As much as I pride myself on knowing the pulp characters of years ago, I was unfamiliar with Jungle Jim. After I read Dynamite’s “King: The Phantom” issue 1, I recognized immediately that this was a world I wanted to revisit and soon. I recalled that “King: Jungle Jim” was included in the advance copy e-mail that featured “King: The Phantom” and made sure to make that the next title I turned my attention to. Boy, was I happy to find another sincere, charming, and fun story that hopefully will not be overlooked as it releases in two weeks on February 4th.
“King: Jungle Jim” is written by Paul Tobin of recent Prometheus: Fire and Stone notoriety. The book reads in very much the same, direct, and conversational way. Tobin’s writing especially makes “King: Jungle Jim” such an inviting new comic to check out. So who is Jungle Jim and why should you care to check out his book when you’re swamped with what DC and Marvel are offering? Here’s why, if you’re longing to have a relationship with a comic book, “King: Jungle Jim” is a title that is pure in character and tone. It offers a direct experience with the reader that you will surely enjoy and begin to care about as the story unfolds. Alright, so now you know what you’re getting from the Dynamite series but still, who is Jungle Jim? Okay, I’ll tell you. Jungle Jim is a man of myth, a man of fable, yet very much a man. In the first few pages we learn that he is believed to be thirty feet tall and the creatures of the forest are subject to his command. The “guerilla warrior who can seemingly bend the jungle creatures, and the jungle itself, to his whim” is apparently the only hope for Lille Devrille (a character introduced in Flash Gordon). Her brother, Daris, has been captured by Ming’s royal troops on the planet Mongo and she decides to go an expedition to find Jungle Jim and ask for his help.
“King: Jungle Jim” introduces us to a fantastic world filled with creatures, aliens, and a great pulp hero. It’s an odd story, somewhat on the level of DC’s Animal Man and Swamp Thing, but Jungle Jim stands out mainly in part because of Paul Tobin’s writing abilities. Jungle Jim is “a rascal, a scoundrel, a ladies man, and a complete bounder” according to Tobin. Interestingly enough, we truly get to know Jungle Jim through expository scenes when the rest of the cast discuss his mythic status, as opposed to seeing the man in action. We’ll probably, almost certainly, get more of that as the series continues.
Paired with a great writer, “King: Jungle Jim” features Sandy Jarrell as the artist. Jarrell is the exact kind of artist you’d want for a book like this. If you’re unfamiliar with the title, chances are you’re not going to pick it up. So maybe you flip through a few pages and the art catches your eye. Naturally, you’re intrigued so you decide to buy it. Jarrell’s art will make you demand “King: Jungle Jim” on a monthly level. The work Tobin and Jarrell have put into issue one already have me placing this in the top five books that I’m currently reading (and anticipating to read.)
“King: Jungle Jim” is two weeks away so you still have time to add to your pull list and request at your local comic book store. Trust me, it’s worth it.
“King: Jungle Jim” gets four out of five stars!
King Jungle Jim #1 (of 4)
Writer: Tobin, Paul
Artist: Jarrell, Sandy
Cover Artist: Cooke, Darwyn
Format: LIMITED SERIES
On Sale: 02/04/2015
Diamond Id: NOV141215