Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #3
Dark Horse Comics/Boom! Studios 2016
Written by David Walker & Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Fernando Dagnino
Coloured by Sandra Molina
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
An attack on Ape City has ties to a mysterious event from Tarzan and Caesar’s childhood, and the connection reveals a battle much greater than the brothers could have imagined, not to mention new villains and heroes.
Alright what I think I love about this story is that I have no real idea what the heck is going on. Okay so Cornelius and Zira came back in time to settle in Africa and found Tarzan as a baby and raised him alongside their own son, who now goes by Caesar. On a trip back to Africa with his cousin, a not so nice individual, they find Caesar and his people, who are apes that have been taught by Cornelius and Zira, and they all come under attack from dinosaurs. So many different things going on here that shouldn’t be happening together and yet the boys are making it all seem like it’s the most natural thing in the world.
With the addition of the dinosaurs the surrealism of the story takes on yet another classic literature feel to it. For me it was something along the lines of Journey to the Center of the Earth and considering Burroughs own references to that in his works well it makes sense. There’s this complete homage going on in my eyes and the addition of this aspect that would reunite the brothers well it all works extremely well.
You’ve also really got to give Fernando a huge hand here. I mean he’s got so many different things to work with and make it all seem like it’s from one shared world. He does that extremely well too as the dinosaurs, apes and humans all flow seamlessly throughout the story. His use of page layouts through angles and perspective and how he utilises the backgrounds really take us on this incredibly journey. I really am impressed with the amount of work he’s putting into this and kudos to Sandra for making all the colouring cohesive as well.
There are moments of this story that are heartbreaking and those that add to the drama and mystery of what’s happening. With the departure of some characters and the introduction of others this series keeps growing and evolving in ways I could never have seen coming. That the guys can keep doing that from the opening to now shouldn’t come as a surprise but somehow it still does.
Not only is the story progression impressive but so is the characterisation that we get here as well. The more we see of the main cast the more there is still to learn about them. Caesar keeps growing as an adult and that he embodies the attributes of both his parents is lovely to see.
With how this story ends it takes on a whole new level of impressiveness. There’s so much going on and so many genre’s intertwined that it really leaves the reader stunned that it can encompass so much.