Least Exciting Comic Book Action Sequence Ever

Frank Frollo drew for Funny Picture Stories #11 (Nov 1938) one of the most economical comic book action sequences I’ve ever read.

Probably in the interest of filling space Frollo decompressed the action so far that often a pivotal panel has all the typical excitement one would expect from an Indiana Jones-type adventurer occurring off page and is merely implied. Many of the characters don’t react to what should be a frightening or anxious moment and are depicted either staring at objects, gesturing or not reacting at all.

The lion threatening one of the characters is about a half mile away, something that doesn’t really inspire tension and even the captions in the word balloons are spaced out, making it appear that everyone speaks while interjecting extended pauses.

While hero Jack Strand contemplating an open gate for an unknown time prior to climbing over an uncompleted crowd barrier is amusing, the most glaring example of economical artistry or script not matching the finished product is the hilarious scene where the enraged lion leaps from the arena and rushes into the crowd of spectators. Not that you’d know it from reading the story.

Marga the Panther Woman

Ultra-violent, pre-Comics Code Authority comic story featuring early Jungle Girl character Marga the Panther Woman from Science Comics #6 (July 1940). In a few short appearances Marga’s character would change from an uncontrollable, insane loner who identifies with the animals to rationalize her serial-killer nature into a standard jungle princess super-hero.

While the latter characterization is a lot more family-friendly it is a bit boring. The Marga as depicted in Science Comics #6 is not PC, decidedly unkind to animals, a sociopath and a whole lot more interesting.

Science Comics 6 - Marga (July 1940) 01

Science Comics 6 - Marga (July 1940) 02

Science Comics 6 - Marga (July 1940) 03

Science Comics 6 - Marga (July 1940) 04

Science Comics 6 - Marga (July 1940) 05

Science Comics 6 - Marga (July 1940) 06

Science Comics 6 - Marga (July 1940) 07

Science Comics 6 - Marga (July 1940) 08

There’s being mischievous

…And then there is this little demon seed.

There’s undoubtedly an entire back story to this tale. From the psychotic man-baby contemplating the gigantic mystery pie with horrible, unnamed ingredients to the shark-toothed demon-mother-wife-jailer and the rushing river euphemistically named the “County Orphanage” this Golden Age attempt at humor begs for a modern-day treatment by a good horror or shock writer. I wonder if it is too late to submit a pitch for the next issue of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Music Box?

From Jack in the Box #11 (October 1946).