Its been a while, but the Tarzan saga is back. Lord Of The Jungle #14 kicks off right where everything left; apes, native warriors, Tarzan and everything else. So, is Lord Of The Jungle #14 worth the wait?
The official description from Dynamite:
This is it! The final showdown between everyone’s favorite ape-man and his arch-nemesis, Russian super-spy Nicholas Rokoff. For their arena, the two men have the ruins of Opar, the lost city of gold in the heart of Africa. Rokoff takes the upper hand by enslaving the primitive denizens of Opar, but it’s going to take a lot more than an army of depraved man-beasts to stop our hero from rescuing his true love, Jane. There’s only one problem: does Jane love the ape-man back? Action, adventure, romance, lost wonders of the ancient world… Lord of the Jungle #14 is the thrilling conclusion to the Return of the Jungle Lord story arc. It’s pulp fiction in all its unsubtle glory!
This issue sees the final confrontation between Rokoff and Tarzan (not that there’s been too many to begin with) and focuses mainly on this for the most part. Its fairly effective, and spans a number of pages. Through in some romance with Jane and you have a good story that makes use of all its elements, but unfortunately isn’t much in the way of original.
As for the actual reading of the issue, there aren’t any major faults with Arvid Nelson’s work. The dialogue is as fluid, some of the latter dialogue from Tarzan highlights much of the ‘civilization vs wild’ themes of the series. The fight between Rokoff and Tarzan is another good example; Nelson knows when to pull back and keep it light on dialogue, letting the visuals do the talking. My one major gripe in the writing, however, is including the words “The End” in big letters on the last page. Sure, its a nice splashy page and all, but there’s a Lord Of The Jungle #15 coming out shortly. Calling something the end when its arguably not never sat right with me.
Speaking of the art, its the standard quality from Roberto Castro. The larger panels and various fight scenes give Castro plenty to work with, and the strong use of color makes for a very vibrant visual appeal. There are more than a couple of large splash pages here, so it helps that the art is up to scratch.
All in all, this is a good issue. If not entirely original, its something readers of the series will want. That said, what the next issue can offer remains to be seen.