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Thunda 03-00fc.jpg
Thun'da #3 (1952). Art by Bob Powell.
Publication information
Publisher Magazine Enterprises
First appearance Thun'da #1
Created by Frank Frazetta
In-story information
Alter egoRoger Drum

Thun'da is a fictional character created by artist and conceptualist Frank Frazetta [1] for comic-book publisher Magazine Enterprises. The character debuted in Thun'da #1 (1952), with writer Gardner Fox scripting. After only a few issues the title was discontinued in 1953. [2]


The character, played by Buster Crabbe, was the main character in the 1952 Columbia Pictures serial King of the Congo .

Publication history

The character first appeared in 1952 in the comic series Thun'da #1. [3]

Editor Ray Krank asked Frazetta to remove the prehistoric elements but he left the title instead and started looking for work outside comic books. [4]

Fictional character biography

Thun'da was Roger Drum, a World War II United States Air Force officer who was shot down while flying over a valley deep in the heart of Africa. After crashing, he freed himself from his aircraft only to be captured by hostile ape-men. He managed to escape, and wandered through the valley, pushing himself to exercise daily and becoming a paragon of physical perfection. It was while he was wandering that he was spotted by Pha, the queen of the people who lived in the valley. After fighting and destroying the hostile ape-men, Thun'da rushed to their temple and rang the sacred gong, thereby summoning "the mother of all serpents," whom he killed with the last three shots from his revolver. He won the respect of Pha's people, and they worshipped him as if he were a god. Later, after an earthquake ravaged the lost valley, Thun'da was able to get Pha to safety along with their pet sabretoothed tiger, but her people were killed and the lost valley was sealed from them forever.

Collected editions

The comic series was reprinted in 1987 by Fantagraphics Books as Frank Frazetta's Thun'da Tales, and, in August 2010, Dark Horse Comics released a hardcover collection Thun'da, King of the Congo Archive ( ISBN   1595824707). [3]

Other media

The screen rights for the character were bought by Columbia Pictures, who brought Thun'da to the screen in the serial King of the Congo (1952), featuring Buster Crabbe as Roger Drum, the officer who becomes Thunda. In the serial, Roger Drum was assigned to take a valuable microfilm to a new location, but was shot down en route, and crashed in the secluded lost valley. The spies named in the microfilm try to obtain it, and Thunda must try to get it back. King of the Congo was both the last Tarzanesque serial and the last serial to star Buster Crabbe. [5]

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  1. Thun'da at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
  3. 1 2 Thun'da at the Grand Comics Database
  4. Cronin, Brian (December 10, 2010). "Comic Book Legends Revealed #290". Comic Book Legends Revealed. Comic Book Resources . Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  5. Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "6. Jungle "Look Out The Elephants Are Coming!"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN   978-0-7130-0097-9.