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The exploits of the world’s strongest man on an island of terror!


The two tall palms grew side by side, about forty feet apart. For the first fifty feet of their height there was not a branch, but above that the leafy fronds stuck out on all sides at regular intervals. The two trees grew at the edge of a clearing facing the Banda Sea, in the East Indies, and the shade they cast was in pleasant contrast to the glare of the sun on the white beach. A crackling sound in the undergrowth told of the approach of a man. It was Morgyn the Mighty, bearing on his shoulder a bamboo long enough to bridge the gap between the two trees. Morgyn wore only a loincloth of leopard-skin, and under his bronzed skin his muscles rippled as he walked. Well above six feet in height, with a sixty-inch chest. Morgyn was superbly proportioned. He wore neither headdress nor footwear, and he carried no weapon. He lived as simply as possible. Freedom, privacy, and adventure were what he sought. That was why he lived alone on this island, as far as possible from the Malays, who had a village at the far end. He paused and looked up at the two lone palms. Then he judged the centre of the bamboo rod and gripped it there between his teeth. It dropped at either end, but this left his hands free. Morgyn approached one of the palm trees. Still retaining his hold on the bamboo, he placed a hand on either side of the tree, lifted the flat of one foot against the trunk, and began to climb native-fashion, literally “walking” up the smooth trunk. His powerful muscles took him quickly up the trunk and he was able to grasp the first of the thick fronds. He hoisted himself up. Very carefully he pushed out one end of the bamboo to rest in a fork on the other tree, so bridging the gap. The long rod sagged a little in the middle, but even there it was fifty feet above the ground. Satisfied, Morgyn slid down and went to a rock which lay half-hidden in the grass. It was roughly round in shape and must have weighed about two hundred pounds, but he lifted it with ease, balanced it on one hand, and moved towards the gap between the palms. Great cords and pads of muscle jerked across his back as he straightened his arm and hurled the heavy rock high enough to clear the bamboo. Then he raced underneath and turned in time to catch it on the other side, using both hands for the purpose. Having steadied himself, he transferred the two hundred pound rock, and with his left hand this time hurled it back over the lofty bamboo. For a second time he jumped forward and caught the rock before it touched the ground. Half a dozen times he did this, using right and left hand alternately, and at the end of that period he was breathing hard. This was one of Morgyn’s ways of exercising his muscles. Down went the boulder on the ground, and Morgyn climbed the palm to move the bamboo still higher. He shifted it up about ten feet, and was about to climb down again to continue his training when he glanced seawards. Far out towards the horizon he could see a dozen canoes moving towards the island. “More canoes! What does it mean?” he murmured. “Why so many people, day after day for a week, fleeing here to Turtle Island? Where do they come from?” He swung a leg over a thick frond and perched there comfortably as he watched the approach of the flotilla. Presently he was able to see that the canoes were laden to the gunwales with native men, women, and children. They seemed in the last extremity of terror and exhaustion.

This first episode of:

Morgyn the Mighty

taken from The Rover #1355

June 16th 1951

Even at a distance, he could hear the wailing of the women and the crying of the children. The men dipped their paddles with weary grunts. They had come a long way, from somewhere east. “Where do they come from? Why are they leaving their homes?” Morgyn asked himself again. “During the past three days there must have been fifty canoes coming from the same direction. Something must have happened on their own island.” The flotilla of canoes passed round the headland towards the mouth of the river, where the local natives had their village. Morgyn rarely visited these natives, but he was sorely tempted now to find out what was happening. But he decided first to finish his morning exercises. He spent a quarter of an hour tossing the two hundred pound weight over the raised bamboo, giving each arm equal work. Once again he climbed the tree to raise the bamboo another ten feet, and this time he looked seawards deliberately. There was one solitary speck in the far distance. One canoe had lagged behind the others or had started after the rest. He calculated it would be another two hours before it reached the island. That was time enough for him to finish his morning exercise and the have a swim. His judgment was correct, but when an hour later he swam across the lagoon and climbed on to the reef, he could see there was only one man in the canoe, and that it was moving very slowly. The native did not appear to have sufficient strength to wield the paddle. Morgyn watched for some time, then the figure fell prone into the bottom of the canoe, which began to drift helplessly with the wind. Morgyn the Mighty grunted. The native had collapsed, and there was danger that the wind would carry him past the island altogether. Already Morgyn could see sinister shark fins breaking the surface of the sea no great distance away. No native ever swam outside the lagoon, but Morgyn was not afraid of sharks. He quickly fastened on his knife and its sheath, then dived boldly in and struck out for the canoe. His powerful stroke carried him along at a fast pace and there was hardly a ripple to mark his progress. But he kept a wary eye on the shark fins, and when one monster came too near, Morgyn splashed loudly to warn it off. The shark circled at a distance, but returned from the rear. It meant to attack. Morgyn kept on swimming, but he was ready when the shark made its swift dash. In that moment when the shark rolled over on its back to seize him with its jaws, Morgyn turned and dived. His action startled the shark. Before it had time to right itself, Morgyn had grasped one of the fins, had thrown his legs around the scaly body in an unbreakable scissors-hold, and had plunged his knife into the shark. Then he sprang clear and continued on his way. The wounded shark threshed the water with its tail. Morgyn did not look back. He knew that the scent of that blood would reach all the other sharks in the vicinity and that they would race to attack the wounded fish. While they were thus occupied, Morgyn reckoned on reaching the canoe. Things worked out exactly as he had expected, and he was not molested before he got within hailing distance of the drifting out-rigger. He raised himself in the water and shouted, but there was no response from the canoe. Putting on a final spurt he reached the canoe and hauled himself aboard over the stern. Then he saw that the solitary man was unconscious. The native lay face up in the bottom of the craft and his haggard cheeks, his sunken eyes, and the paleness of his lips told their own tale. There was neither food nor water aboard. Morgyn picked up the paddle and drove forward with tremendous strokes towards the island. In less than twenty minutes he was driving the nose of the craft into the sand of the beach and leapt out to drag the canoe and occupant clear of the water. The man had not stirred. He merely grunted when Morgyn lifted him out and carried him away through the palm trees to the hut which he called his home. There he placed the native on a bed of soft leaves and poured fresh water between his lips. He splashed some of the water over the gaunt face and forehead. Before long, his efforts took effect. The man’s eyes opened, his lips twitched, and he breathed deeply before suddenly sitting up and emitting a screech of terror—“No, no, no! Do not bring me back to the island! Do not harm me! I tried to get away. I tried—” He began to sob and to cower away from Morgyn, but he was too weak to get to his feet and run. “Gently, gently!” urged Morgyn, who could speak the language almost as well as the islanders. “Nothing will harm you here. There is no danger on Turtle Island, and I am your friend.” The man looked around him incredulously, then at the huge figure beside him. “T-Turtle Island!” he stammered. “This is Turtle Island? It is not Lakuna?” “No, it is not Lakuna,” Morgyn told him. “You are safe now. Relax, and I will bring you food.”


Morgyn brought food, which the native ate hungrily. “So you come from the island of Lakuna?” said Morgyn when the native was more composed. “Why have you fled from there?” The man’s eyes widened with horror. He looked over his shoulder towards the sea, and shivered. “I am the last man out of Lakuna. All my people have fled. I tried to be brave and to stay behind, but I, too lost my courage and fled. Now there is none of my people on Lakuna. Many are lost at sea. The rest have fled to other islands.” “But why?” pressed Morgyn. “What has happened there? Has there been an earthquake—an eruption?” The native shook his head. “We could have withstood such things, for we have had them before, but this is something different. Lakuna was a happy island for my people are peaceful folk, but now it has become the Island of Terror. Strange things happen. Rocks which have stood for centuries have been moved. Trees have been uprooted, and then there are noises.” Noises?” questioned Morgyn. “Yes, terrifying noises by night, bellowing and the sound of strange voices, screams and the crashing of heavy bodies in the undergrowth, yet there are no wild animals on Lakuna, nothing larger than a wild pig!” Morgyn began to question him more closely. It appeared that Lakuna was a hundred miles to the east of Turtle Island, and that about five hundred natives had lived there, spending their lives growing their crops and fishing. There had never been any trouble on Lakuna until recently. The terror had come gradually, first the noises by night, then the discovery of signs of terrific struggles on the beach and in the bush. Gradually things had become worse. Rocks and other landmarks had been mysteriously overthrown or removed. Trees had been found uprooted although there had been no wind. An ancient idol, the god of some former tribe which had lived on the island, had been shifted about half a mile in a single night. Some of the people said it had walked that distance, and that it was responsible for the curse that had come to the island. Others said that some sea monsters had crawled ashore and were using the island as a battlefield. Yet others put the whole thing down to evil spirits. Hundreds of rumours had added to the fears of these simple people, and gradually things had become so bad that they had remained barricaded in their village, afraid to go out even for food. Pago, the man who was telling Morgyn this, said that he had once ventured into the interior of the island to seek a cousin of his who had disappeared when hunting, and he had found the luckless man’s body minus the head. “It looked as though his head had been plucked from his shoulders by the hand of a giant,” he whispered. “After that I did not leave the village again. In the end we were staving, the children were dying of hunger, and nobody could sleep after dark because of the noises in the bush. Our Chief said we must leave our homes and come to Turtle Island. Several fleets of them set off, but I would not go with them. I stayed behind another day, and then I, too, fled. Now there is no one on Lakuna, only those demons who have taken over the island!” Morgyn was interested. Any hint of unusual danger was like a magnet to him. Almost before Pago had finished speaking Morgyn had decided to go to Lakuna and investigate. For the rest of that day Morgyn looked after Pago. By skillful questioning he got a good idea of what the island was like, and even roughed out a map of Lakuna on a smooth piece of bark with the aid of a piece of charcoal. Before nightfall he had collected all the food he wanted for the journey, including a number of unripe coconuts to serve him for drinking purposes. He announced his intention of leaving in Pago’s canoe at dawn. “You can walk to the village and join your people. Tell them what I am doing,” he said. “Perhaps I shall be able to solve the mystery.” Pago remained awake late that night trying to alter Morgyn’s mind, but he failed and finally fell asleep. When he awoke at dawn Morgyn was stowing his supplies into the canoe. The trees were lashing to and fro in a fierce wind. The sky had become overcast. A storm threatened. “Behold!” cried Pago. “Even the gods are against you. They send bad weather to prevent you going to Lakuna.” Morgyn glanced at the rising waves beyond the lagoon and shrugged his massive shoulders. “I shall not alter my plans,” he declared. “Help yourself to anything you need from my hut, then follow the beach until you come to the village. There you will find the rest of your people who have arrived.” When he saw that nothing would make Morgyn give up the project, Pago offered to help him launch the laden canoe, for it would not be easy in that heavy sea. “I need no help. Save your strength,” Morgyn told him, and to the native’s astonishment Morgyn lifted the canoe from the beach to his shoulder, laden as it was. Wading into the shallows, Morgyn chose his moment, then launched the canoe into the water, clambered over the stern, pushed off with one mighty thrust of his foot, and was afloat. A moment later he was paddling hard for the gap in the reef. Out there the waves were throwing up clouds of spray as they broke against the coral barrier. Morgyn turned to wave just once to the gaping native, then he was lost to sight, committed to a journey across a hundred miles of open sea. The canoe was a stout one, cut from a single tree-trunk, and there was no danger of it breaking in half under the impact of the waves, but it took all Morgyn’s strength to hold it straight on its course when a wind caught it and rollers flung it from side to side. Drenched from head to foot, his supply of food protected only by palm leaves, Morgyn could no longer see the island which he had left. He was in a world of heaving waters and howling wind. For hour after hour he drove against a vicious head-wind. Darkness closed down, but he had taken his bearings before he had started, and an occasional glimpse of the stars enabled him to hold his course.


Things quietened down before dawn and the sun peeped fitfully between oily clouds, bringing some warmth to Morgyn’s chilled body. Morgyn’s navigating had been accurate, and in the distance, almost immediately ahead, he could see a lone mountain sticking up out of the sea. He knew this was the centre of Lakuna. Pago had told him the mountain was called Tawa and that it was covered with jungle. Morgyn now had something definite to steer by, and he increased his speed as the sea became calmer. The mountain became clearer and the shape of the island became visible. He had been told that the village where the natives had lived was on the eastern end of the island, and it was for there he headed. All that morning he paddled at top speed. The heat of the mid-day sun blazed down upon his uncovered head and shoulders, but this did not affect him. His hair had long since been bleached to the colour of gold and the skin of his shoulders and back could withstand the sun’s scorching rays. The nearer he got to the island the more peaceful and friendly it looked. The palms were waving in a light wind and the scent of tropical flowers was wafted to his nostrils. Gaily-coloured birds flew out to meet him as he entered the lagoon. He had never seen a more pleasant setting for a village. It seemed impossible that the threat of some nameless terror hung over the place. The canoe nosed on to a beach of silver sand and he jumped ashore. His legs were stiff, and he ran up and down for a few moments to get rid of the cramps. It was then that he noticed the silence. There was not a movement or a sound among all those huts. Not a dog barked, not a rooster crowed. No laughing children waddled to meet him. No one hailed him from the doorways. He stood and looked about him, a mighty figure of a man. He saw how household goods had been scattered in the final flight of the inhabitants. There was not a canoe but his own left on the beach. Everything that could float had been used to carry the natives away from this place of fear. Gradually a sense of foreboding and fear began to creep through Morgyn’s bones. It was not that he was scared, but he could sense the terror in the air. He began to understand how these people had felt. The village was built at the top of the beach facing the lagoon. On the landward side a great barrier of thorn and wooden stakes had been built, which showed that the people had feared something from that direction. The gate was fast closed and barricaded. He could imagine how the trembling people had cowered behind this barrier at night, listening to mysterious noises in the jungle beyond. He opened the gate and stood in the opening, studying the edge of the jungle. It looked peaceful enough in the late afternoon sunshine. Birds flitted about in the tree-tops and land crabs crawled over the sandy soil. Once he heard the squeal of a wild pig. Morgyn had eaten all his supplies on the trip across the Banda Sea. He was hungry. He walked to the nearest coconut grove and shook one of the palms, leaping out of range before the ripe nuts came thudding down. Seizing a ripe nut, he squeezed it between his two hands until it cracked in pieces. He had no more difficulty in doing this than an average man had in breaking an egg. For some time he ate, then walked to a swiftly-moving stream to drink. It was as he knelt to scoop up some water in half a coconut shell that he saw something drifting down-stream. He waded in, caught it, and carried it to the bank. It was a hunting spear, made of wood, with a metal tip. The islanders used these spears in the shallows to spear fish or when they hunted wild pigs. How did this one come to be drifting down-stream in this fashion? Had it belonged to one of the hunters mentioned by Pago, one of those who had never returned? Natives did not easily lose these spears, for they were valuable. Morgyn stuck the spear in the bank so that it stood upright. The light was beginning to fade. There was very little twilight in those parts, and he knew that it would soon be quite dark. He walked briskly upstream for about quarter of a mile and was in the jungle when the light failed. Around him the birds were settling for the night. Insects hummed in the warm air. Then something white in the grass ahead caused Morgyn to go forward a little further. He stooped and peered at it, then grunted. It was the skeleton of a man. Morgyn noticed one thing at once, the great size of the skeleton. The man must have been seven feet in height and broad in proportion. Although it was almost dark Morgyn bent closer to see if there were any sign of injury. All the ribs had been crushed inwards and broken! Morgyn sat on his heels and whistled softly to himself. “That man must have been a giant,” he thought to himself. “Pago said nothing about there being one of his tribe so big. But if he was a stranger, how did he come here, and what terrible crushing force smashed his ribs like this and kill him?” He turned to walk slowly towards the village, for after his long journey he needed some sleep, but he had not gone a dozen yards before something rushed past his head and hit against a palm tree with such force that the palm was snapped off at the base. Morgyn the Mighty saw that the missile was a jagged chunk of rock that must have weighed a hundredweight. He turned in a flash, but there was nobody in sight. Breathing hard, fists clenched, he stood behind a thicker tree and waited. Who or what was his assailant? What was capable of hurling a boulder that size as though it were a mere pebble? Was his attacker anything human? A chill ran down his spine, yet his forehead was moist with sweat. It was the unexpectedness and strangeness of this form of attack that shocked him. After a moment, when he heard no sound, he stooped and picked up the young palm which had been snapped off. He hoisted it on to his shoulder as though it was a huge javelin and hurled it with all his might. It sped through the air with a whistling sound and crashed into the wall of foliage that hid whatever had thrown the rock. He heard a startled grunt, then the smashing of bushes and undergrowth as something fled. He was tempted to go after it, but realised that more than anything he needed sleep. If he were going to be called on to use his great strength on the morrow, he needed rest. So he turned and went back to the village, shut the heavy gate, and picked out a hut that looked more solid than the rest. In this he arranged a pile of grass sleeping mats that were the pride of every islander’s household, and stretched himself out to sleep. He was drifting into a dreamless slumber when from somewhere outside the stockade, somewhere under the trees, there arose an awful cry. It was a bellowing roar mingled with a shriek of agony. Morgyn had heard such cries from old male gorillas in Central Africa when they were dying, but he knew there were no gorillas on Lakuna. Again the noise rang out, and this time there was a chorus of protests from the awakened birds in the nearby trees. Clouds of them rose into the air and fluttered to and fro above the spot where it seemed to Morgyn that a battle between giants must be taking place. He could hear heavy forms crashing against trees, crushing bushes, and padding to and fro. Guttural sounds might have been words uttered in some foreign tongue or they might not have been human at all. Morgyn was too far from them to hear clearly. He leapt from the bed of mats and rushed down the main street of the silent village to the tower gate which had been erected as a lookout. He went up the rungs of the bamboo ladder three at a time and stared into the darkness beyond. Who or what was engaged in this midnight battle of giants? The Isle of Terror was living up to its name!


Morgyn the Mighty 15 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1146 - 1160

Morgyn the Mighty 6 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1217 - 1222

Morgyn the Mighty 10 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1355 - 1364

Morgyn the Mighty 12 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1374 - 1385

Morgyn the Mighty 7 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1407 - 1413

Morgyn the Mighty 10 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1450 - 1459

Morgyn the Mighty 12 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1484 - 1495

Morgyn the Mighty 14 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1506 - 1519

Morgyn the Mighty 16 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1646 - 1661

Morgyn the Mighty 15 episodes appeared in The Rover issues 1718 – 1732


© D. C. Thomson & Co Ltd 

Vic Whittle 2005