Monday, June 14, 2010

Golden Age Action Figures - The Purple Zombie

Today we present an undead (maybe the first) superhero, from the pages of Reg'lar Fellers Heroic Comics numbers 1 through 12. A supposedly dead convict brought back to life by Doctor Malinsky with an assist from Kimberly Hale, the creature's skin turns purple and he becomes impervious to bullets. Malinsky proclaims he wants to create an army of zombie warriors to help him take over the world, but Kimberly (Kim) Hale was working on the invention to prolong life. The Purple Zombie, who's name is Zoro, decides he likes Hale's reasons better and kills Doctor Malinsky and all of his backers. Kim Hale and Zoro then embark on a series of adventures, some of which take them back through time where they help King Richard the Lionheart defeat some Saracens, Sir Francis Drake defeat the Spanish Armada and get caught up in the French Revolution. In the 12th and final story Zoro reveals that although he was supposedly a dead convict he was in fact alive so he never really was a zombie after all, although the experiment turned his skin purple and gave him great strength and resistance to injury. He is subsequently exonerated of his crimes and joins the army to fight in the war and Kim Hale is off to Washington to work on a new explosive for the government. The series was by-lined Tarpe Mills, one of the earliest female cartoonists, who went on to create the more successful Miss Fury series. In his earliest adventures Zoro seems disoriented and a little Frankenstein-like, but by the end he's become quite sophisticated. The action figure of the Purple Zombie was made using parts from three Toy Biz figures: the upper body is from a Ka-Zar while the pants are from a Hydroman while the head is off a Professor X. The Kim Hale figure's body was acquired at a second hand toy store and I don't know the manufacturer but the head was from a Cops figure. In the case of the Kim Hale figure no painting was required.
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