Real Name: Rudy Rudolph

Identity/Class: Human technology user (see comments) (1950s era)

Occupation: Criminal, trading post operator

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Greg Knight, Lorna, Mikki

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: His trading post, somewhere in the jungles of Africa

First Appearance: Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4 (December, 1953)

Powers/Abilities: A seemingly ordinary man, Rudolph wore a costume to make himself appear to be a giant vulture. The costume allowed him to silently fly through the air, and was also equipped with razor-sharp talons.

Height: Unrevealed (5' 8"; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (150 lbs.; by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown (balding)

(Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Rudy Rudolph is largely unrevealed, but at some point, he established a trading post in the African jungle.

   Rudolph was hired by a company to handle shipments of diamonds from the jungle to the coast. But at some point, he devised a scheme to steal the precious gems, and he created a costume to disguise himself as a giant vulture. On five separate occasions, he hired individual men to carry the shipments on foot through the jungle, past a mountainous region known as Vulture's Roost -- Rudolph would then await each one there in his costume, and as the Vulture, he attacked and killed the couriers, and stole the diamonds for himself.

(Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4) - Rudolph hired Greg Knight to carry the next shipment of diamonds -- he told Greg about the five other men who had been found dead at Vulture's Roost, and that the diamonds they were carrying were missing. Greg thought that something "fishy" was going on, because vultures don't kill... and don't steal diamonds! Rudolph then mentioned that his whole career depended on Greg getting these diamonds to the coast, otherwise the company would never hire him again if they also ended up missing; but Greg assured him that he'd get the shipment through -- unbeknownst to the two men, Lorna was in a tree, eavesdropping on their conversation, and she decided that she had better go along with Greg, to ensure that he didn't become the sixth victim.

   The next morning, Greg took the bag of diamonds and began his trek through the jungle; but when he discovered Lorna behind him, he reluctantly allowed her to follow along ("...but keep out of my hair!").

(Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4 - BTS) - Meanwhile, Rudolph donned his costume and awaited Greg at Vulture's Roost.

(Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4) - When Greg and Lorna neared the Roost, where the other carriers had been killed, he called back and cautioned her to stay alert, because she was only "a helpless girl"; but unbeknownst to Greg, Lorna had secretly slipped away into the jungle, to see if she could spot anything suspicious.

   While Greg unknowingly walked alone by the Roost, the Vulture was watching him from a cliff; the giant bird picked up a rock in its talon and threw it at Greg's head -- although he only suffered a glancing blow, the momentarily stunned Greg collapsed to the ground. Soundlessly, the Vulture spread its wings and swept down the side of the cliff toward its victim. But just as it reached out with its talon, ready to slash Greg's face to mangled ribbons, it was distracted by the sound of the returning Lorna's voice; the Vulture quickly grabbed the bag of diamonds from the unconscious Greg and flew back to its craggy perch.

   Greg revived just as Lorna reached him, and discovered that he'd been robbed, for the diamonds were gone -- Lorna told him he was lucky, because all the other couriers were robbed and killed! Suddenly, Lorna's monkey Mikki came running excitedly, because he had seen something alarming. Greg and Lorna continued down the trail to investigate, but as they neared the Vulture's perch, the giant bird came swooping down at them. Seeing the approaching danger in the sky, Lorna pushed Greg to the ground and unsheathed her knife, then she stabbed the Vulture at the base of its left wing and sliced open the side of the costume, causing the giant "bird" to crash to the ground.

   After recovering the stolen bag of diamonds from inside the costume, Lorna grabbed the Vulture's beak and pulled off the mask, revealing to the shocked Greg that the culprit was actually Rudy Rudolph. After forcing Rudolph out of his ruined costume, Greg escorted him away at gunpoint, while Lorna explained Rudolph's plot: He was the only one who knew the path that the diamond carriers took, and after killing them, he reported the thefts to the company that hired him, then blamed the vultures that lived in the area...but he had overlooked the fact that vultures don't kill.

Comments: Created by Don Rico and Werner Roth.

This was only a 6-page story, and there really weren't any good full-size images of Rudolph when he wasn't in the Vulture costume.

I'm only assuming that Rudolph's ability to fly came entirely from the mechanical contraption that was his Vulture costume, and not from some supernatural or paranormal power he possessed.

I wonder if Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were "inspired" by this story, way back when they needed to come up with a villain for the second issue of Amazing Spider-Man (see clarifications).

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

The Vulture (Rudy Rudolph) has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4, p6, pan1 (Main Image - Rudy Rudolph in Vulture costume; Greg Knight and Lorna (foreground))
Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4, p2, pan8 (Headshot - Rudy Rudolph (right profile))
Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4, p5, pan6 (Rudy Rudolph in Vulture costume, swooping down from perch at Vulture's Roost)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4, p6, pan5 (Lorna pulls off mask and reveals the Vulture to be Rudy Rudolph to shocked Greg Knight)
Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4, p6, pan6 (Rudy Rodolph captured by Lorna and Greg Knight; discarded Vulture costume on ground (right))

Lorna, the Jungle Queen#4/4 (December, 1953) - Don Rico (writer), Werner Roth (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 02/23/2022
Last updated: 02/23/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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