Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Retro Comics: Tarzan #215


 With no new comic books this week to review I thought I would start a “retro” review section looking at older comics that caught my eye-and were cheap to boot! So to kick off we get a vintage Tarzan tale from the folks at DC.

In the first story, “The Mine,” Tarzan finds himself trying to do the right thing and save a group of natives from a vicious thug forcing them to mine for ore. Of course Tarzan gets hit on the head and thrown into the mine to work but basically takes the job and tells the other guy to shove it. With soldiers on side and the miners on the other it will take Tarzan’s wits-and his almost supernatural ability to survive cave-ins-to save the day.

 The second story finds Tangor, the hero of Beyond the Farthest Star facing his own problems. A downed craft has forced him to crash land in the waters of Poloda, only to be rescued by a race of amphibious creatures who through science gives him gills. Tangor puts that to good use when he has to fight off a giant squid and ends with him having to accept his possible fate as Poloda’s answer to Aquaman.

 Published in 1972, this issue of Tarzan is pretty slight. The opening story doesn’t have much meat on it to the point that no one outside of Tarzan even has a name. Part of that could be attributed to the fact that originally it published as a comic strip by the legendary Hal Foster with some additions to make it work in comic book form by Joe Kubert. The Tangor story is also pretty slight, with it coming across more as a tale for Aquaman to star in. Still they were fun relics from that era (and the hilarious ads that promised in 7 short weeks you can get a 4 inch chest and 3 inches extra on your arms with Joe Weider’s and the like caused a few giggles).

The major reason saving grace is the art by Foster and Kubert. While I'm sure more die hard fans can tell the difference, Kubert honors Foster's original work well. Foster's Tarzan is still one of the best and his art even on minor stories like “The Mine” is great. With a nice realistic touch, helped by great coloring and artistic vision it made the issue go by quickly. The art by Dan Green on the Tangor story is also strong and brings the story alive well.

I hope you guys enjoyed this. I might continue this in the future so until next time I’ll be swinging on a vine and work on that chest!

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