- Series: Tarzan
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse Books (October 11, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616559810
- ISBN-13: 978-1616559816
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,514,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tarzan: The Beckoning Paperback – October 11, 2016
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About the Author
Thomas Yeates is an American comic book and comic strip artist best known for illustrating the comic strips Prince Valiant and Zorro as well as work on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The author lives in Jenner CA.
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I will put a “Spoiler Alert” here. What I share will not give away the true adventure in the book, but there are those who will thank me for the spoiler alert. Read on at your own peril!
In one of the original Tarzan stories by his creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, it is mentioned that Tarzan saved the life of a witch doctor. In gratitude, the witch doctor put Tarzan through a process that would make him forever young. In another story, Tarzan and Jane are treated with a certain drug along with a native couple, which will do basically the same thing.
In this graphic novel, Tarzan and Jane are incognito, because they are both over 100 years old. To alleviate suspicion, they have changed names several times and are considered to be dead.
However, in the African jungle, the witch doctor that treated Tarzan has begun to age after at least two centuries of life. He needs more of the herb he used for the ceremony, but it is in a place where he can no longer go. Thus he needs Tarzan to open the way.
Then there is the illegal ivory trade. The ban on the trade hasn’t kept poachers from gunning elephants down and cutting out the tusks with chainsaws. Tarzan can smell the difference between new ivory—now banned in most of the world—and older ivory, taken while the trade was still legal. He can even tell which elephant has lost its life because many of them were his friends.
With Tarzan smashing the ivory trade wherever he can, one of the ringleaders hires a man to kill Tarzan and wipe out the Waziri tribe, Tarzan’s friends. The witch doctor meanwhile has cast a spell on Tarzan that will make him flee back to Africa, thus unknowingly sending him straight into the hit man’s path.
Adventure in the jungle, in lost civilizations, bloody fighting, and deep mystery all lie in the pages of this graphic novel. Jane traces Tarzan to the jungle, where she ends up with her own adventure. The final showdown brings Tarzan and Jane back together; enemies vanquished.
This is a Tarzan adventure I think Edgar Rice Burroughs would approve of. I give this amazing story five stars.
Quoth the Raven…
All seven issues are included along with painted covers and chapter headings that Yeates also did. It also includes a new introduction done by Yeates. Also because the story concerns Elephant Poaching for Ivory, it includes a startling afterward about the current status of these events.
The story is not just about Elephant poaching but about a mystical man in Africa who is controlling Tarzan's dreams. We also see Jane lose her memory and go feral in the jungle.
As Yeates reveals in the introduction he and his co-writer disagreed about Tarzan's setting. The book starts in San Francisco with Mr & Mrs Tarzan using the aliases of John and Jane Caldwell. Jane is a leader in an Animal Protection group while Tarzan takes a more hands on approach busting illegal importers.
When these dreams Tarzan is having lead to him acting out during the day time he knows he must return to Africa. Jane agrees to stay home initially until Tarzan is presumed dead and she follows.
The part with Jane losing her memory and becoming a feral Jungle woman named Sheenola is my favorite part. I also really enjoyed the several flashbacks to Tarzan's youth that Yeates has sprinkled through the story. I agree with Yeates that the beginning in the city is much weaker then the middle and ending set in the jungles.
The coloring which was done at the beginning of Digital Coloring Revolution has been tweaked and looks better then the original comics. Still it is still a little dark for my taste.
The art itself is "drop dead gorgeous ". Yeates paintings done for the covers and chapter headings just got better and better as the book went along. Jane's permed wavy hair is the only part of the book that smacks of the then current 90's style.
This book gets my Highest Recommendation. Now Dark Horse needs to bring us the other never before Malibu Tarzan Comics which includes the great Mark Wheatley run.