cole-jackson-explorers_club-announceJACKSON COLE

Real Name: Jackson Cole

Identity/Class: Human;
    active around 1954 AD;

Occupation: Adventurer

Group Membership: Eastern Explorers' Club

Affiliations: Formerly Abena, Narim

Enemies: Abena, Narim, werewolf of Mount Ka;
    opposed by the locals of the nearby Kashmir village (although, as they were attempting to save him from death, perhaps they were really allies...)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations:
    formerly frequented the Eastern Explorer's Club
    last seen atop Mount Ka, near or in Kashmir

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#31/5 (August, 1954)

Powers/Abilities: Though not as accomplished as the more experienced members of the Explorer's Club, Jackson Cole was sufficiently experienced and skilled to climb most of the second largest mountain in the world in 26 hours, mostly without assistance.

    Jackson was also experienced and using a handgun.

    It is not specified whether he flew his own plane or was a passenger.33

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6')
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 190 lbs.)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown (including mustache)

cole-jackson-explorers_club-faceHistory:
(
Strange Tales I#31/5 (fb) - BTS) - Most meetings of the Eastern Explorers' Club meant a quiet relaxing evening.

(Strange Tales I#31/5 (fb) - BTS) - The only member of the club who had never distinguished himself by any spectacular feats, Jackson Cole announced to the Eastern Explorers' Club that he planned to climb Mount Ka, the second highest peak in the world.

(Strange Tales I#31/5) - Cole's friends exploded in protest, warning him that it was suicide and that no man had ever done it, specifically noting that the ascent was an impossible sheer drop and that the whole peak was covered in ice and hidden fog. Insisting that he would be the first man to climb Mount Ka, or he would die in the attempt; he continued that there was nothing they could say to stop him and that he was leaving for Kashmir in the morning: "If Everest can be conquered then so can Mount Ka...and I'm going to plant our flag at the top!"

(Strange Tales I#31/5 (fb) - BTS) - Two days later, the view of the mountain range from his plane set Cole's spirits afire.

(Strange Tales I#31/5) - Landing in Kashmir, Cole reaffirmed his desire to show everyone by being the first to climb the peak, which would make him famous.

(Strange Tales I#31/5 (fb) - BTS) - Cole spent a week checking up the experience of various guides to determine who could be depended on to stay with him.

(Strange Tales I#31/5) - As Cole hired Narim and Abena, instructing them to start gathering the supplies they'd need for the journey, the men insisted he pay them in advance, so that if they did not return, their families would have money. cole-jackson-explorers_club-scaling

    On the day before the climb was to begin, Cole was met with a delegation of irate locals who told him that while they couldn't prevent him from making the attempt, they strongly opposed it, noting that he must realize he could not expect to survive. After Cole noted nothing would dissuade him, the locals told him that he was as fool, and his bones would most certainly be left somewhere along the Ka summit.

    Before the next dawn, Cole and his party began their climb. They made good time initially, but as they scaled a sheer drop, a loose rock caused Abena to lose his balance and leave both guides hanging from the rope attached to Cole. Narim urged Cole to wrap his rope around a jutting rock to prevent them all from being pulled down, but Cole couldn't reach it and felt himself slipping. Despite their protests, Cole saved himself by cutting the ropes and causing the guides to fall to their apparent deaths, blaming their clumsiness for their fates; he resolved that when he got back, he'd just tell everyone that the rope had snapped and no one would ever know.

    Cole pressed on, despite the heights and icy gusts that nearly tore him from his foothold, the overwhelming drive for fame and to accomplish his goal driving him upward. Finally, he reached the level of the thick fogs that surrounded the peak

    After 26 hours of agonizing climbing, Cole reached the summit of Mount Ka, but the cry of triumph died on is lips as he saw numerous empty food cans. Denying the evidence before his eyes, Cole insisted that he had to be the first man to reach the stop. Smelling and then seeing a flicker of flame through the dense fog, Cole approached, seeing a human form by the fire. Refusing to be cheated of his glory, Cole decided to kill the man so he could never refute his claims, and he shot the stranger in the back, insisting that the history books would speak of him as the first man to climb Mount Ka.

    Unphased by the bullet, the stranger turned and leapt at Cole, revealing himself to be a werewolf and noting that while Cole was the first "man," no books would mention him...

Comments: Created by unidentified writer and Bill Savage.

    Cole's fate was never shown, so we don't know if the werewolf devoured him, leaving him permanently dead, or just scratched and/or bit him, leaving Cole to turn into a werewolf himself.
    Perhaps there's a story to be told here...

    So, by my never-wrong internet research, Mount Ka is 1 foot shy of being the second tallest mountain on Earth, as K2 is 28,251 feet above sea level. However, the fact that K2 was first scaled in July, 1954 and the way it is described as being such a deadly climb makes me think that perhaps Mount Ka was meant to be a reference/homage to K2.

    It's not clear from the text balloons which characters are in which positions, but Cole is shown to be in the red jacket and at the top in the first image of them scaling the mountain, so the text balloons in the final image on the second story page are in the wrong positions.

Per Wikipedia:
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal Range. Modern usage of the term encompasses a larger area that includes the Indian-administered territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and Chinese-administered territories of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.
    And, of course, it is the subject and title of a great song by Led Zeppelin.

    Thanks to John Holstein, aka Gammatotem, for the inspiration (and the research to gather a listing of the various appearances and members) to profile the Explorers' Club and its members. This is the first in a series of Explorers' Club members.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Jackson Cole
should be distinguished from:

Mount Ka has no known connection to:




cole-jackson-explorers_club-narim&abenacole-jackson-explorers_club-narim&abena-scalingAbena & Narim

    Abena and Narim were residents of Kashmir, serving as guides for mountain climbs.

(Strange Tales I#31/5 (fb) - BTS) - Landing in Kashmir, Jackson Cole spent a week checking up the experience of various guides to determine who could be depended on to stay with him.

(Strange Tales I#31/5) - As Cole hired Narim and Abena, instructing them to start gathering the supplies they'd need for the journey, the men insisted he pay them in advance, so that if they did not return, their families would have money.

    Before the next dawn, Cole and his party began their climb. They made good time initially, but as they scaled a sheer drop, a loose rock caused Abena to lose his balance and leave both guides hanging from the rope attached to Cole.

    Narim urged Cole to wrap his rope around a jutting rock to prevent them all from being pulled down, but Cole couldn't reach it and felt himself slipping. Despite their protests, Cole saved himself by cutting the ropes and causing the guides to fall to their apparent deaths, blaming their clumsiness for their fates.

    Cole resolved that when he got back, he'd just tell everyone that the rope had snapped and no one would ever know.

--Strange Tales I#31/5

Note: Abena and Narim apparently perished from the fall (actually, from the impact), but that is not confirmed


cole-jackson-explorers_khasmir_locals-fullcole-jackson-explorers_khasmir_locals-facesKashmir protestors

   A group of villagers living in proximity of Mount Ka opposed any efforts to scale the mountain, which they considered to be impossible.

(Strange Tales I#31/5 (fb) - BTS) - Jackson Cole arrived in Kashmir and spent a week evaluating guides to assist in his scaling Mount Ka.

(Strange Tales I#31/5) - On the day before Jackson Cole's climb was to begin, a delegation of irate locals confronted him.

    The villagers told Cole that while they couldn't prevent him from making the attempt, they strongly opposed it, noting that he must realize he could not expect to survive.

    After Cole noted nothing would dissuade him, the locals told him that he was as fool, and his bones would most certainly be left somewhere along the Ka summit.

--Strange Tales I#31/5

cole-jackson-explorers_club-mountkaMount Ka
    28,250 feet tall, Mount Ka was considered to be the second tallest mountain on Earth (see comments).

    Mount Ka arises from Kashmir.

    Beyond its sheer height,
the ascent was considered an impossible sheer drop.

    The whole peak was covered in ice and hidden fog.

(Strange Tales I#31/5 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, a werewolf climbed Mount Ka and made it's summit his home.

(Strange Tales I#31/5) - Denying all warnings from friends and locals , Explorers' Club member Jackson Cole flew to Kashmir and recruited Narim and Abena to help him scale Mount Ka.

    After Narim and Abena lost their grips and were left hanging by ropes attached to Cole, Cole cut them free to fall to their deaths in order to save himself.

    Upon reaching the summit, Cole learned that while he was the first MAN to successfully climb Mount Ka, he wasn't the first being, as he was confronted by the resident werewolf.

--
Strange Tales I#31/5

Note: The main image in the main profile shows a picture of the mountain peak in a poster behind Cole.

    Ka is the Egyptian term for the spirit in a duplicate form of the body

cole-jackson-explorers_club-werewolfcole-jackson-explorers_club-werewolf-shotWerewolf of Mount Ka

    The werewolf was in wolf-man hybrid form, and it is unclear whether it can achieve fully lupine or fully human form like many werewolves.

    It certainly had enlarged, sharp claws and canine teeth. Presumably those it scratched were transformed into werewolves as well. Presumably only those who survived the werewolf attack became werewolves, but that's obviously unconfirmed.

    There werewolf was obviously unharmed by a conventional bullet, which presumably indicated that silver bullets or other silver weapons could harm it.

    The werewolf was almost certainly superhumanly strong and swift, likely with enhanced nocturnal vision, olfactory senses, and hearing...

(
Strange Tales I#31/5 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, a werewolf climbed Mount Ka and made it's summit his home. He had a supply of canned food to feed him for an undetermined period of time, and he littered the summit with empty cans and other food trash.

    To keep warm and/or just because he enjoyed it and/or to cook some food, the werewolf would sometimes make a fire and sit around it.

(Strange Tales I#31/5) - The werewolf was sitting around a fire when Jackson Cole reached the summit. Drawn to the fire and assuming the figure he saw to be another person, Cole shot the werewolf so no one would ever know he wasn't the first man up there. Unharmed by the gushot to the head or back, the werewolf turned and charged at Cole, noting that he was the first MAN to climb the mountain, but that no books were going to mention him (presumably because the werewolf was going to kill him).

--
Strange Tales I#31/5

Note: There's not much to work on here:

When did the werewolf climb Mount Ka?
    No information is given. Since he seemed to be surviving off of canned food, you'd think it wouldn't have been that long, but it's possible that he periodically climbed down the mountain to replenish his supplies.

Why did the werewolf climb Mount Ka?
    ...uh...because it was there? No information is given

Why did the werewolf stay on the summit?
    No information is given. Perhaps he enjoyed the solitude? Maybe he was trying to avoid attacking other people? Maybe he was magically banished there. Who knows?

Was the werewolf a werewolf?
    Certainly the creature was a lupine-humanoid/"wolf-man," but it's only Cole that calls him a werewolf in the very last panel, and it is neither conrfirmed nor refuted, meaning he could have been a mutant, an Inhuman, or some other branch of humanity or a Hidden race. He could have been an extraterrestrial or extradimensional, or any number of variants. Despite the masculine werewolf form, it's also possible that the creature was a woman...or a female of whatever species it was.
    The whole point of the story was that it wasn't just a "man," making Cole the first man to reach the top of Mount Ka.

Did the werewolf kill Cole?
    It's statement implied that it intended to kill Cole, but perhaps it just intended to transform him into a werewolf and so he would have a companion. Cole's fate was not confirmed anywhere as far as I know.

images: (without ads)
Strange Tales I#31/5, pg. 1, panel 1 (podium; face-full; picture of Mount Ka);
          panel 2 (Explorers' Club members);
          panel 3 (face-partial-close);
       pg. 2, panel 2 (Narim & Abena);
          panel 3-4 (Kashmir locals; full & face);
          panel 6 ((scaling, Cole, Narim & Abena);
       pg. 3, panel 2 (mountainside);
          panel 6 (Cole, full, scaling);
       pg. 4, panel 6-7 (werewolf)


Appearances:
Strange Tales I#31/5 "The First Man" (August, 1954) - Bill Savage (artist)


First posted: 06/25/2020
Last updated: 06/26/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters