In Review: Lords of the Jungle #4

Long may these lords of the jungle reign!

The covers: There are four different covers for fans to collect. The A cover is by Felipe Massafera and is from a very unexpected point of view. Sheena and Tarzan are grappling in a rainstorm with Big Ben towering over them. Both characters have different levels of stress on their faces: she yelling and he gritting his teeth. This is an interesting angle and I like it; a good way to show the location of the tale. This is the cover I chose to accompany this review. The B is by Roberto Castro and Dinei Ribeiro. This has the pair of heroes rushing down a street pursued by people who look to be fans, while the other people on the street look shocked at the barely clothed twosome. The leads are colored just a bit brighter than everything else on the page, but there’s a lot of tan and brown in this image, making the heroes tough to make out. Having the colors be more differentiated would have elevated this image. This same illustration makes up the C cover, though it’s a “B&W Incentive” that doesn’t include Ribeiro’s colors. I prefer this version. The final cover, the D, is the “Virgin Art” cover that’s the same as the A, just without any text. It’s nice. Overall grades: A A, B B+, C A, and D A

The story: This issue of ‘Lords of the Jungle’ begins quietly, with Luck and Sheena having a conversation about her continuing to work for him in his circus. He’s afraid of losing her since she brings in so much money, but she says she has to go, “…considering that my home isn’t even in this century.” This angers the man, thinking she’s making fun of him. He storms off saying, “But don’t expect me to bail you out of whatever trouble you’ve gotten yourself into!” A turn of the page has the reader returning to Tarzan and Jane in a closed room under the gun from Laine and two of her underlings. Writer Corinna Bechko has Tarzan respond perfectly when Jane tells him that he doesn’t know what Laine is capable of: “What she’s capable of? She’s the one who should be worried. There’s not a human alive who’s a match for us now that we’ve been reunited, Jane!” I’m a tremendous Tarzan fan and that dialogue made my heart soar at the machismo coming out of the ape man. There’s a great action sequence that follows, showing Lord Greystoke is also incredibly smart during a fight, shown on 5. His and Jane’s escape is dramatic, and receives a huge “Wow” moment when one of those underlings uses a gun, a very specific gun. Just as it seems the pair are doomed, Page 12 has an awesome entrance that shows a villain going down in the hardest possible way imaginable. After this intense scene there’s a quick bit of humor with Cheetah that made me laugh out loud. Jane later reveals in the issue how she became kidnapped by Laine and Tarzan tells how he became aware of the baddies. You know you’re reading a well written book when even the flashbacks are thrilling. Bechko is flawless on this series. Overall grade: A+

The art: As with the story, the visuals are incredibly strong. The opening three pages are a conversation between Luck and Sheena and artist Roberto Castro makes it riveting. Both characters are incredibly attractive, but each isn’t just a well looking mannequin, they emote fantastically: the first page has Luck standing angrily in the third panel, his arms crossed and eyes lost in shadows. He’s furious in the fourth panel, shaking his fist at the Queen of the Jungle. Sheena closes the page in a good bit of ire, her arms dismissing the circus owner. Look at the nice mystery that Castro puts in her face in the third panel of Page 2, with half of her face shaded as she considers the future: an excellent visual to show that time period is hidden. These three pages are in the typical right angled rectangles of panels, but when the action begins on Page 5 the panels become jagged, making the situation seem frantic. On 4 there’s an absolutely fantastic close up of Tarzan that dominates the page when he states that Laine should be worried: this is a gorgeous panel showing the strength of this hero. I fell in love with Tarzan all over again with that panel and that text. The fire of the futuristic weapon is nicely nasty, especially when it hits a person who’s in the wrong place. My favorite page is 12 which has an extremely powerful moment. It’s beautiful and frightening. The final panel of the issue has a terrific hero shot as all the protagonists take a pose before setting out on their quest. Heck, even Cheetah is there. This book is beautiful. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Also making this book look incredible is colorist Alex Guimaraes. His coloring of every character’s hair is absolutely gorgeous, from Sheena and Luck to Jane and Tarzan; I’m enamored by their hair. The tints that Guimaraes puts in the locked room that Tarzan is in, the flashback with Jane, and the flashback with Tarzan makes each scene fantastic. The illuminated windows of London at night are incredibly striking. There’s an explosion on Page 8 that works because the colors are so bold. I can’t imagine Castro’s work without Guimaraes’s colors. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Simon Bowland creates dialogue, a scream, and sounds for this issue. When characters have their words slightly bolded and italicized when they speak it creates an excellent way for the reader to hear the stress in their speech, with the one word in the second panel of Page 4 making Tarzan’s speech outstanding. The sounds pump up the action sequences with the WHUMP being effectively grotesque. Overall grade: A+ 

The final line: Solid storytelling and strong visuals continue to make this a must read book. Long may these lords of the jungle reign! Highest possible recommendation. Overall grade: A+

To order ‘Lords of the Jungle’ or other issues in this series go to

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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