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The Three Lives of Fantomah: Mystery Woman of the Jungle $2.25
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The Three Lives of Fantomah: Mystery Woman of the Jungle
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The Three Lives of Fantomah: Mystery Woman of the Jungle
Publisher: NUELOW Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/25/2014 06:22:50

A fascinating glimpse into an early superhero - 'the most marvelous woman ever known' - who despite living in a jungle was more of a superhero than a 'jungle girl', at least in early issues.

She first appeared in 1940 billed as 'The Mystery Woman of the Jungle' but was not the typical female jungle-dweller as she displayed superpowers and a strict code of justice - defeating a pair of treasure-hunters intent on pillaging a wealthy hidden city in the first story. This is a faithful reproduction of the original black and white lineart, nice and clear and easy to read.

The second story is in similar vein, Fantomah defeats a mad scientist hell-bent on destroying jungle animals in revenge for a most unfortunate series of incidents during a hunting trip... using, of course, a crazy device that harnesses the power of the moon to create a tidal wave to flood the jungle. That sorted, she's off again to save a valley-full of pumas from another nut-job who plans to use them in his plot for world domination - all classic stuff, and nicely presented. The next story is again one of defence against someone who would damage the jungle and its inhabitants, this time by sorcery.

Then comes the 'rules bit' - with some new feats to model Fantomah's abilities, a starting occupation of Protector of the Wild and associated talent trees and prestige class, along with a full set of statistics for Fantomah herself. Mention is made of the odd fact that over time she became LESS powerful, possibly due to later authors not being quite as inventive as those responsible for the early stories, and this will be explored, we are told, in later volumes.

Lastly there's another comic, in which Fantomah thwarts yet another mad scientist, this one is trying to turn a man into an ape. Again her powers save the day, and the poor fellow is freed to continue his honeymoon safari.

If you get hold of this before your players and you like jungle/pulp adventures you might want to use these stories as the basis for your plots, but they'll only work if your campaign includes truly out-of-this-world superpowers and supernatural abilities that are never explained. A jolly good read, though.



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