The First and Only Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan
and "Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
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"The master of imaginative fantasy adventure...
...the creator of Tarzan and...
...the 'grandfather of science-fiction'"
ERB COMPENDIUM T20-14
Tarzan and the Forbidden City
Gold Key Comics
Tarzan and the Forbidden City
Gold Key Comic No. 190
February, 1970Tarzan is drawn to the jungle village of the Buiroos by the sound of cannibal drums which tell of torture and death. A well-aimed arrow from his bow and his booming god-like voice from the shadows saves a white woman from death at the stake. After cutting her free he subdues and captures the chief’s son and carries him hostage while they make their escape into the jungle night.
The woman identifies herself as Helen Gregory who, with her father, was on an expedition to find her brother Brian who had disappeared trying to find the priceless “Father of Diamonds” hidden in the Forbidden City of Ashair located in Tuen-Baka – an extinct volcano. A rogue named Atan Thome had stolen their map to Ashair just before Helen had been captured by cannibals.
Tarzan returns the girl to the Gregory safari and is surprised to discover that his old friend, Captain Paul D’Arnot of the French Navy, is a member of the party – mainly because of his attraction for Helen. The ape-man promises to lead them to Ashair.
Days later, while in advance of the safari, Tarzan rescues a lone spearman from a dinosaur thought to be extinct for 100 million years. The man is Thetan of Thobos – a rival city of Ashair. Thetan accompanies Tarzan back to the Gregory camp where they sit around the campfire and plan a way of entering Ashair. Suddenly, they are surrounded by glowing death masks – floating and moaning warnings in the darkness. The party fights off the intruders, discovering that they are actually wearing phosphorescent masks, but during the confusion Helen is abducted and taken upriver in an Asharian galley
Tarzan calls to his great apes for assistance and they all rush along the river hoping to surprise the Asharians when they make camp upstream. Upon reaching the galley camp D’Arnot rescues Helen and Tarzan leads his great apes aboard where they overcome the Asharians. Leaving the apes behind, the Tarzan and the Gregory safari board the galley to follow the river to Tuen-Baka where they float into a dark tunnel in the volcano’s base.
In the darkness of the tunnel they are attacked by two galleys from Ashair, but through the desperate effort of the galley slaves who have been promised their freedom, they break through the attacking galleys and make it through the tunnel to moonlit Lake Horus in the volcano’s caldera. It is only at this time that they realize that Helen, D’Arnot, and the askaris have been captured or have fallen overboard back in the tunnel.
They pass by the lights of Ashair and reach Thobos on the other side of the lake at daybreak. Upon docking, according to Thobos law, the outsiders are imprisoned until Thetan can persuade his uncle, the king, to free them.
Meanwhile, Helen and Paul are brought before the Queen Atka of Ashair who, believing they have come to steal the Father of Diamonds, has D’Arnot sent to the temple cages and Helen ordered to the same temple to serve as handmaiden to the Priests of Brulor.
D’Arnot is lowered through 200 feet of solid rock in a crude elevator to Brulor’s temple where he is locked in a cage so that he can look upon the Father of Diamonds until he dies. He is amazed to discover that the prisoner in the next cage is Brian Gregory. While informing Gregory that his father and sister have unsuccessfully tried to reach him, Helen is brought before Brulor. They are horrified to see Brulor conduct a marriage ceremony between Helen and Zytheb, one of the priests.
At the court of King Herat of Thobos, the king orders Gregory kept as hostage until Tarzan can prove himself by stealing the Father of Diamonds from the Temple at Ashair.
CONTINUED IN PART 2
Tarzan and the Forbidden City
Gold Key Comic No. 191
While King Herat of Thobos holds Tarzan’s friend Gregory as hostage, the ape-man sets out to get the ransom price, The Father of Diamonds, which is jealously guarded in the enemy city of Ashair. Once out of the city, Tarzan takes to the tree-ways for speed and to avoid detection.
Meanwhile, in the underwater Temple of Brulor, beneath Ashair, Helen Gregory has just been given in marriage to Zytheb the priest. Beyond the glass wall of Zytheb’s apartment moves the strange marine life of Lake Horus.
While resisting Zytheb, Helen knocks him unconscious and steals the keys to the prisoners’ cages. One of the prisoners, Herkuf, is a former priest and promises to lead them to freedom through secret passageways.
Tarzan approaches the area surrounding Ashair in time to prevent an Asharian patrol from recapturing the party fleeing the submarine temple on their way to Thobos. Agreeing to help Tarzan in his quest for the diamond, priest Herkuf leads him back through the secret entrance into the temple. They are seen entering the passage by a sentry, however, and when they reach the throne room they are overwhelmed by the Asharian ptomes. They are soon joined in the temple cages by the rest of the party who also have been captured.
The Queen has declared, however, that Helen be taken to the “Little Chamber” to die slowly. Once left alone Tarzan applies his muscle might to the cage bars and soon he and Herkuf are making their way to the temple’s airlock where they don underwater suits and enter the submarine world of Lake Horus. The two men then swim to a stone tower – carrying with them a spare suit.
The two swimmers enter a topside airlock of the tower and reach Helen in time to save her from drowning in the rising waters of the “Little Chamber.” Helen puts on the spare suit and the three leave the Tower of Torture, only to be attacked by four armed and suited Ptomes. After disposing of the attackers, they descend deeper into the depths of the lake to avoid further attack but Helen is suddenly carried away by the entwining tail of a giant snakelike sea monster.
After Tarzan rescues Helen by killing the beast they search in vain for their guide, Herkuf. Tarzan realizes that because of the approaching darkness of night, Herkuf means for them to seek refuge and hide for the night, which they do in a giant shell.
Morning’s light reveals Herkuf holding a small chest beside the hulk of an old galley. After indicating the importance of his find, Herkuf hides it on lake bottom. They then swim back to an underwater window of the Temple of Brulor in time to see the guards exit the throne room.
Before they return to the temple, Herkuf suggests that they spear a number of food fish which allow them to pass through the Ptome’s bunk room on their way to the temple cages. They release Brian and D’Arnot but just as Tarzan is about to grab the diamond they are discovered by the Ptomes.
As they desperately fight to reach the airlock, Helen, who is waiting outside on the lake bottom, is captured by a diver in a white water suit. In desperation, Herkuf opens the water gate, flooding the throne room and its occupants. They are forced to leave without the diamond and are filled with dread when they realize that Helen has disappeared.
Meanwhile, in a cavern bordering Lake Horus, a mad priest approaches the helpless prostrate form of Mr. Gregory while Helen pleads in vain for his life. They seek to gain a clue as to the whereabouts of the lost Father of Diamonds by cutting open their victim
The savage ceremony is interrupted by the arrival of Tarzan’s Great Apes who attack the priests. Tarzan’s party arrives and learn from Gregory that he had escaped from Thobos only to be captured by the mad priests who also had been responsible for the abduction of Helen.
Before they left the lake bottom Herkuf had retrieved the chest he had hidden earlier. It turns out that it contains the real Father of Diamonds, lost for many years in the wrecked galley. The diamond in the Ashair temple is false.
At noon the following day, while trying to find their way out of the crater, Tarzan and the Gregory party are met by a war fleet from Thobos. Herkuf who has returned the holy diamond to Thobos, now wears a royal robe and accompanies the king in the flagship. The king’s fleet has come to escort the outsiders safely out of Tuen-Baka.
. WEBJED: BILL HILLMAN .
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