With a new arc for Tarzan, and one that isn’t about his origins, Lord Of The Jungle enters into uncertain waters. Whilst this is certainly a decent read, the question is whether its a Tarzan-story.
The official description from Dynamite:
The world’s greatest ape man/English gentleman/pulp fiction hero is heading back to the jungles of Africa, where he can live in savage peace, far away from Jane Porter, the woman he loves but cannot be with. But not so fast! Russian super-spy Nicholas Rokoff is bound for Africa too, on the hunt for a legendary horde of gold. And you-know-who is the only one who can stop him. Lord of the Jungle #9 is the first installment of the thrilling Return of the Jungle Lord story arc. Hang on to your bananas, ’cause it’s gonna be a wild ride!
This issue is certainly executed well. The issue follows Tarzan’s attempts to get home. On a cruise liner, he runs into trouble (as you do), basically stumbling into the current story arc. Whilst everything else is well written, the typical set up seems a little forced, as there wasn’t much of a natural progression to take Tarzan anywhere. So, naturally, he gets into a fight.
Unfortunately, I’m just not sure how many times Tarzan can save the day with his fists. It gets repetitive, and it doesn’t bother to use any of the characters depth or potential.
Likewise, there’s a lot of women in this issue, and they all seem to fancy Tarzan. Whilst Jane Porter does make an appearance, it seems the title is trying to introduce new women to fill this role from time to time. Of course, this runs the risk of straying too far from what makes Tarzan, but I can’t blame them for trying something new. My one concern throughout this issue that its a simple story that’s just replaced a generic main hero with Tarzan, rather than building a new plot around the character.
In summary, however, it is a good read and the artwork maintains its decent standards. Whilst it may not be the most original piece of writing, it is interesting and fluid enough to warrant a decent read through.