TIPPIN' HANCOCK'S HAT-Reviews by Tommy Hancock
"WAR OF THE BEAST-MEN"
A TALE OF KI-GOR, THE JUNGLE LORD
Within the pulp arena live various genres. Cowboys ride the range, super humans, both with and without masks, save the cities and the dark streets, and daring space pilots and crusaders ride the stars. Of those and many other genres, one of the often unsung favorites, and according to several pulp authors I've visited with, one of the most difficult and daunting is that of the White Man as Jungle Lord. Well, that does not seem to be the case for the work done in this tale by Powell and Floyd.
Many refer to Ki-Gor as a Tarzan clone and in many ways, he is just that. What Powell does in this wide vision pulp story, slated to appear soon in a forthcoming Moonstone publication, is take the basic tenets of the Jungle Lord concept and instead of changing them, as some would, he actually builds the story around them. There's swinging through the trees, fighting jungle beasties, saving one native while battling others, one heckuva female companion who can hold her own, and even a fairly decent pulp villain to wrap it all up. And this is done in basically a handful of pages.
By putting his own twist on the very things that most people use to compare Ki-Gor to Tarzan, Powell paints a character that is more different than similar to his more popular predecessor. Ki-Gor is determined, intelligent, but also very human in Powell's portrayal. All of the other characters in the story, including Ki-Gor's mate, Helene, have the same mix of heroic fiction stereotypes balanced well with traits that make the reader care and connect to them all.
Art is often used to compliment a story. Tom Floyd's art does much more than that. The wonderfully rendered images are more than just accompaniment. You feel the fear and the spit of the lizard as it chases Ki-Gor. You marvel just like the scientists do as Helene strips to her jungle outfit. You feel the heat of the beast warrior's breath on your face. Floyd's illustrations are pure storytelling in their own right.
Five out of Five Tips of Hancock’s Hat-And a good ol' fashioned jungle yell to boot-Good show, Gentlemen, Good Show.