Day 16: Jude!

The duly elected captain of the Mountain of Judgment is Jude, looking every bit like a grown-up, twenty-something Kamandi (the Last Boy on Earth) or the moody, angelic Angel from Boys’ Ranch (or, for that matter, a younger version of Thor or Captain Victory!). The blond hippy is part of a new, mobile scientific society known as the Hairies, who constantly ride the Zoomway (“…to avoid our unseen enemies”) in the giant green vehicle, creating splendid new devices to aid mankind.

It’s interesting to speculate (for me, anyway!), why Jack chose the name Jude. Given the high esteem he held for The Hairies (as we’ll see in the entry to come) regarding their idealism and respect for life, ya gotta wonder if the name choice comes from St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes in the Catholic Church. Yet, as I don’t reckon Jack got too New Testament on us with any frequency, perhaps it’s more likely he snagged the name from The Beatles song that had been #1 on the Hit Parade a few years prior, longer than any other single up to its time, the ever-popular “Hey Jude.” Enough digression… suffice to say it is a cool name that connotes peace and serenity… Now, back to our tale:

Superman saves the Whiz Wagon from being crushed by the Mountain of Judgment but man and super-car are sucked into the giant maw of the Hairie bus. Out burst the mysterious clan who know of Morgan Edge’s REAL reason for supplying the Newsboy Legion with the sleek, silver-coated ride…

6 thoughts on “Day 16: Jude!

  1. John S.

    The name “Jude” is a variation on “Judah” or “Judas” (the feminine form is “Judith”), and they all mean either “praise” or “Jew.” I doubt if Jack was thinking of the Christian St. Jude when he coined the name. As everyone who reads this blog knows, Jack was proudly Jewish himself, and I strongly suspect his use of the name Jude for this character (the “elected” leader) was meant to be a reflection of Jack’s belief in the Jews as the divinely elected leaders of mankind.

  2. Richard Bensam

    Jude is also German for “Jew,” as Mr. Kurtzberg would have been well aware. Also, Kirby scholar Richard Howell has suggested that the 1950 Simon & Kirby romance yarn “The Girl who Tempted Me” was inspired by the Thomas Hardy novel Jude the Obscure…and no, I don’t consider it unlikely that Kirby knew of and may even have read that literary tome. So there are at least two other Judes to consider.

    But still… yeah, my gut feeling agrees that it was most likely the Beatles reference rather than the Catholic saint — just as Flipper Dipper was likely dubbed so because of Flip Wilson and/or Flipper the popular TV dolphin rather than, say, the little-known St. Flippa of Luxembourg.

  3. JonBCooke Post author

    I sure miss the forest for the trees sometimes! Here I am futzing with an essay about Kristallnacht and Glorious Godfrey’s Justifiers — remember the zealots painting “S”s (for “scapegoat”) on storefronts during the “Happyland” epic in Forever People? — and I miss the most obvious reference of them all. Thanks for thinking, friend John and good friend Richard!

  4. patrick ford

    You know, I think Richard and John have nailed it. Like Jon, I always took it as a given that Jude was taken from the Beatles song, now I’m not so sure; we know Kirby spoke German (pretty well).

    It isn’t so bad that I missed the obvious back in 1970 when I was in eighth grade, but you would think a 50-year-old who just read Judenhass would have had a clue.

  5. patrick ford


    That’s the book. Lou Copeland, who did multiple resized images of the Sim art to create a Ken Burns-like effect in comics, hooked me up with a copy when he paid me a visit.

    Sim made all the design choices; Lou handled the technical end.

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