If you caught our story the other day about the Buddhist comic-book hero from the 1940’s, the Green Lama, you might be fascinated to know that it later ran as a radio show on CBS — and we have an episode below for your entertainment!
Om Mani Padme Hum! The Green Lama Strikes for Justice!
Time now for another exciting adventure, taken directly from the files of Jethro Dumont.
Jethro Dumont, the wealthy young American, who after 10 years in Tibet, returns as the Green Lama to amaze the world with his curious and secret powers in his single-handed fight against injustice and crime.
The show is introduced by Tulku, “whose honor and pleasure it is to serve the Green Lama.”
Click on the link below to hear an episode that was broadcast on May 17, 1949. (I think it may have been the first ever.)
The Green Lama, and The Man Who Never Existed
Two other episodes are available from archive.org. These files are in the public domain, and you’re free to download them.
Dumont spent ten years in Tibet studying to be a lama and learning many mystical secrets in the process. He returned to America intending to spread the basic doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism in order to remove ignorance and relieve suffering, but realized that he could accomplish more by fighting crime. He never carried a gun, believing that this would make him no better than those he fought.
Wikipedia has a sizable entry on the Green Lama:
The Green Lama first appeared in a short novel entitled The Green Lama in the April 1940 issue of Double Detective magazine. The novel was written by Kendell Foster Crossen using the pseudonym of “Richard Foster”. Writing in 1976, Crossen recalled that the character was created because the publishers of Double Detective, the Frank Munsey company, wanted a competitor for The Shadow, which was published by their rivals Street & Smith.
The character, partially inspired by explorer Theos “the White Lama” Bernard, was originally conceived as “The Gray Lama” thinking that he could hide in the shadows and sneak around, but tests of the cover art proved to be less than satisfactory so they changed his color to green. The Green Lama proved to be successful (though not as successful as The Shadow), and Crossen continued to produce Green Lama stories for Double Detective regularly up until March 1943, for a total of 14 stories.
And (da-da-da-DAH!) — the Green Lama lives! There’s a series of books of the adventures of this Buddhist superhero available on Amazon. Check ’em out!