Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lance Hale in "Jungle Spaceship" (Lev Gleason;1940)

Among the extensive backlog of golden age jungle comics stories that I have access to - thanks to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos - are quite a few that were originally scanned from microfiche. Unfortunately the image quality is very poor in most of them. Aficionados might find a level of appreciation for these classic stories, but the scans really don't lend themselves to what I try to bring to this blog. I culled this story from those particular files and think that it is worth posting despite its grainier overall appearance.

Lance Hale went through several high concept revisions back in the day. He was a space hero. He was also jungle lord/superhero who preferred the wilds to civilization. He was previously featured in the Catacombs in a tale where he helped the golden age Daredevil in his fight against the Claw and Hitler.

In this first appearance from Silver Streak Comics #2 (Jan.1940); originally published by Lev Gleason, he's a red-headed soldier of fortune/adventurer/explorer in the African jungles. He meets up with a scientist (named Dr. Grey in the next issue) with a spaceship that will carry the two of them to the stars. He also has an invention that he gives Lance, an arm-band that has a small needle that under exertion will inject a formula that makes Lance super-strong (able to easily lift at least 500 lbs), which coincidentally makes him strong enough to survive the pressures of piloting the space ship. Naturally Grey also has a beautiful daughter, Myra. "Jungle Spaceship" is written by an uncredited author, but the artwork is by John Hampton. I've included the cover since it was drawn by the legendary Joe Simon.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.


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