Ending the first major arc, Lord Of The Jungle #8 wraps up its introduction to Tarzan. Whilst his future isn’t clear, this issue does a good job delivering a worthy conclusion. At the very least, its not what would be expected; the writer’s haven’t simply struck out for the easy option.
First, the official description from Dynamite:
Tarzan and the notorious crime boss Robert Canler are heading for an epic showdown on the mean streets of Baltimore. Canler is hell-bent on destroying the ape-man – he’ll stop at nothing, not even threatening Jane Porter, the woman Tarzan loves. But Jane isn’t exactly a helpless damsel in distress. The thrilling conclusion to “The Concrete Jungle” awaits you in Lord of the Jungle #8!
As for the actual plot of this issue, its hard to go into detail without offering ultimate spoilers. However, the pacing is quick enough. Lord Of The Jungle #8 doesn’t drag things out too much, yet it wraps things up by the end. It draws on a number of the previous issues, bringing some of the elements together.
Of course, the title is still at its heard about Tarzan. This issue tries to show some of the more ‘wild’ aspects of the character, something that hasn’t been shown much. This is more than just stripping down to a loincloth. This issue tries to show the wild aspects of the character; something that occasionally feels out of place after watching him act like a normal person in every other sense. Sometimes it feels a bit forced, but its important none the less.
As for Jane Porter, the love interest of the series, Lord Of The Jungle does successfully break away from the traditional Tarzan stories. One could argue that Jane simply reflects many things for Tarzan, being one of the first women he encounters. Of course, us as readers don’t simply want to read the exact same story over and over again. The relationship between Tarzan and Jane definitely feels natural here; it retains much of the classic story without following directly in its footsteps.
The only problem with this issue is the future. This arc dealt a lot with bringing Tarzan into the civilized world. If he goes back, it might undo a lot of what has been done; does Tarzan really belong in the jungle when he can now speak fluent French and English? Likewise, the closing chapter has also cut off a lot of Tarzan’s ties to the civilized world. If he stays, there isn’t much of a supporting cast to warrant any importance. Whilst the closing page strongly suggests one over the other, only time will tell.