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YELLOW EYES

Real Name: Lee Forrest (adopted name, see comments)

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments)

Occupation: Jungle leader;

formerly soldier (World War II era)

Group Membership: A pride of lions;

formerly U.S. Army

Affiliations: "Dan Williams", lions in his pride

Enemies: Nazi soldiers

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Yellow Eyes" (nickname) 

Base of Operations: Mobile in an unidentified African jungle

First Appearance: World of Mystery#4/5 (December, 1956)

Powers/Abilities: A fierce and courageous fighter, Lee Forrest was exceptionally (but not superhumanly) athletic and agile; he also had heightened senses. He later developed a rapport with a pride of lions (at least three), and could communicate with them by whistling and using simple hand gestures. His most distinguishing features were his golden, cat-like eyes.

History:

(World of Mystery#4/5 (fb) - BTS) - The mysterious past of Lee Forrest is largely unknown, even to himself. By his own account, Forrest never knew his parents, and he was found in a zoo (near the lions' cage) as a child. He would prowl the streets at night, as though searching for something (although he didn't know what). He always felt like a misfit in the world of humans, and spent his youth constantly fighting. Forrest eventually enlisted in the army, but his fellow soldiers (who nicknamed him "Yellow Eyes") found him to be surly and reticent, and they thought that he acted more like an animal than a man. During World War II, Forrest served with the U.S. tank corps and was stationed in the deserts of North Africa; he sensed he was getting closer to what he was looking for.

(World of Mystery#4/5 (fb)) - An escaped Nazi prisoner ran toward Forrest and was about to attack him with a bayonet. Sensing the swiftly approaching danger, Forrest snarled and leapt at the Nazi like a savage jungle beast, and knocked the bayonet from the enemy soldier's hand with one swipe, rendering him unconscious; the skirmish was seen by American soldier "Dan Williams". An hour later, the tank corps went into battle against a German Panzer division. The tank Forrest was aboard was hit and burst into flames, and Forrest was trapped inside because the hatch was jammed shut. "Williams" came running to his rescue; he forced the hatch open, then carried the injured Forrest to the medics. Afterward, Forrest shook "Williams'" hand and thanked him for saving his life--he vowed that he would never forget the debt that he owed him. The two formed a bond of friendship (at least, as close of a friendship as anyone could have with the anti-social "Yellow Eyes"), and Forrest (who seldom spoke with anyone) took "Williams" into his confidence and divulged some of the details of his past. Shortly thereafter, Forrest was discharged from service, but didn't return to the USA--he simply disappeared without saying good-bye to anybody. "Williams" could only hope that his friend would find peace of mind, wherever he had gone.

Yellow Eyes as jungle lord

(World of Mystery#4/5 (fb) - BTS) - Forrest stayed in Africa and went to a jungle region, where he joined a pride of lions.

(World of Mystery#4/5) - Following the war, "Williams" remained in Africa and while on safari, a lion lunged at him, but stopped suddenly at the sound of a shrill whistle from Forrest. Clad only in a loincloth, Forrest summoned the lion to his side. As Forrest ran into the jungle, accompanied by a trio of maned lions, "Williams" figured that his old friend was returning the favor for saving his life years earlier; he was glad to see that "Yellow Eyes" was content and had finally found his place in the world.

 

Comments: Created by an uncredited writer and Dick Ayers (artist).

Since he mentioned that he never knew his parents, we can assume that he was adopted at some point and legally given the name "Lee Forrest". 

Forrest's true nature was never revealed--he could have been a human mutant or an alien, but I'll speculate that since he claimed to have been found in a zoo when he was a child, maybe he was originally a lion cub that was evolved and mutated into a human child; perhaps this was done by Herbert Wyndham (later the High Evolutionary), whose first evolutionary experiment involved the mutation of his dog Dempsey back in 1930. 

This story (which seemed to by a re-telling of the tale of "Androcles and the Lion") was told entirely from the perspective of "Dan Williams," so the sparse details of Forrest's early life were gleaned from what Forrest told "Williams" of his past--we can only assume that Forrest was telling the truth. 

Is it just me, or does "Yellow Eyes" remind anybody else of a certain short and hairy Canadian? (...and I don't mean Puck!)

And the "Dan Williams" character was never identified in story, so I took the liberty of naming him--for the record, this name was derived from the biblical story of Daniel in the lion's den, and from famed lion-tamer Gunther Gebel-Williams

And a BIG Thank You to Pappy's Golden Age for the scans!

Profile by John Kaminski.

CLARIFICATIONS :
Yellow Eyes/Lee Forrest has no known connections to:


"Dan Williams"

During World War II, he served with the U.S. tank corps in the deserts of North Africa, where he met Lee Forrest. Although the other soldiers shared a low opinion of Forrest (whom they called "Yellow Eyes"), the red-haired "Williams" was not deterred and even saved Forrest's life following a battle, for which Forrest felt indebted. The two became fast friends, and Forrest told "Williams" some of the details of his mysterious past before he disappeared. After the war, "Williams" stayed in Africa and became a hunter and a guide in the jungle. He was hired to find some specimens for a zoo, and when he went out on safari, he was about to be attacked by a lion, but the beast was warded off by Forrest, who had abandoned civilization and now made his home amongst the lions of the jungle.

--World of Mystery#4/5


images: (without ads)
World of Mystery#4/5, p1, pan1 (main image)

p1, pan2 (headshot)
p4, pan7 (running with pride)
p3, pan7 ("Williams")


Other Appearances: None


Last updated: 09/12/10

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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