Real Name: Inapplicable
Identity/Class: Supernaturally-enhanced hunting trophy; former terrestrial (African) animal (black panther) (1950s era)
Occupation: Hunting trophy; former jungle predator
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: "Jungle Goddess" (see comments)
Enemies: Ben Hamlin
Known Relatives: "Jungle Goddess" ("mother")
Base of Operations: The trophy room of Ben Hamlin's house, somewhere in England;
originally mobile in an unidentified African jungle (see comments)
First Appearance: Adventures into Terror#5/text-story Black Vengeance (August, 1951) (see comments)
Powers/Abilities: When it was alive, the black panther presumably had all the standard natural attributes of others of its species.
After it was killed and its head was made into a trophy, the black panther was seemingly returned to a semblance of life, presumably by the power of the "Jungle Goddess" (see comments).
(Adventures into Terror#5/text-story (fb) ) - Ben Hamlin was on safari in the jungles of Africa, hunting for a black panther. While his native gun-bearers beat the underbrush with sticks to drive the beast out, Hamlin was a good distance away, safely sitting inside a long, low car.
When he spotted a fleeting black streak running from the underbrush, Hamlin arced his powerful rifle along the window sill of the car door and fired twice--the black cat leaped upwards and forward in a graceful ballet of death, then fell to the ground.
But after Hamlin killed the beast, one of the natives gave him a warning: "Take care, Bwana. The Jungle Goddess watches. She forgives brave men for killing her children. But a coward..."--before he could finish his remark, the enraged Hamlin struck the native, then kicked him until his body was a mass of ugly bruises.
(Adventures into Terror#5/text-story (fb) - BTS) - Hamlin had the black panther's head stuffed and mounted as a trophy, and it became the prize of his collection at his home in England.
(Adventures into Terror#5/text-story) - Hamlin's fawning friends admired the trophies that adorned the walls of his home. But deep down, Hamlin knew that the trophies weren't rightfully his, because he was a coward who always shot his prey from a safe distance.
For weeks afterward, Hamlin was tormented by nightmares of a black panther, and always he was the prey of the snarling beast. Even while awake, he imagined he heard the whispered pat-pat-pat of the feet of the creature.
During the day, Hamlin would sit and stare at the black panther's head--its lips were curled in a half-snarl/half-sneer over gleaming wicked teeth that had more than once been stained with blood. At night, Hamlin would lay in his bed, keeping his rifle as his nightly companion, and the native's warning pierced his fear-fogged brain.
But Hamlin realized he would be the laughingstock of all England if it were learned that the "great hunter" was afraid to be alone in his own house with a bunch of stuffed heads. He was determined to rid himself of the foolish notion that somewhere in his home, five thousand miles from the jungle, a black panther was stalking him. He went to confront his irrational fear by going to the trophy room, then seated himself in his favorite easy chair, with his big rifle settled comfortably across his bony knees. He watched the clock as its hands slowly crept towards midnight.
But suddenly from the darkened silence, a sound came drumming through Hamlin's brain--pat-pat-pat--mingled with the guttural growl of a panther sensing blood. His mouth twisted as he let out a horrified scream that shattered the quiet night. Then all was still, and nothing could be heard in Hamlin's home except the uncaring ticking of the clock.
Ben Hamlin was found the next morning, still sitting in his favorite easy chair in his trophy room, with his big rifle fallen to the floor. He looked as if he were sleeping...except that his throat had been cruelly slashed, almost as if by razor-sharp teeth...like those of a black panther.
But one couldn't tell anything about the sharpness of a panther's teeth from the head on Hamlin's trophy room wall, because its jaws--now unusually red--were closed...
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer.
Maybe the jungle where this black panther lived was somewhere
near Wakanda, and perhaps that unidentified "Jungle Goddess" was actually
an aspect of the Panther
God avenging the killing of one of her "children".
When this 2-page text-story was originally published, it was titled Black Vengeance; a few years later, it was reprinted in Uncanny Tales I#17 (February, 1954), where the title was changed to Beware of the Black Panther, and an illustration of Ben Hamlin was added (see his sub-profile).
But the black panther itself was not depicted, which is why there's no Main Image or statistical information about it--the best I could do was this profile's title, which was taken from part of the reprint.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
The black panther has no known connections to:
Ben Hamlin has no known connections to:
The wealthy Hamlin lived in a huge house in
England. He enjoyed hunting, and a room within his home was
adorned with the trophies of the animals he bagged.
But the puny Hamlin was a coward, and because he preferred to stay a safe distance from his prey, he always hunted with a powerful Kynoch .700 rifle (usually used for big game, such as elephants).
When he was hunting a black panther in Africa, Hamlin had his native gun-bearers do the dangerous work of driving the beast out in the open, while he shot the panther from a distance inside a car. Hamlin went to claim his prize, but one of the natives warned him that although the "Jungle Goddess" (see comments) would pardon a brave man for killing her children, she would not be so forgiving of a coward; Hamlin was enraged by the native's remark, so he struck him and kicked him until the native's body was a mass of bruises.
Hamlin had the panther's head made into a trophy, then displayed it in his home.
But Hamlin was later plagued by nightmares of being stalked by a black panther, so one night he sat before the trophy, determined to conquer his irrational fear.
The next morning, Hamlin was found sitting in his chair, with his throat cruelly slashed, as if by the razor-sharp teeth of a black panther...
--Adventures into Terror#5/text-story
images: (without ads)
Uncanny Tales I#17/text story: Beware the Black Panther, p2, pan1 (Ben Hamlin)
Adventures into Terror#5/text-story: Black Vengeance (August, 1951) - unidentified writer, Gene Colan (illustration), Stan Lee (editor)
Uncanny Tales I#17/text-story: reprinted as Beware of the Black Panther (February, 1954) - unidentified writer, Tony DiPreta (illustration), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 06/20/2020
Last updated: 06/20/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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