Monday, April 10, 2023

Comics Review: "LORD OF THE JUNGLE Volume 3 #4" - Tarzan Beats Many Asses at Once


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. (March 2023)

Rated Teen+

“Treasure of Blood!”

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 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 #4 (“Treasure of Blood!”) opens in Africa, in the 1950s.  Tarzan, Lord Greystoke continues his mission of retribution and has successfully broken into a museum to steal the “Diamonds of the Triad.”  Once upon a time, these jewels were treasures from “the Valley of Mists.”

Tarzan's old friend, a local named Bouanga, tells the story of how Carson, a white hunter from England, first encountered Tarzan decades earlier.  He also tells of the mission Tarzan undertook to save Bouanga's life – a mission to steal “the Treasures of the Mists.”  But now, like then, Tarzan finds himself surrounded by men determined to take him down before he can escape with his treasures.

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 #4, which is only the fourth issue of a solo Dynamite Tarzan comic book that I have read.

Writer Dan Jurgens offers an old-fashioned jungle adventure that spans two eras of Tarzan's life.  This is a gripping action-thriller that enthralls and engages on every page.  I like that Jurgens captures both the human and the wild-man-warrior in Tarzan and that he shows the vulnerability of both sides.  Tarzan knows loyalty and apparently, has compassion.

Artist Benito Gallego's storytelling remains gripping and thrilling, and it is some of the most beautifully drawn comic book art being published today.  It is a good thing 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, and gives this tale a sense that it is from a bygone era.  Letterer Carlos M. Mangual brings a sense of high drama and with his stylish, emotive fonts

Lord of the Jungle Volume 3 #4, like earlier issues, strongly delivers on the potential the first issue promised.  I rarely read Tarzan comic books, but I will read this series' entire run.  I highly recommend it to you, dear readers.

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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