As a villain, Red Heels has the usual traits—he is coldhearted and ruthless. Like the baddies in Kevin’s inaugural sequence, he is another bloodthirsty Arab pirate. But he’s no stereotype. What makes Red Heels stand out is his effeminacy. Small in stature (in panel 1, he seems to be wearing heels), he also sports oversized headwear which has the dual purpose of making him appear larger and supplying shock value. Despite these illusions, he comes up short compared to other villains…
The outstretched hand of the drowning man (fourth panel) was a device that Collins had used before. It appeared in throwaway panels in Kevin’s earlier encounter with the Arab pirates and in another sequence from 1952. Nonetheless, its poignancy remained as shorthand for a gruesome death. All of the men injured in the battle—on both sides—were destined to suffer the same fate, including Koko’s master, Patch.
Back in Morocco, things take a turn for Sadea.
Learning of Frau de Boer’s life, Sadea begins to reveal her own story. No doubt many readers approved of her costuming and poses.
The embodiment of evil with a countenance to match, the Grand Vizier beseeches Sadea to do his bidding once again. Emboldened by Frau de Boer’s tale, she successfully resists his attempt at hypnosis, imperiling her own future.
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