Tarzan Versus Predator At the Earth’s Core, by Lee Weeks & Walter Simonson ISBN 156971231X
Four out of five stars
Although he is sometimes maligned as a writer of pulp fiction, Edgar Rice Burroughs was an imaginative writer. He took a plausible scenario of a man from “civilization” growing up in the jungles of Africa, then known as the dark continent, and expanded it into a series of great adventures. One of those adventures took place at Pellucidar, a continent that exists inside the Earth at the core and access to Pellucidar is via the natural opening at Earth’s North Pole. The books describing these adventures were published in 1930 and the story “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne, was published in 1864. Therefore, Burroughs’ “borrowed” heavily from Verne.
The alien creatures that come to Earth to carry out ritual hunts and are depicted using the term “Predator” first appeared in the 1980’s. They have also been used as plot devices in opposition to other comic book characters. In this case, Tarzan is pitted against a team of Predator’s in Pellucidar and the story includes many of the characters in the Burroughs book, “Tarzan at the Earth’s Core.”
The isolated nature of Pellucidar allows for it to be a place where the dinosaurs still roam and there are sentient apelike creatures. In other words, evolution continued in some ways while it stagnated in others. There is a powerful villain that is not a Predator, so Tarzan is forced to battle several different forces as he tries to restore the legitimate governmental structure while defeating the Predator forces.
Tarzan is a hero with no superpowers in the sense of many other comic book characters. As a child of the jungle, he must rely on his strength, agility, heightened senses and his hunter’s cunning in order to win his battles. This graphic novel is an entertaining combination of an old hero doing battle with a modern villain. Although Predator has technical superiority, Tarzan is the superior warrior, able to prevail in the mutual hunt.