Saturday, February 2, 2013

Captured, Stripped, and Bound

. . . [In] every other story [Prince Valiant] gets captured, stripped, and bound in some ridiculous fashion. This is hugely important. If adventure heroes didn't get captured, no James Bond movie would ever have three full acts. This distressing image (from 1944 and the newly released fourth volume) suggests both DaVinci's Vitruvian Man as well as the sad future of the comics page itself: The full-page Prince Valiant strip would in later decades be shrunk and shrunk again, which Foster accidentally foreshadows here by chaining a ripped and furious Val inside the Family Circus circle.

– Alan Scherstuhl
Excerpted from "10 Reasons Prince Valiant Bests All 2011 Adventure Heroes"
San Francisco Weekly
October 12, 2011

Art and text: Hal Foster (from installment #370, March 12, 1944).
Source: Prince Valiant (Vol. 4): 1943-1944 – Hal Foster (Fantagraphics Books, 2011).


  1. Before the days when heterosexuality intruded itself unwelcome into children's comics and TV-shows, the young hero was always being treated thus - normally to be rescued by another even more powerfully built hero. Such innocent days are long gone now, sadly.

  2. I liked the the times when Prince Valiant was captured and had to serve as a slave. Unfortunately in the auction scenes he was never depicted as slaves would have been at auction, stark naked. I wanted him standard nude , with his loincloth at his feet. his face burning with shame, on the slave block as the auctioneer prods his muscles, makes him pose, describes his ability to labor. The crowd laughs when the auctioneer lifts his balls and displays them to the purchasers. He thinks of men in luxury at his father's court, while he suffers