Comics

Thought Bubble – Tarzan: A Tale of Mugambi

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Sometimes all you need to tell a tale is a simple premise and a single issue and that is what we received from Darko Macan and Igor Kordey.  A short, interesting and more importantly, engaging story told easily and eloquently by two master craftsmen at the top of their game.  Perhaps if they continued to put out tales as strong as this one featuring Tarzan, Dark Horse would still hold the licence to publish the character.

This book also features a literary device that never seems to get boring no matter how often it is used – telling a story within a story.  It was done successfully in The Princess Bride and the NeverEnding Story to name a couple, and so it was here as well.  At the beginning of the story we are introduced to an old man named Mugambi who, in exchange for food and the warmth of a fire, recounts a tale about a boy named Mugambi, man-beasts, Tarzan and morals.

Though the book is about Tarzan, he is almost a secondary character in the story much like the Doctor was in the Doctor Who episode Blink or when the Falcon sometimes takes center stage in Captain America.  At certain points, the best books are often those when the main character steps aside to be more of a foil instead of the focal point.  And so it was with this book with Tarzan taking a minor, though crucial, part.

Kordey’s pencils were a great fit for the book.  They were strong, stronger than when he was pencilling X-Men, and almost primal which made them a perfect match for the Lord of the Jungle.  Outside of Joe Kubert, Kordey now sits high as one of the better artists to have drawn Tarzan over the years.  Macon’s script was again, first-rate with the best thing about it being a single issue tale that when it grabbed you – it did not let go until the very finish.  The only downside is that it had to end.  Fantastic stuff.

4.5 out of 5

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