Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Comics Review: "LORD OF THE JUNGLE Volume 3 #5" - Ain't No Mountain High Enough to Keep Tarzan from Justice


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. (May 2023)

Rated Teen+

“Law of the Jungle”

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 All-Story Magazines 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.  Tarzan's friend, an African local named Bouanga, recounts an event that occurs in the early years of Tarzan's adventures.  Now, the Lord of the Jungle has returned to right a past wrong no matter what manner of beast or obstacle stands in his way.

Lord of the Jungle Volume 3 #5 (“Law of the Jungle”) opens in Africa, in the 1959.  Tarzan's old friend, Bouanga, is being interrogated by local police.  Where is Tarzan, they demand of Bouanga?  Meanwhile, Tarzan has traveled to “ the Valley of Mists,” where he means to keep his promise to return the “Diamonds of the Triad,” the jewels that were once treasures from the Valley of Mists.

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.”  What happened when Tarzan attempted to steal the diamonds?  How went his meeting with the valley's inhabitants, the Tiakklan tribe, and Dzianni, their chief?

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

Writer Dan Jurgens continues this old-fashioned jungle adventure that spans two eras of Tarzan's life.  A gripping action-thriller, it 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, although that shouldn't surprise me.

Artist Benito Gallego's storytelling remains consistently good, 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 #5, like previous 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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