Saturday, May 12, 2012

Comic Review: Lord of the Jungle #4

I know I've fallen behind on some promised posts but work and other things popped up. I'll try to get them up next week but for now we'll tackle this weeks new comics, starting with the latest starring every one's favorite ape man.

When last seen Tarzan was packing off Jane into the jungle after rescuing her from Terkoz the ape. As this issue opens a French ship lead by Lt. Paul D'Arnot has found the floating vessel of the Porter expedition and heads for land. There he finds a wounded Esmeralda who tells him of Jane's abduction. Leading his men, D'Arnot find Professor Porter and Cecil Clayton and the group head off. Meanwhile Jane is getting to know her rescuer a little better, discovering his ability to write and that he is the mysterious Tarzan that has been helping the small stranded group. She also finds a small locket around his neck. But when Jane decides to go back, her and Tarzan hear gunfire and Tarzan wanders off to investigate. And if that isn't enough D'Arnot and his men get ambushed by club wielding ape man creatures; D'Arnot gets taken captive and Cecil vows to destroy them-and Tarzan!

I pointed out earlier in review of issue 3 that I missed the second issue of Lord of the Jungle, which might explain why I'm confused why there is ape man creatures suddenly in the jungle? And sporting arm bracelets and loincloths? I admit it's been a while since I read the original Tarzan of the Apes novel but I don't remember them, even though they don't seem that out of place in Burroughs' fantasy version of Africa. Besides that the issue is a toss up with some weird back and forth plotting. The opening has a rather grisly discovery of cannibalism-which really comes through in Roberto Castro's artwork for it-and then we suddenly get Tarzan acting goofy while wooing Jane that brings to mind the Disney Tarzan. Still writer Arvid Nelson brings a good balance to keeping Burroughs' work and updating it, even though I'm sure some fans might have issues with some of the changes made.

With the artwork as I mentioned above it flips between grisly (the cannibalism remains looks like something of The Walking Dead) and brightly colored scenes (the scenes between Tarzan and Jane). Castro does a good job with it, even though the backgrounds are bland and don't really pop as much as they should. Still it is a good job and at least keeps the story moving through the images.

So is it worth picking up? If you liked the series so far I would say yes. While it may not be the definitive Tarzan comic book series readers coming to this without much knowledge of the original should enjoy it. And those who only know Tarzan from Disney might be surprised how serious the story is. I'll be back tomorrow with more apes and babes in need of rescuing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Tarzan story certainly is a lot more serious than Disney makes it!

BTW, those jeweled ape men actually make their first appearance in the first issue of the series. They were never part of the first Tarzan book. They do remind me of those nice gentlemen at La's place. :)