's skull, and why does it follow one pace behind her head? Stories like this are why your grandmother threw out all your father's comic books -because they gave him nightmares.

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