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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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In Reply To
Ed Love

Subj: Re: Jungle Jim #1 - What On Earth...
Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 03:04:51 pm EST (Viewed 366 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Jungle Jim #1 - What On Earth...
Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 10:43:02 am EST (Viewed 7 times)

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From the previews and leafing through it, even for Dynamite, this comic makes no sense in connection to its parent entity, the comic strip.

I get that it needs to differentiate itself from the Phantom in that both operate in similar milieus. I get that the big game hunter hero is a dated concept and might need some spicing up for today's comics.

But other than white guy in "A" jungle, there's nothing about this that connects. Now, future issues might explain how we got from the guy in the comic strip to this, but they already lost me for me to be around for that.

I think Dynamite is trying too hard to tell "continuity heavy universe" stories, thus books like "Justice, Inc", "Masks" and "King's Watch" become big continuity retcons in order to tie the characters tightly together instead of just accepting for the sake of the story, they simply exist in the same continuity. Let "continuity" mean "consistency" ie keep the characters on model, and then let the stories flow from the actual characters and actual history. A team-up of the King Feature characters would be very cool (the comic strips themselves managed to give us a Flash Gordon and Prince Valiant one) just as a team-up of Street & Smith's three most enduring pulp heroes.

A pity we are still waiting on actually seeing them.

All fine points, I was approaching the book from the position of being a new reader picking up issue #1 and seeing how accessible the experience was.
Certainly the disconnect between the name, the cover, and the resultant expectations to what is actually inside is as wide a chasm as I can ever recall seeing. If the marketing is problematic though the introductory pages are even moreso with the incomprehensible talk of an alien invasion and rebelling colonies, none of which is present as the story gets underway... for any reader fresh to the book and character those factors are likely to be enough to turn them away. The first six pages compound that as they do nothing to clarify the story location nor whether we are in the future or the present. This is no way to befriend a new reader.

On the positive side once the story passed the eighth page it flows extremely well. Fine characterisation from Paul Tobin gives even the bizarre Beast Men believable and touching humanity, there are paralells to be had with Richard Starkings longrunning Elephantmen. The artwork is breezy but fun with a clear grasp of how to tell the story and add depth to it at the same time. But as a title it isn't 'Jungle Jim', it isn't even some variation on John Carter, this is unashamed Flash Gordon. An extension of Flash Gordon and his world. And this serves the title character and new reader poorly as we already have Flash Gordon for this sort of thing, and because of the heavy co-opting of Gordon's concepts Jungle Jim loses both his independence and his originality as he is being recast into this already occupied world and its niche.

A book with some nice work indeed inside, but wholly flawed as a concept and hobbled with the most fractured introductory method one could use when appealing to a broad audience.

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