Saturday, February 9, 2013

Comic Review: Lord of the Jungle 11-12

Normally I don't like doing two comic reviews at once but I figured this would catch us up. So here's two Tarzan tales for the price of one! (Or at least one review).

Issue 11 (subtitled "Gorilla Warfare" kicks off with the arrival of Jane Porter, Cecil Clayton and their small party on the African coast, near the cabin of Tarzan's parents. Their plans for a peaceful expedition though are cancelled when another member of their party, Mr. Thuran, kidnaps Jane and Cecil and begins a forced march to the African interior. Meanwhile Tarzan has found the Waziri tribe and discovers they have their own problems-men of Belgium King Leopold II, who wants the land to cultivate rubber trees. When the Waziri village is captured and the king and queen are killed, its up to Tarzan and Waziri warrior Busuli to save the day...

Which leads to issue 12, "Treasure Vaults of Opar!" Here Tarzan and the Waziri find the fabled lost city. They also find the vicious inhabitants, ape-like men who capture Tarzan for sacrifice. Lucky for him-and those who like to ogle hot high priestesses-he's rescued by La, who allows him to escape. While that's going on, Jane discovers her abductors are Russian spy Nickolas Rockoff and his associate Paulvitch, who are now racing to Opar when they hear word of a tribe and the white savage leading them...

With these two issues, Arvid Nelson and artist Roberto Castro up the ante and deliver a great Tarzan adventure. On the one hand they stick pretty close to The Return of Tarzan with Tarzan's adventures with the Waziri and in Opar while at the same time combining Rockoff's part and involving Jane in the story more than just a shipwreck survivor. I know I can com across as a stickler for being faithful but the elimination of much of the various subplots and characters help makes this story lean and mean while remaining true to Burroughs and his creation.

And yes Castro draws a hot La. Maybe when he gets done here someone can get him into Dynamite's Warlord of Mars series.

So if you missed these two issues and you're a Tarzan fan you need to catch up. Both deliver a rousing adventure story that fans of Burroughs and old school pulp storytelling will eat up!

1 comment:

pascalahad said...

I ordered the first trade paperback of Lord of the Jungle. I resisted, since I'm more of a John Carter fan originally. I changed my mind for two reasons:
1) Burroughs himself. I'm ashamed to admit I never read a Tarzan novel until recently. OH MY GOD!! It's so much better than what I expected, and no adaptation ever came close to the sheer awesomeness of the novel. I'm on book 7 now (Tarzan the Untamed) and I'm hooked forever now.
2) I just finished the read of the incredible Fall of Barsoom trade paperback. OH MY GOD!! I realized I read the Roberto Castro name associated with your criticisms of Lord of the Jungle. This penciler is fantastic, equally at ease with battle scenes and moody stuff.