El MontanoReal Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human;
    citizenship/nationality unrevealed (possibly African and/or Middle Eastern)

Occupation Drug lord, slaver, crime lord

Group Membership: Leader of his own unidentified criminal organization

Affiliations: Formerly Abdullah and other unidentified minions

Enemies: French government, Fulani tribe, Shanna the She-Devil, S.H.I.E.L.D. (including agent Jakuna Singh); to some extent, most official law enforcement agencies in the world

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None:
    the narrator described him as the man-mountain;
    Shanna called him Bloated One, Hippo Hocks and the schemer;
    his minion Abdullah called him "the effendi", a honorary title of Ottoman origin meaning "lord" or "master"

Base of Operations: A fortress-palace covered by Neolithic ruins, in the northern periphery of the Sahara Desert

First Appearance: Shanna the She-Devil I#2 (February, 1973)

El MontanoPowers/Abilities: Although overweight and prone to hedonistic pleasures, El Montano was a surprisingly quick and effective fighter who could batter a man with his two hands, and his mass was such that hitting him with naked limbs caused some pain to the attacker. He was proficient with the bull whip, his weapon of choice, and could run surprisingly fast for a man of his weight.

    Bigoted, el Montano claimed to be superior to any woman in both speed and intelligence, but his encounter with Shanna the She-Devil proved him wrong.

    El Montano usually had binoculars available, wore a watch on his left wrist and surrounded himself with several subordinates, going from specialized technicians to guards armed with semiautomatic guns.

    El Montano had access to huge amounts of money for his plans. His slavers captured mostly male prisoners in tribal compounds and transported them to the nearby palace in sand yachts.

    His palace in the northern borders of the Sahara desert was also an almost-unassailable fortress with apparently miles of corridors and different construction style, from the ostentation of his own pleasure spaces with slaves, to the granite-buttressed corridors in dungeons hewn from the rock, to the technical accuracy of his control missile rooms, to even the pits to punish slaves or the cages of at least four Siberian guard-wolves that he released whenever a slave tried to escape. Armed guards in thawbs (Arabic ankle-length robes) patrolled the surrounding areas.

Height: Unrevealed (at least 7', if not significantly taller)
Weight: Approximately 500 pounds (he was referenced as weighing 1/4 ton; roughly 227 kilograms)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Bald
Distinguishing features: Gold ring in his left ear.
    His gums show a separation between the teeth: The maxillary central incisors are visibly apart from the maxillary lateral incisors.
    The normal human dentition is six maxillary incisions, medial, central, and lateral on each side, with the lateral incisors being next to the canine teeth. It looks like he only has three incisors, which may be accurate for him, or may just be artistic license.

History: El Montano(Shanna the She-Devil I#2 - BTS) - A master criminal wanted by most police agencies in the world, supposedly guilty of many important crimes, el Montano decided to steal a French rocket after its launch, detouring it from the intended Moon destination. El Montano stole technological equipment, losing four agents in the process, and bribed a French technician, but managed to hide half a ton of cocaine in the rocket; by stealing it, he'd have access to both the drug and the machine, which he intended to ransom to the French authorities. El Montano estimated that he could buy one thousand new slaves with his profits. While preparing for this plot, el Montano sent his slaver agents to Fulani tribe compounds near his fortress. International peacekeeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D. knew of el Montano's activities, schemes, and HQ, and they sought to stop him.

(Shanna the She-Devil I#2) - S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Akuna Singh recruited African-based jungle adventurer Shanna the She-Devil to infiltrate el Montano's fortress and stop his rocket hijacking. Shanna agreed, although she was more interested in rescuing the slaves. Shanna approached the palace with only her pet leopards Ina and Biri as companions, but she and the animals were apprehended by el Montano's guards led by Abdullah. El Montano ordered to keep them all to skin the big cats later, then went to his missile control room to oversee the technician's operation in the rocket hijacking. Shanna and the animals escaped, killing the guard.

El Montano falls to his apparent death    El Montano was notified just after the rocket launch; Shanna attacked at that point, damaging the control room's consoles. El Montano confronted Shanna with his whip, but she disarmed him; however, el Montano had a chance to call for more guards. El Montano tried to escape when Shanna defeated his entourage, damaging the control room beyond repair. Chased by Shanna and her leopards, el Montano vainly unleased Siberian wolves on her. El Montano tried to walk on a ramp over a shaft where unruly slaves were disciplined, but the catwalk broke and the prisoners, eager to get revenge on el Montano, jumped on him, and then Shanna joined the fray.

    Immediately after that, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Singh and French soldiers arrived to apprehend the criminals on the rocket crime charges, and to release the slaves. El Montano was apparently killed, and the rocket landed on the moon, with El Montano's drug still on board.

Comments: Created by Carole Seuling (writer) and Ross Andru (art).

    El Montano appears exclusively in Shanna the She-Devil I#3 (February, 1973). Jim Steranko's cover shows Shannah in a cell harassed by yellow hyaenas that do not appear in the story and are probably intended to be the Siberian wolves with wrong colouring and art details.

    Montano is an Italian, Spanish and Portuguese surname, indeed meaning "the one from the mountains." It is a derivative of Latin name Montanus, who founded the Christian movement named Montanism in the 2nd century. Montano could be this character's surname, but "El" (Spanish for "the") cannot be his first name; "El Montano" is more likely an alias, a reference of him being a man-mountain (not to be confused with Man Mountain Marko).

    In the last scene, Jakuna Singh arrives and claims that Shanna is "unharmed." However, at the very least, a Siberian wolf had bitten her left wrist and made her bleed. Singh may have not noticed this.

    This profile was completed 11/25/2020, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.

Profile by Skippy Farlstendoiro.


El Montano has no known connections to:


Abdullah    Abdullah was one of el Montano's favored minions. An Arab, he dressed a striped red vest without shirt underneath, green trousers, a wristband on his left arm and a yellow knit cap, instead of the thawbs most other guards wore; and he wielded a scimitar instead of a semiautomatic gun; he also had access to chloroform as a means to subdue prisoners without killing them. El Montano called Abdullah by his name, except when insulting him as "clumsy pig." Other nicknames he received, uttered by Shanna the She-Devil, included fleshmonger and sadistic killer, although Abdullah claimed to have never murdered anyone.

    When Shanna the She-Devil raided el Montano's palace in the night, she was intercepted by Abdullah and his guards. Using superior numbers, they subdued and knocked down Shanna and netted her companion leopards, Biri and Ini. Abdullah used chloroform on the prisoners, then ordered the guards to tie and gag them (using nosemasks on the tigers to keep them unconscious) before showing the captives to el Montano. Satisfied, el Montano ordered Abdullah to throw the prisoners to a cell, being careful to not damage their skins as they were valuable. Abdullah indeed threw Shanna and her big cats into a cell -- the same cell for the three of them, which was a mistake.

    Shanna ungagged her trained tiger Ina so she would untie Shanna with her fangs. She then pretended to be attacked by the animals so that the guard would enter to help, only to find himself the target of three enemies at once. Shanna sent the carnivores against Abdullah and contemplated as they tore him to pieces before escaping.

    Another guard would eventually find Abdullah's corpse in Shanna's cell and reported to el Montano that the prisoners had escaped.

--"Shanna the She-Devil I#2

Shanna the She-Devil I#2 page 21 pan 1
Shanna the She-Devil I#2 page 1 pan 1
Shanna the She-Devil I#2 page 21 pan 2
Shanna the She-Devil I#2 page 31 pan 1 (falls to death)
Shanna the She-Devil I#2 page 18 pan 1 (Abdullah)

Shanna the She-Devil I#2 (February, 1973)  - Carole Seuling (writers), Ross Andru (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)

First posted: 09/28/2021
Last updated: 09/27/2021

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