Friday, February 3, 2012
YEAR 1939: THE GOLDEN AMAZON
I have little direct experience with the actual stories of The Golden Amazon, a character who first appeared in the July 1939 issue of FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and who enjoyed three more stories there. Of those four adventures of the Amazon-- said by some to be a possible influence on Wonder Woman-- I've read only the third, "The Golden Amazon Returns," which sums up her origin thusly:
"The only survivor of a space wreck on Venus, she had been found as a baby by Venusian Hotlanders. They had taken care of her, and the child had matured in the environment of Venus..."
And later, due to the way she was bombarded by the sun's rays coming through Venus' cloud-cover:
"Instrad of human cells breaking down, they had built up to ever increasing toughness."
This has a slight resonance to one of William Moulton Marston's explanations for the fabulous strength of his Amazons, which had to do with their directing pure "force of will" into their muscles.
"Golden Amazon Returns" seems to be characteristic of the series, focusing on slam-bang action. The Amazon, whose winsome civilian name is "Violet Ray," isn't quite as superhuman as Wonder Woman-- at one point four men manage to restrain her-- but she's more than a match for any man in a punching contest.
In 1944 the Amazon's creator, British writer John Russell Fearn, "rebooted" the character for an original novel. To my knowledge she had no other media-incarnations until the 1980s, which I'll cover in a separate post.