Comic Art Friday: You can call her Princess… or not

Princess a.k.a. Jun a.k.a. Agatha June a.k.a. Kelly, pencils by Iago Maia

Once upon a time (let’s call it the early 1970s), there was an anime series entitled Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman in the original Japanese) about a five-member team of young superheroes-slash-ninja who dressed in costumes representing various birds. When ported over to the English-speaking marketplace in 1978, this series — in highly edited and rescripted form — became known as Battle of the Planets. Years later, the series was again recrafted for the West as G-Force: Guardians of Space. Still later — because Western packagers could never leave well enough alone — the show was retooled once more, this time as Eagle Riders.

Confused already? Okay, good.

To make matters even more convoluted, all of the characters in the series were given different names (and often very different personalities) in each version. The lone female member of the core team, whose costume represented a swan (any question as to why she was my favorite?), was called Jun in the original Japanese presentation. In Battle of the Planets, she became Princess. In G-Force, she was known as Agatha June (often “Aggie” for short). In Eagle Riders, her name was Kelly Jennar. (Why the characters in Eagle Riders suddenly had extraneous surnames is unclear to me. But then, has any of this nomenclatural folderol been clear to you?)

In all iterations, her primary fighting tool was a yo-yo. You did know that before it was marketed as a toy, the yo-yo was a Filipino weapon, yes? So the next time you yo-yo — y’know, like you do — you can thank the Ilocano people, not Mr. Duncan. Or Tommy Smothers.

Still confused? I must be telling the story correctly, then.

I first discovered Gatchaman in the late ’70s under the Battle of the Planets banner, so the young heroine depicted above by artist Iago Maia will always be Princess to me. But if you want to call her Jun, or Agatha June, or even Kelly, I won’t argue. Just don’t call her anything but awesome.

And that’s your Comic Art Friday.

Explore posts in the same categories: Comic Art Friday, Hero of the Day, Reminiscing, SwanStuff, Teleholics Anonymous, That's Cool!

One Comment on “Comic Art Friday: You can call her Princess… or not”

  1. I always have had a hell of a lot of trouble getting a yo-yo to do anything it’s supposed to, so anyone who can use it as a weapon gets props from me.

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