Monday, January 23, 2012

Lord of the Jungle #1

Here we have a comic that dares not speak its name.

The cover says Lord of the Jungle, but that's only because of the legal restrictions over using the name Tarzan prominently.

As I understand it, the first Tarzan book (Tarzan of the Apes) is now in public domain, so the story is fair game for adaptation - thus only a cursory mention on the inside cover that this series is "based on stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs."

As written by Arvid Nelson, it's a fair adaptation (though one added story element seems quite odd), but like the Warlord of Mars adaptation, he's spooling this story out very slowly. By the end of the first issue, we've only seen the title character as a baby (not counting a panel showing his back and another showing his hand).

The art by Robert Castro is well done, though there are a few minor gaps in the story progression. The characters and the creatures are expressive, and the art benefits from strong coloring by Alex Guimares.

I can't help but feel that this story is going to suffer from the same dragged-out fate that led me to drop Dynamite's version of John Carter, too.

I know, decompressed stories are all the rage - and sometimes they work - but Burrough's stories were famous for hurtling along at breakneck speed, pushing you on to reading that next chapter.

I don't get that here at all.

Grade: B-


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