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 stone?
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
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 atmosphere.
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
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!
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.