Real Name: Putnam (first name unrevealed; see comments)
Identity/Class: Human (1950s era); British citizen
Occupation: Criminal, diamond-hunter
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: His bearers (at least 8, including Alag and Oku);
Enemies: Bailey, God of the Ukaki, Lorna, Ukaki tribesmen
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "B'wana Putnam" (as called by his bearers)
Base of Operations: Mobile in Africa; originally from England
First Appearance: Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4 (July, 1953)
Powers/Abilities: Having no paranormal abilities, Putnam was armed with a semi-automatic handgun and a rifle. Motivated by his obsessive greed for diamonds, Putnam wouldn't let anyone or anything get in his way (to his detriment).
Height: 6' (by
Weight: 180 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4 (fb) ) - The past of Putnam is largely unrevealed, but one day he was visited by Bailey, who had just returned from Africa -- there, Bailey had discovered the most fabulous diamond mine in the world. Putnam was very upset with him because he had returned to England without a single stone. Bailey explained that he had a horrifying experience during his search, and he didn't want anyone else to suffer the same; Bailey was about to destroy the map to the diamond mine's location, but Putnam shot him and took the map for himself.
(Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4 (fb) - BTS) - Putnam went to Africa, where he hired some natives to be the bearers for his diamond hunt.
(Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4) - As Putnam's expedition trekked through the jungle, they heard the sound of drums beating, and the bearers refused to go any further; Alag told Putnam that the drums were a warning for them to go back. But Putnam was unconcerned -- he considered himself to be much stronger than Bailey was, he didn't care what frightened Bailey off, and he was determined to find the diamond mine before the police caught up with him; so Putnam pulled out his handgun and forced the bearers to continue onward. Then Lorna and her monkey Mikki came swinging down on a vine; the jungle girl warned Putnam that his group was entering Ukakiland, the forbidden territory of the Ukaki tribe. Putnam thought Lorna might be useful to him, and he ordered Alag to capture her; but Alag refused ("I cannot tie-up the Jungle Queen!"), so Putnam pistol-whipped him and ordered Oku to take Lorna prisoner. Oku reluctantly complied, but begged Lorna's forgiveness; not wishing any bloodshed, Lorna gave up and allowed herself to be bound as she willingly accompanied Putnam's safari, but she had Mikki go ahead to warn the Ukaki tribe that they were coming through their land.
Following the map, Putnam's group finally reached Ukaki territory and saw the tribesmen standing before a hill -- Putnam figured it had to be the entrance of the diamond mine. Putnam fired his rifle at the Ukaki to frighten them off -- by then, Mikki had returned and untied Lorna. With the Ukaki unable to offer any resistance, Putnam ran toward the mine entrance. One of the Ukaki tribesmen asked Lorna to stop Putnam before he hurt their god; seeing that Putnam was mad with greed, Lorna told the tribesmen to beat their drums when she gave the word, so that they might awaken their god.
Running after Putnam, Lorna warned him that the diamonds held in the cave were for the god of the Ukaki to feed on. But thinking it all to be superstition, Putnam refused to stop, so Lorna called for the Ukaki to start beating their drums. Putnam went in the cave as Lorna called for him one last time, desperately trying to convince him to turn back. Then Putnam saw a great pile of diamonds on the cave floor -- so engrossed was he by the fortune of precious gemstones, he didn't notice the "cave" getting darker and darker, as the "mine entrance" began to close. It was not until it was too late that Putnam realized that the "cave" he was in was actually the mouth of the god of the Ukaki...the Great Snail! Putnam was apparently swallowed whole.
Afterwards, one of the Ukaki warriors mentioned to Lorna that earlier there had been another man (Bailey) who had come seeking the wealth of the Ukaki, but he had heeded the warnings and escaped in time.
As Lorna walked away, she thought aloud that there was something else Putnam didn't know: "Ukaki" meant "The People of the Snail" (see comments).
Comments: Created by Don Rico (writer) and Werner Roth (artist).
Putnam's first name was never mentioned in the story, so I'll suggest "Nigel".
No explanation was given for how that snail got so big. Maybe it did a lot of snacking in the Valley of Diamonds; or maybe it was a Deviant mutate (like the World-Devouring Worm); or maybe...
Natives worshiping a giant snail?! The next thing you know, they'll do a story with something really silly... like a giant turtle!
But the Ukakis' god didn't look much like a snail to me -- that yellowish-orange mound with eyes looked more like one of Spragg's people. Maybe Lorna got the translation wrong -- maybe "Ukaki" actually meant "The People of the Hill".
That Lorna sure runs into a lot of gigantic jungle animals -- earlier in this very same issue, she also encountered the big ape Agu, and the giant snake Serpo.
This 5-page story -- "Jungle Uprising" -- was reprinted in Jungle Action II#2 (December, 1972).
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Putnam has no known connections to:
Bailey has no known connections to:
The Ukaki tribe has no known connections to:
The god of the Ukaki/Great Snail has no known connections to:
An associate of Putnam, he went to Africa in search of the diamond mine of the Ukaki tribe; he made a map of his route along the way. But Bailey had a horrifying experience during his quest and was frightened away.
Bailey returned to England, badly shaken from his experience; he reported to Putnam that he discovered the diamond mine, but didn't bring back a single stone. Bailey was about to burn his map so no one else would undergo what he had, but before he could destroy it, the enraged Putnam shot and killed him and took the map.
--Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4
An African tribe, their tribal name meant "The People of the Snail," and they worshiped a giant snail as their god. They were about to use drums to awaken their god and feed it a serving of diamonds when the greedy diamond-hunter Putnam frightened them off with his rifle.
Numbering at least nine (none identified), the warriors of Ukakiland were armed with spears and shields.
--Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4
Appearing to be a large mound of earth, it was apparently a giant snail (see comments) that was worshiped by the Ukaki tribe in Africa; the Ukaki woke their god with drumbeats and fed it a steady diet of diamonds.
The diamond-hunting Putnam mistook the god's mouth for the entrance of a diamond mine, and he was swallowed by it.
--Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4
images: (without ads)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p2, pan1 (Main Image, Putnam yelling at Bailey)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p4, pan6 (Headshot, Putnam in "diamond mine" as drums beat)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p3, pan5 (Putnam firing rifle at Ukaki)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p4, pan8 (Putnam wading in pile of diamonds as drums beat)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p2, pan1 (Bailey)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p2, pan2 (Bailey holding map as Putnam's hand grabs gun)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p4, pan4 (Ukaki tribesman pounding drum, Ukaki warriors in background)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p5, pan6 (Ukaki tribesman speaks with Lorna about Bailey and Putnam)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p3, pan4 (Putnam's group encounters Ukaki tribesmen, god of the Ukaki in background)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p4, pan2 (Putnam runs for "diamond mine" entrance (actually mouth of the god of the Ukaki) despite Lorna's warning)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4, p5, pan4 (Putnam swallowed by god of the Ukaki as Lorna looks on)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen I#1/4 (July, 1953) - Don Rico (script), Werner Roth (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 03/07/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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