DC SALUTES THE BICENTENNIAL
Published monthly, thirty cents, August
Cover artist: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Editor: Joe Orlando
Do I really need to tell you about Tarzan? You know all about the King of the Jungle … Lord Greystoke, parents marooned, raised by apes, you Jane …
I will say he debuted in the 1912 novel (the first of 24) “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
There have been Tarzan comic books as long as there have been comic books – even during the so-called “Platinum Age” when companies would reprint his strips into comic book format. From February 1948 until August 1962 Dell Comics published the adventures of the Ape Man for 131 issues. Gold Key took over the comic from #132 (November 1962) until #206 (February 1972).
DC Comics published the character from #207 (April 1972) through #258 (February 1977), when Marvel Comics bought out the rights and published their own comic beginning with new numbering.
Another missed opportunity – with a scheduling version of three card monte, the 250th anniversary issue of Tarzan could also have been a Bicentennial Banner comic…
“Jungle War (part two)”, adapted from the novel Tarzan the Untamed, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Gerry Conway ( w ), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (a). This serial will conclude in issue #256.
It is 1914 in British East Africa. Tarzan carries Major Schneider of the Kaiser’s army to the top of a ravine and, after a struggle, kicks him into the waiting paws of a hungry lion (hungry, Hun, get it?), thus avenging Jane’s (supposed) death. Still, mourning, he kills an antelope for food and viciously fights off a pack of jackals intent on stealing his meal.
Later, he attacks a German machine gun nest, turns their guns on the German army and escapes unseen. He informs the general in command he will not rest until every German in Africa is driven out or dead. Tomorrow he vows to empty out the German trench without firing a shot.
Tarzan shoos off a pack of hyenas eating a boar to skin it. He returns to the ravine where the lion is sleeping off his Germanic meal from two days before. Tarzan uses the skin to cover the lion’s head and paws – rendering it helpless. He unleashes the lion into the German trench. The Boche flee into No Man’s Land and and thus shot down by the English. The lion finally ends by killing Lieutenant Von Goss – who was at the moment bragging about burning the Greystoke plantation to the ground.
Tarzan chases the other commanders into No Man’s Land. They beg for mercy, please do not kill us as you did Schneider’s brother, they say.
Brother? Yes, Tarzan killed the brother of Captain Fritz Schneider. Not Schneider himself.
“Jane’s killer still lives?!” Tarzan bellows in rage.
To be continued…
Ape Mail: letters commenting on issues #247 and 248 by Mark Schmeider, Concord, Mass (mostly positive, but wants more details as to the artists involved – it is explained that the Redondo Studio does some of the art and it is hard to track – whoever came in that morning did the art!) and Don Vaughn of Lake Worth, FL (positive and requests they continue the Fantastic Creatures of Edgar Rice Burroughs feature – the editor says the feature will resume in Tarzan Family and hypes that companion title, telling us all new stories are on the way (for two more issues …). The column also contained a list of the first ten Tarzan novels, their dates of release and the issues of Tarzan that adapted the stories so far! The editor also asks for more of your letters!
Join me next time for the last DC’s Bicentennial issue #33: DC Super-Stars #5
Original Material copyright 2015 Michael Curry
Images used are copyright their respective holders and reproduced here under the “Fair Use” doctrine of 17 USC 106 & 106a for the purposes of criticism and comment.