A slightly different take on Tarzan, Lord of The Jungle #5 makes for an unusual read. Whilst it still keeps to some of the traditional Tarzan elements, it is showing a unique spin on an old character.
The official description from Dynamite:
The rough-and-ready sailors who set out to rescue Jane Porter from hairy man-apes find themselves in need of salvation. Lucky for them, they have the greatest action hero of all time on their side! Tarzan has already rescued Jane, but can he win the confidence of the men he is trying to help? Jane, meanwhile, is torn between her feelings for Tarzan and her desire to return to civilization. She’ll have to make a difficult choice in Lord of the Jungle #5: Lost Treasure. Be thankful comics can’t transmit smells in addition to images
First of all, don’t expect all the tropes to be missing; this is still a Tarzan story. Tarzan doesn’t look much different and, as usual, there’s a Jane running around in a torn dress. I suppose it has to stick to its roots somewhere.
However, outside this, it takes the issue a little more seriously or originally. For a start, the crew speak french. As such, Tarzan learns french, despite his ability to read and write English (but not speak it). It sounds simple, but its a naturally drawn conclusion considering this is someone who hasn’t had any contact off which to learn the language. The change between languages makes for a unique dynamic, and shows some clear attention to detail.
Likewise, the plot does involve more focus on Tarzan in civilization. Whilst it seems to skip a large segment, ‘ never shown to have any sort of shock or surprise at the current world, for instance. Its trodden ground, but its important in a Tarzan story; the drastic clash of primal versus civilized.
Still, despite this gap in the narrative, which I’m sure will be drawn out in later issues, what is shown is interesting enough. Tarzan’s interaction in a bar with the more seedy members of society is certainly interesting. Without spoiling anything, its not what you’d typically expect from such a story, but it certainly doesn’t come off as unrealistic.
As for the art and the overall look of the book, there aren’t any complaints. There weren’t any major areas where the artwork stood out, but it does a great job of getting the action across. The colour contrast between the natural island and the darker hues of the civilized world is effective enough. It might not have been a conscious design choice, but the little details like this help give a better impression of Lord of the Junge‘s message without being obvious or blunt.
Over all, Lord of the Jungle #5 is a good read, and shows signs of taking the old character somewhere new.