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Volume 0722
Tarzan the Invicible cover art by Studley O. Burroughs
1st Edition ~ ERB, Inc. 1931
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Click for full-screen cover image
Click for large Studley Burroughs art image
Studley Burroughs Art ~ Publishing History ~ Summary
Cast ~ Chapter Titles ~ Lord Greystoke's Cover Gallery
Read the e-Text Edition (Temporarily on hold)

ERB, Inc. Authorized Edition 2022 ~ Joe Jusko Cover Art
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ERB started writing March 1930 ~ Working title Tarzan and the Man Things

Blue Book Magazine: 1930 October through 1931 April
    Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle pulp title
    Laurence Herndon: Tarzan cover art on first 6 of 7 issues ~ Frank Hoban: many interiors
ERB Inc. Tarzana: November 20, 1931 ~ 318 pages ~ Print Run: 10,000 ~ Estimated word count 80,000
    Studley Burroughs: DJ and frontispiece
Grosset and Dunlap: 1933
Grosset and Dunlap: 1940 ~ elephant head on title page is only interior art
ERB Inc. Tarzana: March 26, 1948
Ace paperback: March 1963 ~ 220 pages
    Frank Frazetta cover and title page
Ballantine paperback: March 1964 ~ 192 pages
    Richard Powers cover
Ballantine paperback: April 1970
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine paperback: November 1975
    Neal Adams cover
For detailed information, see Robert B. Zeuschner's
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Bibliography (ERB, Inc., 2016).
Click on or call 214-405-6741 to order a copy.
The printing and binding was done by Kingsport Press in Kingsport, Tennessee. They would print all of the ERB, Inc. books until 1948.  Invincible contained 318 pages with a print run of 10,000 copies and an estimated word count 80,000. 

Kingsport was chosen because it was one of the largest printing houses in the US with daily capacity soaring to 100 thousand volumes. It was a fully integrated operation: it had purchased nearby forests for its pulp and paper mills ~ had its own glue and ink factories, cloth finishing plant, book bindery, plate making and shipping departments ~ owned an abundance of nearby coalfields and controlled the railroad which brought in coal and paper supplies and sent out the finished books. 

As a result, this progressive and streamlined operation was able to supply a multitude of markets and most notably it allowed books to be manufactured at prices within reach of everyone. After a long crippling strike in the '60s it was taken over by a Canadian company working out of Montreal. 

Tarzan the Invincible
Tarzan, his monkey friend Nkima, and Chief Muviro and his faithful Waziri warriors prevent Soviet communists from looting the lost city of Opar. The story also prominently features Tarzan's lion ally Jad-bal-ja. This book marks the last appearance of Opar and La in the Tarzan series, aside from the juvenile piece Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-Ja the Golden Lion (1936), which was published later but is chronologically
CAST (in order of appearance)
Nkima ~ very smart little Manu
Comrades Zora Drinov ~ Russian communist (apparently)
Peter L. Zevri ~ Russian, hopes to be Peter I of Africa
Raghunath Jafar ~ Asiatic Indian communist, fond of Zora
Miguel Romero ~ Mexican communist
Antonio Mori (Tony) ~ Filipino communist, with Colt
Wayne Colt ~ American communist (apparently)
Abu Batn~ Aarab Sheykh
Kitembo ~ Chief of the Basembo
To-yat, Ga-yat, Zu-tho ~ Apes of Tarzan's old tribe
TARZAN of the Apes ~ John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Jad-bal-ja ~ Tarzan's pet lion
Wamala ~ Zora's servant
Kahiya ~ Chief of expedition's askari
Oah ~ New High Priestess of Opar
Dooth ~ Priest of Opar
Michael Korsky, Paul Ivitch ~ with Sveri at Opar
La ~ Imprisoned High Priestess of Opar
Darus ~ Priest of Opar, loyal to La
Ibn Dammuk ~ Sheykh's son
Bukula ~ Black serving Abu Batn
Nao ~ Oparian priestess in love with Colt
Firg ~ Oparian jailer
Hajellah, Fodil, Dareyem ~ Aarabs
Muviro ~ War chief of Tarzan's Waziri
Book Blurb Summary
from Ballantine Books
La was in trouble. The high priestess of the Flaming God in the ancient city of Opar forgotten outpost of Atlantis had been betrayed by her people and locked in the eon-haunted dungeons until Tarzan came to rescue her. La still loved Tarzan but Tarzan had brought her to his people, and then left her. Now, together with a strange woman of Tarzan's kind, she lay bound in the tent of an Arab slave-trader, dreading her certain fate. Meanwhile, Tarzan was beset by a strange band of men who had invaded his land . . . led by a madman bent on evil subversion!
I. Little Nkima
II. The Hindu
III. Out of the Grave
IV. Into the Lion's Den
V. Before the Walls of Opar
VI. Betrayed
VII. In Futile Search
VIII. The Treachery of Abu Batn
IX. In the Death Cell of Opar
X. The Love of a Priestess
XI. Lost in the Jungle
XII. Down Trails of Terrors
XIII. The Lion-Men
XIV. Shot Down
XV. "Kill, Tantor, Kill!"
XVI. "Turn Back!"
XVII. A Gulf That Was Bridged
Review contributed by Doc Hermes ERB Reviews
From BLUE BOOK, where it was first published as a seven part serial from from October 1930 to April 1931 (under the title  "Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle"), this is for the most part a dreary, confusing mess. Although it gets off to a strong start with a band of international Communist conspirators setting out to loot Opar and closes with a very effective sequence as Tarzan conducts a war of nerves against the invaders, In between, however, is a pointless jumble of characters wandering aimlessly through the jungle. Apes and Arabs carry off the white women, lions stalk hungrily, Tarzan drops down on an antelope for a meal, all familiar stuff. The book might have worked much better as a short novella, leaving out most of the padding in the center. As a coherent story of an attempted conquest of Opar, with the Apeman helping La regain her position, TARZAN THE INVINCIBLE would have had much more impact.

There are some great moments, as when Tarzan`s quick thinking deals with being trapped in a dungeon between a hungry lion and a crew of unruly Oparian goons, or later when he is tied up in the jungle and watching a hyena slowly circling in. But the effect of the good scenes is muffled by the surrounding filler which brings the story up to book length.

Burroughs, who previously had demonized the Germans as barbaric Huns in TARZAN THE UNTAMED and who later would go after the Japanese as "cowardly monkey-men" in TARZAN AND "THE FOREIGN LEGION", was in 1930 enraged about the Communists. He has an assortment of thugs from different nations bullying their way through Africa, hoping to find enough gold in Opar to finance revolutions in Mexico, the Phillipines, India and elsewhere. Now, every writer of adventure stories needs villains, and the nationalities suitable change over time. But Burroughs portrays the various Communist agents here as absolutely vile... greedy, braindead or secretly planning to start a new African Empire of their own; they are not shown with any depth or subtlety, and are basically fiends with BAD GUY practically painted on their shirts.

To be honest, Burroughs often seems to hate the human race in general. The only reason he admires animals is because he glamorizes them and gives them virtues they don`t in actuality possess. (The extent of his research into wildlife is shown as he invariably has solitary lions and elephants wandering through the deep jungle, instead of living in groups on the savannahs.) Except for Tarzan himself and his loyal Waziri, there are few human beings in the second half of the series that are likeable or even tolerable. (Although there is always the mandatory young couple to go through the usual ritual of misunderstandings and romance.)

One exception to the tired recipe is La, the High Priestess of the Flaming God. She actually comes to life on the page, with a vivid personality and presence. La is not exactly a New Age tree hugging sweetheart, of course, since she has spent most of her life stabbing victims to death on the altar of her people`s god. (And in fact, in this book, she promptly kills a guy who presumes to grab her by the shoulder. He`s not the last one she does a little open heart surgery on, either.) But she also is human, willing to make friends with Zora Drinov when they fall in together. La is a passionate little wildcat, openly telling Tarzan she is ready to be his mate then and there. The potent image of this gorgeous, barely dressed* woman,, offering herself to the even more naked Apeman has gotten generations of young readers worked up.

It`s strange, but when Tarzan firmly turns her down, he never mentions his own mate. In fact, he gives no reason at all. (Hey, Tarzan! If YOU don`t want her....) After his return from Pellucidar, the Apeman seems to have abandoned his wife, his plantation, his son and the rest of his family. Instead of Jane and Korak, his companions now are Nkima (the bloodthirsty troublemaking monkey) and the Golden Lion himself, Jad-Bal-Ja, always an imposing figure. These are friends he doesn`t have obligations to protect or care for, either, as they wander off at will. Tarzan invariably appears as a lone wanderer in the wilds of Africa, as if his marriage and his kinfolk never existed. It`s a real loss to the series, as is the dual nature of our hero being both a savage Apeman and a cultured English lord at the same time. This simpler, cartoonlike interpretation is not nearly as satisfying.

*La, maybe it`s none of my business, but just how comfortable can those gold breast plates be in the hot African sun? My God, didn`t it ever occur to you to borrow a strip of cloth from Zora to wear?
Read the most in-depth analysis of this novel ever written at:
R. E. Prindle's
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs Series
#14  Tarzan The Invincible
ERBzine 1661
John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Lord Greystoke's Gallery
Blue Book Pulp Magazines
Blue Book - October 1930 - Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle 1/7Blue Book - November 1930 - Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle 2/7Blue Book - December 1930 - Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle 3/7
Blue Book: January 1931 - Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle 4/7Blue Book: February 1931 - Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle 5/7Blue Book - March 1931 - Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle 6/7
From the ERBzine ERB Illustrated Pulp Bibliography

Click for full-size preview collage

From the Nico Hellendoorn Collection
Interior Pulp Art by Frank Hoban ~ April 1931

Frontispiece: "Put down the she," said Tarzan.
Tarzana First Edition

Tarzan the Invincible
174 Daily Strips: Art by Rex Maxon ~ Continuity by R. W. Palmer
March 27, 1933 - September 3, 1933

US Paperback Covers
Ace cover art by Frank Frazetta
Ballantine Art by Richard Powers 1964
Neal Adam cover art for Ballantine Edition
Neal Adams Art and Ballantine PB Cover

Artist Gerald Brom
Dell Rey Series

UK Paperback Covers
Pinnacle 1958 UK editionUK Goulden EditionUK NEL edition 1967

UK 4 Square edition art by Mortelmans
Pinnacle 1958 ~  4 Square edition: art by Mortelmans


Tarzan the Invincible
London: John Lane the Bodley Head, [1935]. First British edition.

Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square 1964Tarzan the Invincible: Japanese editionFrank Frazetta: Ace 1963

Tarzan the Invincible
Art by Motoichiro Takebe

Click for Full-Screen Enlargement

Read them at: ERBzine 2582 and ERBzine 2583

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
TARZAN OF THE APES was my third story. It was written in Chicago in 1912. A PRINCESS OF MARS was the first and THE OUTLAW OF TORN the second. Which reminds me of an amusing review of the latter, which was not published in book form until about sixteen years after it was written. The reviewer commented upon the great improvement and maturity of my style in this "later" work.

Tarzan seized the public fancy almost instantly. Just why he did so, I do not know. It was one of those things, like the Tariff and an Income Tax Statement, that have always been beyond me. In Germany they named chocolates, cigarettes and cabarets after him; in Russia the Soviet government took cognizance of him when they discovered that both the Russian literati were reading him out loud to the rest of the communists in preference to Soviet propaganda; in England, the Prince of Wales  named one of his horses Tarzan. Movie horses, movie lions and race horses bear his name. And now there is a United States Post Office called Tarzana.

Tarzan has appeared in newspapers, magazines and books; on the stage and on the screen; over the radio; he has been translated into sixteen foreign languages; in strip form, he is appearing in newspapers the length and breadth of the United States. I am told that it is estimated that twenty-five millions of people see Tarzan every day, in this country, in the newspapers alone.

Why all this popularity? I wish I knew; but not knowing. I can only be happy in the knowledge that he has brought a few hours of entertainment to so many people.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Tarzana, California

Tarzan the Invincible
Frazetta ACE cover painting (click)

Frazetta Preliminary (click)

Curious item from the Brian Bohnett Collection

Frazetta Art ~ New DJ design by Charlie Madison ~

Click for full size


ERBzine 7485
ERBzine 7485a
ERBzine 7485b
ERBzine 7485c
ERBzine 7485d
ERBzine 7485e
ERBzine 7486
ERBzine 7486a
ERBzine 7486b
ERBzine 7486c
ERBzine 7486d
ERBzine 7486e
ERBzine 7487
ERBzine 7487a
ERBzine 7487b
ERBzine 7487c
ERBzine 7487d
Tarzan the Invincible

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Volume 0722

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