REVIEW: The Once and Future Tarzan
Tarzan has had a long history as a franchise. Starting off as a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan eventually found his way into a variety of mediums, movies, comics, video games, and more. Now Dark Horse is releasing yet another iteration of this cultural icon, one that attempts to be about more than just the ape-man. Find out if it worked or not with your Major Spoilers review!
THE ONCE AND FUTURE TARZAN
Story: Alan Gordon, Thomas Yeates
Art: Thomas Yeates
Colors: Thomas Yeates, Lori Almeida
Letters: John Workman, Tom Orzechowski
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
Previously in The Once and Future Tarzan: Nothing! Its a one-shot, but I can decipher from the hints dropped that there has been a societal collapse of some sort, the story taking place in a post apocalyptic style version of England. Apparently all of the past Tarzan stories are canon in this comic.
A STORY FOR THE AGES
The Once and Future Tarzan has Tarzan as a jungle man living among the ruins of, what appears to be, England. He is apparently three hundred years old in this story, which I assume to mean he existed during the era of his inception canonically in the Tarzan lore, and has continued to exist ever since. Jane, Tarazan’s lover and companion, is immortal too. Some local villagers tell stories they have heard of his long and storied life. Tarzan stresses that some of these stories are greatly exaggerated, leaving the actual canon of the piece up to the reader. The story itself plays out kind of oddly. Its not paced very well, things happen seemingly randomly, and the villain is only introduced at the very end. They also make the villain a caricature of a hippy hating hunter type. That, coupled with a tribe of strong females and Tarzan’s love of nature and the world, shows the story’s liberal/hippy bias, which is not a problem for me personally (I admit, I have a somewhat left leaning bias), but I definitely saw how it could be a huge problem for other readers. While I am not against the idea of biases in comic, this was done so bluntly and poorly that it just brought the entire story down a peg. On another note, they end the story with quotes from Peter Gabriel’s “Down to Earth” from the movie Walle-E, which was just weird.
The art fits very well for this kind of acknowledgment of the roots of Tarzan mythos. It feels very much like art you would find in older pulp comics or in the illustrations for pulp books. The colors are bright and vibrant, not much detail is really needed, and there are no glaring errors. Overall a very fantastical feel to a fantastical story.
BOTTOM LINE: CHECK IT OUT
If you are a fan of the Tarzan property at all, then I highly recommend picking this up. If you are not, then this will not change your mind about the property. If you are on the fence then I would recommend leaving it unless you see it in a bargain bin.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!