Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Black and White Wednesday: "The Wrath of Raga-Shah!" by Gerber and DeZuniga

Question time, Groove-ophiles! What do you get when you mix Shanna the She-Devil (Marvel's answer to Sheena), Steve Gerber, Tony DeZuniga, boa constrictors, evil high priests, human sacrifices, and a middle-eastern setting? You get "The Wrath of Raga-Shah!" in which Gerber and DeZuniga push all the boundaries, baby! Would it have been as risky if it had been a back-up in Savage Sword of Conan rather than in the back of Rampaging Hulk #9 (April 1978), which featured a Silver Age style Hulk/Avengers slugfest? Hmmmmmm...


  1. More lovely art from the late DeZuniga that I'd never seen before.
    Incidentally, even for a black and white magazine, the cheesecake seems to be laid on a bit thick here - like it's been dialed up to 11.
    Also, I found that last line - about waiting for the python to digest before returning to the jungle - rather amusing. I guess Shanna's content to sit around watching cable TV for at least the next week or so...

    1. This is the 1970's--no cable--and a python has slow digestion. Shanna may have a few quiet weeks on her hands.

  2. Thank you,Mr Groove!
    Washing dishes!Hubba hubba!
    /Mr Anonymous

  3. Hey Groovy one!
    I remember this story fondly, Tony's female forms were beautiful. I was 16 when this came out. Being the huge Rampaging Hulk/ Hulk nut I was & still am today. I was kind of shocked Marvel was able to have this in the back of the Hulk! LOL It took me quite awhile to appreciate Tony's art & inking. I guess when I first saw it on the X-Men & Thor. I didn't like it at first. His inks were way too dark & thick for my tastes. But after he inked the Thor annual #5 with the epic Thor vs Hercules battle & Thor vs Zeus.

    I was hooked & of course shortly later Man-God from Marvel Preview #9. I was lucky enough to atleast talk with Tony a few times & his lovely wife Tina. Even if I never got the chance to meet him in person. Sigh! R.I.P. my friend your art will live on for decades to come.

  4. Not only do I fondly recall this issue, I used some of DeZuniga's images of Shanna when I worked on emulating the art of various Marvel craftsmen. The images are burned on my eyeballs!

    1. I could also recall the artwork on this issue years later--excellent drawing plus the cheescake plus the creepy last page.
      Thanks to Mr. Groovy for making this available.

  5. No superpowers, no magic, no costumed stylistics. Instead, a tight, grim little yarn about survivor guilt, manhunt, and revenge underpins DeZuniga's excellent, sensual graphics. No more mercy in the telling than in the book of Esther; both stories feature a beautiful woman acting as an angel of vengeance, and a villian's complicity in his own doom. But, added to the mix, a jokey, Bond-type sadism. A very 1970's story, and a real break with the Marvel style of that time, especially the ending.



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