- Writers: D.W. Kann and Ryan Matta
- Artist: Pablo De Bonis
- Colorist: Damián Peñalba
- Letterer: Joel Saavedra
- Script Supervisor: Francisco Tomat
- Cover Artist: Simon Bisley
Thanks to D.W. Kann for the review copy!
ZADAR the Savage is a fresh take on classic stories, clearly taking its inspiration from Tarzan (with a little Conan the Barbarian vibe in for good measure). Nowadays, you may associate Tarzan with a Disney cartoon, a bad Brendan Fraser movie (not really Tarzan, but George of the Jungle is a pretty close ripoff), or hokey black and white serials. Luckily, this story uses Tarzan as a touchpoint, but this story is vivid and violent.
Like Tarzan, Zadar is a ‘lord of the jungle.’ He can talk with apes (which is handled adeptly by the writers) and is of noble birth. Instead of an origin story, when the story begins, Zadar has already established a household with his wife (not named Jane) in the jungle. Set in the early 1900s, war and Europeans soon impact Zadar’s life.
Unlike the hokey black and white depictions of Tarzan, this book is pretty violent, which makes Zadar feel fresh even though the story it is honoring has been adapted many times. There’s some blood and violence against animals, and the climactic battle at the end may be a bit much for younger readers. In addition to being action packed, the art is impressive. The apes are drawn realistically, but are also able to convey intelligence and emotion. My favorite page is a full page splash showing Zadar in a tree with a troop of apes, depicted in silhouette. The colors are bright and the art clearly depicts what is going on (which is a welcome choice when the team could have made the jungle dark and hard to see).
Like Nottingham’s reinvention of Robin Hood, Zadar is a fresh take on an old story, providing an interesting take on the Tarzan paradigm. The end of the issue sets up the path for future issues. If the first issue is any indication, the Zadar the Savage has a lot of promise.
Are you going pick up the comic? Have you already? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter at @TheConCollectve!
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