Cover: The 13th Lex Barker
#25 October 1951 ~ 52pp. 10 cents
interior: Jesse Marsh
Gaylord Du Bois
Inside Front Cover:
The 12th ‘Jungle World’ features the serval, a long-necked and extreme
fast small wild cat of Africa. The page is an ink drawing with the small
serval in the foreground and a large lion behind him who turns to look
at the small cat. A large tree is to the left background with smaller tree
on the left side.
1st story “Tarzan
The Web of Arrack” ~ 24pp.
City - Rescue N’tala
A distraught Kilumo, Muviro’s son, tells Tarzan of N’tala’s, his bride
to be, mysterious disappearance. Tarzan follows N’tala’s and another strange
scent over a long journey to a natural walled valley.
Tarzan encounters a massive
spider web. He gets caught in the web. A gigantic spider rolls Tarzan up
in a web and takes him to a city. Natives take him to their queen, Mataha,
who decides the ape-man will compete in the Webs of Arrack. Tarzan spies
N’tala. In the Webs of Arrack Tarzan defeats the wrestler, Gudo, a lion,
and Mador, the undefeated gladiator. Tarzan refuses to be Queen Mataha’s
consort. The ape-man disarms Mataha and escapes. The queen summons a giant
spider, whose poisonous bite subdues Tarzan. Araknid, the giant spider,
brings Tarzan back to the queen. Tarzan and N’tala are taken to the Pool
of Magon to be sacrificed to the Arrackian god, Magon.
They are tied to stakes on
a raft and pushed out into a lake surrounded by sheer cliff walls. Magon,
giant crocodile, approaches. Tarzan breaks his bonds, rips up the stake,
and dives into the water. He shoves the stake into the maw of the gimla.
Tarzan grabs N’tala and dives into the water. They follow the crocodile
under water and through a tunnel that leads out to the other side of the
mountain. Tarzan carries N’tala home. Tarzan says that he will return to
destroy the spiders, but for now there is a wedding to attend. End.
story is a great new story. It has all the qualities of an exciting Burroughs
tale with capture/rescue, a beautiful maiden in trouble, a beautiful villain,
great battles, and daring feats. The series of fights Tarzan must complete
in the Webs of Arrack are very similar to the battles he must go through
in Tarzan and the Lost Empire. The play off the word ‘arachnid’
with the name of the giant spider, ‘Araknid,’ plus the name of the city,
‘Arrack,’ is a nice touch, which probably was lost on younger readers.
The giant spider does appear to have more influence from the Barsoomian
spiders in A Fighting Man of Mars than with the Tarzan stories.
Plus, N’tala, when reunited with Kilumo, calls him “... my chief!” - that
is also a Barsoomian influence. Jane, Boy and the tree house are all given
small unimportant parts at the beginning of the story. At the end of the
tale Tarzan hints that he would some day return to destroy the spiders
- thus indicating that there were more than one spider. This would be a
welcome adventure because this story is very well told and moves rapidly
to its conclusion. Also, Tarzan must show his superiority over the creature
that defeated him handily twice.
of the giant spider, Araknid, are terrific drawings. It looks like a huge
tarantula. N’tala is drawn as a very attractive young lady, another one
of Marsh’s beauties. The queen, Mataha, appears very attractive at first
with her low cut gown, but as her villainous personality becomes apparent,
her attractiveness also wanes. Although the cities drawn in the last few
issues don’t have the same flair of the earliest issues, the people are
drawn in a much more relaxed nature with a good variety of close-up and
is one of the best stories to date.
2nd story “Tarzan
and the King of the Gomambas” ~ 16pp.
White Woman (and Prisoners)
Tarzan saves a temporarily
blinded Laura Thomas from two leopards. The Gomambas captured her. The
cruel and insane King Lukah blinds his slaves. Laura managed to escape.
Tarzan takes her to Doctor Harvey Warfield, who believes the effects of
the poisonous juice can be reversed. That night the Gomambas capture them.
They are taken to King Lukah
in the Gomambas village that has electricity. Laura is returned to the
slave pen. The mad king has them manacled and delights in showing his library,
art works, and movie screen. He shows them their fate of being blinded
and chained to a giant wheel that they will have to push to grind grain
Tarzan tells the prisoners
that they will all escape tonight. He breaks his chains as well as the
bonds of the Doctor. He calls for Jad-bal-ja. Tarzan takes the golden lion
with him to the dynamo room. Tarzan sabotages the power plant. He frees
the prisoners. The ape-man has Laura and the Doctor lead the blind slaves
down to the boats. Meanwhile, the King wants to know what happen to the
electricity. Tarzan and Jad-bal-ja enter the room. Tarzan forces Lukah
is get the key to the manacles. Lukah retrieves the key, but he also tries
to blind Tarzan. Tarzan turns his hand so that the king blinds himself.
Jad-bal-ja alerts Tarzan of approaching natives. They make their escape.
Tarzan warns the Gomambas not to take any more captives. End.
story is a new story but lacks the great story telling and plot of the
first tale. Some giant leaps of understanding and beliefs are probably
necessary in this short sixteen pages stories, such as: when Tarzan hears
Laura say King Lukah’s name, he knows immediately that she was the captive
of the Gomambas. Yet, Tarzan does not seem to know anything about their
culture or the madness of Lukah. It is nice to see Jad-bal-ja given a chance
to play a significant role other than just being captured by animal hunters.
It also brings a smile to your face to read ‘Stygian blackness.’ But it
is also disturbing to read Doctor Warfield’s comment that Tarzan ‘broke
the laws of science’ by breaking their chains and calling to Jad-bal-ja.
The slaves pushing the grinding wheel around in the circle reminds one
of the scene from the Cecil B. DeMille movie of Samson pushing the grinding
wheel. (Samson and Delilah, the movie, was released in 1949.) The
story has good potential and probably would have been much better, if they
could have devoted more pages to it.
must have changed at this point or at least an attitude change is apparent
in the bright golden color used for Jad-bal-ja. There are a number of notable
features in the art work of this story: King Lukah’s formal outfit is a
thing of wonder (this much detail is rarely seen of these pages); the library
scene creates a deep perspective and displays the opulence of the king;
and the stares of the blinded prisoners captures the stare of a visually
impaired person with great aplomb. Laura Thomas is very attractive without
the sexiness of N’tala in the first story. All in all, the drawings in
the story are very good with Marsh continuing full stride towards more
natural and animated drawings.
“Mabu’s Special Day”
-- 16th text story -- 2 pages -- no illustrations
“Brothers of the Spear”
-- 1st story - 5 1/2 pages bottom half of the last page contains a subscription
Inside Back Cover: Black
and white ad for Tarzan comics - Lex Barker’s head shot from Dell # 20
is in the upper right hand corner. A drawing of a native shield is placed
diagonally in the upper middle of the page. The offer for subscriptions
rates and gifts is the same as previous issues.
Back Cover: Photo of
a diorama of a mandril (sp). Photo courtesy of American Museum of National