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Jungle Jim. Jungle Jim was created by Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon, Secret Agent X-9) and appeared in the comic strip “Jungle Jim” (1934-1954); he also appeared in the film serial Jungle Jim (1937).

Jim Bradley, popularly known as "Jungle Jim," is an animal trapper and animal tamer who works for various American and European zoos. As time goes by his reputation grows and he begins to take on independent commissions, not just to capture animals but to investigate and troubleshoot problems ranging from espionage to local rebellions against multinational companies. Bradley begins in Africa and India, tracking down and capturing wild animals, but from there he helps put down a rebellion in Mongolia, stops a rebellious prince in Burma, looks for the treasure of Genghis Khan in Afghanistan, fights pirates in the Malay Sea, and has adventures in a number of other Far Eastern locations, both jungles and cities. In the late 1930s he returns to the U.S. and puts his skills to the test fighting spies across the Americas. During World War Two he fights with guerrillas across the China-Burma-India theater. In the radio program The Adventures of Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim (1935) Jim meets Flash Gordon.

Bradley is a handsome, square-jawed man. He always looks dashing, whether in his jodhpurs and pith helmet or in a white dinner jacket. He is the target of a number of beautiful women in his time, most notably Lillie de Vrille, better known as Shanghai Lil (a reference/homage to Marlene Dietrich's role in Shanghai Express). Lil is an adventuress, spy, and Jim’s Loving Enemy. His love for her eventually reforms her, and she becomes his most faithful friend and companion, helping him on a number of occasions. Jim's best male friend is Kolu, his taciturn "loyal Hindu assistant," skilled with turban and knife, an able tracker and guide.

* I'm including "Jungle Jim" in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because it's big fun. Most people forget that Alex Raymond, who made Flash Gordon into one of the best heroes of the Pulp Era, also created "Jungle Jim" and had a nice long run on it. "Jungle Jim" is excellent pulpy adventurous fun, whisking Jim around the world pell-mell and thrusting him into any number of dangerous hotspots and showing how he gets out of them and triumphs over his opponents and the enemies of freedom. Shanghai Lil is a great character with a very enjoyable evolving relationship with Jim. And Raymond's art is, of course, superb. That there's a significant amount of Orientalism, exoticism, and low-level racism in the strip is also true, unfortunately. 

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