Saturday, July 21, 2012

Comic Review: Lord of the Jungle #5

This weekend's comic book review finds Tarzan dealing with love and all the problems it brings. And some nasty apes don't help.

With D'Arnot being held captive by the ape creatures, he's saved by Tarzan before he becomes lunch and has a final confrontation with the leader of the tribe. Afterwards both men disappear, leaving the rest of the tribe to be wiped out by D'Arnot's men, who become convinced that they are too late when they discover a bunch of human remains. Also adding to the mystery is the disappearance of the buried treasure that the Clayton-Porter expedition was finding. Despite pleas from Jane the company eventually has to leave, leaving a note just in case. Meanwhile Tarzan nurses D'Arnot back to health, reveals he dug up the treasure and makes a fateful decision-to go to America to find Jane. As this issue ends the two find themselves short of funds but find a way to make some quick cash...and begin a new chapter in Tarzan's life.

With this issue, writer Arvid Nelson builds up not as much action as the previous issues, but some surprisingly emotional depth as he portrays both Tarzan and Jane's heart break after they are separated and Tarzan's decision to leave the jungle. Some of the plot here is condensed from the novel-notably D'Arnot's quick way of determining that Tarzan is the child of Lord and Lady Greystoke-but it still maintains most of the major beats of Burroughs' novel and offers up some little pluses along the way-like how its Esmerelda who is right that Tarzan is the Greystoke heir.

The story telling is enhanced by the artwork by Roberto Castro, who manages to capture both a muscular, bronzed Tarzan pretty much as Burroughs described him. The ape creatures (who at this point are taking over from the cannibal tribe from the original novel) look fearsome enough and most of the human characters are distinct. Admittedly the backgrounds don't pop as they should (a common problem in some cases it seems with Dynamite's Warlord of Mars comics) but the jungle still maintains a nice green look and an air of mystery. The only thing to warn is that for those who feel that Dejah Thoris is too curvy, Castro's Jane Porter manages to give her a run for the money. Just a fair warning for those who have problems with curves.

So to bring this to a close, Lord of the Jungle is definitely a good swinging time for Tarzan fans. Until next time...

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