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Korak, Son of Tarzan (1964) - #19
"The Living Fire"
Gold Key

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Gaylord DuBois

Warren Tufts

Warren Tufts

Cover Artist(s):
George Wilson

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Cover Date: October 1967
Cover Price: US $ 0.12

Issue Tagline: None.

Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue

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While riding a Dyal in lost Pal-Ul-Don, Korak watches a glider plane crash land in the snow. He pulls a beautiful young blond girl named Gail MacLeod from the wreck unhurt. As they ride down the mountain, the Dyal steps into a broken snow cornice and they fall into a deep crevasse. The bird is killed but Korak and Gail are not seriously injured. They spend the night together beside a warm volcanic steam-crevasse. The next day they come upon some ancient ruins, and as they approach they are captured by pygmy Hottentots on baby elephants. The guards take them into a passage carved out the side of a volcanic mountain. There Korak is taken alone before a beautiful queen who speaks to him in ancient Latin, which he recognizes from his early schooling in England. She lovingly informs him that he is the modern reincarnation of her original great lover, a Roman general named Horatius. To prove it to the skeptical son of Tarzan, she shows him the perfectly preserved body of Horatius, which does bear an uncanny resemblance to Korak. Iris explains that they must go through a ritual of eternal youth so that he may be as she is. Still not convinced, Korak switches the ritual wine they must drink while Iris is distracted, in case it is some kind of drug. Iris then takes him with her into a secret chamber that contains what appears to be a brightly glowing radioactive substance. Next to that is a fountain of youth. Iris urges Korak to take a bath with her in the magic waters of the fountain, and he holds back while she demonstrates. However, she suddenly begins to age into a crone, and she realizes that he must have switched their wine cups. The special drink for first timers is different from that of second timers, it seems. She disintegrates into dust, and Korak is left alone, locked into the hidden vault. But eventually he finds the hidden latch to open the stone door, and leaves hurriedly because of a fear that the radioactive substance is reaching critical mass. Returning through Iris' apartments, he grabs one of her robes and then slips through the caverns to try to find where Gail is being kept. He meets two Hottentots with spears guarding her door, and has to slug them brutally and then dash their heads together. Finding Gail inside, he has her to don the hooded robe of Iris, She-Who-Is-Always-Young. In this disguise, they are able to pass the guards without suspicion and escape. To escape the valley is another matter, however, and Korak demonstrates his uncanny cliff-climbing ability that he shares only with Tarzan and the apes. Just as they clamber over the summit, the radioactive material in the cavern reaches critical mass and triggers a massive volcanic explosion that obliterates the rest of Iris' domain.

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