Strange Adventures #34: "The Lady Or The Tiger-Man"

Strange Adventures #34
"The Lady Or The Tiger-Man"

Story: John Broome
Art: Murphy Anderson

Adam Blake has just returned from a trip and meets Professor Zackro
outside the Midwest City Public Library.  Since the information clerk has
to be at his desk shortly, it will take but a few seconds to use his
mental telepathy to project his story.  Captain Comet was heading through
space in his Cometeer...

In an unexplored galaxy, the Captain came across an inhabited world, but
as he steered the Cometeer towards the green planet, a field of sheer
mental force sends him some ten light years away.  The ship heads once
again for the small world, with a telepathic command urging the pilot to
steer clear.  After landing the Cometeer, Captain Comet discovers an
inhabited city with evidence of an advanced civilization.  Inside the
city, the man of the future sees that the citizens are all in a trance.
Using his telepathy to read a pedestrian's mind, Captain Comet sees that
they are all slaves of a mind dictator.

The mental commands were coming from the center of town -- from a
castle-like structure.  As he neared the castle, the commands reversed
themselves, and now urged Captain Comet to enter.  A moat of molten metal
stood between the Captain and the castle, with the mind dictator urging
him to approach.  At the last moment, a bridge descends, enabling the
future man to enter the castle.  He is now in the presence of the Mind
Dictator, who introduces himself as Esklon -- the planetary ruler.  Since
Captain Comet disobeyed his orders not to approach the planet, he must
listen to his fate.

Esklon draws back a curtain, revealing two glass doors... Behind one is a
lovely young woman.  Behind the other door is an angry Tiger-Man.
Captain Comet is to pass through one of the two doors. One door
represents life, while the other stands for death.  He has half a minute
to decide...  Esklon has foreseen the possibility of his refusal.  Since
the Mind Dictator is in control of everyone on the green world, he can
destroy all of them.  Not wanting to be responsible for the death of a
planet, the man of the future must make his choice.  Captain Comet's own
mental powers senses that Esklon wants him to open the door with the
young woman.  Since this is the case, the future man opens the door -- to
the Tiger-Man.

The Tiger-Man moves swiftly and grapples with the Captain.  His charge
knocks the man of the future off his feet, and causes his ray-gun to fall
from his holster.  He must now use his bare hands against the unrelenting
creature.   His super-fast reflexes enable him to land a punch to the
Tiger-Man's jaw, but this only serves to further anger him.  When the
fatal feline leaps at him, the Captain uses a wrestling trick to send him
flying backwards.  As both combatants rise to their feet, the future man
sees Esklon aiming his ray-gun at them.

The weapon is fired and the Tiger-Man is now dead.  It was he who was the
true Mind Dictator, but during the fight, his mental control relaxed long
enough for Esklon to break free.  A hidden bomb would have gone off if
Captain Comet had opened the door with the young woman.  The bomb is
disarmed and the man of the future is introduced to Esklon's sister,
Rana.  As he prepares to leave the emerald world, Captain Comet is giving
thanks by the many citizens, but doesn't see one person in particular.
After take-off, the Cometeer is on its way to Earth, with Rana surprising
the Captain.  She wants to learn what she can on Earth and was afraid
that Captain Comet might have refused her request.  The Captain agrees to
her request and returned with him to Earth.  It only took three seconds
for Professor Zackro to "see" Adam's story, but he is still skeptical
about what happened.  Adam Blake smiles, then introduces his friend to
the new library assistant -- Rana.  She is pleased to meet any friend of
--er-- Adam Blake.

Captain Comet must choose between the lady or the Tiger-Man in this
six-page story.

This story was reprinted in Superman #244 (November, 1971).

There was a Tiger-Man in Buck Rogers In The Twenty-Fifth Century.

There is a Tiger-Man in the Omega Men.

Another librarian heroine was Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl.

Esklon is bald and wears a white suit.  His face resembles a skull with
piercing eyes and a deadly grin.

Rana is wearing a costume which is similar in color to the one worn by

Rana is the Spanish word for frog.

Professor Zackro is at a loss for words when he meets Rana.  As rendered
by Murphy Anderson, the new library assistant is out of this world.

Steve Chung
"The Lady Or The Review"