Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tidal Waves, Crocodiles, Dinosaurs and Really Big Pigs.

Last week we visited with Captain Kirk. This week, we'll roam the jungles with Tarzan. Which makes me think about who would win a fight between Kirk and the Jungle Lord.

No.... no, I won't think about it. That way lies madness!

Anyways, "Strangers in Lost Pal-Ul-Don" first ran in Tarzan #112 (May-June 1959) by Dell Comics. It was reprinted by Gold Key Comics in Golden Comics Digest #4 (August 1969).

Pal-Ul-Don is an area in Africa that's almost inaccessible because it's surrounded by swamps. Tarzan, though, managed to find his way through those swamps in the the 1921 novel Tarzan the Terrible, when he was pursuing some German soldiers who had kidnapped Jane. There were dinosaurs in Pal-Ul-Don, because no Lost World worth its salt forgets to include dinosaurs. There was a civilization there as well, made up of people who weren't quite human--they had fur and long tales.

The Dell Comics versions of Tarzan and his son Korak would pay return visits to Pal-Ul-Don from time to time. In these stories, they would be visiting a civilization of people who were clearly human.

I've only read a few of these stories, so I'm not entirely sure what the deal is. Either the Dell Universe replaced the original semi-human tribes with full humans, or there was yet another city in Pal-Ul-Don that Tarzan simply didn't run into during his first visit.

In either case, Pal-Ul-Don was a good place to have adventures and rather shamelessly throw an occasional dinosaur into the story. This particular story starts off with a literal bang when a new volcano lifts itself out of the lake upon which the island kingdom of Lutor is located. Tarzan is visiting and he gets the people to high ground before the ensuing tidal wave hits.

An RAF plane flying overhead comes too close to the volcano and is forced to crash. Tarzan rescues the plane's three-man crew from the lake after fighting off a force of Terribs--savage tribesmen who wear crocodile-skin armor. Tarzan then agrees to escort the men back to civilization.

This involves an encounter with a dinohyus--a giant boar the size of a rhino. The pilot ignores Tarzan's advice and puts a few revolver rounds into the creature. This just gets it mad, forcing Tarzan to take the big pig out in personal combat.

And that's pretty much it. It's a very simple 15-page story that exists to provide artist Jessie Marsh with a chance to draw some fun action scenes and jungle landscapes--and throw in a couple of dinosaurs.  And that's just fine, because Marsh's art work always has a fun quality to it. Even though his Tarzan sometimes seemed a little wrong (here's an article by Alex Toth where his one criticism of Marsh's work is anatomy), he still brought a vibrant energy to the stories he drew. If his Tarzan doesn't look quite as awesome as a Tarzan drawn by Foster, Hogarth, Manning or Kubert, his stories are always visually engaging and you never regret the time spent reading them.

But enough of this comic book stuff. Let's get back to the important issues. Because Tarzan would be faster and stronger than Kirk....but then again, Kirk beat Khan in hand-to-hand combat.. but then again, Tarzan could probably beat Khan... but then again, Kirk once fought with a Klingon and Genghis Khan at the same time.. but then again, Tarzan....

No. I won't go there. There's no right answer. I won't do it. I won't.

Kirk or Tarzan.  Kirk or Tarzan. Kirk or Tarzan. Kirk or Tarzan. Which one? Which one?



  1. Kirk would need Spock's help to be able to take down Tarzan.

  2. Even if Tarzan were faster and stronger, Kirk could make gunpowder and take tarzan down like he did the Gorn in "Arena."

    1. Tarzan would smell Kirk and the gunpowder ten dodge aside.

  3. Tarzan is highly intelligent and knows what gunpowder is. He'd beat Kirk up before Kirk could make it.

    1. I agree the gunpowder ploy wouldn't work, but that doesn't mean Kirk couldn't think up another clever strategy to beat the Jungle Lord. I still think its an unanswerable question.

  4. His ploy would have to be to get help or use a phaser on stun. That's Kirk's only chance.

    1. Well, Kirk beat Khan in a hand-to-hand fight. Khan, being genetically-enchanced, can probably be safely put in the same category as Tarzan. So I don't think Kirk can be counted out.


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