Lord of the Jungle #1
Story by Arvid Nelson and Art by Roberto Castro
Everyone in my shop has been waiting for Lord of the Jungle ever since it showed up in the Diamond Previews. Everyone was talking about it. It finally arrived this past Wednesday and let me just say, I was overall “meh” about the whole idea of a new Tarzan comic. Set in 1909 in the Belgian Congo, we first glimpse Tarzan inside of a house built atop a tree, with an old skeleton in the foreground as he paws through a book. As those of us familiar with the legend of Tarzan know, his pregnant mother and father were abandoned and they were forced to make due in the wilderness until Tarzan was born. In this tale, the natives sought peace with the “ash skins” but are attacked by Planet of the Apes looking guys before that can happen. Amidst a brutal baby gorilla murder (and that’s literally all I can call it), the other gorillas inexplicably attack the little family minutes after Tarzan’s mother dies from a fever. That baby gorilla panel shocked me with its brutality so I’m hoping it effects everyone else the same way as well. It ends with a mother gorilla cuddling baby Tarzan since her child was the one brutally murdered. Oddly, this time around, I found that creepy instead of sweet. I will say that although there wasn’t much dialogue, Nelson did wonderfully in breathing new life into this story we’ve heard a billion times.
There are few words in this comic but Roberto Castro does phenomenal with saying 1000 words with only an image. The gorillas are scary and fierce, the locals look like they don’t have eyes due to a ridiculous amount of shadowing but I love how they drew Tarzan’s mother. She’s beautiful and Castro’s images do well to forge an emotional bond to the parents before their demise.
I vote you pick this up. The few sentences of writing made the impact needed and the art said volumes without overwhelming you. The best part is it is only $1.