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The Devil Ladies (Rulah, Jungle Goddess)

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The Devil Ladies

The Devil ladies are a gang of henchwomen to a male arch villain who are up against Rulah, the white jungle heroine, in a 1940s comic book. There's no indication they actually call themselves Devil Ladies, this is simply the title used for the story based on them being evil women in Devilish costumes.

Appear in -

Rulah, Jungle Goddess "The Devil Ladies"

[Jungle Goddess no 19 ]

(Fox Feature Syndicate October 1948)

The story

Peters, the war mongering evil agent for an unnamed foreign power, employs a group of vicious women to carry out his dirty work in Africa. They are disguised to look like devils to frighten the superstitious natives, who, in raids on their village, they first terrorize and kill - then kidnap in order to be used in human experiments being conducted in the gang's hq, based in an abandoned mine. The experiment seems to be to assess the effectiveness of the fire shooting guns carried by the henchwomen. Peters also instructs his henchwomen to kill Rulah, the jungle heroine, who represents a threat to their plans. Rulah takes on the gang, infiltrating their hq in disguise as a Devil Lady. Despite being captured at one point, Rulah, along with a native man, manages to defeat Peters and his henchwomen. The mine is blown up by Peters himself, who switches the destruct mechanism on as he tries to escape (he fails to, he's shot by a flame gun fired by Rulah and falls into a vat of boiling liquid).

Appearance -

The Devil Ladies are all young white women, dressed alike in most of the story in red catsuit type Devil costumes.

Characters -

The Devil Ladies are very ruthless - completely at ease with killing and kidnapping defenseless people. The unscrupulous and murderous women fire their flame guns at their native captives to experimentally test the weapons for effectiveness.

Weapons -

They are all armed with weapons which resemble rifles, but which shoot flame instead of bullets.

Demise -

Lona, who is the leading Devil Lady, along with another henchwoman, hunt  for Rulah. In the course of this hunt, they encounter a tiger (a tiger in Africa?). Lona's flame gun accidentally discharges, shooting dead the other henchwoman. Rulah jumps down from a tree , knocking her gun aside, she KO's Lona. Rulah swaps clothes with Lona to infiltrate the gang's base. Believing Lona is a captured Rulah, Peters hurls his hapless trussed up henchwoman into a vat of boiling liquid. After Rulah is captured, a native, following her earlier instructions, arrives at the mine, having somehow got hold of a flame gun. He saves Rulah from being shot by the henchwomen at the last second, then all the Devil Ladies are killed with their own guns by Rulah and her native ally.

Viewpoint -

Fox Features Syndicate were among the most prurient and violent of the pre - code comic publishers. Those qualities are certainly on display in this story, with the sexy costumes of Rulah and her adversaries, callous mass murdering villains, and some exceptionally grisly deaths. This is a rare example of Rulah in a story taking on not just one but many female villains - who aren't "Amazon" types.

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