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Not Paducah. Pellucidar. – Weird Worlds #4

May 10, 2011

 

The “Tarzan Presents” is the full extent of the rubber band swinging monkey man’s appearance in this comic. With that disappointment out of the way, on to the actual content.

John Carter and David Innes are the stars of the two tales in this Edgar Rice Burroughs-infused book. Full disclosure: I know more about John Carter, Intern of ER than I do about John Carter, Warlord of Mars, and I’m mostly familiar with Innes through the delightfully awful Peter Cushing/Doug McClure(!) At the Earth’s Core. Perhaps someone more qualified should be looking at this particular comic, but we’re stuck with me. So on we go.

The Carter half (Script: Marv Wolfman, Pencils: Sal Amendola, Inks: Joe Orlando) is packed with the expected Banths, Therns, scantily-clad alien femmes fatales and double-torsoed creatures:

Double-torsoed dudes give me a nasty Human Centipede feeling, not the best association to have. You?:

Now, a word about the art here. It’s a bit bipolar in this first bit. I find a one page panorama like this one to be quite appealing:

But this panel, from the final page of the story, looks ugly and amateurish, as if it’s from whipping-boy Rob Liefeld’s junior high sketchbook:

Perhaps I’m being harsh. Perhaps not.

Anyway.

The David Innes story (Script: Dennis O’Neil, Art: Michael Kaluta) has our hero and his companion, Professor Abner Perry, escaping from saurian Mahar captors and Innes rescuing a hot broad from a pterodactyl, as seen on the cover. The art is a bit more steady, and one can’t help but admire a panel that shows a pterodactyl being brought down with the distressed damsel in silhouette:

The title of this short is “Jubal the Ugly One.” That’s rather odd since Jubal only shows up in the last panel, but, to be fair, he lives up to the description:

As I said, I’m not the biggest Burroughs aficionado. I have, however, read my share of pulps in my day, and these bits of adaptation lack the pulpy elan that should pervade an effort such as this. There’s something missing, something more than coverings for our heroes (it’s as if they’re competing to see who can look the most like he’s going to accidentally expose his junk at any moment). I’m not sure what’s lacking. Weird Worlds and the Burroughs stuff didn’t last long, so maybe I’m not way off base.

We should just be thankful that Doug McClure — with his steadily decreasing wardrobe, huge head and sweaty arms — didn’t make an appearance.

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