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Subj: Jungle Jim #2 - Rebels on the Roll.
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 06:04:59 pm EDT (Viewed 420 times)
Alas so little time, I would like to say more about Jungle Jim's second issue as here is a terrific example of comicbook synergy in motion. Put briefly then writer Paul Tobin took up the challenge to update a largely forgotten Golden-Age character, and not only did he tear up the users manual on gentleman Jungle Jim but mashed him up with John Carter for good effect.
So this Jungle Jim from Dynamite Comics is an all-new character? Surprisingly no. This is still the 19th century big game hunter and adventurer who appeared way back when and played an Alan Quartermain type role in print and on screen, what Paul Tobin opts for to bring the character to a new audience is not so much wholesale reinvention but rather a reintroduction. And right from the very first page he and artist Sandy Jarrell have the readers full attention thanks to an expertly constructed opening page which is compelling and intriguing. Here is an example of how to craft a sharp and lively comicbook that can be enjoyed by a wide audience range and is filled with charming and quirky characters, no matter if most of them are not only alien but bizarre, thanks to Paul Tobins deft gift for character and finely observed art from Jarrell we are able relate to them in one way or another.
So let's see - oldworld colonial hunter, on a planet near Mongo, now a part elemental jungle-god, he is a buffoon, a hero, an embarrassment, a rebel, an inspiration, and so many other things. It should be preposterous. And yet it works, fantastically well. And a part of the secret to this success is that here is a book which has a serious purpose driving it but doesn't take itself deadly seriously either. Recasting Jim as a knowing, slightly camp and irreverant Jack Sparrow in space rather than the square jawed buisinesslike adventurer of old is a shrewd move from Tobin which succeeds well. Sandy Jarrell's art complements the tone with visuals that are slightly cartoonish in some respects but are filled with visua detail and lots going on. Indeed almost every page is filled with panels that on closer inspection tell a story in themselves. The looks and body posture of the main cast as they react to the moment are a particular delight and add a human element to this alien world which ease the reader in without them even knowing why.
Paaul Tobin wastes no time in explaining who Jungle Jim is and how he ended up on this world, along the way he links Jim with The Phantom and despite this being Flash Gordons territory none of it feels forced or improboble, such is the confidence of the narrative and the outrageous but fun Jim such things as plausibility are irrelevent to the enjoyment of what we are seeing.
Sought out by the young Lille to aid in rescuing her brother from a schduled execution Jungle Jim is a mercurial figure. As he tells his tale to Lille and her friends there is no doubt Jim enjoys a larger than life tale with an appreciative audience, a showman and show-off he would be at home in the nearest bar and few jugs of real ale. That young Lille also enjoys a drink is sure to be one commonality which will bind her with the irreverent Jim in the days to come, but already one can see that these two complement the other well. Jim may be a near godlike force thanks to the experimental technology of Ming's morphing plants, but a tactician and great thinker he is not, that is Lille's province. As events progress it will be worth the journey in seeing how the two come together and what their destiny is to be. At the moment though just two issues in this a delightful book to read. Fun, warm, and with a heart.
Another Dynamite Comics success. Try it why not.
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