Friday, November 13, 2009
Jungle Action #11-14 (1974)
Look at that cover! BP looks great fighting off that horrific monster, huh?
Man, the Black Panther is one tough dude. I'm working my way through all these old Jungle Actions and while I knew I liked T'Challa, I'm really enjoying these 70's epics too. The best part about Don McGregor's take on BP is the interesting rogues gallery. In addition to Killmonger, who I already knew from Priest's great run, I'm learning about Sombre, King Cadaver, Venomm, Lord Karnaj, and more. I'm also enjoying the expanded cast of Wakandans. McGregor has a pretty big group of named supporting characters, both supporters of T'Challa and those who work for Killmonger.
BP is getting messed up in these issues. As he follows Killmonger into snowy mountains in Wakanda, he is knocked out and left to freeze in the cold. After a bloody fight against a pack of wolves, T'Challa has to force himself along in sub-zero temperatures to catch up with Killmonger. Unfortunately, the alien being Sombre manipulates the wild white apes into taking on BP too. He manages to kill their leader in an neat confrontation. T'Challa actually regrets killing the beast since it represents a part of his religious path. McGregor lays out the prose here, every single character talks a LOT. T'Challa's internal monologue gets tedious, but overall I'm digging the story.
Billy Graham's art is pretty enjoyable too. It's got a scratchy 70's style that works well on monsters like King Cadaver and the white apes. His BP is awesome, starting off sleek but getting more and more ragged as the elements wear down the hero.