Joan Vail
Joan Vail captive of Tarragon

Real Name

Joan Vail

First Appearance

Thrilling Wonder Stories (September, 1940)

Original Publisher

Better Publications Inc.

Created by

Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr.

Joan Vail is the Terrestrial paramour of a man named Greg Zhor. Zhor is a member of copper-skinned The Rihns, a peaceful people descended from the aboriginal Martians and the first terrestrials from Earth to settle on Mars. Because of Karragon, Tyrant of Mars, spreading animosity between the Terrestrials against the Rihns, Joan and Greg are arrested by Karragon's Thelist Storm Guards. They are put to forced labor as punishment for their forbidden relationship. Joan is forced to work the looms in the great mills of Mercis. Zhor is sent to the moon of Phobus to work in the radium mine.

Greg is surprised by Joan on a rooftop while waiting to assassinate Karragon:

"Greg leapt to his feet, saw a white face framed by dark ringlets, black eyes wide with fear. Then she clung to his arm."

Joan: "But Greg! It would do no good to kill Karragon! The Thelist machine has the planet in its grip. If Karragon died they would elect another to take his place. Would killing him destroy their fleets, their war machine? Would it disorganize the secret police, or repeal the harsh laws? And think what would happen to your people when it becomes known that a Rhin had assassinated the dictator!"


Joan convinces Zhor to not assassinate Karragon, instead suggesting he work to design a weapon for the dictator's defeat. She doesn't display any skills of which to speak, although she does present an intelligent, strong personality.

See also

Tyrant of Mars on

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