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Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan: The Savage Heart

(This review originally appeared in NextPlanetOver's The Scoop. However, its archive has since been disabled.)

Reviewed By Beth Hannan Rimmels

Writer: Alan Gross
Artist: Mike Grell
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

When I heard Grell was working on a Tarzan miniseries, I was intrigued and enthusiastic. I still adore his run on Warlord as one of the best sword-and-sorcery comics ever, but I’ll buy almost anything for Grell’s art.

The art here doesn’t disappoint. Grell’s work is a beautiful as ever. This is how muscles are supposed to be drawn. Gross’ plot is a tad less successful. I fully understand the concept behind starting a story in the middle to heighten tension, but in this case, it was far too disorienting until a more thorough explanation begins on page 12. To Gross’ credit, everything does finally start to make sense and the issue ends with an appropriate cliffhanger for the next issue.

Parallels to Grell’s work on Warlord are unavoidable, particularly since the first issue is largely a set up to send Tarzan to Pellucidar, a world inside the earth (Skartaris anyone?). The woman who shows up on page 21 even looks a bit like Tara.

A quick thumb through doesn’t do this book justice. It is worthwhile if you stick it out to get to the explanation, but if you’re a fan of Grell’s art, the plot’s going to be of secondary interest anyway.

1999 NextPlanetOver.