GO-LA-RA" -- Mar. 1, '42
P1: To Go-La-Ra, city of the deadly
mist, John Carter tracked the Princess' abductor.
P2: There he bade goodby to his frightened
thoat, knowing the beast would return to Sola.
P3: Then as Sola had instructed, John
Carter covered his body with yellow oil from a certain pit, lest when entering
the city, he turn to stone.
P4: Strangely pungent became the vapors,
as the Earthman ascended the cliff. Carter wondered if their terrible effect
would be neutralized by the yellow oil.
P5: Meanwhile, Dejah Thoris was carried
ever deeper into the dark city of death by her giant captor.
P6: John Carter tracked his prey relentlessly.
Would he be in time to save her fromt he beast before her body turned to
P7: The ancient city teemed with weird
creatures who were, like the girl's abductor, immune to the deadly mist.
P8: Suddenly Carter halted, grasping
his sword tightly; then, he realized that against such as these,
the mighty blade was useless.
1. Carter abandons
his thoat near the outskirts of the city because he is afraid that the
beast might be calcified if it remains near Go-La-Ra. This enables the
mount to return to Sola for a good reason. However, the novelization should
indicate that Carter gave the beast a telepathetic command to return to
him if it did not soon encounter Sola. It would not be wise for carter
to totally discard his one known means for getting out of this remote wilderness.
2. In the novelization,
something more needs to be said about the protective "yellow oil" that
Carter obtains from "a certain pit." This can be an oil used by the ancient
inhabitants, when they had to venture too near the dangerous vapors in
their area -- a protective material that was widely distributed in cisterns
throughout the city and its environs. Some explanation also needs to be
given as to how the deadly vapors calcify the skin so quickly, but have
little or no effect when breathed into human lungs. Later in the story,
the scientist Vovo has in his possession a decalcifying machine -- how
does such a device operate to relieve the victims of the deadly mist? How
do living creatures become immune (or partly immune) to the dangerous effects
of the gasses?
3. Panel 6 of
strip #13 shows Carter walking through the streets of the dead city, leaving
footprints behind him. Why does this happen?
Novelization of the JCB strip by Dale R. Broadhurst
It was a long time before the princess
could take a full breath of air, so tightly did the foul creature hold
her to his hairy chest. Twice she passed out and it was only after the
sun had risen that she overcame the apprehension that she might die of
suffocation at any moment. Finally the huge ape slowed his pace and allowed
her body to dangle freely from his two middle limbs. Dejah Thoris made
no attempt to struggle then -- she could scarcely feel her deadened limbs,
let alone move them. All the while she silently chanted meaningless sounds
-- trying to drown out the graphic, rapacious telepathic thoughts that
the ape's brain conveyed continually, throughout her seemingly endless
nightmare in his arms.
During that entire horrible flight
across the wastelands she only felt her usual exhilaration in the face
of danger one time. Not long after sunrise the monster cast the girl roughly
upon the ground and took off after a sluggish lizard. During that few moments
of relative freedom she frantically sought some means of escape. But there
was no chance. The ape returned, spitting out crushed reptile bones and
she was soon back in that same loathsome embrace, moving quickly over the
dead sea bottom.
In the shadow of the three pinnacles
John Carter bade farewell to his stalwart thoat. The animal had to immunity
to the dangerous vapors that already were filling the air and the Earthman
had no idea how long he would have to spend searching the vast ruins. He
could not afford to have the mount immobilized by the mist, so, knowing
the beast would return to Sola, he sent it on its way.
The Virginian did not have to search
far to locate the protective substance the green girl had spoken of. A
large open cistern of the oil was built into the inner walls of a ceremonial
stone arch of vast proportions and great antiquity. The surface of the
stuff was covered with a layer of dust and the decayed remains of some
small animals, but beneath this detritus many gallons of the amber oil
still remained within the stone tank. As Sola had instructed, John Carter
covered his body with yellow oil. Then he made his way across the open
space to the old sea level benches and began his climb up into the city.
Along the way he saw what he was sure was another of the abducted maiden's
hair-clips, but the thing had fallen into a long sinuous fissure and was
beyond his reach. Noxious purple fumes rose from the fracture and he had
to block his nose and eyes in order to pass through the pungent, suffocating
Entering into the city John Carter
was struck by the fact that it possessed no great encircling walls. None
of the buildings had the defensive, castle-like architecture so typical
of the other two ruined metropolises he had visited. Everywhere he looked
he saw evidence of the effects of the purple mist. The petrified remains
of hundreds of thousands of insects, birds, and small animals littered
the ground and the interiors of the prehistoric buildings. The smaller
bodies crunched beneath his step and his footprints were added to the multitude
of animal trails that ran through the place. It was while stopping to examine
the stony body of a still living, but very slow moving, little flightless
bird that he caught a fragment of the princess's thoughts. She could not
be far off!
Dejah Thoris saw the many petrified
creatures that filled the ruined city. but it was only later that she connected
the strange remains with the legends of Go-La-Ra. All of her attention
was focused on her hairy captor, who at last had found a suitable resting
place among the ruins. She did not have to ponder long to guess what the
ape's repetitive cry, "Grom-bo!" betokened.
he Virginian found the long-sword quite
by accident. He had climbed up the circular ramp that ran around a tall,
tower-like structure, to gain enough height to look out over the city for
some sign of the missing maiden. There in the middle of the path, almost
at the top, was the gray body of a man pierced by an elegant sword of great
antiquity. He had seen a few of these blades among the Tharks, who called
them "Orovarian steel." The long-sword was of sturdy construction with
an excellent balance, almost as large as the weapon he had left behind
in the palace at Thark. With a few tugs the weapon came loose from the
petrified body and he appropriated it for his own use.
From the top of the tower Captain Carter
saw a number of the weird, living creatures who were somewhat immune to
the deadly mist, including two white apes. These two creatures were some
distance away and were entering the dead city by practically the same route
as he had, so Carter did not assume that either of them were the monster
he had been tracking. Still, he watched their movements for a few moments
and became convinced they were following a path down the middle of one
broad boulevard that the huge white creatures commonly used in moving about
the vast metropolis.
Back at ground level, John Carter followed
the same avenue as he had seen the apes using, only he kept to the edge
of it so as not to be too easily seen himself. Several times he observed
stony, slow moving little vertebrates being captured and eaten by younger
looking, more nimble animals. He was beginning to fear that a similar fate
might befall the Princess of Helium, if he could not find her very quickly.
He continued to project telepathetic messages, as best he knew how, but
no human answer came to him. At last he threw caution to the winds and
began to shout her name. His own echoes returned to his haunt him: "Dejah
Thoris! Dejah Thoris!"
Suddenly Carter halted, grasping his
newly discovered long-sword tightly; he saw armed men ahead of him!
Grombo must have received some weird
satisfaction in tormenting his new victim. He had thrown the naked girl
down upon the moss-covered floor of a little roofless structure and taking
turns with his four hands in poking and clawing various parts of her all
too vulnerable body. He seemed to particularly enjoy roughly thrusting
one finger into the hair under her armpits, forcing screams of pain from
the distressed red princess. Then the beast climbed atop her, holding Dejah
Thoris by her wrists and ankles, leaving two groping hands still free to
continue his libidinous assault.
The Earthman halted his calling in
mid syllable. Twenty grim faced spearmen blocked his way at the spot where
the avenue he had been following made an abrupt turn. The fighting man
struck a defensive posture and thrust out his sword, ready for a bloody
encounter. Then, he realized that against warriors such as these,
the mighty Orovarian blade was useless!
Grombo's pernicious thoughts poured
into her brain, no matter how much Dejah Thoris tried to block them from
her consciousness. She struggled, but the ape responded with a bruising
blow each time the poor girl moved. Her plight had become desperate. If
by some magic a dagger had fallen into her hands she would have turned
its point upon her own throat at that terrible moment!
From the doorway to this horrid scene
of molestation issued two loud bellows, in quick succession. Framed by
the stone entry-way were two giant shapes, similar that that of her attacker.
At first Grombo merely hissed over his shoulders at the pair of intruders.
But then they entered, cautiously, and he finally rose up, off the bruised,
shocked human and faced the apish new arrivals without any great hostility.
The two appeared to be conveying to him a sort of of rudimentary warning.