Rima’s First Comic-Book Appearance (right) Alex Blum’s painted artwork to the cover of Classics Illustrated #90 (Dec. 1951), adapting Green Mansions, and (left) the splash page to that issue, introducing the cast. © 1951 Gilberton Company, Inc.
to entice it on to her hand; and the hand appeared to which made it appear somewhat vague and distant, tempt it greatly, for it persistently hopped up and down, and a greenish grey seemed the prevailing colour.” turning rapidly about this way and that, flirting its While Hudson’s Green Mansions predated wings and tail, and always appearing just on Vladmir Nabokov’s Lolita by some five the point of dropping on to her finger.” decades, the fascination of Abel— Hudson’s Rima is not the statuesque of unknown age but clearly a grown Amazon who would populate the DC man—with this seductive nymph is at Universe in the 1970s: She was first alarming to the contemporary “small, not above four feet six or reader (Nabokov’s Lolita, incidentally, seven inches in height, in figure slim, was 14). One must remember, with delicately shaped little hands though, that during the era in which and feet.” The voyeur Abel continues Green Mansions was written, Mayto assess Rima’s looks: “Her hair was December marriages were still common, very wonderful; it was loose and as adult men often took as brides abundant, and seemed wavy or teenage girls and young women in curly, falling in a cloud on her their child-bearing prime. w. h. hudson shoulders and arms. Dark it Abel braves an encounter with this appeared, but the precise tint was vision, stepping out of the brush to interdeterminable, as was that of her skin, which looked greet her—and is bitten by a venomous coral snake, neither brown nor white. Altogether, near to me as she protecting Rima by striking what it thought to be an actually was, there was a kind of mistiness in the figure attack against her. Stumbling into unconsciousness as the toxin takes hold, Abel later awakens in a hut. He meets an old man named Nuflo, who calls himself Rima’s grandfather, and learns that he was saved by the girl called Rima. Each member of this unlikely trio is an outcast: Abel, the nomad; Rima, the fetching oddity whose empathy with birds and wildlife defies logic; and Nuflo, a reformed bandit who has dedicated himself to caring for the girl he has taken under his wing. Together, they form an unorthodox family as Abel becomes intoxicated with both the ethereal Rima and the lush environment of “green mansions” in which she resides. Any initial discomfort one might have experienced over Abel’s preoccupation with Rima quickly fades, as Hudson’s lyrical romance entrances the reader. He writes, in the first person through Abel, that Rima’s pigmentation “would be almost impossible to describe, so greatly did it vary with every change of mood— and the moods were many and transient—and with
32 • BACK ISSUE • Born to be Wild Issue
Jungle and barbarian characters that are “Born To Be Wild”! Shanna fans will be bedazzled by a star-studded line-up of creators who tell all...