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Jungle girl and monkey boy

Every once in a while, I read about a "wild child" that's been discovered, living outside in some rural place, who has forgotten what it was to be civilized. Usually, these are stories about people who lived hundreds of years ago, when it was a lot easier to find places in the world unaffected by modernity. (You know: buildings and stuff.) But every once in a once in a while, I see a modern story like this -- and this is one of those whiles.

Meet Rochom P'ngieng, aka "Jungle Girl." She is (was?) Cambodian, and disappeared while herding cattle when she was eight. That was nineteen years ago. Last week, a villager noticed a skinny, naked creature stealing rice from her farm, so she staked off an area and managed to trap it -- "it" turning out to be Rochom. Authorities describe her as "half-man, half-animal," nothing but "skin and bone" and she seems to have lost all her language skills. She also hunches forward when she walks, like a monkey; but as different as she had become, a recognizable scar (and a DNA test) helped prove her identity. Her reintroduction to society is not going so well. She refuses to wear clothes, is constantly freaked out, and her father suggests that he may return her to the jungle, where he believes she will be more comfortable (despite the whole naked/starving thing, apparently).

Rochom isn't the only such story in recent times, nor perhaps even the most amazing. Though her 19 years in the wild is mind-blowing, in 1987 an orphaned Ugandan toddler named John Ssabunnya was abandoned in the jungle, where he faced almost certain death. If it weren't for a group of good-samaritan monkeys, that would've been the case. They raised him as their own, and when he was found at age five, he lived with them in trees and seemed to communicate with them. As authorities took him away, the monkeys fought fiercely to protect him, throwing rocks and coconuts. To this day, he still has an uncanny repoire with African Green monkeys, the species which raised him. (He also discovered, as he learned to speak, that he has an impressive singing voice, and joined a touring children's choir.)

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The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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