Friday, February 26, 2021

Review of "Superman Elseworlds Annual 6," DC comics

 Review of

Superman Elseworlds Annual 6, DC comics

Five out of five stars

The Tarzan story melded with the story of Superman

 One of the most popular fictional characters is that of Tarzan, a boy of British aristocratic origins that was raised by apes after his parents were killed when he was an infant. While there were other stories down through history of feral children being raised by animals, most notably that of Romulus and Remus, the founders of the city of Rome, Tarzan is the one most widely known. Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of the Tarzan character, wrote over 20 books featuring Tarzan and the character has appeared in live-action movies, animated films, cartoons, a television series and two radio programs.

 In this comic, the rocket ship bearing the infant Kal-el does not land in the farm of Jonathan and Martha Kent, but in the jungles of Africa in the late nineteenth century at the time when the British Empire was at or near its’ peak. The infant is suckled by a she-wolf and grows to be an integral member of the pack. With greater size and most of the powers associated with Superman, the developing human Tarzan becomes a power among the animals of the jungle.

 Enter two expeditions of people of European extraction, one of which contains the headstrong reporter Lois Lane and in the other the brilliant, but eccentric Lex Luthor. When there is a clash between the animals and humans, Tarzan makes contact and is befriended by Lois. She teaches him to understand English and since Tarzan is very intelligent, he learns quickly.

 Lex proves to be the nefarious and dangerous man in this story that he was in nearly all the other episodes of the Superman adventures. Through his machinations, Lex, Lois and Tarzan end up in England where Tarzan performs before amazed crowds. In a great ending, Tarzan becomes a well-known member of the British royal class and one of the most famous British literary figures appears in one of the last captions.

 While nothing in this story is really new, the melding of two old stories retold many times is perfectly done. Setting the arrival of Kal-el in Africa in the late nineteenth century was a stroke of genius. This is a great story, one of the most imaginative Superman stories ever created.

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