“The Once and Future Tarzan”
Writer: Alan Gordon
Artists: Thomas Yeates and Bo Hampton

It is two hundred years in the future and the Earth has gone through some catastrophe. Most of London is underwater and wild animals roam free. Still life goes on. Tarzan lives in the ruins and one day is attacked by a tribe of women. He manages to make peace with them. Later some mysterious man called George Schultz of a cabal that is after Tarzan comes for him. The man is looking for the Kavuru formula that has extended the lives of Tarzan, Jane and Jad-Bal-Ja the lion. They come to an agreement to go to Africa.

So on the boat they go down the river Thames and battle various pirates and hordes of tigers. They reach the channel and recover an old submarine. The trip takes them to a mysterious island composed of old ships like an aircraft carrier and cruise liner. It is lead by a Dr. Jorgenson who was a friend of Tarzan and Jane. Well it starts to get weird with Tarzan and the others somehow getting transported to Africa. They have a battle with Schultz’s men and are rescued by troops in bright blue uniforms.

So this take on Tarzan was originally published as a series of short stories in Dark Horse Presents. The positives are the beautiful artwork. The sort of serialized adventures that it was written as gives it a feel of the old serials from the thirties. Tarzan and Jane are written as the characters were originally written by Burroughs. Indeed the whole story idea feels like something that Burroughs would have written if he were alive today.

Now for the bad. The story is somewhat overwritten with too much exposition that goes nowhere or poetry quotes. In fact the ending was very weird and not satisfying to me. We did get some idea of what happened to this world. Some was actually plausible. The whole experience was just not as fulfilling to me as I was hoping. Still I would be open to reading more chapters in this unique take on Tarzan so it wasn’t that bad.



“A Feast of Forbidden Flesh”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Wonder Woman is back in her time and depressed that she abandoned Conan. Her mother makes her promise she won’t go back. But her sister Amazons decide to help out and break into the chamber with the magic mirror. Back in Shamar the Corvidae’s army has the city surrounded. Conan wages a one man war against it but can see it is not enough. So he approaches the sisters and offers a wage. He will fight their best champion without blades. They agree and he faces a monster crow creature. Conan manages to get it in a choke hold with the golden lasso. Wonder Woman and the Amazons arrive and start kicking butt. Soon all the human inhabitants of the city are inspired to fight and the army is routed. Conan and Wonder Woman manage to kill the Covidae. Conan is reunited with his childhood sweetheart Yanna. Only she is married with children so leaves but Conan is happy. He found out Yanna survived the fall into the chasm and is happy. Wonder Woman takes her lasso back and leaves for her time. In the present she is at a coffee shop when a guy in a business suit asks for the honey. He looks just like Conan so she asks him out to lunch.

The final issue tied up the plot nicely. Conan and Wonder Woman get together and kill the evil sisters. They save the city and Conan gets some closure with Yanna. I find it amusing to think of Conan in our time. Conan the stock broker. “By Crom sell high”. This was a cool idea. Putting these two characters together was handled well. They worked well together and had a believable story. The artwork was beautiful and it was interesting to see a young Conan in love. A new side to the character. I have no doubt that some more wild team-ups for Conan are in store for the future.


“Like Blood from the Sky”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Back in modern times on the island of Themyscira the Amazons have finally found out where Wonder Woman has been taken. Queen Hippolyta assembles five Amazon warriors to go back in time and retrieve her daughter. A crow from the Corvidae confirms where Diana is held by taunting the Amazons. He threatens to poop on their statue but doesn’t reckon with the Amazons skill with a bow and arrow. The Amazons are transported to the city of Shamar and look for Diana. Instead they find the Corvidae and have to battle their crow monsters.

So back to Wonder Woman and Conan who are making their way to Shamar. They meet the Corvidae sisters who have captured the Amazons. They threaten to hang them with her golden lasso. As an added bonus they have found the real Yanna. Conan reluctantly tries to fight Diana to save the life of his childhood love. While they are fighting in a half-hearted way the Amazons manage to escape their bonds. One shoots one of the Corvidae sisters in both eyes. The other sister vows to make them all pay as she disappears with her dead sister and Yanna. The Amazons convince Diana to leave and return back to their time. They disappear but Diana leaves Conan her golden lasso.

Well this was an interesting development. Wonder Woman is getting her memory back and is joined by her sisters from the future. Conan meets the real Yanna and is willing to play the Corvidae’s game to insure her safety. I have a feeling that this is not the end and Wonder Woman will come back to help Conan with the final battle.


“War and the Wind Rider”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Conan and Wonder Woman manage to swim to a small city. Conan quickly steals a pouch of gold from a wealthy merchant and the two head to the nearest tavern. There Conan orders plenty of ale and barely cooked meat.(My kind of meal.) Wonder Woman can’t handle her ale and quickly passes out. She is barely concious to hear the romantic proposal from the tavern keeper or the various offers to buy her. She wakes up in time to fight a group of soldiers who were trying to take her. The two have no problem kicking ass and ride off on the soldier’s horses. Along the way Conan continues his story about Yanna. When they were twelve the two ran off and encountered some bandits. A fight ensues where Yanna is stabbed and falls over a cliff.

This was a fun interlude for our two heroes. Conan being Conan steals some gold and goes to the tavern to drink and eat. Amazons can not apparently hold their liquor. There was plenty of humor. The crude tavern owner who promised plenty of glorious women work like cooking, mucking out the stables etc. She wonders why she gets offers like that while Conan gets propositioned by the beautiful serving wench. Wonder Woman gets a dream which is really the Corvidae guiding her to the city of Shamar. The other sister is having the slavemaster who is under their control get ready to kill the slaves when the two arrive. The side story with young Conan and Yanna gets better with a cliffhanger literally. This team-up is working out pretty good.


“The Dance of the Wicked Crows”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

A flashback to when Conan was twelve. He meets up again with Yanna and they goof off. Yanna kisses Conan and he has his first kiss and crush. Back in the present Conan and Wonder Woman are attacked by a great white shark after jumping off the doomed pirate ship. They manage with the chain that connects them to kill the shark and get on a piece of debris. So the two are floating endlessly when Wonder Woman notices two crows and believes land is near. The crows thought transport them to a rainy land with a strange tower in the distance. The crows transform into two woman named Aniva and Lila. They are responsible for bringing together Conan and Wonder Woman. They are bored demi-gods who wager on battles. The wanted the two to battle each other. Conan and Wonder Woman are both not good at orders and fight instead the crow creatures the two conjure up. The sisters as punishment are going to destroy the city that the two met in. Then they find themselves back on the raft. Wonder Woman is going to save the city and Conan who thinks she is his lost love Yanna will go along. At the end we finish the flashback. Yanna didn’t want to be the chief of her village and was going to run off for adventure. Conan was to accompany her.

So the story reveals the reason Wonder Woman is in this time and without memory. The sisters called the Corvidae look to be evil and formidable enemies. Interesting to see a young Conan who has his first love. He seems to really never gotten over losing his childhood love. He still insists that Wonder Woman is Yanna and refuses to give up that delusion. The two characters work well together and this is turning into a fine crossover series.


“Blade and Bracelets, Blood and Sand”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Flashback to Conan’s youth and his time with the young Yanna. They are playing next to a deep chasm to hear the echos. Yanna slips and falls but grabs a ledge. Conan reaches down to save her. So to the present and Conan and Wonder Woman are lead to the arena to fight one another. Conan still believes Wonder Woman is his old childhood crush Yanna. He tries to convince her not to fight but the slavemaster has her memories and she fights Conan. Conan manages to knock her out but refuses to kill her. So the two are sold as galley slaves.

On a pirate ship the two are worked hard. One day the crew wants to throw Wonder Woman overboard because they think she is a jinx. But first they want to have a little fun. Wonder Woman smashes the leaders nose in and a fight begins. Soon a Zingarian patrol boat attacks. In the confusion Wonder Woman jumps off the ship and drags Conan with her. They face great white sharks.

Another excellent issue. We get a glimpse of Conan as a boy and his first love. Then the present story has an exciting plot. They go from gladiator arena to a pirate ship with Wonder Woman trying desperately to remember her past. There are two women who can change into crows that are following and seem to be the cause of Wonder Woman’s current situation. Some great unanswered threads to this story that make the reader want for more.


“A Crow Without Mercy”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Conan in wandering in Aquilonia when he comes on some Aesir about to burn off the jaw of some guy. The man pleads for help but Conan decides its none of his business. The man promises gold and that is enough for Conan’s help. He makes short work of the Aesir and finds out the gold is from some sure bet the man made. So they both go off to the city. There a gladiatorial game is about to start. A tall dark haired woman known as the Warrior Witch fights three gladiators. She manages to defeat them and she was the one that the man Conan saved bet against. So he isn’t getting any gold but the woman looks like his childhood sweetheart Yanna. Conan sneaks in to her cell and talks to the woman. She has no memory except that she was known as Wonder Woman. Conan is knocked out by the slavemaster who plans to chain the two together and have them fight.

So another wild crossover and this time two characters I would have never dreamed would meet. This is definitely a cool idea and I love it so far. The story idea is intriguing. We get some past with Conan’s first love who he thinks this woman gladiator is. Wonder Woman is enslaved with no memory so there is mystery to be solved. Also there are two crows who can turn into beautiful women following. The story is true to the characters of both Wonder Woman and Conan and the artwork is gorgeous. Another great idea for a crossover.


“Play of the Gods Part IV”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

So now Captain Ahax, Taranto and his mercenaries, and the priests are stuck in the new land. They have all this gold but no way to get home. The natives are infatuated with Groo. Thing do start to look up when the natives manage to build a new ship to take them home. This time they won’t overload the ship with gold. So they get the ship loaded and ready to go. As an added protection they make Groo and Rufferto ride in a row boat behind the ship. Groo being Groo manages to mess things up. He sees the leftover gold and loads it on the ship. So the ship is overloaded and sinks again. Meanwhile the natives have discovered cheese dip and finish the temple they are building. It is to Groo. Now gods are born with the imagination of mortals so now Groo shows up as the god of cheese dip and mindless fraying.

So ends this mini-series in the Groo meets the gods saga. So now Groo is a god which just terrifies all the other gods. It would kind of scare me having him with godlike powers. It comes to a hilarious ending and I am looking forward to the next mini-series Day of the Gods.


“Play of the Gods Part III”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

Well a lot of stuff is happening in the new world. The clergy are still planning on converting the natives to Diothos. Unfortunately their army is in sad shape. Made up of prisoners drafted from the dungeon they are a sad looking bunch. That they hire Groo to train them does little to improve the situation. The local natives are growing resentful of the invaders and plan to fight them. When the army chickens out they manage to call Groo who starts to slay the native soldiers. But a kind native saves Rufferto from a falling wall. Groo is moved by this act and the natives take advantage to bring Groo to their side. They ask what he wants and the answer is Cheese Dip. The natives have no idea what that is but start looking for it.

Meanwhile Ahax makes his way to shore after his ship sank. He finds out that Groo did take the boards from the bottom and sell them for a roast pig leg. He convinces the natives to build a new boat. Of course he also has to face the wrath of Taranto and the clergy for trying to leave them behind while he escaped with the gold. And the gods are unset because the heavens are filling up with all these gods and the people are resorting to converting people by force.

The third issue is this series is another enjoyable read. Plenty of witty satire about religion. Plus you have the goofy antics of Groo and all the characters that inhabit his world.


“Play of the Gods Part II”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

Captain Ahax, Taranto and the clergy of Iberza are on their way to the new world. Everyone’s spirits are high with the prospect of all that gold and heathens to convert. It quickly gets dashed when they realize that Groo is on board. Ahax immediately jumps ship and almost chooses getting eaten alive by sharks then being with Groo. Well after Groo wrecks the sails and some other stuff Taranto gets a brilliant idea. They set Groo and Rufferto in a small rowboat that is towed behind. This gets the ship safely to the new world.

So this new land known as Mexahuapan is indeed a wondrous land. Gold is everywhere and the people are quite content. They seem uninterested in being saved and want nothing to do with the cheap pots and jewelry the crew has to offer. They find out that these people have thousands of gods. A god for the color purple, the letter L, asparagus and the list goes on. This believe in so much gods materializes all these gods in the heaven where the current gods hang out. The realm of the gods is getting very crowded. Meanwhile Captain Ahax gets a ton of gold and tries to head out but his ship sinks stranding everyone in this new land.

The second issue gets us to a new land for Groo to cause all sorts of misery and destruction. So belief creates gods and the Mexahuapans belief in so many gods is overcrowding the realm of the gods. I am a bit confused by this since they believed in them for such a long time wouldn’t they have their own realm. Why would they all of a sudden appear in the old world gods realm. Maybe I’m thinking too much after all you shouldn’t think when reading a Groo comic.