Friday, February 20, 2015

Angola in the Comics, Part 5 of 5: Mysteries of the Jungle

Today I conclude my look at Angola's representation in early comic books! Again visiting Fiction House's Jungle Comics, we're in issue #153 (September, 1952) and a Mysteries of the Jungle feature entitled "The Death-Man of Angola" by Anthony D'Adamo.

Rather than featuring an ongoing character, Mysteries of the Jungle shifted its focus from story to story. In this tale we're delving into a tale of witch doctors set in "east Angola." It seems there was a powerful witch doctor named Zargo, "master of the temple of death." Zargo is unable to better the fortunes of his tribe through his ceremonies, but one day a young hunter named Wanderobo arrived and the hunting improved. Some of Zargo's priestesses suggested he initiate Wanderobo into their ranks, but instead Zargo summoned up magic to doom Wanderobo. It seems Zargo's real talent in sorcery was conjuring up death and it works as Wanderobo falls off a bridge into a pool of crocodiles.

With Wanderobo's death, the hunting economy plummets. A priestess tells Zargo she's figured out who's responsible and hands him a pouch containing an object which belongs to the responsible party. Zargo casts death upon the owner and soon after, monstrous demons enter Zargo's room and kills him; the priestess had placed one of Zargo's own bracelets into the pouch. With Zargo's death, the hunting improves again.

This tale steps outside the confines of the other stories I've looked at as it's straight-up supernatural - demons and evil spirits exist here in real, bodily forms. Witch doctors are a real problem in Angola, but only because of people who believe in their quackery - not because they can summon up demons. I'm a bit non-plussed about the supernatural aspects.

  • +2 estrelas for depicting leopards & crocodiles
  • -1 estrela for Zargo. Granting witch doctors any amount of credit is too much

TOTAL SCORE: Uma estrela!

Thank you for enduring this week-long look at Angola in early comic books. If you know of any other stories from the 40s or 50s which should have been on my hit list, please tell me about them!

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