Monday, June 15, 2020

Forgotten Heroes: The Green Lama

With appearances in pulps, comics and radio, as well as a series of novels in recent years, the Green Lama shouldn't really count as forgotten. Nonetheless, it's hard to argue that this triple-threat pulp hero has had the same impact and lasting appeal as the Shadow and Doc Savage. Like the Shadow, he was trained in mystic ways of the Orient. Again like the Shadow, he had a double secret identity - in addition to his real name of Jethro Dumont (Lamont Cranston?), he also worked under the identity of the Reverend Dr. Pali. Unlike the Shadow, the Green Lama was true to his Buddhist nature and generally preferred subtle and non-lethal approaches to crime fighting. 

The creator of the Green Lama, Kendall Foster Crossen, maintained ownership of the character and licensed him to comic and radio producers. At Prize Comics, the Green Lama appeared as a feature in Prize Comics #7-34 (December 1940 through September 1943). In these appearances, he was a mystically inclined crimefighter, whose feats were astounding but not superhuman. 




The Green Lama returned to comics in 1945 for an eight issue run by Spark Publications. In this run, he was more of a superhero than the Shadow ever was, displaying such powers as flight, super strength and conjuring abilities. 





For the Green Lama, I have two figures each based on his Prize Comics appearances and his later solo book. 

This is a rather ubiquitous 'clix figure, showing up as a cultist and the Darkseid minion Desaad. It was more of repaint than a conversion, but nonetheless, it's spot on for his early pulp and comic depictions. 



For his superhero period, I added a hood to a Spiderman villain and came up with this. A bit sinister for Jethro, but passable.




The Green Lama was briefly in a super-group, when the Prize Comics heroes teamed up to bring down Frankenstein in issue #24. 


Pictured below are Doctor Frost, Black Owl, Bulldog Denny, Yank (of Yank and Doodle) and the Green Lama. Apologies to the General, Corporal and Doodle for not 


All of the comics referenced above are in the public domain and available at the Digital Comics Museum. Please visit and support. Next time in my golden age alphabet, the "H" hero is from MLJ, and the "I" from Fawcett. 

2 comments:

  1. Very nice work, Alan. And two for the price of one! Looking forward to the next two entries, although I have to admit that I'm not sure who these will be. Might have to have a bit of a Google search...

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    1. My Web Fu is Strong... I'm guessing that the next to characters are Hangman and Ibis the Invincible.

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