Follow TV Tropes

Following

Comic Book / Rulah, Jungle Goddess

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rulah.jpg

Rulah, Jungle Goddess is a Jungle Princess comic-book published by Fox Feature Syndicate. She first appeared in Zoot Comics #7 (June 1947). The artist generally credited with creating Rulah is Matt Baker, although Jack Kamen and Graham Ingels were also associated with her.

Rulah's real name was given variously as either Jane Dodge or Joan Grayson; a bored society girl who got her kicks from risking her life. One day, while piloting a small plane across Darkest Africa, she crash-landed where civilization had scarcely been heard of. Her clothes were damaged to the point of leaving her butt naked ("like Eve in the Garden," she mused), modesty preserved only by Censor Shadows and strategically-placed vegetation yet, her skin wasn't noticeably scratched or abraded. Fortunately, her plane had whacked a giraffe on the way down, so she skinned it and skillfully fashioned a fetching Fur Bikini from the raw, uncured pelt. Her uncovered parts were no more bothered by thorns, rough bark, poison ivy and the like, than were her bare feet.

Next, she saved a tribe from the local tyrant, a white jungle queen much like herself, and was proclaimed its ruler provided she could prove herself by killing a starving leopard with nothing but a dagger, which she did. The natives hailed her as Rulah, Jungle Goddess. She decided being a goddess suited her just fine, so she stuck around. All this happened in Zoot Comics #7 (June, 1947), where she made her debut.

After a few months, Rulah was added to All Top Comics, where Fox got extra mileage out of its bigger stars, such as The Blue Beetle and Dagar, Desert Hawk. She even got the cover. Before long, everybody got kicked out of the Zoot Comics back pages, replaced with more Rulah stories; and in 1948 the title was changed to Rulah, Jungle Goddess. It was in Rulah #20 (November, 1948) that her origin story was expanded and modified. The first surprise to the readers was that her name was different without a word of explanation (or any apparent reason), she became Joan Grayson. Second, she had a Love Interest, Tim Pointer, who was offstage during the original origin because of amnesia. But he got better and followed her into the jungle where, by a Contrived Coincidence, both (separately) became prisoners of Sivo, a rival white jungle goddess. Rulah saved the day, convincing Tim in the process that she wasn't going to come home and marry him.


Tropes in Rulah, Jungle Goddess include:

  • Action Girl: Even before becoming a Jungle Princess, Rulah was a daredevil adventuress and aviatrix.
  • Alliterative Name: Rulah's friend Bold Explorer Muriel Maxim.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: In "The Thirsty Tyrant of Tii" (Zoot Comics #14b), Rulah is captured by Joppa, the eponymous thirsty tyrant. He demands that she marry him, or else he will poison the river and kill her people.
  • Ant Assault: In "Bloodstained Fangs" (Zoot Comics #12), the evil Mava disposes of those who cross her by burying them up to their neck and then coating their head and honey and leaving them to be devoured by ants. She is Hoist by Her Own Petard when she trips over the skull of her latest victim while fleeing from Rulah and lands on the anthill, where she is devoured herself.
  • The Beastmaster: Rulah is usually accompanied by her faithful animal companion Saber, a black panther.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Despite running through the jungle and fighting wild animals while wearing nothing more than a Fur Bikini, Rulah seldom has so much as her hair tousled.

  • Censor Shadow: In her Origin Story, Jane Dodge has her clothing destroyed in a plane crash. She is left butt-naked with her modesty preserved only by shadows and strategically-placed vegetation until she fashions a Fur Bikini from the hide of the giraffe killed by her crashing plane.
  • Circus Episode: In "Stone Jungle" (Zoot Comics #13a), a duplicitous press agent tricks Rulah into returning to New York City where he attempts to press her into being an act in his client's circus.
  • Clothing Damage: In her Origin Story, Jane Dodge has her clothing destroyed in a plane crash. She is left butt-naked with her modesty preserved only by Censor Shadows and strategically-placed vegetation until she fashions a Fur Bikini from the hide of the giraffe killed by her crashing plane.
  • Costume Copycat: In "Frenzy of the Dishonored Idol!" (Zoot Comics #10), the main villain is a white woman who makes herself an exact double of Rulah, including the giraffe skin Fur Bikini.
  • Conveniently Placed Sharp Thing: In "The Harpies from Hades" (Zoot Comics #10), Rulah has her hands and feet bound and is tossed in a cell containing the skeletal remains of previous victims. She snaps the jawbone off one of the skulls, files the teeth to points against the stone wall, and uses it to cut her bonds.
  • Darkest Africa: The setting for Rulah's adventures.
  • Depraved Dwarf: In "Condemned!" (Zoot Comics #14a), Rulah battles Hagga the Dwarf who kidnaps and murders native maidens through a variety of creative tortures (including spreadeagling over a bamboo shoot that grows five inches a day so that the shoot breaks their spines and then impales them), seemingly for no reason other than pure sadism.
  • Diamonds in the Buff: In "The Pearls of Patmos" (Zoot Comics #14a), Circo, the Queen of Patmos, wears a jeweled bikini that does technically have some fabric underneath it. However, the shrine maidens who guard the pearl temple wear only bikinis and wristbands made entirely out of pearls.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like most any other Jungle Princess, Rulah is almost always barefoot. Even in snow. She had a pair of boots as a pilot and shed them when she got her Fur Bikini. At one point she wore heels when she visited New York, but she changed back into her jungle outfit and is once again barefoot. She wore weird blue pointy slippers in one one issue, but that's likely due to the artist not wanting to draw feet. She goes barefoot in the same issue, so was likely still canonically barefoot.
  • Exposed to the Elements: In one issue a Weather-Control Machine makes it snow it the jungle. Rulah walks around in the snow barefoot in her bikini and it doesn't even seem to faze her. She does craft some extra fur clothing, but it doesn't cover much more than her bikini, and she loses the extra clothing later. She also makes snow shoes, but they barely cover her feet, including partly exposing her soles.
  • Eye Scream: In "Satyrs of Satan!" (Zoot Comics #13b), Mongol princess Zenpha attempts to put out Rulah's eyes with a white hot spear.
  • Flowers of Nature: In "The Vampire Garden" in #18, Rulah fights a plant-controlling villainess called the Flower Lady who dresses in a halter top of flowers and a miniskirt of leaves.
  • Fur Bikini: Rulah's is made from the hide of the giraffe killed when her plane crashed.
  • Garden Garment: In "The Vampire Garden" in #18, Rulah fights a plant-controlling villainess called the Flower Lady who dresses in a halter top of flowers and a miniskirt of leaves.
  • Geographic Flexibility: The unspecified region of Africa where Rulah is based seems to contain whatever terrain is necessary for the story: jungle, savanna, coast, mountains, river plains, swamp...
  • Ghost Pirate: In "The Bloody Moon!" (Zoot Comics #13a), Rulah battles the ghost of Black Bart: a pirate and slaver who was killed by one of Rulah's predecessors and now returns every blood moon to prey on Rulah's tribe and seek revenge.
  • God Guise: In her Origin Story Rulah saves a tribe from the local tyrant, a white Jungle Princess much like herself, and is proclaimed its ruler provided she can prove herself by killing a starving leopard with nothing but a dagger, which she does. The natives hail her as Rulah, Jungle Goddess.
  • Harping on About Harpies: In "The Harpies from Hades" (Zoot Comics #10) battles a race of harpies who are beautiful Caucasian women with bat wings who dress in Fur Bikinis. They dwell in the remote mountains and abduct men in order to feast on their flesh.
  • High-Class Glass: In "Bloodstained Fangs!" (Zoot Comics #12), would-be conqueror Mava is assisted in her plan to drive the whites of Africa by a European bomb expert named Konrad. Konrad is implied to be a former Nazi and sports a blond crew cut and a monocle.
  • Human Sacrifice: There are multiple stories in which Rulah has to prevent other tribes from practising human sacrifice: often in quite gruesome and inventive ways.
  • Identical Stranger: In "The Slumbering City" (Zoot Comics #11), Rulah learns that she is a dead ringer for Nisaba, the evil queen of the city of Ionia: a city which has been in suspended animation for 5,000 years and just awoken.
  • Jungle Princess: Rulah was one of the longer lasting Sheena, Queen of the Jungle knockoffs.
  • Killer Outfit: In "The Ice Beast" (Zoot Comics #10), an evil witch doctor and an American engineer join forces to bury the jungle beneath a blizzard. When Rulah shuts off the machine, the snow melts and the jungle is engulfed by a massive flood. The witch doctor drown when he is dragged down by the heavy padded suit he was wearing to stave off the frigid cold of the blizzard.
  • Knows the Ropes: In "Satyrs of Satan!" (Zoot Comics #13b), Rulah battles a Mongol princess named Zenpha who is an expert with the lariat.
  • Majored in Western Hypocrisy: In "The Deadly Dust" (Zoot Comics #11), Rulah battles Zandu, a native dictator, who boasts of having been "educated at the white man's school" and uses western military techniques to subjugate his fellow Africans, whom he regards as primitive savages.
  • Man-Eating Plant: In "the Vampire Garden" in #18, a villainess called Flower Lady attempts to feed Rulah to her man-eating tiger plant. At the end of the story, Flower Lady suffers a Karmic Death as she falls into the tiger plant herself.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Like many Jungle Opera comics of the period, the writer suffered under the misapprehension that tigers live in the jungles of Africa.
  • Missing Reflection: In "The Wolf Doctor" in #17, one of the symptoms of lycanthropy is that those who are infected stop casting a reflection. (Possibly the writer was getting it mixed up with vampirism...?)
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rulah is a beautiful young woman who wears a Fur Bikini.
  • No More for Me: In "Stone Jungle" (Zoot Comics #13a), Rulah is in New York City when a drunk attempts to hop into her taxi. On seeing the eponymous Jungle Princess in her Fur Bikini in the back seat, accompanied by her pet monkey, he runs away declaring:
    "From now on nothing but milk for me...I swear..."
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: In "Land of Giants" in #18, Rulah battles a race of giants who shoot arrows the size of spears and ride elephants as if they were ponies.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: In "The Wolf Doctor" in #17, a doctor infected with lycanthropy moves to the jungle where he immediately begins attacking the maidens of Rulah's tribe and converting them into werewolves. Peculiarities of this species of werewolves include a Missing Reflection, being repelled by foxglove (presumably the writer meant wolfsbane), and can be slain by wooden spears or broken branches.
  • Pendulum of Death: In "The Thirsty Stone" (Zoot Comics #12), evil witch doctor Potmas attempts to fulfill an ancient prophecy by sacrificing a yellow haired woman to become all-powerful in the jungle. He captures blonde Bold Explorer Mildred Maxim and straps her to the eponymous "thirsty stone": a stone altar beneath a swinging stone knife that drops lower on every swing.
  • Retcon: Rulah's real name was changed from Jane Dodge to Joan Grayson for no reason that was ever explained.
  • Role Called: Rulah, Jungle Goddess
  • Sand Necktie: In "Bloodstained Fangs" (Zoot Comics #12), the evil Mava disposes of those who cross her by burying them up to their neck and then coating their head and honey and leaving them to be devoured by ants.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: In "The Thirsty Tyrant of Tii" (Zoot Comics #14b), Rulah is captured by Joppa, the eponymous thirsty tyrant. He demands that she marry him, or else he will poison the river and kill her people.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: In "The Thirsty Stone" (Zoot Comics #12), Tombo is following Rulah across the jungle via Vine Swing when the vine snaps and he lands on top of a set of bee hives. Pursued by an angry swarm of bees, he has to dive into the river to escape them.
  • Scenery Censor: In her Origin Story, Jane Dodge has her clothing destroyed in a plane crash. She is left butt-naked with her modesty preserved only by Censor Shadows and strategically-placed vegetation until she fashions a Fur Bikini from the hide of the giraffe killed by her crashing plane.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: In "Satyrs of Satan!" (Zoot Comics #13b), Rulah battles a Mongol princess named Zenpha who wears a version of a Seashell Bra that uses two human skulls as breast cups instead of shells.
  • Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying: The unknown writer did very little research relating to Africa and its wildlife. In one story, the writer seems to think that chimpanzees are baby gorillas! (Earlier, a character identifies a chimpanzee as an orangutan—a species not native to Africa—but as the character is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, this mis-identification may have been intentional.)
  • Suck Out the Poison: in #17, Rulah saves the life of a nubile young blonde woman who has been bitten by a coral snake by cutting her arm and sucking out the venom.
  • Tentacled Terror: In "Fangs of Black Fury" (Zoot Comics #9), the villains import octopuses from the ocean and plant them in the river where they attack and drown members of Rulah's tribe.
  • Tree Buchet: In "The Devil's Daughter" in #17, the villains bind their victims to a flexible tree which they then use to fling them into the ocean where they are eaten by a Threatening Shark.
  • Tribal Carry: In "Death from Fangs of Stones" (Zoot Comics #8), Rulah is captured by the forces of the evil witch doctor Nisba and carried back to the Lost City of Tahoo this way.
  • Vine Swing: Unlike Sheena, Rulah prefers to travel through the trees to get from point A to point B. She swings from vines all the time.
  • Weather-Control Machine: In "The Ice Beast" (Zoot Comics #10), an evil witch doctor and an American engineer join forces to bury the jungle beneath a blizzard. Later, the witch doctor loses control of the machine and the cold snap starts to engulf the rest of the world.
  • Whip of Dominance: In "Frenzy of the Dishonored Idol!" (Zoot Comics #10), the main villain is a Rich Bitch white woman named Borden who is an Identical Stranger to Rulah, and decides to take advantage of this by making herself an exact double of Rulah, including the giraffe skin FurBikini and pretending to be her. She also carries a whip with which she is an expert at using, and she uses it on the natives to force them to do what she wants. It is this whip usage that enables the more observant characters to identify her as the fake Rulah, as Rulah would never use a whip to make others submit to her.
  • Wrench Whack: In "The Ice Beast" (Zoot Comics #10),an evil witch doctor kills the American engineer who built his Weather-Control Machine by smashing his head with a wrench. He soon regrets this act when he realises that he doesn't know how to operate the machine.
  • Zebras Are Just Striped Horses: Rulah would often ride a zebra as her personal mount.


Top