In 1952 serial king Buster Crabbe would make his last chapter-play. He starred as Thun'da,King of the Congo in a serial based on the comic book of the same name from Magazine Enterprises.The Tarzan-like Thun'da appeared in 6 issues during the Atom Age of Comics in 1952 and 1953. The first issue is completely illustrated by legendary artist Frank Frazetta and scripted by Gardner Fox. Issues 2 to 4 were ably illustrated by Bob Powell. Produced by "Jungle" Sam Katzman and directed by Spencer Bennett and Wallace Grissell the serial has the distinction of being the last chapter-play based on a comic book property.
But as much as I love Buster Crabbe I can't help but imagine Gordon Scott in the role. For one thing he looks almost exactly like Frank Frazetta's original drawings of the "Congo King". Of course Scott wouldn't make his first of six Tarzan movies until 1955. Two years after after the Thun'da comic book ceased publication. But then the Sheena,Queen of the Jungle television series starring Irish McCalla didn't appear until after the Sheena comics stopped publication. So I can imagine a big-budget Thun'da flick with Scott based on the first issue drawn by Frazetta that initially had Thun'da adventuring in a Pellucidar-like lost land in Africa. Complete with dinosaurs and tribes of cavemen. And yes the dinosaurs would be brought to life by the special effects wizardry of Ray Harryhausen.
And speaking of "jungle kings" below is another comic panel drawn by Vance Capley of the Tarzan of the Squared Circle...Brad King,the Golden Adonis.For more of Brad as well as Dr.Judo,Mr.Incognito and the Phantom Gorilla purchase JUDO COMICS from lulu.com.
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