Friday, July 15, 2011

Apropos of nothing, here's an Art Baltazar drawing of Wonder Woman riding her kanga Jumpa:

It's from the DC Super-Pets kids book, The Fastest Pet On Earth. Perhaps understandably, the Amazons' use of a giant species of kangaroos native to Paradise Island as mounts has been alternately downplayed and abandoned within most of the publisher's comics, with horses replacing the kangas. I say understandably because 21st century comics have a much lower tolerance of silliness than those of the 1940s, when Wonder Woman and the Amazons' kangas first emerged, and also because little girls really, really like horses, so maybe the best superheroine in the world should hang out with horses (and/or unicorns and/or pegasuses...pegasi?...instead of giant, rideable kangaroos).

Anyway, Jumpa stars in The Fastest Pet On Earth, and she differs from the Golden Age Jumpa in that she dresses a bit like Wondy herself, and is more of a character than a means of transportation.

Here's how J.E. Bright, who wrote the Baltazar-illustrated book, described kangas:
Like the smaller kangaroos from the mainland, kangas were built for jumping. But unlike Jumpa's kangaroo cousins, she didn't hop to get around. Instead, she ran on her powerful legs like a speedy dinosaur.
So I guess maybe they're kind of like the Tauntauns from The Empire Strikes Back...?

At the beginning of each volume of the Super-Pets series, there's a two-page "super-pet hero file" highlighting their powers, abilities, owner and their height compared to heroes and villains.

Jumpa's "bio" states:
Kangas are found only on Paradise Island. Like kangaroos, kangas can leap long distances, but they're also super-speedy. These heroic hoppers are the royal rides of Wonder Woman and other Amazons.
This concludes today's post about the indigenous wildlife of Paradise Island.

1 comment:

jebright said...

Kangas are awesome. I originally described them as running "like a velociraptor" instead of "like a speedy dinosaur" but I guess someone decided "velociraptor" was too hard a word for the age group.

J. E. Bright