“Tarzan of the Apes”
Writers: Sharman Divono and Mark Evanier based on novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Artist: Dan Spiegle

In 1888 a young English lord John Clayton and his newlywed wife Alice set sail for an African colony. They never reach their destination for there is a mutiny that kills all the ships officers. Clayton and his wife are spared by the leader Black Michael because Clayton intervened when the captain was about to shoot the head mutineer. So instead they are put ashore with supplies on the African coast with a promise from Black Michael to inform the government about their whereabouts.

So the two build a small cabin and settle in. Alice gives birth to a baby boy. Only she dies and the father is killed by a wandering tribe of apes. A young she-ape Kala who just lost her baby adopts the young boy. He grows up to be Tarzan. Soon Tarzan finds the cabin and uses the books to teach himself how to read and write. He finds a knife which allows him to fight and kill a gorilla. Later he has to take out his step-father Tublat.

One day a black warrior Kulonga is lost and kills Tarzan’s foster mother Kala. In grief the young Tarzan tracks him down and delivers his vengeance. Afterward he manages to take the warrior’s bow and arrows. He uses them to kill a lioness. This is a threat to the tribes leader and Kerchak picks a fight that he loses. Tarzan comes into the kingship of his tribe.

So this is a very faithful adaptation of the first Tarzan book Tarzan of the Apes. It is the first part of the book and a very enjoyable adaptation. The bright colored art is excellent and the story is told very closely as Burroughs wrote it. For some reason I remember expecting a continuation since it was only the first half of the book. For reasons unknown to me they never bothered to finish their adaptation. That’s a shame since this is a very good adaptation. I think this was about the time that the Christopher Lambert movie came out so that is why they did this. Oh well this stands as a good solid comic.

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