Thursday, January 19, 2023

Comics Review: "LORD OF THE JUNGLE Volume 3 #2" Swings Into Excellent Second Issue


STORY: Dan Jurgens
ART: Benito Gallego
COLORS: Francesco Segala with Agnes Pozza
LETTERS: Carlos M. Mangual
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Philip Tan
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2022)

Rated Teen+


Tarzan is one of the most famous fictional characters in the world.  Tarzan was an orphan and the archetypal “feral child,” and in this instance, he was raised in the African jungle by great apes.  Tarzan was born a noble, John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, but he rejected civilization and lived in the wilds of Africa as a heroic adventurer.  Tarzan was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and first appeared in the novel, Tarzan of the Apes, which began serialization in The All-Story Magazine in 1912, before it was published in book form in 1914.  Tarzan would go onto to be a multimedia star, appearing in films, on television, and in comic books.

The latest Tarzan comic book is Dynamite Entertainment's Lord of the Jungle Volume 3. It is written by Dan Jurgens; drawn by Benito Gallego; colored by Francesco Segala; and lettered by Carlos M. Mangual.  The story involves an event that occurred in the early years of Tarzan's adventures, and he returns to Africa to right a past wrong no matter what manner of beast or obstacle stands in his way.

Lord of the Jungle Volume 3 #2 (Heartache) opens in Africa, in the 1950s.  Tarzan, Lord Greystoke, has reunited with his old friend, a local named Bouanga.  Once upon a time, Tarzan met white men like him for the first time, but those foreign raiders pillaged his jungle home.  For the first time, Tarzan came face-to-face with evil, as the white devils left behind death and destruction in their wake.

The encounter leads to a catastrophic event in his life, causing him great heartache.  Now, Tarzan is determined to right a grievous wrong, but he must also come to grips with his own unique origins.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Lord of the Jungle Volume 3 #2, which is only the second issue of a solo Dynamite Tarzan comic book that I have read.

What I said in my review of the first issue stands for the second issue of Lord of the Jungle Volume 3.  Writer Dan Jurgens' solid storytelling is filled with intriguing moments that pull the reader through the riveting jungle action of this narrative.

Artist Benito Gallego's storytelling is beautifully drawn, but more importantly, it is gripping and thrilling.  It still does not hurt that Gallego's drawing style resembles that of the late comic book legend, Joe Kubert.  Kubert had a four-year stint (1972-76) as writer-artist and later as writer-only of DC Comics' Tarzan comic book series, considered by some to be among his best work.  Colorist Francesco Segala's lovely colors capture the varied moods of this story's settings, both in time and locale.  Letterer Carlos M. Mangual brings a sense of high drama and with his stylish, shifting fonts.

Lord of the Jungle Volume 3 #2 strongly delivers on the potential at which the first issue hinted.  I rarely read Tarzan comic books, but I think that I will read this series' entire run.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Tarzan comic books will want to read Lord of the Jungle Volume 3.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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