Friday, April 15, 2011

Reading Room: TARA, QUEEN OF THE SPACE PIRATES in "Fabulous Jewel of Morn"

Pirates are popular!
Seems obvious now, with the success of the Pirates of the Carribbean series, but from the 1970s until recently, pirates (like cowboys) seemed to have hit a cultural dead-end.
But, back in the 1940s-50s though, they were everywhere!
Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk (both played by Errol Flynn) and Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power) in The Black Swan typlified the swashbuckling heroic image of pirates on film.
There were, of course, pirate pulp magazines and comic books, as well!
Sci-fi / fantasy in particular, adapted the pirate concept in numerous incarnations, including Star Pirate, Captain Harlock, and, most importantly to us, Tara: Queen of the Space Pirates, who ran amok thru the galaxy for the last six issues of Wonder Comics (#15-20) with the tale scheduled for #21 finally published in Thrilling Comics #71.
Click on the art to enlarge
Though this tale is her first appearance, in Wonder Comics #15, the cover by Alex Schomberg during his "Xela" airbrush art period, is from Wonder Comics #17!
The cover features both the villain and jewel from the story in #15, so we're using it here.
The actual cover for #15, also by Schomberg as "Xela", featured Brad Spencer: WonderMan (the third character to use "Wonder Man/WonderMan") in his final cover appearance before Tara took over the cover slot for the remainder of the title's run.
In fact, none of the covers featuring Tara go with the stories in their respective issues!  Weird!
In addition, this Tara story was reprinted in the next issue (#16) of Wonder Comics, probably due to a production error!
Penciled and inked by Gene Fawcette.

Look for MORE Tara adventures soon!

And check out the

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