Since the dawn of cheap pulp fiction, audiences have thrilled to stories of the jungle. The Jungle! That primeval wilderness filled with savage beasts, raging rivers, tropical diseases, deadly quicksand, and swarming with a veritable army of brave Jungle Lords and Ladies of (of course) non-African ethnicity, ready to defend the weak and helpless against those who would dare to use the jungle for their own evil purposes. One such champion of the jungle is this week's offering, who defeats evil with nothing more than vaguely defined abilities, a never-say-die attitude, and a tight, kinda fetishy outfit!
Before his rise to stardom as the artist behind a series of preachy Christian comics starring your favorite Archie characters - yes, even before he was drawing Patsy Walker - Al Hartley was delivering feminine pulchritude of a different kind with Leopard Girl, the famed jungle adventurer who starred in eight whole issues of Jungle Action back in the mid 1950s. Will Leopard Girl be able to dodge the rampaging stampede of crazed beasts, including what appears here to be at least one leopard out for a little revenge? Let's find out!
Mr. Kreitzer, fed up with the hustle and bustle of modern civilization, moves to the jungle for some peace and quiet, and maybe to get away from pesky war crimes trials. I guess the shriek of a thousand different jungle animals and the humming and buzzing of swarms of disease-ridden insects really contributes to his contemplative mood. On the other hand, here in the jungle nobody's around to spread vicious gossip about Kreitzer and his young blonde "secretary."
But enough exposition. Time to get down to some real science. And yeah, this is the jungle, here are some monkeys.
Whatever insane Louis Slotin tabletop nuclear experiment Mr. Kreitzer has going on is being obscured by this comic story's sudden focus on more monkeys.
Okay, this is officially too many monkeys.
Who knew that trying to revive a "flame witch" would involve fire, and lots of it? Not Mr. Kreitzer, that's for sure. Okay gang, let's review our fire safety lectures. When confronted by a mighty blaze caused by certain nuclear reactions, do you (a) try to put it out with water, (b) smother it with sand or dirt, or (c) get into your Leopard Girl outfit? If your answer was anything but (c), why, you might not be a 50s jungle girl comic.
Mr. Kreitzer thought he was calling the Witch Woman and got the Leopard Girl instead. Is this what they call "catfishing"? (alternate modern social media joke: did he swipe left instead of right?)
The cave comes out a mile away next to a road where he can hitch a ride to the city where he can get on a plane and go back to America and go find peace and quiet at a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania farm country instead of wandering around Africa reviving fire demons. That's pretty safe.
Look, *you* know what a cobra looks like. And *I* know what a cobra looks like. You know who doesn't know what a cobra looks like? Al Hartley, that's who. Because that's not a cobra.
"Follow me beasts of the jungle! I will lead you to a safe place! Oh wait, there's the witch woman! Now I'm going into the flames! Disregard my previous command, beasts of the jungle!"
Mr Kreitzer brings Fire Witch back to life but all she wants to do is destroy him? That's downright ungrateful! On a more positive note, Leopard Girl's gotta be feeling pretty great, seeing as how her fame has spread so far that even undead fire spirits know of her.
Look Leopard Girl, condors and other carrion-eating birds play a vital part in many ecosystems - the desert, the semitropical rain forest, and even savannahs and prairies - by devouring animal flesh left behind by larger prey. So don't say they never come in handy! (this message brought to you by the National Condor Anti-Defamation League)
If YOU want an escape from the fires of everyday life, why not visit the exotic Tagai Lake Islands? Call Leopard Girl Travel Agency and book your trip today.
Once the Witch Woman's finished killing Mr. Kreitzer, she's going to Hollywood and audition for the role of "Heat Miser" in an upcoming Rankin/Bass Christmas TV special.
Sometimes you gotta just dress up like a leopard and ride a lion into a cave to confront a long-dead witch woman.
Looking forward to seeing this in slow motion with an impressive orchestral soundtrack swelling in the background as a CG Leopard Girl rides a CG lion into a CG cave past some CG flames, somewhere in the middle of Phase Six of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - the Leopard Girl film is slated for production just before the Herbie The Robot film and after "Man-oo The Mighty II: The Man-oo-ening"
Hey sometimes the letterer or whoever's inking the panel borders in that day isn't really sure who's supposed to be speaking. It happens.
Maybe in future, instead of counting on convenient hidden springs, she can accessorize her Leopard Girl outfit with a bucket the next time she needs to defeat a menace that's easily overcome with water.
Look Kreitzer, if that is your real name, she saved you from being roasted alive by an undead being of pure flame from the pits of Hell. You can handle some cat scratches.
Women's Liberation CANNOT GET TO THIS JUNGLE FAST ENOUGH. Drop that dumb secretary act, Leopard Girl! Don't let this clueless, confused old fraud patronize you! Ditch this loser and let him mansplain his own way out of the next jungle mess he gets himself into. Meanwhile, we'll be here, ready to thrill at seeing you don your adventurous Leopard Girl costume, because it's the 1950s and this is as exciting as things are allowed to get, in the jungle or anywhere else.
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