The Once & Future Tarzan
Written by Alan Gordon
Art & Concept by Thomas Yeates
Layouts by albabe
Colors by Thomas Yeates & Lori Almeida
In a future world ravaged by pollution and tribal warring, John Clayton—aka Lord Greystroke—aka TARZAN OF THE APES—lives with his trusty lion Jad in the tunnels and caverns beneath the now decrepit cities. The Once & Future Tarzan follows John’s adventures in this dysopic land: bouts with fantastical creatures, expeditions with futuristic Amazonian lady-tribes, and gun battles with spider-monsters reminiscent of Gary Oldman’s CGI machinations from Lost in Space. Alan Gordon also laces the book with philosophical musing from Thoreau and Whitman, maintain the romanticism and transcendentalism associated with the original Tarzan mythos.
Yes, Dark Horse has released a Tarzan one-shot comic. It’s a fascinating bit of quasi-B-Movie/pseudo-pulp-fiction, with a mix of sci-fi futuristic action and turn-of-the-century jungle man serials. Dedicated to Joe Kubert—creator of the more veiled Tarzan corollary, Tor—The Once & Future Tarzan captures the rugged individualism, going-native narrative associated with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original incarnation of the Tarzan character as well as the sci-fi twist that Kubert worked in so well. Alan Gordon writes a densely packed script, a lot of which will go over the heads of most readers, but the style and feel of the narrative perfectly captures the necessary atmosphere for a Tarzan comic and holds on to the reader’s attention just long enough between gun fights and flying spears.
Thomas Yeates and the artistic corps assemble a delectably pulp comic. Inspired by both the pulp comics of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s as well as the European style of coloring and thin line work, the artwork in The Once & Future Tarzan is a wonderful throwback to simpler lay-outs and kinetic, vibrant comics storytelling (also an homage to the legendary Joe Kubert)!
Check it out. It’s a strange little one-shot, but one that tells a solid story on the 100th Anniversary of Tarzan of the Apes. And as far as artwork goes, Yeates and Co. put together one heck of an homage to the comics art of yesteryear. It’s wonderful to look at.