Thun'da #3 (1952). Art by Bob Powell.
|First appearance||Thun'da #1|
|Created by||Frank Frazetta|
|Alter ego||Roger Drum|
Thun'da is a fictional character created by artist and conceptualist Frank Frazettafor 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.
The character, played by Buster Crabbe, was the main character in the 1952 Columbia Pictures serial King of the Congo .
The character first appeared in 1952 in the comic series Thun'da #1.
Editor Ray Krank asked Frazetta to remove the prehistoric elements but he left the title instead and started looking for work outside comic books.
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.
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).
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.
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Clarence Linden Crabbe II, known professionally as Buster Crabbe, was an American two-time Olympic swimmer and film and television actor. He won the 1932 Olympic gold medal for 400-meter freestyle swimming event, which launched his career on the silver screen and later television. He starred in a variety of popular feature films and movie serials released between 1933 and the 1950s, portraying the top three syndicated comic-strip heroes of the 1930s: Tarzan, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers.
Frank Frazetta was an American fantasy and science fiction artist, noted for comic books, paperback book covers, paintings, posters, LP record album covers and other media. He is often referred to as the "Godfather" of Fantasy Art, and one of the most renowned illustrators of the 20th century. He was also the subject of a 2003 documentary Painting with Fire.
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A-1 Comics is a Golden Age comics publication that began in 1944 and ended in 1955, lasting 139 issues. Only the first 17 issues carried the title "A-1" on the cover. Issues 18 and up used the feature as the book title with different numbering. A-1 and its numbering continued to be used in the indicia. The series was used by owner Vincent Sullivan's Magazine Enterprises to try out a number of potential characters and titles, as well as reprinting newspaper strips such as Texas Slim, Kerry Drake and Teena. Several original A-1 titles succeeded and were given their own titles, including Tim Holt and The Ghost Rider. Issues were devoted to Thun'da, Cave Girl, and Strongman. Title that didn't do well included Dick Powell Adventurer, Fibber McGee and Molly, and Jimmy Durante Comics. The final issue was devoted to Bob Powell's Strongman.
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Congorilla, originally a human character known as Congo Bill, is a superhero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics and Vertigo Comics. Originally co-created by writer Whitney Ellsworth and artist George Papp, he was later transformed into Congorilla by Robert Bernstein and Howard Sherman. The character first appeared in More Fun Comics #56.
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George Edward Papp was an American comics artist best known as one of the principal artists on the long-running Superboy feature for DC Comics. Papp also co-created the Green Arrow character with Mort Weisinger and co-created Congo Bill with writer Whitney Ellsworth.
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King of the Congo is a 1952 American 15 chapter movie serial, the 48th released by Columbia Pictures. It was produced by Sam Katzman, directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet and Wallace Grissell, and stars Buster Crabbe. The serial also co-stars Gloria Dea, Leonard Penn, Jack Ingram, Rick Vallin, Nick Stuart, William Fawcett, and Rusty Wescoatt. King of the Congo was based on the comic book character "Thun'da", created by Frank Frazetta, and published by Magazine Enterprises.
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Jungle Jim is a 1948 American adventure film directed by William Berke and starring Johnny Weissmuller. It is based on Alex Raymond's Jungle Jim comic strip and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. It is the first picture in the Jungle Jim series that consists of 16 films originally released between 1948 and 1955.
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Red Barry was a detective comic strip created by Will Gould (1911–1984) for King Features. The daily strip about two-fisted undercover cop Barry began Monday, March 19, 1934, as one of several strips introduced to compete with Dick Tracy by Chester Gould. A Sunday strip was added on February 3, 1935. The daily strip ran for three years, until August 14, 1937, and the Sunday page ended almost a year later, on July 17, 1938.
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