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Dell Comics Summaries
4-Colour Series & Miscellaneous References
ERBzine 2397: Dell 4-Colour Tarzan 134: Devil Ogre
ERBzine 2397: Dell 4-Colour Tarzan 161: Fires of Tohr
by Duane Adams
Click on cover pics for full-screen images

DELL #134 February 1947

FOUR COLOR DELL ~ 52pp. 10cents
Art cover and interior -- Jesse Marsh
Writer -- Robert P. Thompson for feature story. 
(Possible input from Gaylord Du Bois)
Cover: Painting - Tarzan astride of Tantor - Jesse Marsh
Inside Front Cover: Splash page - first page of story - black and white and values of red

“Tarzan and the Devil Ogre”
Rescue White Man - White Gorillas - Legend (Devil Ogre)
Tarzan and Lt. d’Arnot witness a parachutist near the Ras Dashani Rest House. Timmons, manager of the rest house, and Captain Hardy, hunter/guide, follow Tarzan and d’Arnot towards the parachutist. Tarzan kills a lion that is about to attack Doris Ramsay, the downed flier. Captain Hardy is to lead Miss Doris into the Ras Dashani Mountains in search of her missing father, John Ramsay, who was searching for gold. They will head for the Tower of Hotoombo that is ruled by the Devil Ogre. Miss Doris asks Tarzan to take charge of the safari. Hardy will be in charge of the bearers, who are afraid of the legend surrounding the area.

Hardy instructs Mulo, chief and witch-doctor for the bearers, to kill Tarzan. Incorrect information causes Mulo to attack d’Arnot. Mulo escapes but leaves behind Hardy’s knife. Tarzan informs Hardy that Waziri warriors will accompany them as guards.

On the trail, the bearers grumble. Muviro and the Waziri catch up to the safari.

Zanaka, chief of a tribe of Dashani warriors, approach. White gorillas and warriors accompany him. Zanaka warns them to go back. He has Gufta, a white ape demonstrate his strength. Tarzan defeats Gufta in a wrestling match. Later, they discover Miss Doris missing. Tarzan follows the spoor of white apes.

Hardy tells Mulo that they will desert when d’Arnot, Muviro, and the Waziri sleep. Tarzan rescues Miss Doris from Dashani warriors. White apes confront them. Gufta saves them and lets them go. D’Arnot, Muviro, and the Waziri follow the deserters and find their bodies. Dashani poison arrows killed them. Tarzan and Miss Doris join them.

Two days later, at the base of the Tower of Hotoombo, Tarzan enters a cave and finds John Ramsay’s possessions. They also find jewelry rock, quartz encrusted with pure gold and a message that John Ramsay has been captured. Zanaka and his men surround them. They surrender.

They are imprisoned at Zanaka’s Village where the find John Ramsay. He has been tortured to reveal the whereabouts of the gold. He has not talked. He explains to them that they will be given to the Devil Ogre, Pandikisi in the Dashani language, on the full moon. Gufta is imprisoned with them for helping Tarzan and Miss Doris. Tarzan enlists his help in escaping.

Tarzan fights the Devil Ogre. Gufta breaks the bars and leads the escapees to safety. Tarzan kills the Devil Ogre and escapes. Tarzan and Gufta delay the Dashani warriors. Zanaka uses drums to alert other tribes to stop them. Tarzan convinces a herd of elephants to carry them through the approaching warriors. Gufta leaves. They return to the rest house. John plans to return for the gold. End.

At fifty pages long, it is the longest story that Dell will publish in the Tarzan series. The exceptional length of the story allows the writer to permit more details into the story line and develop situations that can not be done with shorter page stories. Because of this, the feel of the story reminds you of the radio stories of Tarzan. It develops a number of subplots that provides conflicts along the path to the climax. The talking white gorillas are later referred to mainly as apes. They do not really talk as the gorillas in “Tarzan and the Lion Man” but Zanaka speaks to them in the language of the apes. Zanaka also communicated with the Devil Ogre in ape language. The bodies of deserters killed by poison arrows is shown. This is a situation that will be avoided in future Dell issues. After Tarzan makes his kills of the lion and the Devil Ogre he gives the victory cry of the bull ape. It is spelled out as, “Taar-man-gan-ie-i-i.” This is the victory cry used by the Tarzan in the radio play “Fires of Tohr.” The build up to the battle with the Devil Ogre is logically. After the battle the story continues with some minor conflicts. The story ends anti-climatically with John Ramsay wanting to return for the gold and Tarzan says that he would accompany him. This is not characteristic of Tarzan to help a gold seeker. 

This is early Jesse Marsh and his style for Tarzan has not yet been developed. Tarzan looks very young and his hair has a flatten down appearance that in retrospect looks out of place. Paul d’Arnot with his blue shirt and pith helmet has a long thin face with a goatee. The natives, Muviro, and the Waziri are very dark skinned in this issue. The Dashani warriors are depicted very fiercely in this issue with nose pieces and large ear rings and most of them have mo-hawk hair styles. This fierceness will be toned down in future Dell issues. Muviro has a surprisingly lack of jewelry which will be present in future issues. Large armies of Dashani warriors are drawn. This display of massive amounts of warriors is unique to this issue. Jesse Marsh includes little spiders and millipedes on walls which are a nice touch to the details. Often Marsh uses sweeping vistas to tell the story. As he developed his style, Marsh began to zoom in on the subject matter.

Inside Back Cover: last page of story - black and white and values of red

Back Cover: Painting - Tarzan beating his chest over a dead lion - Jesse Marsh


Dell #161 ~ August 1947

FOUR COLOR DELL ~ 52pp. 10cents
Art cover and interior -- Jesse Marsh
Writer -- Robert P. Thompson for feature story. 
(Possible input from Gaylord Du Bois)
Cover: Color drawing of Tarzan that relates closely with the first story contained within
Inside Front Cover: The black and white ink drawing are highlight with tints and tones of red. The title of the page is: "Tarzan’s Friends." The four drawings feature: Tarzan with Mangani, Manu, bolgani, and Tantor.

“Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr”
Lost City - Evil Empire Overthrown
Tarzan and Paul d’Arnot find Major James Barton and his niece Ruth Barton, who are searching for the lost city of Tohr. Their safari deserted them. Tarzan agrees to take them to a native village.

Tarzan fights with natives as the others take a native’s canoe down river. Tarzan swims to join them.

They round a bend in the river and are carried into a hole in cliff. On the other side by a waterfall, Mungo and other yellow men with claw feet approach them. They are taken to the Tohr.

Mungo brings them to Queen Ahtea. She leads them to the Hall of Pantu where they witness the death of a rebel placed on a grill between the arms of the statue of Pantu, a solid gold idol with a lion’s head and a man’s body. The fires of Tohr consume the victim. Ahtea says the others can leave if Tarzan becomes her husband. Otherwise their fates are doubtful.

In an arena, Toldo, the lion guardian of the treasures of Tohr, is released on Ukah, son of Attar, the rebel leader. Ahtea throws Ruth into the arena. Tarzan leaps into the arena and kills Toldo. Everyone brought to the throne room. Tarzan refuses Ahtea’s offer. They are thrown in a dungeon.

In the dungeon, Tarzan takes them up to a ledge and into a tunnel. A black panther confronts them. Tarzan holds sheeta at bay while the others slip into the passageway. They cross the natural bridge over the fires to Tohr and into an armory.

They are recaptured and taken to the Hall of Pantu. Tarzan again refuses the Queen’s offer. Ahtea shoves Ruth towards the fire of Tohr. Ukah pushes Ruth from Ahtea’s arms, grabs his Queen. Ahtea slips from Ukah’s grasp and falls into the fire. The people of Tohr choose Ukah’s father as their new leader. Mungo will lead Tarzan and his friends to a settlement. End.

Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr is based on a radio drama of the same name, which never aired. There are many similarity and differences between the two stories, but essentially they are both the story of Ahtea’s obsessive love for Tarzan and her ultimate demise. If one has no knowledge of the radio play, you would find this to be a very tight story that allows Tarzan to be very heroic and has a familiar female antagonist similar to La and Nemone. This reviewer also questions why the writer changed Burton to Barton and Jeanette to Ruth when all the other names and places remained the same. Mungo and his people have claw feet in the comic probably to make them more mysterious whereas the claw-footed yellow men in the radio are viscous mutants of the yellow people of Tohr. With the knowledge of the radio play, one wonders why they cut so many great scenes and limited this to just thirty pages. They included a second story to this issue of eighteen pages that could have very easily been used to extend The Fires of Tohr and illustrated more of this interesting tale. 

Tarzan wears leopard skin tights reminiscent of previous Tarzan in the funny papers. The Tarzan is the monthly series will sport a lion-skin loin cloth. Paul d’Arnot wears a kaki shirt, blue shorts, and a pith helmet. His face and goatee will be exactly same as when drawn for Dell #1. At one point d’Arnot smokes a pipe. Marsh uses a good blend of close up and middle distance drawings, which creates a nice variety for your eyes. Every once in awhile, he will use a bird or worm’s eye view or foreshortening, which produces the same effect. The native warriors are depicted as fierce and menacing. As the party travels through the mountain tunnel in the canoe, a complete black panel is used. (Something Marsh will use again in future issues.) Mungo, a leader of the claw men, is drawn with a Mohawk and corn rowed hair. The city of Tohr from a distance is a strong panel as well as the interior drawings of Tohr, which includes the green statue(s) from the front cover. An attempt to make Ahtea look sexy and provocative is weak as she has a Barbie doll figure. The inclusion of bats in the dungeon is a nice touch. Bats are not mentioned in the radio play. And finally, the fires in the Fires of Tohr are colored red and yellow when they are specifically referred to as blue in the radio play. My guess is that the colorist or the editors felt that red flames would be easier for the reader to accept than blue ones. They did permit a bit of blue flame on the cover.

“Tarzan the Black Panther”
Arab Slaver - Rescue White Woman

At the burned out ruins of the Molunga River Trading Post, Tarzan and Muviro find Sala, a Swahili, who tells them that an Arab slaver named Sidi Ben Yemlik, The Black Panther, has destroyed the post and taken Helen Robertson captive. On the way to the Arab camp, Tarzan removes a spear from an elephant’s trunk.

That evening, Tarzan swims the moat, climbs the stockade of the Arabs, and subdues a guard. Tarzan opens the gate for Muviro and Sala. Tarzan and Muviro gather guns and ammunition. They free the slaves. They arm Timaru, the chief of the Swahili, and his men with fire sticks. They are to wait for Tarzan’s signal before attacking.

Meanwhile, the guard Tarzan had subdued revives, discovers the missing weapons, and tells Sidi Ben Yemlik what has happened. Tarzan, Sala, and Timaru find Helen. Tarzan approaches Sidi Ben Yemlik and demands that he release Helen. The Black Panther laughs. Tarzan signals Muviro and the Swahili. A huge battle takes place. Helen hears elephants. Tarzan calls to them. The elephants crash through the stockade and rout the Arabs. Tarzan will lead Helen to safety. End.

“Tarzan and the Black Panther,” is a new story with a few leftover elements from the radio drama “The Fires of Tohr” thrown in for good measure. They are minor points: Sala telling Tarzan that the Arabs threw the wounded to the crocodiles is like the claw-footed yellow men throwing their dead to the crocs, Tarzan suggesting that the freed slaves use their chains as a weapons against the slavers reminds one that Tarzan used a chain against the yellow men when they freed the jewel pit slaves, and the basic idea of a slave revolt against there enslavers has a familiar ring to it. The story is a nice little tale of Tarzan rescuing a white woman from Arab slavers. The best ERB-type line is when an Arab guard describes Tarzan as having, “... the strength of the buffalo and the silence of a shadow!” It is slightly surprising that Sidi Ben Yemlik calls his guard a ‘swine’ rather than something Arabic. But this was published in 1947, just after the war. Tarzan sustains a wound to his shoulder, something which is rare for the comic book Tarzan. The only flaw is to have Tantor save the day in the end like a Johnny Weissmuller movie. It is too bad that a different conclusion could not have been developed.

Three very nice half panel pages are used: Tarzan, Muviro, and Sala sighting the Arab encampment which contains canes or flamingoes flying across the sky; Tarzan with an Arab over his head as he prepare to throw him to the other Arabs during the slave revolt; and the elephants crashing through the stockade to the dismay of the slavers. The weakest drawings are the panel that contain swimming. The people in the water do not really look like they are swimming as walking on the bottom and pretending to swim.

Inside Back Cover: The black and white ink drawing are highlight with tints and tones of red. The title of the page is: ‘Jungle Animals...’ The six drawings features: numa, pacco, sheeta, gimla, duro, and dango

Back Cover: The colored drawing depicts Tarzan holding a pith helmeted white man upside down over his head. A pistol falls from the man’s hand. The background is a battle scene that includes Arabs, a fallen native, and a pith helmeted white man. A thatched roof building is on the right, and a similar building is ablaze on the left. Smoke billows up to the left hand corner of the page. The sky area is colored red.

The back cover relates to the second story in this issue. Tarzan and the man he holds upside down are the dominate feature and are diagonally arranged on the page, which creates a good feeling of action. The red background used on both covers helps unify them. Tarzan’s body is extremely long - closer to the length that Hogarth uses than what Marsh will use in future issue.


Bolgani Appearances in the Tarzan Dell Comics

Bolgani* -- gorilla in ape language. 

#19.1 defeated by Tarzan in the Ivory city gladiatorial games. 

#41.2 Talking gorillas. They live in an unnamed city, have a king, and keep human slaves. Tarzan while searching for Goliath defeats a gorilla and Goliath scares away another. Tarzan, Goliath, and the Lost Legion defeat the talking gorillas and the Legion takes possession of the city. The gorillas head for the forest. (It is not clear if these are the same talking gorillas from Ara-thol referred to as Ko-bolgani.)

#49.2 Boy story - a gorilla threatens Boy and Dombie. Boy fires a bullet on the end of crossbow quarrel. It kills the gorilla. 

#52.1 Tarzan finds the trail of thousands of Bolgani leading into the Great Thorn Desert. He speculates that they are the same gorillas that once lived in the City of Gold. (Is this the same band of gorillas from Dell #41.2? It was not referred to as the City of Gold in that issue, but it was a city occupied by gorillas that Tarzan replaced with the Lost Legion.) The gorilla horde using clubs swarm into Athne. They defeat the Athneans and their elephants. During the battle, they kill King Ergon. Tarzan manages to rescue part of the Athnean population from the gorillas. Tarzan and Jathon go to the fallen city to discover the gorillas wearing helmets and practicing maneuvers mounted on elephants. They drive the gorillas back behind the walls of Athne. Tarzan warns the gorillas not to attempt to cross the Great Swamp. Tarzan is uneasy about the chances of the gorillas staying within the walls. 

#52.2 Boy story - The Bolgani captures Boy with the feeling that they can control Tarzan. They head for their new home in Athne. They are called man-think gorillas. In the desert they start fire with flint and steel. They also build a thorn barrier to protect themselves against the lions who are trailing them. Jad-bal-ja rescues Boy.

#54.3 The gorilla people who have taken over the city of Athne have learned archery. Tarzan says they have an almost human brain. They use ten foot bows and arrows that are six feet long. Many of them wear Roman-type helmets. One shoots an arrow that penetrates through both sides of King Jathn’s chariot. Tarzan drives them off they arrows. Three gorillas attack Goliath, their most feared enemy, from the walls of Cathne. They wound the giant lion severely. Tarzan drives them off with arrows. Thinking that Goliath is dead, they head back to Athne by raft. Tarzan baits them into falling off the raft into the crocodile infested waters of the Great Swamp. At Athne, Tarzan sees that they have many rafts in preparation for an attack on Cathne. He overhears guards saying that their food supply is gone and that they are in search of slaves to grow food. Tarzan releases Hathor, the chief war elephant, and tricks the dimwitted guard into opening the gate for them. The gorillas attack Cathne on their war elephants. Tarzan uses Hathor to convince the elephants to revolt against the gorillas. The gorillas break ranks. King Jathon and his warriors in lion driven chariots drive the gorillas back in the swamp. 

#56.2 (Boy story) Boy flying over Athne discovers that the talking gorillas are using human slaves again. The gorillas have arm bands. They save Beth and Arthur Carey from the gorillas. One gorilla not wanting to give up Arthur, throws him into Argus’ wing. Argus chases the gorillas away. 

#59.1 Using rafts, the talking gorillas attack the crocodile boats of the Lutorians. They capture Prince Keelim and some other Lutorians for slaves. Tarzan locates their camp in the Great Barrier Swamp. Tarzan lures the Terribs into attacking the gorillas. While they are fighting, Tarzan uses the gorilla’s rafts to rescue the captives. The Bolgani pursue them to King Loban’s crocodile boat. Their great long bows have a longer range than the Lutorians. The Lutorians close up their hatches. The Bolgani approach the boats for the capture. A tidal wave caused by an earthquake flips the rafts over. When Princess Loma raise the hatch, a gorilla tries to grab her. Tarzan knocks the gorilla out with one punch. 

#60.1 Talking gorillas spy Tarzan and Gorgo in the Great Swamp. Their arrows shatter on Gorgo’s horns. Tarzan’s well placed shots causes the gorillas to flee.

#64.1 A Bolgani ropes Chet Harper off of the raft he is crossing the Great Swamp with Tarzan. Tarzan strikes the gorilla with his fist, knocking him into the swamp. After saving Harper from a crocodile, Tarzan tries to warn the gorilla about a second crocodile. (Results unknown.) 

#66.1 The Talking Gorillas attack the workers at the building site of New Athne with clubs. They capture them. They attempted to transport the captives by raft on the Great Swamp back to Old Athne. Tarzan has Hathor and the war elephants of Athne overturn the rafts. The gorillas are defeated. As part of the alliance plan to rid Old Athne of the Bolgani, Tarzan has a phony caravan of Gallugos pass near the city. The gorillas attack the caravan. The Gallugos drop their load of gourds filled with nabu juice mixed with fruit juice. The Bolgani think they have won something wonderful and drink the juice. It puts them to asleep, thus allowing the joint forces of Athnean, Cathnean, and Gallugos to overtake the city. The gorillas trek across the Great Thorn Desert back to their old homeland. 

#A#4.1 The gorillas only weapons are clubs. Tarzan and Argus thwart the Talking Gorillas attack on Queen Elaine. They manage to stun Argus with a club. They chase Tarzan. They battle the Cathnean warriors who come to aid the ape-man. Tarzan is knocked unconscious with a club and taken by the gund, Gortak, to their camp. They hold a Dum-Dum and plan to overthrow Cathne. Argus carries away the bound Jungle Lord. The gorillas can not prevent it. A few gorillas ride buffaloes towards Cathne as a faint against their main force that uses grasses on their backs to camouflage their approach to the City of Gold. They bring along notched pole to scale the walls. Tarzan has the White Pygmies attack the Bolgani. He tells Jathon to bring his lions to help defend the top of the walls. There is a terrific battle as the Bolgani scale the walls of Cathne. The lionmen and the pygmies defeat the Talking Gorillas. 

#71.1 Probably the talking gorillas - A Bolgani attacks Tarzan as he swims in the swamp. Tarzan pulls the gorilla underwater until a Terribs comes along. Later, at Lutor Tarzan warns the Lutorian guards of the presence of the Bolgani approaching the island by a long narrow raft. The Lutorians repel the Bolgani invasion with a heavy spear launcher. The Bolgani retreat.

#87.1 A gorilla grabs Jalima off of her dyal. Tarzan shoots the gorilla in the knee with a blunt arrow. He drops the girl. Tarzan knocks the gorilla out with a punch to the jaw. 

A#6.1 Name of a gorilla trapped under some fallen rocks. His tribe is unable to free him and leaves. Tarzan uses a tree 
trunk as a lever to free the grateful Gorak. He introduces Tarzan to his tribe. Later, a unnamed tribe of natives brings gorillas to the island to sacrifice them to a giant squid. They tie them to poles on the beach and wait for the tide to do its work. Tarzan asks Gorak and his tribe to help rescue the Bolgani. They gorillas drive the natives back into their canoes and off the island.

A#6.5 (Boy Story) Boy traps a baby gorilla that has been raiding the garden. Boy and Dombie tie the balu up. A huge 
male gorilla chases Boy and catches him. He takes Boy back to the baby and makes him untie the balu. With the balu release, the male carries the baby away. 

#98 (splash page) “Jungle Olympics”. 

#103.1 Mountain gorillas ambush Jathon. The bolgani use clubs. Tarzan rides Gorgo into their midst and drives them off. A army of gorillas with clubs attack Tarzan and the Gallegos. The Cathneans join the battle to defeat the gorillas.

Dell Number -- 10 +19.1 +41.2 +49.2 +52.1 +52.2 +54.3 +56.2 (Boy Story) +59.1 +60.1 +64.1 +66.1 +A#4.1 +71 (splash page) +71.1 +87.1 +A#6 (splash page) +A#6.1 +A#6.5 (Boy Story) +98 (splash page) +103 (splash page) +103.1 +Novel -- TA + GL


Duane Adams Intro & Bio
Adams Candid Photo Gallery
Duane Adams Art Gallery
Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr:
Radio Drama / Dell Comic Comparison
Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr
Radio Serial Summary Eps.1-18
Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr 
Radio Serial Summary Eps.19-39
Burroughs Biblio-Pro-Phile 
Honour Roll
Moon Maid Glossary
G.T. McWhorter & Duane Adams
Tarzan Comics Summaries
by Duane Adams
Dell Overview ~ All Titles
0789 Tarzan Murray Comics Australia
0659 Fires of Tohr comic / OTR
0850 Dell #1 Comparative Study
1479 Dell Overview ~ All Titles
1551 Dell Tarzan Kill Tally
1529 Dell Tarzan 4-Colour 1947
0851 Dell Comics 1-10 Summaries
0852 Dell Comics 11-20 Summaries
1478 Tarzan Dells: 21-30
1552 Dell Tarzan Summaries 31-40
1553 Dell Tarzan Summaries 41-50
1569 Dell Tarzan Summaries 51-60
1571 Dell Tarzan Summaries 61-70
1572 Dell Tarzan Summaries 71-80
1573 Dell Tarzan Summaries 81-90
1574 Dell Tarzan Summaries 91-100
1575 Dell Tarzan Summaries 101-110
1576 Dell Tarzan Summaries 111-120
1577 Tarzan Summaries 121-131
1566 Dell Tarzan Annuals 1-3.
1567 Dell Tarzan Annuals 4-7
1596 Dell Tarzan Annuals  8-10
1597 Dell Language Banks
1595 Dell Places: A-F | G-L | M-R | S-Z
1598 Dell Things: A-E |F-L | M-R | S-Z
1690 Dell People/Animals A-Z

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