Published by DC and © Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., April 1972
Title: “Origin of the Ape-Man Book One”
Synopsis: Marooned in the jungle, the doomed Greystokes give birth to a son who is eventually raised by apes.
Writer: Joe Kubert
Review: As good as his war comics are, Tarzan is the book Joe Kubert was born to draw. Inspired, the artist turns in beautiful work full of lush jungles and powerful storytelling. His use of silhouettes and spot blacks are excellent. This story, adapting Tarzan’s origin tale, is quite enjoyable, too.
Title: “Chapter One: Arrival!”
Synopsis: Rescuing his friend’s body from Natives, John Carter succumbs to fumes in a cave and is somehow transported to Mars.
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: Murphy Anderson
Review: The pacing is supercharged on this short backup feature, but Murphy Anderson delivers some nice art with clear storytelling.
Grade (for the entire issue): A
Second opinion: “4 out of 4 stars.” – Michael Tierney, Comics Buyer’s Guide #1609, October 2005 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.
Cool factor: Really, there’s not much uncool to be found here.
Not-so-cool factor: OK, maybe Murphy Anderson’s Tharks aren’t the best.
Notable: Origin of Tarzan. … Origin of John Carter of Mars. … This issue also includes “The Dum-Dum,” a one-page text feature on Edgar Rice Burroughs, written by Marv Wolfman. … There’s also a three-page text story titled “Tarzan’s First Christmas,” with reprint art from Hal Foster. … Includes a one-page John Carter pinup by Gray Morrow.
Collector’s note: First DC issue (continues the numbering from Tarzan’s Dell and Gold Key run).
Character quotable: “I’ve heard tell that … thing … had a ape for a mother!” – Mr. Klaxton, jungle guide
A word from the publisher: “(Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.) wanted their artists on it. But I insisted on Kubert. I think I was right. He was the perfect guy for the strip.” – Carmine Infantino, in Back Issue #1, December 2003
A word from the writer/artist/editor: “Here was an opportunity for me to connect again with the joys of my childhood. To infuse myself into the world of Tarzan, the Ape Man, and to write and draw the character that had been an inspiration to me.” – Joe Kubert, from the 2005 introduction to “Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan: The Complete Joe Kubert Years,” 2016
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on March 8, 2010.