Let's hop in our time machine and zip back to 1940 and prepare ourselves to enjoy the adventures of Zoro! No, not the guy in the mask with the sword in Old California, we're talking about Zoro with one "R". Oh, you're perhaps unfamiliar with the amazing, non-swordplay exploits of Zoro? Perhaps there's a reason you've never heard of this guy.
And here he is, a dashing figure of mystery surrounded by mysteries that none can tell, accompanied by his pet cheetah, travelling the world to smash evil and crime. His first stop, a gala evening of wealthy swells in a Long Island estate. Start smashing those one percenters, Zoro!
The highlight of the evening is Henry Lomac boring everybody with his stupid "giant pearl" reveal. Dude, we know it's a giant pearl, you won't shut up about it, it's sitting there on the table with a handkerchief over it, thank God somebody stole it, now maybe Henry will shut up about it for once.
What? He stole that pearl from the island of Porra and Mrs. Baker's husband is being held captive until the pearl is returned? And apparently the natives of Porra used some kind of mental telepathy to communicate this information to Mrs. Baker? And Pacific Islanders use the term "bwana"? So many mysteries! Well, this is right in Zoro's wheelhouse!
So in 1940 you could sail to uncharted islands and capture all the slaves you want, and nobody would bat an eye or invoke the Thirteenth Amendment or anything. Got it.
Sure, it's a giant pearl that Lomac travelled the world and violated laws of God and Man to find, but he'd trade it for a cheetah. So take off your jacket, you're wrestling a giant slave!
A little jiu-jitsu for you, my massive friend who is a huge black!
This is how the upper crust negotiates important deals; mystery men flinging giant slaves around. And remember, once you've thrown that giant slave, he's your responsibility! Just like feeding a cat whom the writers can't decide is going to speak like an African tribesman or a railroad porter. Pick an insulting stereotype, fellas!
And now for a pleasant sea voyage with a mystery man, a "giant black", and a ferocious jungle animal. Also there's karaoke every night on the Lido Deck. Enjoy your cruise Mrs. Baker.
Soon enough our heroes are at the lush tropical South Sea Island of Porra, here depicted by our artist as a barren, rocky hellscape. It's called 'reference' guys, look into it sometime. Porra is, as are all South Seas islands, populated by giant Negro tribesmen wearing diapers and what appear to be tiny top hats, ready to battle white men with their spears.
Oh crap it's Lomac and he wants his pearl back! He's spent a lot of money on expeditions and speed boats and teams of hired killers just to get that giant pearl, which is a key element in his party entertainment plans, and by golly he's going to get that pearl and display it at high society functions if it's the last thing he does!
That confounded mystery man and his mysterious boat-snatching ways. This is the first "mysterious" thing Zoro has accomplished in this entire story, in spite of his billing as a "mystery man" and everything. And let's face it, that boat could have been poorly anchored and might have drifted away with the tide. Anyway, the important thing is to search every inch of the island and to kill every living soul, because Lomac has anger management issues.
Meanwhile Zoro has negotiated the release of Mrs. Baker's husband John, and a joyous reunion takes place as Cheetah sits still and squints, wondering exactly why Cheetah is even IN this stupid story, so far Cheetah has done nothing but act as collateral for a wrestling match.
Careful men, not telling what's hidden in this jungle, which in this comic story is suggested by silhouettes of three trees! Anything could be concealed in this lush three-tree "jungle"! Anything from giant snakes to dinosaurs or fierce crocodiles or vast temples or... no, wait, it's the natives, which we knew were here all along. Way to fake us out, comic.
FINALLY Cheetah, or "Cheeta", whichever - FINALLY the fierce jungle cat gets to sink its claws and fangs into a meaty, bawling victim!
And what does the victim say? "Yeow! A Lion!" Dang it, Cheetah just doesn't get ANY respect.
The evil-doers are beaten, the sacred pearl "be safe," and Zoro, the Mystery Man Of Mystery, must travel to other lands for new adventures, hopefully to maybe get some actual mystery going on in his life so he can live up to his billing. Having an exotic pet and knowing jiu-jitsu are cool, but not really "mysterious". Get to work on that Zoro.
But are Zoro and Cheetah the only man/cat team of jungle fighting adventure heroes in this issue of Master Comics? No, like the jungles themselves, comics were jam packed with white guys & pets defending truth and justice in the equatorial regions - pretty much the exact opposite of what actual white guys actually did when they discovered the equatorial regions. But hey, these are comic books.
Case in point; Manly Wade Wellman's "Lee Granger Jungle King", a bare-chested sword-swinging lord of the forest whose main selling point is teaching a lion to talk. Now THAT's mysterious. Take note, Zoro.
PREVIOUS STUPID COMICS
NEXT STUPID COMICS
BACK TO STUPID COMICS INDEX
BACK TO MAIN INDEX