Found on the back of Planet Comics #43 (July 1946) is this house ad for Jumbo Comics featuring Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, a popular Fiction House jungle-themed heroine with origins going back to Britain in 1937. In the ad a letter from a school faculty sponsor addressed to the house pseudonym responsible for creating Sheena declares that the character has been chosen as the mascot for the 1947 Graduating Class of John Bartram High School in Philadelphia.
When I showed this ad to my Mom she asserted that her school would never have allowed such an icon to be used as a mascot since Sheena was such a provocative female figure. I can only speculate that the parents and faculty of the school of the 1940s didn’t mind as they had friends and family that were used to glamorous pin-ups in the home, workplace and military barracks and a culture that was a little more rough and tumble from years of war and working the shipyards. I don’t know what the long ago class of that high school was like but I can’t help thinking that Sheena would not go over as well today with the students as it may have done in 1947. The image of a Caucasian female dressed in leopard skin as the Queen of an African region would be as more unpopular (though for different reasons) than their current school mascot, what some have called a stereotypical Indian brave.
Planet Comics #43 (July 1946) has Mysta of the Moon still acting in her role as protector/comptroller departing this time by not fighting a mad scientist tinkering in forbidden science but a terrorist space pirate with access to dangerous technology. The space thug Rolkor is threatening commerce between the planets by demanding protection fees for safe passage of space ships. If not paid the criminal destroys the ships with a disintegrator ray. To make sure everyone knows he is serious Ralkor even fires upon a space ship transporting orphans to space school and killing all the children.
While those about her are losing their heads Mysta calmly and even coolly keeps hers by coming to the aid of the helpless Star Patrol and a beleaguered industrialist. Mysta is determined to take Rolkor out of action. Perhaps not because Rolkor is a criminal and is killing people (his organization appears to be well established) but because he is in control of devices that could upset the status quo. Guns and lasers are probably fine to use in the pirate trade, but disintegrator rays that can cut open ships at interplanetary distances is something Mysta is not going to allow. The Science Council makes no appearance in this story.
The images of Mysta and her robot fighting the local fauna of ‘Jupiter’ could fill a paragraph or two in The Seduction of the Innocent. The fortunate result of the battle with the worm being the destruction of Rolkor (or at least his fortress) almost as an after-thought.
I’m not having to replace those pricey pens so often which means more money for Hayley Mills memorabilia and I’m not coming down every other week with colds and horrible intestinal misery anymore.
Serious. I thought I was deteriorating to death since I felt so bad so often. It could be, but I doubt that it is a coincidence that when I consciously stopped letting people use my pen I stopped getting ill.
Planet Comics #42 from May 1946 depicts Mysta of the Moon in a not so favorable light. It appears that Mysta is making tough choices and at this point is the de facto ruler of humankind. The machines that humanity used were not so much destroyed when Mars, the God of War attacked, but the knowledge required to use and maintain them was lost and only Mysta has the smarts required to keep humanity from entering another stone age.
Mysta, aiding in rebuilding a civilization that was nearly destroyed is ensuring that all the reclaimed knowledge is released to humanity at a pace civilization can safely apply. It may be that her decisions are sometimes not popular as industrial leaders and politicians are probably chomping to exploit regained sciences only to be interfered with by Mysta. After all, you don’t let people fiddle with the settings of the Star-Snuffer if they are not fully trained. And you just know that in the future mankind will build a machine to turn off the sun just because they can.
When a scientist with the touch of death refuses to stop meddling in banned science Mysta resorts to some draconian measures and comes off as pretty cold and frightening. The way Mysta parcels out or allows knowledge to be re-discovered or used could mean she is either insane with power, misguidedly believes only she is fit to rule or else is terrified that humanity will destroy themselves and fall into barbarism with out her guidance.