Cotton Carver is a well-drawn series about “an adventurer into the little known and unexplored corners of our globe, a man used to the lonely trail and mountain peak, to food cooked over a brush fire, and to danger in many and varied shapes and forms.” Although this is a serial, most chapters resolve the problems they bring up, leaving just the over-arcing story to be continued, making it far more readable than most serials.
It begins with Carver attempting to fly over Antarctica, but having to being his plane down after it has engine trouble. He finds a mayan spear, and later a tribe of parka-wearing mayan warriors, who bring him to their tropical city hidden under the ice. We learn that they fled there upon the arrival of the spanish. Cotton helps Atzatl take his rightful place on the throne, overthrowing the usurper Quelta, who has a guard comprised of Incan warriors. I guess they fled there as well.
Cotton learns of a second route back to the surface world, and takes it. It leads him through a jungle of bizarre plants, and he has to battle a axe-wielding dwarf, Volor. After being defeated by Cotton, Volor becomes his guide, bringing him to Kothe, the white witch. Kothe sends a Cat-Man to battle Carver, who once again joins his side after being defeated. Cotton forces Kothe to take him to the Temple of the Heartstone, and from there they slide down a chute to yet another land.
Now they face Voggoth of the Kralman Guard, who wants to sacrifice them all at the Shrine of Dagan. Cotton kills Voggoth, but Volor and Cat-Man are seriously wounded. We see Volor later, having recuperated, but no more Cat-Man, so I guess he died of his injuries.
After using the magic sword Malar to kill the Scarlet Seeress for Elara, the Priestess of Dagan, Cotton, Volor and Kothe head to yet another land, this one in civil war. King Marl leads the Marlmen of Marlandia (talk about ego), who are fighting against Jagar, the leader of the outlaw land of Barlundia. The Marlmen have “magneto-ships’, which look like sleds that fly through the air. As you have to lie down to ride on one, they do not appear very comfortable, or easy to steer.
At any rate, Cotton defeats Jaggar, and has Deela made Queen of Burlandia, battling rebellious pirates to ensure her place on the throne. King Marl adopts Deela, so the two kingdoms which eventually merge under her rule.
The Marlmen want to take Cotton on a excursion to the land of Sere, but I will cover that when I return to this series in the Early Golden Age.
Although I have never read any Buck Rogers, I suspect this has a similar feel, even though it all takes place below Earth, and in the present.
Cotto Carver continues in the Early Golden Age.
Cotton Carver: Adventure Comics 35 – 37 (Feb – Apr 39), 39 (June 39), 41 -45 (Aug – Dec 39)