CAVE GIRLMedium: Comic books
Published by: Magazine Enterprises
First Appeared: 1952
Creators: Gardner Fox (writer) and Bob Powell (artist)
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During most of her brief tenure as a comic book hero, Cave Girl was just a white jungle goddess no different from any other white jungle goddess, from Camilla to Jann. But Cave Girl started out with an additional schtick. Like the slightly older Thun'da, she was originally located in a particularly remote part of the jungle, where prehistoric fauna (at least, the more visually-interesting kind) continued to thrive just like they did on Dinosaur Island. But outsiders reached her
hideaway early on, and Cave Girl became just another chick traipsing through the verdure, with no particularly outstanding characteristics to distinguish her from Rulah, Tygra or anybody else.
She'd originally been named Carol by her parents, who wound up getting murdered by savages in the jungle where they'd been staying in recent years, when Carol was still a toddler. While this was going on, Carol was carried off by an eagle, who took her far away, beyond the mountains natives called The Barrier of the Moon, to The Dawn Lands, where things were much as they'd been long ago. There, instead of feeding Carol to its young, the bird left her to be raised by Kattu, the wolf.
Under Kattu's tutelage, the youngster soon forgot the name "Carol", and responded to "Cave Girl", which is what the locals, referred to as "Hairy Men" (science knew their type as Neanderthals), called her, referring to her choice of abode. By watching the Hairy Men carefully, Cave Girl taught herself how to use the spear, knife, and even bow & arrow. As she grew to adulthood, their king, Pood, following the most inviolable cliché of jungle adventure, that every self-respecting primate from a lemur on up wants to plant his seed in the white woman, lusted after her. But she fought back, so Pood and his cohorts wound up dead.
It was shortly after the Pood adventure that civilization breached the Barrier of the Moon and entered The Dawn Lands. which metamorphosed right about then into just another part of the jungle. She picked up with a white hunter named Luke Hardin, and from then on, she was just another jungle girl with a boyfriend in a standard jungle-adventuring profession. She did have a less attractive male sidekick, Bobo, a Pygmy outcast.
Cave Girl was published by Magazine Enterprises, the small publisher that was responsible for '40s and '50s characters like The Ghost Rider and The Avenger. She first appeared in 1952, in the back pages of Thun'da's second issue, also designated A-1 Comics #56. The story was written by Gardner Fox, who was responsible for Moon Girl as well as Adam Strange, and drawn by Bob Powell (The Marksman, The Man in Black). The title, A-1 Comics, was used much like Dell used Four-Color Comics, a catch-all title that ME used for licensed characters like Texas Slim, home-grown properties like White Indian, and whatever else happened to come along.
Fox and Powell continued to write and draw Cave Girl as she continued to appear in Thun'da's back pages, as well as when, the following year, she continued in her own set of A-1 issues (which Thun'da appeared in the back pages of), starting with the 82nd issue (which was also listed as Cave Girl #11, and what became of the first ten issues is unclear). Cave Girl, still by Fox and Powell, continued into three more issues of A-1 until 1955. Her final appearance was in #137, titled Africa.
In 1988, Cave Girl was reprinted by AC Comics (Fighting Yank, Ms. Victory), which has continued to use her in its ever-burgeoning universe of formerly-defunct comic book heroes. AC once even tried to place her in a vine-swinging version of its Femforce, along with Nyoka the Jungle Girl, Princess Pantha and other jungle dwellers of the past.
In this shadowy form of quasi-existence, Cave Girl could, like (for example) Phantom Lady, at least under a variety of names, continue for years.